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They say that opposites attract. But what happens when one has been devastated by betrayal and the other is so jaded that his heart is made of stone? Enter the world of Friday Harbor, an enchanting town in the Pacific Northwest where things are not quite as they seem and where true love might just have a ghost of a chance….

Alex Nolan is as bitter and cynical as they come. One of the three Nolan brothers who call Friday harbor home, he's nothing like Sam or Mark. They actually believe in love; they think the risk of pain is worth the chance of happiness. But Alex battles his demons with the help of a whiskey bottle, and he lives in his own private hell. And then a ghost shows up. Only Alex can see him, Has Alex finally crossed over the threshold to insanity?

Zoë Hoffman is as gentle and romantic as they come. When she meets the startling gorgeous Alex Nolan, all her instincts tell her to run. Even Alex tells her to run. But something in him calls to Zoë, and she forces him to take a look at his life with a clear eye and to open his mind to the possibility that love isn’t for the foolish.

The ghost has been existing in the half-light of this world for decades. He doesn’t know who he is, or why he is stuck in the Nolans’ Victorian house. All he knows is that he loved a girl once. And Alex and Zoë hold the key to unlocking a mystery that keeps him trapped here.

Zoë and Alex are oil and water, fire and ice, sunshine and shadow. But sometimes it takes only a glimmer of light to chase away the dark, and sometimes love can reach beyond time, space, and reason to take hold of hearts that yearn for it…

336 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2012

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About the author

Lisa Kleypas

108 books28.4k followers
LISA KLEYPAS is the RITA award-winning author of 21 novels. Her books are published in fourteen languages and are bestsellers all over the world. She lives in Washington State with her husband and two children.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,346 reviews
Profile Image for  A. .
1,162 reviews4,270 followers
June 24, 2020
2.5 Meh Stars

This was my first LK book and I can't really say that I'm impressed.

The whole ghost thing was kind of ridiculous, not really adding to the excitement of the story or the depth of the book.

The writing was dull and I didn't really care for the characters.

Maybe I chose the wrong book to start with.
Profile Image for Annie .
2,449 reviews818 followers
September 13, 2012
Lisa Kleypas has made me fall in love with many of her heroes – Kev Merripen, Derek Craven, Sebastian St. Vincent, Jack Travis – now I can add Alex Nolan to this list.

I felt that Zoe and Alex were a great match for one another. Though they bicker with one another often, it showed people how willing they were to deal with one another even though they are difficult. I find it more interesting to have a couple work at being in a relationship than reading about one that falls so easily into place.

Zoe and Alex are great, but there is another major character in this book that really made me enjoy this one. Alex makes a new friend in a fighter pilot ghost. Without any real explanation, this mysterious ghost can only be seen to Alex and he is tethered to him like a dog leashed by its owner. As we try to figure out who exactly he is, readers are also exposed to his wit and his heartbreak. There were several times in this book where I teared up because of his story. It’s sweet and heartbreaking at the same time. But in the end, it shows of the magical power of love. While I have read some contemporaries with a ghost involved, I think Kleypas did a stellar job of incorporating the paranormal element without making it too cliqued or corny. The ghost made this book a better one in my opinion.

Kleypas is a master storyteller and in DREAM LAKE, she showcases her talent. Falling in love is easy when you have an excellent a writer as Kleypas penning works of art.

Read this review in its entirety at Fresh Fiction
Profile Image for Mo.
1,363 reviews2 followers
February 18, 2020
I had been looking forward to reading about Alex Nolan. He seemed to be the most tortured of the Nolan brothers. I love a tortured hero, one who is not looking for love and goes out of his way to avoid it ... but, eventually, is brought to his knees by a strong woman.

“A woman could do that to you - reach that place in your soul where the best and worst of you was kept. And once she was there, she owned that place and never left.”

Alex was great with his hands (nod, nod, wink, wink)! Seriously though, there is one scene and it is Hot, HOt, HOT!!

“Sometimes you meet a really nice guy, but no matter how you try, you can’t seem to make yourself want him. But that’s not nearly as bad as when you meet the wrong guy, and you can’t make yourself not want him.”

I know some might be put off by the paranormal/magical element but, honestly, it does not take from the book. There was actually one scene with the ghost and I was nearly crying ... it was very sweet.

I see some mixed reviews for the next book ... but I will probably read it anyway.

... and I loved Grandma Emma.

Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
April 7, 2015
*3.5 Stars*

This story was sweet, touching, and magical...and the writing—impeccable. The characters were so well-rounded and complete; I just adored them all!

"You and I both got it wrong, Alex: Love does last. In fact...it's the only thing that does."

Alex: Brooding, sexy, gorgeous, tortured but not beyond redemption, complete with a hidden softer side ... What more could a girl want?

Zoe: Beautiful, sweet, caring, shy but not to a fault, not to mention her cooking which is literally magical and healing. The allure of her descriptively delicious food creations leaps off the pages.

