Alex Nolan is as bitter and cynical as they come. One of 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 startlingly 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.
©2012 Lisa Kleypas (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Say something about yourself!
I was interested in the series but this book was not as good as the others read thus far in the series. The narrator was not a good match for the book. His answer for different characters was to increase the volume of his voice.
It was memorable when the ghost was introduced.
A different narrator who is experienced in performing both men and women, old and young would have been better.
Would not make into a film.
Not sure I will listen to other books in this series as this book was not believable and it seemed to drag on and on.
This was, I'm embarrassed to admit, my first Lisa Kleypas novel. What was I thinking??? This contemporary romance laced with a ghost story is addictive from the first line on: "The ghost had tried many times to leave the house, but it was impossible."
Although we begin our journey through the eyes of a trapped, confused ghost, we move on to meet the main characters of the book, Zoe Hoffman and Alex Nolan. Zoe is the sweet, cheerful chef at the local Bed and Breakfast. Although she's suffered a divorce, she's still optimistic enough to believe in true love. Alex Nolan is a local carpenter, a bitter, damaged alcoholic whose childhood and recent divorce has him convinced of the opposite. And he's convinced he's crossed over to alcoholic insanity when he finds himself attached to the ghost.
But neither Zoe or Alex can deny the sparks between them. When Zoe hires Alex to refinish her grandmother's lake cottage, Alex knows it's the absolute wrong thing to do. But he takes the job anyway, ghost in tow, a spirit who's determined to teach Alex the meaning of true love.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and will be going on to read the others in the Friday Harbor series. NOTE: I listened to the audio version of this book, and noticed that a number of comments rated the narrator poorly. I think he did an excellent job, especially with the voices of Alex and the ghost. I think he tried a little too hard with Zoe's voice, which may have turned off some listeners. No matter—it's a minor point and should not discourage readers from listening to this edition of Dream Lake.
If I could have just focused on the story, I think it would have been outstanding. It was a sweet concept for a romance and I liked it. However...as several reviewers have noted, the choice of narrators could not have been more off! Just think of the cast of "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything" staying in character and reading this book to you. Absolutely unbelievably bad. The male lead, Alex, comes across as a real jerk. But, it's the narration. It could have been read as a man struggling that you could sympathize with. It was the tone that made him seem like such a bully. The female lead, Zoe, was supposed to be sweet, not stupid ... but, thanks to Mr. Cummings, she sounds like a lobotomized Marilyn Monroe. I'm having a hard time understanding how anyone thought Mr. Cummings was a good choice. But, then again, they gave him the middle book in this series knowing we would all buy it just to keep up with the storyline. Feel bad for Ms. Kleypas, he ruined her lovely romance.
Can not in good conscious recommend this. Buy the audio for #1 and #3, get this one in print. JB
Yes, if you like an easy, predictable romance accompanied by strong bonds between friends and uneasy yet loving bonds between brothers who grew up in a broken home.
The ghost recalling his memory.
For sure from Lisa Kleypas, but Jeff had a hard time executing the female voice. Made her sound like a mouse with no range.
My favorite Character was Emma. I love it when grandparents tell it how it is. No matter how uncomfortable the others in the room will be.
Bad Female Characters
Sure. Not a major motion picture, but something on lifetime or made for TV. The story is heartwarming. I would just want to see more of the main characters life together. Not just the parts leading up to their committment for each other. I could see a number of Lifetime stars in this movie.
Read this book in paper back as well as listened to Audio. Wish the main female was different in the audio version, but Love the book anyway.
Something about yourself.
I enjoyed this story so much. I thought Zoe and Alex were such a great couple. All the emotional baggage from their childhood made things so difficult. The social issues of alcoholism and dementia were adeptly handled and very realistic. If you have ever had to deal with either of these issues the hope contained in this story made it a magical listen. I did not hate the narrator. I dove into this book with a sincere desire to like it and so my attitude was a positive one. I did listen to the sample to see it the other reviewers comments were valid. I know where they are coming from but I have heard much worse and I thought the passages of prose were very well done indeed. The cat's role was a comic relief. Parts of the book were faintly reminiscent of the old Suzanne Brockmann Troubleshooters when she had the WWII storyline woven in with the present day setting. I applaud Lisa Kleypas for writing this book and will definitely buy the next one in the series. In closing I would like to know where she gets her ideas for love scenes because she can write a smoking one.
I enjoyed the story and the characters.
I've heard many narrators that could have done justice to this. Too bad Mr Cummings failed so miserably with this one.
Loved the book hated the narrator.
I would listen again, but not with the same narrator. The voice wasn't right for a romance like this one.
OK, I loved the story, but I do have to weigh in and say that the narration by Jeff Cummings was pretty distracting. He had this breathy tone that he used for Zoe, the main character, that made it SOO hard to really follow the story! What happened to Tanya Eby?! I think that she did such a good job with the other two books in this series and her skills were sadly missing here.
Still, this is still a very good listen -- the story of Zoe Hoffman, her grandmother Emma Hoffman, who is battling dementia, and Alex Nolan, the youngest Nolan brother, who is an alcoholic with major trust issues. Add in plot lines that include abandonment, elder care, self esteem, and ghosts (yep, GHOSTS!) and it sounds like this will be a weird, depressing story, but it really all comes together into a touching, heartwarming story about second chances and opening your heart to those around you.
I would suggest just bearing with Jeff Cummings and purchasing this book. I cannot wait for the next installment -- hope that Tanya is back, though!
I listen to audible with a pile of cats all over me. It's "FUR-tastic!"
I love Lisa's writing.It translates really well on to audio but Jeff Cumming's performace just didn't do it for me. But other than that. The story, the characters are A++
The characters and Lisa's beautiful fluent writing
don't have one
Not all writer's writing translate well onto audio but Lisa Kleyas does.
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