Welcome back to Sweetwater Springs, North Carolina for a heartwarming second-chance romance between a quirky café owner and a handsome park ranger.
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 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?
Includes the bonus novella A Fairytale Bride!
Rains (Starting Over at Blueberry Creek) makes a heartwarming return to the charming town of Sweetwater Springs, N.C., with this tale of a wary coffee shop owner and the hunky park ranger who's been in love with her since childhood. When Jack Hershey stood Emma St. James up for her senior prom after a night full of mishaps (including a painful confrontation with Emma's father), he inadvertently ruined their chances of being more than just friends, despite mutual feelings that linger into adulthood. Now Emma's 30th birthday looms and she needs a friend more than ever; her mother died of breast cancer in her own 30th year. Emma turns to Jack for support, and though their chemistry is intense and both want something more, neither is brave enough to make the first move. Readers will have no trouble falling in love with Rains's realistically flawed hero and heroine as they do their best to overcome their pasts and embrace their futures. A strong cast of supporting characters especially Emma's stepmother, Angel, and the many returning faces from earlier books underpin Rains's engaging prose and perfectly paced plot. Lovers of small-town tales won't be able to resist.
3.75 stars—sweet with a little bit of drama
3.75 stars-SUNSHINE ON SILVER LAKE is the fifth instalment in Annie Rains’ contemporary, adult SWEETWATER SPRINGS romance series focusing on the people of Sweetwater Springs, North Caroline. This is café owner Emma St. James, and park ranger Jack Hershey’s story line. SUNSHINE ON SILVER LAKE can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary.
Told from dual third person perspectives (Emma and Jack) SUNSHINE ON SILVER LAKE follows the friends to lovers, second chance relationship between café owner Emma St. James, and park ranger Jack Hershey. Emma St James has struggled with her friendship and relationship with Jack Hershey since the night Jack ‘forgot’ to pick up Emma for their senior prom. Fast forward to present day wherein, Emma, the owner of the Sweetwater Café, makes a promise to herself to finish her late mother’s ‘bucket list’ of things to do starting with completing a 5K run in support of the Women’s Wellness Center.
Meanwhile, Jack Hershey, the local park ranger, finds himself looking after his fifteen year old nephew, for the summer, having left the impression that he and Emma were in a couple’s relationship. As Emma makes preparations for the upcoming fund raiser, Jack finds himself drawn to the woman whose heart he destroyed years before. What ensues is the rebuilding romance and relationship between Jack and Emma, and the potential fall-out as Emma struggles with what is and what may never be.
The relationship between Emma and Jack is a second chance relationship; a high school sweethearts whose friendship was destroyed when our hero ‘forgot’ to pick up Emma for the prom but all is not as it appears to be when Jack finally reveals what happened and why . Battling between head and heart, Emma is quick to forgive for sins of the past but not so much her father, whose lack of respect for Jack Hershey is another matter. The $ex scenes are all implied.
There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters. We are introduced to Emma’s father Edward and his wife Angel; Jack’s sister Amanda, her son Sam, and newcomer Diana; as well as several previous story line characters including Halona, Brenna, co-worker Nina and fudge shop owner Dawanda.
SUNSHINE ON SILVER LAKE is a story of family, friendships, secrets and lies; of love, loss, revelations and acceptance. The premise is sweet with a little bit of drama; the romance is tender; the characters are charming but I struggled with the heroine’s need to hold a grudge against the man who has called to heart, as well as the woman with who her father has fallen in love.