The relationship between Zoe and Alex was my absolute favorite kind: slow building with plenty of sweet sexual tension. Zoe is a chef at a bed and breakfast who selflessly decides to move in with her ailing grandmother. Alex is the emotionally unavailable carpenter whom she hires to fix up her place. Zoe initially hates Alex, and that's the way he wants it...until she changes his mind.

This story had so many lovely elements--magic and the paranormal included. There was a ghost who tags along with Alex throughout the book in hopes to uncover his own identity. I thought this was an interesting touch and I enjoyed the important lessons Alex and this "ghost" learned from one another.

This was my first Lisa Kleypas novel and I can definitely say that she has just gained yet another fan! 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Book Stats:
▪ Genre/Category: Contemporary Romance
▪ Steam Caliber: Extremely steamy!
▪ Romance: Slow-burn. Tension filled. Heartwarming.
▪ Characters: Extremely well-flashed out and lovable.
▪ Plot: Sweet love story with a paranormal twist.
▪ Writing: Engaging, polished, and creative.
▪ POV: 3rd Person Perspective
▪ Cliffhanger: None. Can be read as a standalone.

Profile Image for Blacky *Romance Addict*.
473 reviews6,302 followers
November 5, 2016
Lisa Kleypas has certainly put some magic in her work, on the page and out of it <3 Dream Lake is the best book from this series! (yet anyway lol)

The first two were very good, but they just didn't have that something for me. Dream Lake certainly did Photobucket

The story - Well, it was pretty slow in developing, it kinda got me frustrated because I wanted to see some action lol, but was I ever wrong! Almost the entire first half of the book is building the characters, and it was so superbly done, I had a feeling they were alive and I was with them while reading it. Anyway, it's about Alex, the third and the most tortured brother. He's an alcoholic, has serious problems bonding with people, infact he stays away from everyone that might make him feel something. One day he comes to the house his brother Sam bought, estimating it for renovation, and he hears/sees a ghost. After a while, that ghost begins to follow him and pretty much drives him crazy XD
So this book is about those two, an unusual pair, a broken man and a dead man forming a friendship of sorts and looking for redemption.

I loved Alex and Zoe <3 They had so much layers, were so far from one dimensional characters it isn't even funny. And that alone makes this book a 5 star material Photobucket He is attracted to her, as is she to him, but he fights it like hell, becase Zoe isn't a girl to have just for a bit of fun, she's got commitment written all over her, and that scares him. Once divorced, he's convinced marriage and relationships are not for him, believing it was his fault his marriage didn't work, and that he destroys everything good that comes his way. Their progress was slow and so beautiful, she brought him out bit by bit, and I loved every bit of it loool

But the saddest parts of this book were the scenes with Emma Photobucket when Alex dances with her Photobucket Photobucket I kept crying through the entire next chapter Xd And the ending, LORD it was sad, LK certainly knows how to write emotional <3 It was simmply beautiful <3

This book goes to my favorites, it really got to me Photobucket
Profile Image for Lisa Kay.
924 reviews519 followers
August 15, 2012
Dream Lake, Washington

★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Dream Lake is narrated by Jeff Cummings who does NOT seem to be the right fit for this one. Not a great job, but not a disaster, either. An “okay” performance. I’d probably like him better reading something else, as he has a nice voice. Here he falls a little short due to making Zoe sound a bit too “wispy” – a common trait among male narrators trying to do female voices; though, he does a fair job on Zoe’s grandmother, “Upsie.” While I liked his Alex, I didn’t care for his Sam, who is the hero of book #2 in the Friday Harbor series. I also felt that later in the book he began to make Alex sound like Sam at times. He also didn’t differentiate the voice of the Ghost enough for me.

As far as storyline, I just loved this one! The talented Ms. Kleypas does an excellent job of making me like Alex Nolan – who is not only an alcoholic, but the child of two hard-core alcoholics, and therefore a bit of an a$$hat – which is a pretty hefty feat. He is visited by a ghost, who only he can see; their interactions made me smile more than once and out right laugh several times. For those readers who did NOT like the magical realism in Rainshadow Road, this ghostly manifestation blends in quite effortlessly with the main plot.

Zoe was easy to like, as I enjoy gentle, kind-hearted heroines, not to mention all the yummy things she cooks. Here Ms. Kleypas shines, you see her brilliance as she carefully picks just the right descriptive, sensuous word to convey something that is a very visceral experience. While Alex’s sobriety was relatively pain free compared to Real Life, it was believable that tender Zoe could pierce his “bulletproof reserve.” I also liked that this story runs parallel in time to parts of Sam and Lucy’s story; we get to see Sam falling in love from another perspective.

The only thing I had to laugh at was that Zoe decides to remodel her grandmother’s lake cabin, which is what brings Alex back into the picture after their first disastrous meeting. I happen to be remodeling my house right now and Zoe’s demolition and modernization goes a lot smoother than what I’m experiencing – or ever heard tell. Where is delicious Alex Nolan when I need him?

