Review by Suze
Lola has lost her courage. Being shouted at on a regular basis by her mother, taking care of her younger siblings and being dumped by the man she promised to love for the rest of her life made her compliant and invisible. It's time she starts thinking about herself and the first step is doing something she's always wanted to do. A friend offers her a summer stay at a luxurious holiday home in Lake Haven and Lola knows this is her chance to do something for herself.
When Lola arrives at the house it's empty, but there's stuff everywhere. Soon she finds out that her friend's soon-to-be ex-husband has invited someone to stay at the house as well. Lola has to share the place with Harry and he isn't happy about it. Harry has just been left by his girlfriend, because he is too career driven and wants to invest heavily in his company. He's an engineer and his dream job is building bridges. Harry works a lot of hours and when he comes home he doesn't want to find Lola's mess. To make things work between them Harry and Lola have to find a way to get along. Will they still be able to pursue their dreams and what will their stay at Lake Haven bring them?
Suddenly Dating is a great story with plenty of depth. Harry and Lola are both in their thirties and they're trying to make their dreams come true. It's a topic I loved. Julia London writes about it in a wonderful realistic way. She perfectly describes what's going on inside her main characters' minds and that was definitely interesting to read. Harry and Lola have time to think about their choices and to make plans for their future. They're at a crossroads and they are there together, which makes the story fun to read.
Lola is a sweetheart. She wants to take care of everyone and therefore slaves away for her family and also for people she doesn't know that well. She's being used and that was difficult to see. Even when she is effacing herself her beautiful personality keeps shining through. When Lola is the person she is inside she's dazzling, she is special and she's completely unaware of it. I loved her sparkle, her wit and her sense of humor. Her conversations with Harry are fascinating, their banter is fabulous, and it's clear from the beginning that they're made for each other.
While Lola has always struggled to make ends meet Harry is in that situation for the first time. He comes from a rich background and doing his own thing means he's disappointed many people. I loved that he keeps chasing his dreams. He doesn't give up, even when he's constantly being pressured. While being away from his usual scene he has the time to find out who he wants to be. He's kindhearted and caring. He's a gorgeous man who's easy to like and he's perfect for Lola. I loved their amazing chemistry and couldn't wait to find out what would happen to them after their stay in Lake Haven.
Suddenly Dating is a multilayered story. I liked the psychology behind the personalities of the main characters, which is thought-provoking. I enjoyed witnessing how Lola and Harry slowly find their way. Lake Haven has so much to offer them and there are plenty of ups and downs. Some of them are really funny. Julia London has a nice sense of humor that makes her story easy to love. Suddenly Dating is a very romantic story with a lot of surprising twists and turns. It's a book to slowly savor and enjoy at leisure.
Suddenly Dating is the second book in the Lake Haven series. It can easily be read as a standalone. This book is perfect for those who love reading about small town life in an interesting place where creativity meets wealth.
About Julia London
Julia London is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than thirty romance novels. Her historical titles include the popular Desperate Debutantes series, the Secrets of Hadley Green series, and the Cabot Sisters series; her contemporary works include the Lake Haven, Pine River, and Cedar Springs series. She has won the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and has been a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction. She lives in Austin, Texas.
New York City April
The first time Melissa broke up with Harry was on a Wednesday night, because Harry had come home later than he’d said he would. Okay, a lot later. Late-late. But he couldn’t help it—his crew had run into a problem installing a support beam under a bridge and it had taken a colossal effort by dozens of men to right that sinking ship.
When he walked into their little apartment, he knew he was in trouble. Melissa was sitting at the bistro table with an empty wine bottle before her and the dregs of said bottle in her glass. There was a plate of food in Harry’s spot: congealed spaghetti and something else he didn’t want to examine too closely. “I’m sorry—”
“I don’t want to hear it,” she snapped with a queenly flick of her wrist. “I’m done.”
Done. What did that mean, exactly? For the evening? With him? Harry wanted to ask, but as he was a veteran of this relationship, he knew better than to seek clarification when that much wine obviously had been drunk.
Melissa’s blue eyes narrowed; she knew he didn’t know what she meant. She came to her feet. Clumsily. And swaying a little when she pushed her long dark hair back over her shoulder. She had on a very short skirt and heels that made her look hot, and, God, Harry wished he’d made it home on time.
“I’ve had it with you, Harry. You’re always late. You come in looking like some Game of Thrones character with your shaggy hair and your dirty clothes,” she said, gesturing wildly in his direction.
“Well . . . I work in bridge construction,” he said calmly. “It’s kind of a dirty job. I apologize for my hair, but you know that I wear a hard hat most of the day.”
“So you can’t get a haircut?” she cried, and pitched forward, catch- ing herself on the table.
This was the first he knew that his hair was an issue. He dug in his pocket for a hair band and pulled it back into a short tail.
“Oh, yeah, that works,” she snapped. “Here’s the thing, Harry. You do whatever you want,” she sang, casting her arm wide, “and then you expect me to sit here and wait with a dinner I slaved over.”
Here they went with the same sort of argument they’d been having a lot lately. “I don’t expect you to wait, Melissa. That’s why I told you to go ahead without me,” he reminded her. “And, to be fair, it’s spaghetti.”
Fire leapt into her blue eyes.
“Not that I don’t appreciate it,” he hastily added. Jesus, he didn’t want to do this right now. He was tired, he was hungry, and that damn support beam was going to cost him more money he didn’t have.
One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and five runner ups will get a print copy of Suddenly Dating. Good luck!