Just Say No – “Love on the Lake” by Helena Hunting

Teagan Firestone escapes to Pearl Lake to give her dad and his new live-in girlfriend some space. She can hang out for a few weeks in the garage apartment her brother is having renovated and decide what she wants to do with her life. The apartment should be almost ready for habitation and Teagan doesn’t mind roughing it for a bit. Walking into what will be her new temporary home she’s treated to the sight of a shirtless, broad-shouldered, muscular physique, with some impressive tats and he’s installing wood flooring. Oh my!

Aaron Saunders has been doing construction work since he dropped out of college with only had one semester to go ’til graduation. Back then the scuttlebutt was that he had earned a boy toy rep with the lonely housewives from the McMansion side of the lake. Regardless, that seems to be history now and it might be just petty gossip. What isn’t speculation is that Aaron is somewhat of a mystery. His monthly weekends out of town and very private phone calls are grist for the gossip mill. And as anyone can tell you, gossip thrives in small towns. Neither Teagan nor Aaron is looking for a long-term relationship but sometimes one just smacks you upside the head when you least expect it.

Speaking of Teagan, she and the residents of Pearl Lake have a mutual admiration thing going on. They adore her because she’s willing to help out anyone, anywhere, anytime. And Teagan feels a sense of belonging in Pearl Lake that she’s never felt before. It’s a tight knit community and she fits right in with her clever ideas and her can-do spirit. The problem is, the word NO isn’t in Teagan’s vocabulary and she spreads herself too thin. Trying to be supportive of Aaron and the “go-to gal” for the community forces a confrontion of her own fears and necessitates finding some balance in her life. Can Aaron be patient and give her time to figure out her life? Does Teagan want him to? Does she even know what she wants?

“Love on the Lake” is the second book in Helena Hunting’s ‘Lakeside’ series. Her characters are as delightfully flawed as the rest of us, which only makes them more authentic and endearing. The struggles faced by Teagan and Aaron are as real as what each of us deals with every day so it’s easy to empathize with them. And the romance is off the charts hot, which is a bonus in my opinion. I really love Hunting’s books. Four and a half stars.

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