Lakeside Cottage Mass Market Paperback – Aug 1 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
In Wiggs's appealing summer romance, single mom (and newly unemployed journalist) Kate Livingston and her edgy son, Aaron, arrive at her family's lakeside cottage in Lake Crescent, Wash., to discover unexpected company in the form of a troubled teenage girl and a handsome but mysterious neighbor. Callie Evans has run away from an abusive, unloved childhood; former military medic JD Harris is hiding from the relentless media scrutiny he's received following a sudden heroic action. Each is warily drawn to Kate's good-heartedness, and Kate responds with characteristic warmth and commitment. But their growing bonds are threatened when Callie becomes ill and Kate discovers the famous identity JD has tried to conceal. Wiggs (The Ocean Between Us) strains when her characters interact with the world at large: Kate's overnight success in top-level freelance writing is unrealistic, while both JD's fame and his phobia about it are exaggerated. In contrast, the characters' intimate personal interactions are pure gold. Especially appealing are Wiggs's evocations of timeless summer pleasures and her sweet yet complex depictions of Aaron's healing at the hands of his new father figure and foster sister.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kate Livingston is planning on spending the summer at her family's cottage as she always does, but her brother and mother have moved away, so she and her son will be there alone. And she has lost her job as a columnist. J.D. Harris is using his best friend's cottage to lay low. A military medic and Green Beret, he was in the right place at the right time to save the life of the president. A national hero, his face is plastered all over the TV, newspapers, and entertainment rags, and his life is no longer his own. J.D and Kate are attracted to each other, but nothing is simple. Kate's son is difficult. In retreat, she has no idea who J.D. really is, and when he realizes that Kate is a journalist, he is angry and disappointed. Wiggs' thoroughly captivating tale draws readers into her characters' lives and minds in a way that makes them real and true and unforgettable. Maria Hatton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Kate Livingston, fashion writer for the weekly Seattle News, is a single mother raising a son who has behavior problems, desperately in need of a father figure. When her brother moves, Aaron's behavior worsens. Missing one too many deadlines from attending one too many parent-teacher conferences, her boss at the paper fires her. Kate goes to the family cottage at the lake, deciding to stay the whole summer in order to figure out what to do with her future.
She meets the attractive JD as he is rescuing a hurt racoon. Later, she finds out he's her neighbor. JD has no intention of getting involved with his neighbor, but finds himself being drawn to her and her son, enjoying hiking and bike riding with Aaron.
Callie enters Kate's life when she's found staying in the house. A foster care runaway, Callie earns money by cleaning houses. She discovers JD's secret and promises not to tell anyone, although she feels he should tell Kate.
Lakeside Cottage can best be described as "feel-good". I was touched when JD took Aaron under his wing. I loved how Kate and Aaron accepted Callie into their lives. I enjoyed the building romance of JD and Kate, especially how hard he fought not to be romatically or sexually involved with her, while she wanted a summer fling. This is a great book that will keep you interested from beginning to end.
Reviewed for Enchanted in Romance
*** This leisurely paced novel is filled with sweetness, ambling across the summer as the characters grow. Overcoming heartache and painfilled pasts really supercedes the romantic plot. How the press can completely disrupt lives is also a focus of the story. Somehow, like the family portrayed, all the elements mesh into a cohesive whole. ***
Reviewed by Amanda Killgore, Freelance Reviewer.
Susan Wiggs and Lakeside Cottage stand out as prime examples of quality on both counts. Wiggs' writing is solid, and the story is engaging. Romance is, of course, at the heart of the tale, but there is so much more going on here.
Our heroine in this case is Kate Livingstone, a feature writer recently fired by her newspaper. As luck would have it, she has the chance to escape her troubles and figure out her future at her family's cottage. This is her first summer at the lake without her brother and his family, a fact that doesn't sit well at first with her troubled young son, Aaron.
Two strangers enter the scene on the first day: runaway teen California "Callie" Evans and the reclusive JD Harris. Both have secrets. Both will change Kate and Aaron's summer--and ultimately their lives.
Wiggs manages to avoid the overdone I-can't-stand-you-but-I-can't-resist-you form of romance in favour of a more natural approach. Kate and JD are a bit leery of each other at first--and both with good reason, given their romantic histories--but the conflict is underplayed.
I found it refreshing to read a romance so grounded in reality--JD's secret notwithstanding. After all, it's not every woman who falls in love with a man who saved the life of the US President. (And, no, that's not a spoiler.) JD's subsequent status as a media celebrity drives his actions throughout the book.
The subplot involving Callie is equally engaging. Her back story--including exposure to a twisted commune leader and too many years shuffled through foster care--comes to light slowly. We can feel empathy for all she's gone through. We also come to understand why she would choose to run away.
Overall, Lakeside Cottage is a well-formed story with intriguing, believable characters. You won't find too many surprises, but you will find an enjoyable read. Wiggs has written a sweet tale that manages to convey positive messages without lapsing into sugary sentiment.
Kate Livingston is a single mother to a nine year old son. Having been fired from her job she also has come to her family vacation home to regroup.
The first problem I had with this book is that it was at least 100 pages too long. It was filled with repetitive information on the nature aspects, details of making dinner, Kate's obsessive thoughts, etc.
Second is with her son Aaron. Aaron has behavioral problems, misses having a father figure and is terrified of water. Kate does not have a TV. I can appreciate a parent not wanting a child to spend all their time watching mindless TV. However, there are a lot of educational programs on the Discovery, Learning and History channels, not to mention watching a particular show is sometimes part of a homework assignment. Aaron has difficulty already fitting in and his not being able to discuss a show or even an occasional tasteful cartoon with his friends just makes him that much more different. Kids can be cruel and they think he's strange.
Which brings me to third, Kate is pushy. She goes to J.D.'s house, grills him, and asks him intrusive questions, snoops into a private file, then proceeds to tell him exactly what he should do with his life, even though he tells her it's none of her business. At this point she's spent a total of about ten minutes with the guy. Then she gets miffed with him & thinks, "He'd been rude to her just because she'd been nosy." Ya think? The first time they have sex she waits until they're almost naked and then starts grilling him again!
On the other hand, I enjoyed the characters of Callie, Aaron and J.D. & enjoy Susan Wigg's writing. One of my all time favorite books, of any author, is "The Ocean Between Us" which I highly recommend.