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor (Friday Harbor, #1) by Lisa Kleypas Rainshadow Road (Friday Harbor, #2) by Lisa Kleypas Dream Lake (Friday Harbor, #3) by Lisa Kleypas Crystal Cove (Friday Harbor, #4) by Lisa Kleypas
Profile Image for Karen.
810 reviews1,026 followers
May 10, 2020

Someday she would tell him how she felt about him, and he would leave her. He would break her heart the way people did when their own hearts had been broken long ago. But that didn’t change anything.
Love would have its way.

So I think I have to say that Alex *sigh*, is my favorite of the Nolan brothers so far. The perfect bad boy, black sheep, tortured hero you could wish up. Completely jaded, gorgeous, and battling some pretty horrific demons. And let's not forget his raging alcohol addiction. What a catch he is. And he knows it. He would be a nothing less that a plague to anyone who dared to take him on. And that is why he had to stay as far as he could away from Zoë Hoffman.

"...you're everything that's ever been my favorite thing."

But this femme fatale wasn't having any of that. And then there was the magic of her cooking to nourish his starving soul... He had no chance. The only thing about this story that went a little off the rails was the business with the ghost, and that ending. I was loving all of it, until then. And then that epilogue was just a little too out of character for Alex's bad boy image.

All in all, it was a great story. Loved the characters and the storyline. It just lost a few points there at the end for me. Still, I'm looking forward to book 4.

May 18, 2017
Dream Lake Review (finally)

I was excited to read Alex’s story and I was not disappointed. Alex out of all the Nolans grabbed my heart and squeezed it, wouldn’t let it go. Alex has traits that make him my kryptonite. I adored him. He’s tortured and grumpy. He’s described as having a ruined beauty that women can’t resist, but he’s not a womanizer. While having a broken beau is nothing a woman should aspire to in life, broken heroes seem to appeal to me like no other. I loved seeing Alex’s damaged psyche be healed in a realistic way. Kleypas doesn’t take any shortcuts. She shows you all the dark spots on Alex’s soul, even his destructive, unhealthy relationship with his ex-wife, Darcy. While Zoe in herself doesn’t heal Alex, the functionality of their relationship is a sharp contrast to his failed marriage. While Darcy seemed to want to put Alex back on the rails with his drinking, Zoe wants Alex to be whole and healed, not for herself, but for him. When Alex and Zoe meet in Rainshadow Road, it felt like magic to me, and it turned out to be the case. Zoe and Alex are made for each other. Zoe is fairly well balanced. She does have some self-esteem issues due to her extreme beauty and voluptuous physique, and the trauma of being judged for it. To the extent that she marries a man who is gay because he doesn’t objectify her. While Alex is obviously completely blown away by Zoe, he doesn’t treat her like a sex object, and in actuality, tries to push her away because he knows he’s damaged goods. However, the connection between them cannot be ignored. I ate up their falling in love. Enjoyed every scene they had together. Zoe’s major issue is the failing health of her grandmother. Her grandmother has a form of dementia that escalates rapidly, and Zoe takes on the role as caregiver. Alex takes on the job of remodeling the cottage that Zoe’s cousin Justine lets her live in with her grandmother. Their proximity is an excellent opportunity for the powerful emotions between them to blossom. And in seeing each other under their worst situations, they realize that love isn’t about perfection but about loving perfectly.

Kleypas was going for a magical realism theme with this series, and this book reminded me of “Like Water for Chocolate” or “Simply Irresistible” with some “Ghost” thrown in. Zoe’s cooking seems to have healing properties, although I don’t think there was really any magic in it. It was merely a case of the fact that her food was what sustained Alex and tempted him to eat when he was at the lowest point in his alcoholism. The ghost angle comes in with the spirit that attaches himself to Alex, a spirit that lives in the house that Alex’s brother Sam owns and that Alex has taken on restoring. Alex seems driven to restore the house, and the spirit becomes attached to Alex in the process. It’s hate at first sight. The spirit can’t stand Alex, who comes off as a complete misanthrope if not nihilist. It’s Alex’s hero’s journey to heal spiritually and to rid himself of the dark cloud that has surrounded him since his traumatic childhood, being victimized by two violent, unrestrained drunks. I don’t know what Kleypas’ spiritual beliefs are but she doesn’t shy away from adding a spiritual component to this novel, that make sense in that we’re dealing with a ghost and a hero who is having a major existential crisis. The ghost often functions as Alex’s conscience and in some ways, much like the ghosts that visit Ebeneezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol.” This is another book in which Kleypas obvious love of literature is showcased and lovingly inscribed into her writing.

This book is my favorite out of the series, and it earns a resounding five stars. I think that it captures the tone and the notes of a beautiful contemporary romance only as Kleypas could deliver. She uses language so beautifully, from the well-developed characters, to the intentional and spot on dialogue. While the ghost story didn’t really add to this book for me, it’s integral to the story, and it would definitely appeal to readers who like a little paranormal in their romance. Not as excited about Justine’s book, but at the same time, looking forward to reading it.

