With summer just around the corner, Emma St. James is eagerly planning a 5K run at Sweetwater Springs National Park. But first, she needs the help of one charming, rugged, and handsome park ranger. Her brief high school romance with Jack Hershey may have ended in heartbreak, but Emma can’t deny that he still gives her butterflies. So when Jack responds to her request with an all-too-tempting plea to pretend to be his girlfriend for the summer, how can she say no?
Jack would do anything for his sister — even pretend to give up his bachelor’s life to care for his nephew. Passing his days with his high school sweetheart guarantees one long, hot summer — but only because every moment together leaves him wanting a real relationship. He can’t imagine spending another season without Emma by his side. Can he convince her to give their love a second chance before the summer draws to a close?
Titles in the Sweetwater Springs series include — Christmas on Mistletoe Lane – A Wedding on Lavender Hill (#1.5) –Springtime at Hope Cottage – Kiss Me in Sweetwater Springs (#2.5) – Snowfall on Cedar Trail – Starting Over at Blueberry Creek – Sunshine on Silver Lake – Season of Joy – Reunited on Dragonfly Lane –
Includes the bonus novella A Fairytale Bride!
Title: Sunshine on Silver Lane
Series: Sweetwater Springs #5
Author: Annie Rains
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 21, 2020
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
My Rating: 4.5 stars
‘Sunshine on Silver Lake‘ is the fifth title in the ‘Sweetwater Springs‘ series, and, as always, we are about to set off on a charming, emotional adventure back in one of my favorite fictional small towns.
For a brief time in their teen years, Jack and Emma had a high school romance that ended in heartache. Wrong timing for the most part since both Jack and Emma still have unresolved feelings for each other – not that they would admit to that to anyone but their own inner conversations with themselves. Right now the planets are going to align as each needs something from the other – and perhaps that togetherness for one amazing summer can rekindle what their teenage selves had no clue how to deal with. One long, hot summer – two people who never stopped caring about each other – and a second chance to get love right this time around… if they are willing to put it all on the line and take that risk.
It’s not easy to deal with strong emotional issues like alcoholism or a parent’s cancer diagnosis in romance, they aren’t usually subjects that slip easily into a dialogue. Yet, ‘Sunshine on Silver Lake‘ proves (to me) to be an exception to that opinion of mine. Life happens, ya know? There’s not a darned thing we’re going to be able to do to change that simple fact. So, yeah, bad things happen to good people all the time – and we deal, each in our own ways. Years ago, Jack messed up. And Emma isn’t forgetting that. But right now they each need something from the other, and that one small change will take hold to allow two people who really do work well as a couple to see themselves now – not as what was.
There is laughter and frustration, tears and anger, love, and forgiveness within this story. The journey to get to a happy ending for Emma and Jack takes time, but it’s well worth the trip. There were moments when I was frustrated with Emma for not looking after herself, given her mother’s fate – but then we all deal as we can when we can, and I had to allow Emma to handle the emotional aspects in her own way. Jack knows what he lost with that prom night decision. He’s certainly not the same kid, and being around Emma again is reminding him of what he lost… unless he can show Emma just how right they are together and find a delayed happy ever after for them both. The secondary characters bring this story to life with quirkiness, friendships, and simply being a voice of reason or a listening ear. No one, not even a book exists in a vacuum, so those other characters are the life of any book for me.
I enjoyed myself (as I always do with this author) back in the ‘Sweetwater Springs‘ world again. If you’re in the mood for a romance that gives a second chance to two very deserving people, a lively small town, and realistic dealings with issues that matter – then you’d feel right at home with ‘Sunshine on Silver Lake‘.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher, Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Available in paperback or your favorite e-reader, mine is the Kindle