Monday, January 20, 2014

ARC Mini-Review: Lantern Lake

Lantern Lake (The Billionaire Bachelors #3)

by Lily Everett


They’re single, they’re rich, and now these billionaire bachelors are heading to Sanctuary Island in a new e-original novella series from Lily Everett! Fall in love with the heartwarming island’s latest catch.
Leo, Zane, and Cooper made a pact to stay bachelors and enjoy the single life forever, and when they receive an invitation to their friend Miles’ wedding, they head down to Sanctuary Island determined to talk some sense into the errant groom before he makes a life-changing mistake. But Miles knows his own mind, and he makes a vow of his own: before he walks down the aisle, he’ll have Leo, Zane, and Cooper changing their tune about matrimony. Because Miles knows, better than anyone, that all it takes is a little Sanctuary Island magic to turn romantic cynics into true believers.
Cooper Haynes can’t believe how easily his friends have all succumbed to the lure of romance. Luckily, he knows he’s safe, since the one woman he ever loved is lost to him forever. But when he gets a look at the wedding program and sees the list of bridesmaids, Cooper knows he’s in trouble, because there she is: Vivian Banks. After her shattering break-up with Cooper, Vivian never wanted to see him again, but when Greta asks her to be a bridesmaid, Vivian can’t refuse…even knowing it’ll bring her face to face with the man who broke her heart and stomped on the pieces. But Sanctuary Island has a way of reminding people of what really matters, and teaching them the power of the human heart to forgive, heal, and fall in love all over again.
Themes: Contemporary, Beach, Wedding
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
The final story in the Billionaire Bachelors series is a bit different than the other in the trilogy, but nothing less than greatness. We have followed the story of these three bachelors as they helped with the wedding of their friend as he joins his life to the woman who stole his heart.  And as they attempt to win a bet to keep their hearts intact and win a prized helicopter out from under the newly married friend.  The other two bachelors have lost the bet, so it has come down to the last minutes and only Cooper is left. I enjoyed watching this trilogy unfold and seeing each of these men find love with a woman that had the courage to look past their billions to the men they are underneath.  I was sad to see the series end, but I enjoyed all three stories and am looking forward to what’s next for the residents of Sanctuary Island.
Cooper has made it all the way to the wedding day, with his heart intact and fulfilling his mission of planning the perfect honeymoon for Miles and Greta.  Though his friend have both succumbed to their hearts and the women that captured them, Cooper has no such problem—until his former fiancé walks down the aisle toward him.  Vivian arrives on the island just in time to serve as one of Greta’s bridesmaids, but she never imagined her arrival would be a surprise to Cooper, but Miles has tried his hand at matchmaking and is determined that Cooper not have any forewarning about her arrival. When Cooper sees Vivian, the woman he once loved more than anything else, the woman who trampled his heart to dust over a decade earlier, he decides that now is a good time to get his own form of revenge, while having just one last night of passion with her.  But after the fires of that passion cool, he finds himself unable to walk away from her.  As they learn more about their lives in the intervening time apart, and the truth of their past comes to light, Cooper finds himself falling in love with the woman Viv is now, while understanding the mistakes they both made so long ago.   But will the new Cooper and Viv be able to look forward or will their pasts keep them from having a chance at true happiness…together?
Cooper and Viv are both passionate individuals, determined to live their lives exactly as they choose, on their own terms.  Both of their lives have heartache and though they loved deeply in the past, Cooper can’t let go of his anger enough to see that sometimes the choices we make in the heat of the moment and the idiocy of our youth, can have lasting and terrifying consequences. While it was obvious that under all his anger Cooper was still in love with Viv, more than once I was ready to reach out and smack some sense into him.  Though he has changed a lot, not necessarily for the better, it is obvious he hasn’t actually matured in the time they have been apart.  Vivian has had some very unfortunate experiences in the past, mostly consequences of her fear and cowardice, but she has grown up and is unwilling to settle for anything less than everything with Cooper.  Finally coming clean with Cooper, clears her soul and gives her the chance to show him that even though she knows she did, she never meant to hurt Cooper, just couldn’t stand up for herself.  When Cooper did finally come to his senses I could tell that taking the chance on love was the best choice they each ever made.
Lantern Lake is one of the sadder stories in this whole series, with the heartaches of the past, misunderstandings of the present, and the fears of the future.  Cooper has shaped his life around his anger with Vivian after she left him shortly before their chance at marriage, but though he has enjoyed many adventures around the world he has never forgotten the woman who shattered his heart. Vivian on the other hand has spent every moment since she lost Cooper doing penance for losing the love of her life, living a life of sadness and unable to find the courage to escape it.  Finally able to move on, she has come to Miles’s wedding as a favor to him and to hopefully get one last chance to see Cooper, though she never imagines she’ll get another chance at their relationship.   Full of heart, passion, and redemption, Lantern Lake is the story of two people who finally come back together and have a chance to live the life they were always meant to live, together in love forever. If you have missed the other two in the trilogy of novellas, I will warn you that you will be missing a lot, so you should go read those first for sure, but I will admit Cooper’s story is my favorite of the three by far.  I love Lily Everett, and of course her other pen name as well, and I hope you will enjoy her stories too.

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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