Oh, I guess I should mention the audiobook narration. It was good. Serviceable.

My dream cast:

Kelli Garner as Zoe

Nicholas Hoult as Alex
Profile Image for Marisa Sauco.
302 reviews260 followers
August 31, 2017
Me encantó. ❤️

¡Qué placer! ¡Cómo estoy disfrutando con esta serie!
Profile Image for Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*.
425 reviews207 followers
August 27, 2012
I really loved this book and it is my favourite in the Friday Harbor series so far. It's an original and charming story of two unlikely people who find love with a little help from a very outspoken ghost, with a bittersweet love story of his own to tell. If, like me, you love fantasy movies like Ghost and Just Like Heaven, you’re sure to love this book.

I do have an insatiable craving for brooding, emotionally tortured heroes and Alex more than satisfied that craving. He acts a complete ass, at times, but I just knew that under all that cold cynicism, there is a lonely, vulnerable man who just needs the right woman to tear down his defences. I loved seeing those moments of tenderness and thoughtfulness which reveal so much about the man beneath the gruff exterior. My favourite scene is when he presents Zoë with a special collar for her cat, Byron, with a miniature transmitter which opens the cat door automatically.

"It's a gift. I figured you'd be busy enough with your grandmother, you didn't need to be opening the door a dozen times a day for a cat."

I particularly like that scene because it leads to their first kiss!

I love his insistence on using sticky notes everywhere when he's remodelling the cottage. Somehow this quirkiness seems endearing and their conversation made me smile.

"You're wasting trees," Zoë told him at one point. "Have you ever thought of making notes on your phone, or getting a digital tablet?"
"Post-it's are faster."
"What about writing a list on one big piece of paper?"
“I do that sometimes," he said.
"On jumbo Post-it's."

I adore Zoë. She's the complete opposite of Alex; sweet, gentle and compassionate. Although she's had her share of emotional heartache, she hasn't let it sour her life. Maybe it's her ability as a wonderful cook that has sustained her and having Emma, her grandmother, as a constant in her life and someone who loves her unconditionally.

I think, more than anything , it is Ms Kleypas's ability to convey so eloquently the raw emotional connection between Alex and Zoë that made this unlikely pairing work so beautifully.

He felt his senses opening to take her in, the incredible lush delicacy of her. She smelled like crushed flowers, a dry and innocent scent, and he wanted to open her shirt and breathe it directly from her skin.

Those round blue eyes saw too much, things he'd spent a lifetime concealing. She couldn't help but see how close he was to crumbling. But there was no judgment in her expression. Only kindness. Compassion.

There was no word for this kind of relationship, for the way she made him feel. The clasp of their hands contained something more than shared warmth, more than skin pressed to skin...it felt as if they were holding something together, keeping it safe.

Whereas the magical elements in Rainshadow Road simply enhanced the story, the ghost (Tom) forms an integral part of this story. I like how gradually details of his identity emerge and we learn of the bittersweet love story that connects Tom and Emma. At times, it brought tears to my eyes.

” …Some men go their whole lives dreaming of being loved like that, and I threw it all away.”

It also becomes obvious just how much Tom's presence impacts on Alex's view of life. I loved the interactions between Tom and Alex and this is one of my favourites.

"The problem is, I'm shackled to you. I go where you go." (the ghost)
“There’s got to be a way to get rid of you, “Alex muttered, rubbing his face with his hands. "Therapy. Medication. An exorcist. A lobotomy."

I’ve experienced first-hand living with a close family member who is suffering from dementia and thought Ms Kleypas's portrayal of the effects on Emma, as the sufferer, and Zoë, as her carer, was very realistic.

Finally, I can't end this review without reference to Ms Kleypas's descriptions of Zoë's culinary delights which seem to have such therapeutic qualities. I could smell all those wonderful aromas wafting past my nose and taste those mouth-watering delicacies.

VERDICT: A lovely, sometimes bittersweet romance, with a heart-warming touch of fantasy

RATING: ★★★★★

495 reviews12 followers
July 31, 2020
I really enjoy LK's contemporary books and this one is no exception. It is the third book in the Friday Harbor book series. This one is Alex Nolan and Zoe Hoffman's story. No two people could be more unlike one another but be meant for each other. This is a sweet love story between two people who have been hurt in the past by the ones they love. Zoe still believes in love but Alex does his best to avoid it. They do get some help along the way from a ghost who has his own story to finish. I laughed and cried while reading the book. I would highly recommend this sweet, sexy book.
Profile Image for Crista.
782 reviews
May 26, 2012
5 HUGE*****Stars

Dream Lake, Lisa Kleypas's newest installment in the awesome Friday Harbor series, simply blew me away. Lisa Kleypas has a way of spinning a tale so tight, that you become completely immersed in the story. I had plans for today, but after reading the first chapter of this book, I canceled those plans and spent the day reading. It was time well spent.

