By Karen Erickson
Lone Pine Lake #2
The Set UpChloe Dawson has had a crush on her best friend's brother, Cameron MacKenzie, since she was in junior high school. He's never paid her much attention what with a four-year age difference, and he left home to prove to himself and his family that he could be a success. Cam's a serious brooder so when he returns for his sister's wedding, he finds that Chloe is no longer the irritating young girl who used to moon over him. She's lovely, tempting and still got a thing for him. But, he's not convinced he deserves the town's princess.
The IssuesI thought this was going to be another typical sweet romance and it was anything but. Oh, it has its sweet moments but not before some seriously rough roads. I spent almost half of this book trying to decide if I would ever like Cameron. Yes, I love the "broody" guy but he takes it to a whole new level, at times pretty cruel to his family and Chloe. And, sometimes she appeared to bend too far over backwards in putting up with his bad boy behavior.
The Heart of the StoryIt's when Chloe starts getting beneath Cam's prickly veneer that you just start falling for him and understanding Chloe's real strength and charm. What I was seeing as doormat like tendencies turned out to be sensitivity and patience. She knew how to manage getting the best out of Cam and he was able to let his guard down with her, trusting Chloe with his deepest fears and secrets. And, all this in the midst of skeptical friends and family that didn't trust that he'd be in her best interest.
The Bottom LineIn spite of their most intimate moments occurring behind closed doors, the romance was sensual, letting my imagination do the rest. It's really well written and I got my sweet romance with the edginess I typically prefer. Cam's not easy and that made for a more complex and interesting story. I was really glad that I'd misjudged Chloe; she knew her man better than friends, family and apparently me.