Friday Harbor (3)
St Martin Griffin
Published August 2012
They say that opposites attract. But what happens when one has been devastated by betrayal and the other is so jaded that his heart is made of stone? Enter the world of Friday Harbor, an enchanting town in the Pacific Northwest where things are not quite as they seem and where true love might just have a ghost of a chance….
Alex Nolan is as bitter and cynical as they come. One of the three Nolan brothers who call Friday harbor home, he’s nothing like Sam or Mark. They actually believe in love; they think the risk of pain is worth the chance of happiness. But Alex battles his demons with the help of a whiskey bottle, and he lives in his own private hell. And then a ghost shows up. Only Alex can see him, Has Alex finally crossed over the threshold to insanity?
Zoë Hoffman is as gentle and romantic as they come. When she meets the startling gorgeous Alex Nolan, all her instincts tell her to run. Even Alex tells her to run. But something in him calls to Zoë, and she forces him to take a look at his life with a clear eye and to open his mind to the possibility that love isn’t for the foolish.
The ghost has been existing in the half-light of this world for decades. He doesn’t know who he is, or why he is stuck in the Nolans’ Victorian house. All he knows is that he loved a girl once. And Alex and Zoë hold the key to unlocking a mystery that keeps him trapped here.
Zoë and Alex are oil and water, fire and ice, sunshine and shadow. But sometimes it takes only a glimmer of light to chase away the dark, and sometimes love can reach beyond time, space, and reason to take hold of hearts that yearn for it…
Alex is the most bitter of the three brothers, even though the youngest, he is the least carefree and can be very cynical about his life. When he first married, he knew that she would never be a woman he could care about. So when she wanted a divorce, it came to no surprise to Alex. What he didn’t like was having her take everything from him in the financial aspect. But then he takes a job repairing a cottage for Zoe Hoffman. Zoe was raised by her grandmother most of her life. When her mother left her and her father when she was little, her father left as well, and had her grandmother raise her. Zoe has felt like the only person to truly care for her are her closest friends and her grandmother. When she hears that her grandmother has a certain condition that is similar to all timers, only worse, she knows she would rather have her grandmother by her side, and taking care of her. So she asks for Alex’s help repairing a old cottage that belongs to their family. Alex can’t force himself to stop drinking for one moment, it is the only things that makes him forget the mess of his life. When a certain ghost starts haunting him and following him everywhere, he wonders if he is really crazy. The ghost has been existing for centuries, but Alex is the first mortal to see him, so he knows it is up to him to help Alex and himself as well. When Zoe first meets Alex, she knows he is the worst man for her. She knows it, and Alex knows it, but that doesn’t stop the sizzling attraction that only builds the more they are near each other. But sometimes love surprises you when you least expect it.
This is one of those series I had the misfortune of reading out of order. Now I will say you can read it out of order, but I always prefer to read Kleypas’ series in order if possible. I felt like Dream Lake and Rainshadow Road could probably be read at the same time, since they both occur around the same time. After reading Crystal Cove, I was a bit apprehensive about reading this one, I mean I knew I would most likely enjoy it. But I have felt with this series, it doesn’t have the same spark as with her other books. However I can occasionally be wrong (I know, a impossibility right?) Well I absolutely loved this one.
It begins with seeing Alex come to Friday Harbor, and starts living with his brother Sam. It starts off with Alex first hearing of his wife desiring a divorce, and this is where he starts drinking enough alcohol to kill ya in a week. Drinking is pretty much all that he does for quite some time, until he meets Zoe. Now Zoe is the type of girl to even go for the Alex Type. She wants love, devotion and passion. Alex knows that Zoe is one the most beautiful women he has ever laid his eyes on, but he feels he would just ruin her goodness. So he endeavors to try to stay as far from her as he possibly can. Well Zoe is a bit stubborn and she knows that even though nothing real could come from a relationship with Alex, she has never felt such a strong connection with anyone. Then we have the ghost enter the scene. He first is at Sam’s house, but when he notices Alex he is able to go where he goes, and Alex for some odd reason can see this ghost, when no one else can. Alex knows that he and Zoe are as different as oil and water, but he can’t deny his attraction to her, and at first its just sex to him. But as he truly see Zoe for who she really is, he starts to soften, and desires the whole kit and caboodle—love, passion, marriage and a family.
I found Alex to be the normal type of hero that Kleypas has in her books-at least for the most part. He is a bit self destructive, way too cynical, especially for Zoe–who is beyond sweet and gentle. Not his type, but opposites do attract. These two may be so different from each other, but they are attracted to each other like a moth to flame. Zoe is tender hearted and vulnerable at times, but I liked seeing these two interact, and how Alex doesn’t take advantage of her( even though you kinda expect him to at some point). There are so many small layers to this couple, and as you get further into the book, you scrape more through the layers, and there is so much depth at times.
I found Dream Lake to be a truly wonderful and fully satisfying read, that when you are finished (you have the kind of feeling of “Well Done”). I truly admired this couple, and all the hurdles they had to cross, and there were a surprise here and there, that keeps the reader on their toes. There is no predictable situations, its all written in a certain way, it holds your attention from the beginning. Deep emotions, sweet magical story, and richly developed that its better than a box of chocolates. (And I am a lover of chocolate) Full of witty humor, a riveting story, purely enchanting!!!
The ghost had tried many times to leave the house, bit it was impossible
“All you need to know is that I don’t make love to women, I use them. To you, sex is about kindness, honesty, commitment…well, I don’t bring any of that to bed. If you’re as smart as I think you are, you’ll believe that.”
“I do,” Zoe said promptly
“Yes.” But after a long hesitation, Zoe’s gaze dropped and the corners of her mouth quirked. “No,” she admitted, “I really don’t.”
“Damn it, Zoe–” He broke off in frustration , all the more provoked because she was trying not to smile, as if she thought him as some big pussycat trying to pose as a tiger. The hint of amusement flitting across her lips drove him crazy. Before he knew what he was doing, he crushed his mouth over hers, holding her head so she couldn’t jerk back. She tasted like lavender sugar. Sweet, dark-flowering kisses, opening in a way that focused all his senses on this one moment, this one blinding perception of pleasure.
“Because one day of something wonderful is better than a forever of nothing special.”
“I know. But I hate weddings.”
“Because of Darcy?”
“Because a wedding is a ceremony where a symbolic virgin surrounded by women in ugly dresses marries a hungover groom accompanied by
friends he hasn’t seen in years but made them show up anyway. After that, there’s a reception where the guests are held hostage for two hours with
nothing to eat except lukewarm chicken winglets or those weird coated almonds, and the DJ tries to brainwash everyone into doing the electric
slide and the Macarena, which some drunk idiots always go for. The only good part about a wedding is the free booze.”
“Can you say that again?” Sam asked. “Because I might want to write it down and use it as part of my speech.”
Other Books In Series
Christmas Eve At Friday Harbor