The first three chapters serve as background for the entire series, so this book could be read as a stand alone. However, this series has been so excellent that if you haven't read Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor and Rainshadow Road, please do! Dream Lake happens in the exact same time frame as Rainshadow Road does, so it's fun to see glimpses of what we already saw happen in Rainshadow Road.

I loved Rainshadow Road, but I knew when Alex met Zoe and tasted her muffin that this couple would steal the show, and I was right. This is the story my heart has been waiting for.

Alex Nolan broke my heart into tiny pieces. The youngest of the four Nolan children who were raised in an abusive, neglectful, and alcoholic home, Alex's scars are numerous. When we met him in Rainshadow Road, he was going through a divorce and drinking himself to death. I was immediately drawn to this tortured hero and when he met Zoe, I knew that she was his perfect match.

Zoe is a culinary expert. She thrives in the kitchen and her artistry with food knows no limits. It's almost like her food creations have the ability to comfort, sooth, and heal (all things that Alex so badly needs.) Lisa Kleypas's ability to describe food in this book had all my senses reeling.

Alex and Zoe were magic together, however, Alex's road to sobriety is made on his own. I appreciated how Alex's addiction was handled and that Zoe didn't try to manage it. There is no codependency in this relationship and I loved how this sensitive subject matter was handled. The sensuality in this book is very steamy and I was more than satisfied with the way this relationship was given time to mature before it was consummated.

There is a secondary romance in this book as well. This romance was almost as touching as Alex and Zoe's relationship, and I feel like I got two love stories for the price of one! Secondary romances are so hard to do well, and Kleypas gets this one right. It added so much depth and meaning to the story. I was in tears by the end.

For those of you resistant to the paranormal, beware.......

However, in my opinion, I loved this twist and felt that it gave the book necessary humor, heart, and true meaning.

I wish there were more stars...I really do. A remarkable memorable journey that spoke to my heart, soul, and stomach! Highly recommended!

I received this ARC via Amazon's Vine Program.
Profile Image for Nuria Llop.
Author 9 books115 followers
November 9, 2016
Desde que comencé esta saga estaba deseando leer la entrega correspondiente a Alex, el Nolan atormentado y adicto al alcohol, pues las anteriores nos van dando pinceladas que nos dejan con la incógnita. Tanta expectativa me asustaba un poco, pero esta historia no me ha defraudado en absoluto. He disfrutado de la novela de Alex y Zöe en todos los aspectos. Cómo evolucionan ellos, (como individuos y como pareja), el personaje de la anciana que contribuye a su unión, la forma de narrar de la autora (Kleypas siempre es buena, pero creo que aquí se supera), incluso el toque de magia presente en toda la saga me ha resultado creíble. La presencia de fantasmas del pasado dota a la historia de una dimensión más profunda y la autora los utiliza en su justa medida y en los momentos precisos, por lo que sumergirme en ella me ha sido tan fácil como pasear por la orilla de una playa cuando el mar está en calma. En contraste, el agitado interior de Alex y su lucha constante consigo mismo me han atrapado como lo haría una ola gigantesca. Todo en esta novela es un elogio a la madurez del ser humano y a la fuerza y la importancia que tiene el amor en el alcance de esa madurez. En mi opinión, es el mejor de la saga. Muy recomendable, aunque no seas adicta a la romántica.
Profile Image for [Aengell].
218 reviews91 followers
February 18, 2015
5 stars – mild spoilers ahead

Dream Lake is one of my favorites Lisa Kleypas books. I can only try to explain the magic this story creates every time I read it. And although this series isn’t very popular among LK-fans, I can definitely recommend this installment to anyone out there.

There are so, so many aspects about this book that I love, and I will try to put my chaotic thoughts into something that resembles order.

Alex and Zoë are one of Lisa Kleypas’ best couples. Why? Because they are so, so different and Mrs. Kleypas made it work so splendidly.

They are the reason why I fall in love with Lisa’s books and even in this not very well-liked series she produced a gem for me.
Alex’ character is well developed, and we see his journey from Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor on: how he is the outsider brother with his snob-cold-wife, how he falls and nearly becomes an alcoholic in Rainshadow Road. And then he appears in his own story and you see: yes, there’s not a lower level for him to fall. I love that his character is truly cold and unemotional. You know, when you read about a hero being the brooding kind and you read the novel and he turns out to be a little arrogant, but is well spoken and charming and everything? Alex is neither, he’s very real and authentic in his inner struggle for control and his asshole-persona. He tries to be the same quiet half-drunk in presence of Zoë, but fails miserably.

Zoë is my favorite kind of heroine, and until now only Lisa Kleypas figured them out in a superb way: she is shy and doesn't like talking to strangers, especially men in that regard, because her classical beauty has always put a damper to experiences with men. But although she’s not very outgoing, she has a quiet strength about her that gives her character a 3D-angle and makes her powerful. And she needs to have this drawn-back power to be able to manage Alex.

Their relationship develops slowly but thoroughly, their physical attraction plays a role, but it’s not major. The major aspect is how they learn to know each other and how Alex tries to stay away while Zoë show’s some of her stubbornness and spirit by trying to seduce him. It’s a delight to watch and I espeacilly like how Zoë embraces her feelings for the stubborn man without doubt.

