ARC: Up at Butternut Lake by Mary McNear

Posted on 08/11/2014 in Book Review / 4 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC: Up at Butternut Lake by Mary McNearUp at Butternut Lake by Mary McNear
Series: The Butternut Lake Trilogy #1
Published by Harper Collins, William Morrow Paperbacks on April 8, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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It's been ten years since Allie Beckett crossed the threshold of her family cabin at Butternut Lake, Minnesota. Now, newly widowed after the death of her husband in Afghanistan, she's returned with her five-year-old son.

There, she reconnects with the friends she had in childhood-best girlfriend Jax, now married with three kids and one on the way, and Caroline, owner of the local coffee shop. What Allie doesn't count on is a newcomer to Butternut Lake, Walker Ford. 

Up at Butternut Lake follows these four unforgettable characters across a single summer as they struggle with love, loss, and what it means to take risks, confront fears, and embrace life, in all of its excitement and unpredictability.

Allie Beckett could never have imagined, when she ran away from her old life, that she was running into a whole new life, up at the lake….

Confession: I am not a big fan of romance novels. Sure, I don’t mind a good love interest while we’re solving a mystery, or some sparks flying while our heroes race to save the world. But this was the first book I’ve read in a long time where the romance was the primary focus of the story.  And it was kinda nice.  In a light, frothy, perfect-for-a-lazy-summer-day kind of way.  I would love to spend a summer on Butternut Lake. It sounds beautiful, peaceful, and incredibly romantic. I enjoyed getting to know the characters, and as a parent and as someone who has started over, I could relate to Allie.  I liked that her son, Wyatt, was her first priority in everything she did. Although we didn’t spend a whole lot of time with her, I also really liked Caroline, who ran the local diner. I was happy to see that she will be featured more prominently in the next book in this trilogy. Jax was my least favorite of the women, and I felt like her character was the least realistic, especially toward the end of the book. Not to mention she did a couple of pretty stupid things that left me rolling my eyes. Up at Butternut Lake by Mary McNear is not only a story about starting over and finding love, but also a story about friendship. Allie and Jax pick up their friendship where they left off years ago, and are very supportive of one another, but I didn’t feel like they really spent much together. Jax and her daughters help Wyatt feel at home in their new town, but I thought the relationship between Jax and Allie could have been developed more. This book felt a lot like a summer day at the lake: not a lot happens, but it’s pleasant and relaxing to be there.  There was no stress over what was going to happen next, but there was also no excitement propelling me forward and urging me to read faster.  I enjoyed reading it, but don’t think it will stick with me. Even so, I may just start adding more romance into my reading rotation.

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Jessica’s addiction to books began at age 4, going on weekly trips to the library with her mom. After being a young fan of Sweet Valley High and The Baby-Sitters Club, she discovered the thrill of reading a book that made her want to leave the light on and check under the bed. Her all-time favorite author is Stephen King, but she will read just about anything! Jessica never leaves home without her e-reader, and considers it the best gift she ever received. Her other hobbies include running and going to Disney World as often as possible.


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