Kate McAdams was forced six years ago to leave her beloved hometown of Willow Valley, leaving behind her family and the only man she’s ever loved, Marc Caliendo. Although she has created a new life for herself away from the drama, secrets and stress of the small town, she must return upon her grandmother’s death. Her return brings back wonderful memories, especially of Marc, but also horrible fears from the past.

When fate throws her and Marc together once again, how can they ignore the everlasting love and desire between them? Will Kate stay and face her demons or will the deceit and secrets of the past destroy any future they may have and force her to leave again?

Titles in the By The Lake – The McAdams Sisters series include:  Lakeshore Secrets – Lakeshore Legend – Lakeshore Love – Lakeshore Candy – Lakeshore Lyrics

Title:  Lakeshore Secrets
Series:  By The Lake #1
Author:  Shannyn Leah
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  January 13, 2017 (originally March 2, 2015)
Publisher:  Carlex Ruby Press
My Rating:  3.5 stars

Only something drastic or desperate would bring Kate back home to Willow Valley.  The death of the grandmother she loved with all her heart was enough of a desperate, heartbreaking event to warrant facing her past and the love, the pain she’d left in her wake when she left almost six years ago.  Secrets are ugly things, always there to ruin something wonderful – when you yourself are full of secrets it’s difficult to face the past and emerge with a whole heart.  But Kate owed Gran the respect and love of being present at her funeral.  Perhaps she needed her family at this time as well.  She’d come home, pay her respects and get out of town quickly before any more pain could be added to lives she’d protected, including her own.  But fate is often cruel before she becomes kind once again, and Kate’s quick trip is going to open up wounds… and maybe heal them if she’s very lucky.

Kate and Marc’s story is one where that old saying of “makes your heart bled” seems very, very true.  Marc was devastated when the girl he’d loved beyond reason up and left him without a word, with no contact since.  He’d loved her with everything he had to give, she was his future – until she made the decision for him, against his love to simply walk away and not look back.  So when Marc ran into Kate again to say there was bitterness mixed in with the sadness would not be an understatement at all.  Kate had her reasons for leaving, ones that were very good ones to her mind.  Secrets had made her run before.  Now she had to make the decision as a more mature woman whether letting those secrets continue to rule and ruin her life was worth the loss of the man she’d never stopped loving, and the family she’d longed to reunite with.

When you read reviews or comments on stories by readers, you’ll often hear the phrase “roller coaster of emotions”… I cannot tell you just how true that feeling is for Lakeshore Secrets.  It often seems that happiness is almost in reach for Kate and Marc only to see it snatched away by yet another twist or turn.  It’s difficult to find a decent break for this couple.  I was emotionally swept up in this romance, kept on the edge of nervousness by the secrets revealed and hopeful for an honest resolution to the past by two grown up lovers.  I found this story very satisfying, very engaging and it definitely teased me enough to want to follow the rest of the series.

As a personal rule, I delete ARCs from my Kindle once I’ve finished reading and reviewing them.  For those stories or series that touched me and I want to continue the journey of the rest of the story – those I will go and purchase the released e-book.  I’ve purchased Lakeshore Secrets and picked up the next in the series.  That’s probably the best indicator of how good I think this story is, and how this series will be entertainment wise.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.* — I’ve also purchased the released Kindle edition.

Available for the Kindle