“You are everything that's ever been my favourite thing," she wanted to tell him. "You're my love song, my birthday cake, the sound of ocean waves and French words and a baby's laugh. You're a snow angel, crème brulée, a kaleidoscope filled with glitter. I love you and you'll never catch up, because I've gotten a head start and my heart is racing at light speed.”

A beautiful admission of love, and unlike in most other romances, not coming from the hero, but from the heroine.

Then there’s the ghost, who is just visible to Alex and becomes a somehow unwanted friend, and who helps our hero through his near-breakdown and through his relationship with Zoë. His story is just as beautiful as Alex’ and Zoë’s, but there’s a bittersweetness and a melancholy that just draws me in.
But the ghost also puts some lightness to the story and makes me smile and giggle at some points, especially considering that he and Alex couldn’t be more different, but share a bond nonetheless.

Here I see Lisa Kleypas matured and well developed, after trying out new aspects in her love stories, and not being successful with it right away (looking at you, Rainshadow Road), but this story in the series shows how you can, while experimenting, create a beautiful, emotional story. The Pace is just right, for some readers a little to slow maybe, but I couldn’t complain of that because the story draws me in right from the beginning.
Profile Image for Keri.
2,058 reviews105 followers
February 2, 2016
This was a really sweet read. Alex, due to childhood trauma is completely shut down emotionally. In fact emotions of any kind tend to make him panic, because he doesn't know how to handle them. Zoe is full of emotions and is the complete opposite of him. She is sunshine to his dark and he knows he is no good for her. But when they get together they spark like crazy. Alex thinks his is going crazy when he realizes he has a ghost haunting him. What does he want and why won't he quit nagging him about the booze? Can he redeem himself for Zoe, because he can't keep his hands off of her or her delicious magical food. This was a wonderful read and typical LK. The only niggle was I didn't think the ending fit Alex and Zoe and it was a bit too quick.
Profile Image for Liz* Fashionably Late.
435 reviews387 followers
October 24, 2014
2.5 Stars

Guess who can't stop reading this evil series?

So… it's not magical realism anymore. There's a ghost POV. A ghost POV. This is paranormal now? Who cares! The truth is, I like the people in this story and I wanted to make sure they were okay o_O

So, I'll be brief.

The formula was okay... two books ago. Now it's just boring.

Take one of the brothers with trust issues and non commitment habits PLUS a beautiful yet single girl, brokenhearted, betrayed or just unselfish enough = Voilà! Any Friday Harbor book ever.

Girl: "Hey, let's hook up. No strings attached."
Boy: "Hmm, not sure... eventually you're gonna fall in love with me, my sexy body and attractive personality."
Girl: "I won't. I'm done with commitment. Men are evil, I just need you in my bed."
Boy: "I'll do crazy things to you. And take care of Holly, the cute little girl I love because I'm so much more than just this body."
Girl: "Take me."
[Sexy times, sexy times]
Girl: "Okay, now I'm leaving."
Boy: "Oh, wait. I love you... Damn it, why did you have to be so attractive and different? Now I've changed to be a better man."
Girl: "Okay, I'll marry you. My plan worked."
Boy: "I believe in love now. And second chances..." #Happyface

The end.

Okay, I'm being unfair because in this one, WE'VE GOT A GHOST and in his defense, he was a crazy fun smartypants ghost. And Grandma was pretty badass, so I did have a little fun reading it.

“So what do you think I should do?”
“I think you should cook dinner for him one night, and tell him that you’re dessert.”
Zoë couldn’t help laughing. “You are trying to get me into trouble.”
“You’re already in trouble,” her grandmother said. “Now go ahead and enjoy it.”

Will I read the next one? God help me, no. Does that mean I am actually gonna read it anyway? Maybe. Am I saying that I already have it on my kindle? Perhaps. Should I stop asking rhetorical questions? Definitely.
Profile Image for Regina.
625 reviews394 followers
December 4, 2012
Now this book approaches the greatness of Lisa Kleypas of the Hathaways, Wallflowers and Travis series -- not quite as good as those, but definitely much better than the first two in the Rainshadow Road series.

This book was fun, good, and sexy. I loved it. I listened to the audio and it was read by a very sexy sounding male narrator. My one complaint is how the narrator read the female voices, but in the end ... the story was written so well and performed so well it was forgivable.

The first two in the Rainshadow Road series are good but not great, not Kleypas great. They were entertaining though and they did show promise. Well, the promise was completed with Dream Lake. This book has a secret from the past that must be discovered, a wounded hero struggling to overcome his own past and a touch of magic. Sweet sexy fun, Kleypas has delivered. If you gave up on this series, I recommend giving it one more chance.

