Date: 28th February 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Everyone in Sweet Lake, Ohio, wants her to muster all her business sense and return the Wayfair Inn to its former glory. Her parents hope she’ll forgive her scoundrel of a brother and reconcile the family. The eccentric Sweet Lake Sirens want her to open the inn—and her heart—to new possibilities. And her hilarious lifelong friends Jada and Cat are dropping none-too-subtle hints for her to ignite a romance with Daniel Kettering, the sexy attorney who’s been pining for her for years…
Sweet Lake is the first book in a new series by Christine Nolfi. Set in Ohio in a small town where everything went downhill in terms of work when Freddy Wayfair took off with most of the money from his family's account, leaving his sister Linnie to struggle on with the family inn. Now she is working on a shoestring, has let many of the staff go, and because numbers are down at the inn, the whole town has lost business. Serious times. Fortunately she has very good friends, a good man who has his eye on her and very loyal employees.
The Wayfair parents have retired and live in Florida. Linnie sends a little money to them as she can. She is the good girl, a hard worker, responsible, thinks of others and basically has been left "holding the baby". Do her parents value her? Do they really love her? Because to me love involves respect and fairness and as the story progresses it seems to me they honestly don't.
Life growing up in the Wayfair family was a little rough around the edges. There were many expectations put on the older brother Freddy, some of them quite tough. We briefly meet the mother, and my impression was of a woman I didn't really like. Her attitude annoyed me!
Freddy is gifted, harbors a few secrets, and acts without thinking at times. Hello! Taking all that money and not thinking of the consequences for all those people relying on the inn. I sort of had a love/hate approach to him. He is redeemable and circumstances surround, as Frances would be keen to point out.
Frances? One of the Sirens, a group of middle aged and elderly women who appear a little eccentric, and into new age stuff. However secret kindness is their catch cry and they rally to many a good cause and they see Linnie as a very good cause!
So as I read questions abounded. Could Linnie take hold of her reins and stand up and speak up and go after what she really wants from life? Freddy did that to a large extent, but he too his a little tied to his parents wishes so how is he going to deal?
This is a heart warming, humorous story. It is well paced, has a variety of entertaining characters and some important issues to explore. A great start to a new series.