Dillion Stitch left her hometown of Pearl Lake over a decade ago and never looked back. Her dream was to live in the city (Chicago) and it began with college, which led to a job she loved following graduation, a boyfriend and her own apartment. Now the boyfriend is gone, her company folded and she’s got to find a new place to live. Then her father calls and asks for her to help with the family construction business over the summer while her brother recuperates from injuries sustained in a car accident. So, she returns home, reluctant to face her friends she left behind, feeling like a failure. That’s only compounded when she discovers her beloved next door neighbor’s grandson, Donovan (Van) Firestone, has moved in and their first encounter was less than harmonious to say the least.
I guess you could call this an enemies-to-lovers romance but Dillion and Van didn’t have much of a history prior to their first meeting as adults. They got off on the wrong foot and found ways to continue irritating each other until they didn’t. What happened in between that time was fun and engaging. He’s returned to Pearl Lake to work on his grandmother’s house following her death, leaving his life in Chicago behind, which has suddenly soured. Dillion is also trying to mend relationships with her former friends and her own family. The story has a lot of layers and the developing romance between these two is only one aspect of the many issues both face.
This was my first time reading the author, despite having many of her books! I enjoyed her writing style, even though others familiar with Hunting feel this is a slight departure from her norms. I found Dillion and Van to be well developed characters who were surrounded by other strongly defined ones, which is a good foundation for the start of a series. I’m glad two narrators were used because both of them had strong points of view and shared equal time. Andi Arndt is one of my favorites and she shone here. Teddy Hamilton is fairly new for me and I liked his voice for Van. Everything about the story worked, including the family drama on both sides and how tough it can be to return home but also redefine old relationships.
- Release Date: July 27, 2021
- Series: Lakeside #1
- Narrators: Andi Arndt & Teddy Hamilton
- Audio Length: 8 hours, 47 minutes
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio
(Thanks to Brilliance Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)