I cannot wait to read the next one in the series.
Profile Image for Mary.
44 reviews12 followers
January 9, 2015
I'm reading this series too quickly. The first book in the series is my favorite but I gave this one 5 stars because it hit me quite hard emotionally. I'm on to book 4, this one I will try and take a little slower. Or maybe not.
Profile Image for Şeyda.
84 reviews16 followers
December 22, 2018
Serinin açık ara en sevdiğim kitabı bu oldu. Kesinlikle tavsiye ediyorum her şey olması gerektiği gibiydi samimi,naif,huzurlu bir kitaptı okuduğum süre boyunca kendimi iyi hissetmemi sağladı
Profile Image for Jess.
1,037 reviews157 followers
August 3, 2012
Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads

“At first I wasn’t all that tempted by him, but then he killed the spider. Which was a huge point in his favor.”

“Absolutely. I love men who kill bugs.”

“And then when I was freaking out and couldn’t breathe, he was so…gentle.” Zoe sighed and colored, remembering. “He was holding me, and talking to me in that voice…you know, sort of low and rough around the edges…”

“All the Nolans sound like that,” Justine said reflectively. “Like they’ve got a mild case of bronchitis. Totally hot.”

My first impression of this story was I couldn’t believe that a ghost’s POV was starting out the book. The ghost, who has no idea what his name is, where he came from or even what he looks like, can only be seen by Alex, a man spiraling downward at a fast pace, losing himself in a bottle every night and watching his life fall apart after a failed divorce. Alex can see and talk to the ghost and where Alex goes, so does he. The ghost has a strong attachment to Rainshadow Road and asks Alex to go through the many boxes in the attic in the hopes of figuring out who he is and why he might be stuck here. The start of this book was very ghost heavy, setting up his connection to Alex and how he’s also connected to Zoe.

Even with this ghost being a major presence in the story, Alex is a man that stood out. He’s struggling to live, was in a bad marriage, the divorce left him with nothing, the economy took a dive taking his business with it, he’s becoming an alcoholic like his parents and he doesn’t believe in love. All of this adds up to a man who’s just a shell of a person. His brothers are there, but not really. Even though the series centers around this family, they aren’t that close knit. Alex is in a bad place and desperate for work, he takes on a job for Zoe. Her cousin and business partner Justine, bought a small home that is being renovated for Zoe so she can live there with her Grandmother who’s suffering from dementia. Alex is hired and it’s the start of a new beginning for him; it’s anything but easy.

What Lisa Kleypas does so well is create characters that I feel deeply for. Both Zoe and Alex didn’t have perfect childhoods, they both battle with issues now, Alex and his fight against the bottle and Zoe who’s shy and introverted and dealing with her own failed marriage. In different ways, these are two broken people who find themselves again, with each other’s help. Zoe is the fun, sweet spirit of the story. She’s ready to put her life on hold to take care of her Grandmother, the woman who raised and loved her when no one else wanted her. Zoe puts all her love into her cooking, and uses it through daily breakfasts to help Alex help himself when he turns his own corner in his life and quits drinking. It’s a slow build up for these two, and well worth the wait.

The Nolan brothers are for the most part absent. Mark’s own love story with Lucy is playing out at the same time as Alex and Zoe’s so we get references to a few cross over scenes that happened in Rainshadow Road, otherwise this is fully about Alex and Zoe. The Nolan’s don’t come across as a very close family. They care about each other, but there’s a distance between the brothers that’s obvious. I’m kind of a sucker for those loving family scenes, but that’s not what the Nolan’s are about. It almost feels like a missing piece of the story, that tight knit family element. But it makes me want for Alex even more to find someone to love, someone to be there for him, through good and bad.

The ghost is present throughout and even has the secondary love story connected to Zoe’s Grandmother. I started out not caring one bit about the ghost (yes, he does eventually figure out his name). But the most emotional scene involved him at the end, and I maybe, might have needed to blink really quickly for a short period of time. If anybody’s going to make me get teary over a ghost, it’s Kleypas.

The pace at the start was slow, but once Alex and Zoe starting finding reasons to see each other, and be together, the pace picked up and I ended up enjoying their story. Alex is the hero you want to hug and make everything better and Zoe is the woman you want to have as your best friend. They’re an unlikely couple, but one that ended up fitting.
September 19, 2015
This review was posted at Under the Covers

Dream lake was an emotional book from beginning to end and I loved every minute of it, every tear and every smile. Alex has been through the ringer. Everything that could go wrong for him has. His wife divorced him, she's selling the house that he lives in, business is slow, and he's becoming an alcoholic like his parents. He is not in a good place and definitely not where he should be to meet a good girl.

But he does. And Zoe is sweet and understanding, a giving person. Truly what he needs to come out of his rut. And, of course, it helps that she's smoking hot. She needs her house remodeled to start taking care of her grandmother who has special needs and he takes on the job, against his better judgement. He knows he should stay away from Zoe, he's no good for her. Their relationship builds up slowly and perfectly even against both of their better judgements. It's hot and sweet and even sad at times. Just perfect!

Then there's the ghost. Alex picked up a ghost companion at Rainshadow Road and now he has to help him figure out who he is. The ghost is just awesome! I loved him from the beginning and how he's intertwined with the story was just amazing and magical.

Dream Lake was gripping and once I started it I couldn't stop until I finished it. It consumed me for the short time that I read it in. Another hit from Kleypas! Truly masterful. Even as it brought tears to my eyes more than once. One of my favorite reads of 2012!

Favorite Quote:
"No matter what I become...I will love you! No force of heaven or hell could stop me, and damn anyone who tries. I will love you forever".

*ARC provided by publisher
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
3,000 reviews1,642 followers
March 7, 2017
While the third in a series, the others feature relatively lightly. You'll probably wonder at their stories and there's some definite cross-over so if you're the type to wonder, you might want to start at the beginning.

I was really worried about Alex' story. He's such a bitter loser on a downward spiral in the other stories and that's certainly where he starts out here. Mostly, I was concerned I'd be in for a book of overwrought pain and stupidity and excuses for bad behavior. And while Kleypas certainly delivered pain and excuses and all that stuff, it felt better earned than I expected and I ended up enjoying the story on the whole.

At least some of that is the lovely Zoë. I loved her optimism and insecurity and Alex began redeeming himself from the start through the care and concern he treated her with. I enjoyed their interactions from the beginning and it only got better as they became enmeshed with each other. I liked how naturally their relationship developed and how long they gave each other to establish solid emotional ties before anything came even close to physically intimate.

This book continues with the element of the supernatural started in the second book. I'm liking how Kleypas is letting those elements thrive and how they impact the stories in meaningful and individual ways.

The relationship was strong enough that this neared a full four stars. Unfortunately, Alex takes a turn for the stupid near the end that shut that down. Still, it's a solid 3.5 and I'm going to round up for the lovely secondary characters, interesting supernatural plot, and the effervescent Zoë.

A note about Steamy: There are two non-short explicit sex scenes and I really liked how well they fit the characters and story. So the middle of my steam tolerance and well done I think.
Profile Image for Kelly22.
417 reviews144 followers
August 15, 2012
4.00 Stars – Contemporary Small Town Romance.

We head back to Friday Harbor to visit the third Nolan brother Alex Nolan’s story. Once again Kleypas fluently pens down exquisite story-telling at its best with subtle yet larger-than-life characters who accomplish to hold a permanent place in your memories like a DREAM.

Alex is a cynical, broken and wrecked younger brother in the Nolan’s family, haunted by a tremulous childhood and disruptive divorce. Zoe Hoffman, a lovable baker of the town, hires Alex to remodel her grandmother’s cottage so that she could move in it with her. Alex, a handsome borderline alcoholic, is rude, complicated and is tied to a ghost for a mysterious reason. He finds no point to get cozy with Zoe. But this attraction he suffers for her is not only reciprocal but is proving to be utterly irresistible as far as to entice him to quit drinking and consider things he never believed in.

A very simple story of love, salvation, healing and forgiveness, told at its best by Ms Kleypas, this book is definitely a keeper. It will make you cry, reflect and feel for the characters and will paint scenic pictures in your mind that will remind you of watching classical movies and listening to nostalgic songs.
Profile Image for Dale Harcombe.
Author 14 books318 followers
June 10, 2016
Three and a half stars.
I’m not one who is really into books about ghosts but this book starts with a ghost who is unable to leave the house. For some reason I was curious enough to keep reading. In fact the ghost didn’t even know who he was, until long after Sam Nolan buys the house and his brother Alex comes to inspect it. To the ghost’s surprise it appears Alex can hear and see him. That is not the only trouble the hard drinking, bitter and cynical Alex gets into when he meets the sweet and gentle romantic Zoe Hoffman. They come into closer contact when Zoe hires him to do up the home she is making for her and her grandmother.
I really liked the interactions between the ghost and Alex. Over the course of the story the reader learns who the ghost is and what the connection is between him and the house as well as him and Zoe’s family. Not being a foodie person I got a little tired of the emphasis on Zoe’s food creations, but I am sure other people will really like that aspect and the food descriptions.
This was a light, fun read and yet not without some serious themes interwoven. Long as you are willing to suspend disbelief about the ghost and just roll along with it, you should enjoy this romantic story.
Profile Image for Gamze.
569 reviews95 followers
April 9, 2020
yazarın historical kitapları bence daha iyi.
Profile Image for Irene Sim.
743 reviews83 followers
June 5, 2018
I loved most this book in the series, I can't resist a bitter hero, who finaly opens up his heart in the end. I loved the paranormal side in this series (not something that LK has done before) it's a little on the heavy side in this book, but it worked in the end.
Profile Image for Tarsis.
1,047 reviews81 followers
July 11, 2021
¿Qué surge de un fantasmas con asuntos sin resolver y un hombre que no sabe amar? Realmente es una historia de amor, pero sobre todo, de segundas oportunidades. Se sanar. De cerrar ciclos. De saber que vivir un poco es mejor que no vivir nada.
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