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The Ride of Her Life (Lake Manawa Summers #3)

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  505 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
The only man pragmatic Lilly Hart needs in her life is a six year old. Widowed two years ago, Lilly leaves the shelter of her intrusive in-laws' home to stand on her own and provide for her young son by working for the summer as a cook at Lake Manawa. However, her in-laws find that life utterly unsuitable for their grandson, and when a row ensues, a handsome stranger--who ...more
Paperback, 381 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Revell
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Catherine Richmond
What fun to visit Lake Manawa! The Ride of Your Life has a dash of suspense and a delicious romance set against the history of this streetcar resort, early roller coasters, and a squirrel-cage jail.
Lilly Hart is one busy woman. She's raising a lively six-year-old, Levi, on her wages from running the diner. She's trying to keep her in-laws from taking Levi. She's preoccupied with finding reasons not to like the handsome roller-coaster designer who's working at the resort this summer.
I thoroughly
May 05, 2012 Angelc rated it it was amazing
This was the first book I've read by this author, but now I've got to go back and read the first two books in this series ASAP! The book had everything that I'm looking for in a historical romance, great characters, a fun and unique setting, and so much romance!

The story had a lot of romance, which is something you really don't see that often in historical romances. It's almost like the romances are thrown in at the last minute sometimes. But this story really is a romance, the bulk of the tale
Apr 30, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing
First posted on my blog, Legacy of a Writer.

Once again, I have completely enjoyed Lorna Seilstad's writing! It's hard to believe she is done with these characters—this series! I really enjoyed getting to know Marguerite, Emily, and Lilly throughout the Manawa Summers series. And I’m pretty sure I’ve never had so much fun and laughs while reading a book (especially with the second book, A Great Catch!) Can't wait to see what else this talented (and fun!) author has in store next.

In The Ride of He
After reading the first two books in this series, Making Waves and A Great Catch , I was really looking forward to reading The Ride of Her Life - I was so sure I was going to love it! However, I was very disappointed in it. I think my expectations might have been too high for this book, because the first book was excellent and the second book was very good. I hate being in the minority with an opinion on a book, but that seems to be the case with this one. Every review I have seen so far for ...more
Nov 30, 2011 Casey rated it really liked it
I’m just a bit sad as I write this review. Why? Because book three in the “Manawa Summers” series has come to an end. A very satisfying end, but an end none the less, thus the part of me that is sad.

Once you’ve traveled to Lake Manawa, Iowa, you will never want to leave. Having spent three books there, felt the sand between my toes, the sea breeze on my face and made friends with Marguerite, Emily and Lilly, I promise you I will be visiting again and again and again…

Lilly is the star of “The Ri
Jan 28, 2014 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Lilly Hart has taken her six-year-old son, Levi, and left her in-laws home. In the three years since her husband has been gone she has gotten fed up with their intrusiveness and trying to send Levi off to a boarding school, which his dad had hated and did not plan on doing with Levi.

Lilly takes a job as cook in a Midway diner in Lake Manawa, she is hired before the season starts so she can feed the workers that are building the Red Velvet Roller Coaster. Levi makes friends with Nick, the designe
Amber Stokes
Apr 18, 2012 Amber Stokes rated it really liked it
Lake Manawa is such a fun place to visit through the pages of Lorna Seilstad's "Lake Manawa Summers" trilogy! Just like its predecessors, The Ride of Her Life has a setting that sparkles in the sun and invites you to check out all of its surprises and thrills.

However, this third installment has a different dynamic than the first two, as it features a widowed mother of a rambunctious six-year-old who is ALL boy. Levi is sweet as all-get-out, and I love his innocence and exuberance. He sure has fu
More like 4.5 stars.

As someone else mentioned, I'm a bit sad to see this series end. I've enjoyed each novel and experiencing the romantic conflicts therein. This story was especially sweet because of the little boy, Levi. He had so many cute phrases and his excitement over everything was quite contagious. I found Nick's affection for the child quite precious, and if I were a single mom, that relationship alone would melt my heart. Oh, and the hero, Nick, with the "lethal" blue eyes held my hea
Mar 13, 2012 Nicole rated it really liked it
This was my favorite book in the series. The plots of all three books were rather similar, but I still enjoyed each one. I was so excited to hear Lilly's story, and was sad to say goodbye to these beloved characters! Great read!
Jan 17, 2012 Kara rated it it was amazing
The Ride of Her Life by Lorna Seilstad
Review by Kara Grant
Minor Spoilers

My Review
I had a short visit with my pastor today and he asked me if I would be blogging. I responded, not for today. Pastor Jose, you were right, today is a day for another posting :) This is my first book by Seilstad and the cover/title alone are enough to pull you in! This story takes place in 1906 and the roller coaster described was the first of its kind. It was fascinating to read the historical value of this book whil
May 27, 2013 Wanda rated it it was amazing
My Favorite Scene:

“Rolling onto her side, she punched the pillow beneath her head. No, I will not cry tonight. Not again. I have a new home. I’m starting over. I’ll be fine. Her heart didn’t listen, and soon the corner of the pillow lay soaked. Ligntning flashed outside, and she rolled onto her stomach. The heavy stomping of thunder only made the little house seem more empty, and the solitude engulfed her.

But she was safe.


Thanks to Nick.

After wiping her eyes, she propped herself on her elbow
Vera Godley
May 08, 2012 Vera Godley rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: church & Christian school libraries, ladies, teen girls, anyone
It is 1906 and summer is coming soon. The trolly to Lake Manawa is waiting to take folks to the Lake to enjoy the water and the thrilling rides. A brand new roller coaster is being built and it will surely draw the customers.

The lake has already drawn Lilly Hart and her six-year-old son, Levi. What kind of ride will Lilly take?

About the book: The only man pragmatic Lilly Hart needs in her life is a six-year-old. Widowed for three years, Lilly has decided to leave the home of her intrusive in-law
Savannah Rohleder
Jun 02, 2014 Savannah Rohleder rated it really liked it
It has been three years since Lilly Hart has lost her husband. Raising a six-year-old boy is challenging enough as a single mom, but the matter is further complicated by Lilly’s former in-laws. They will stop at nothing to rip her son from her in the name of doing what’s best for the boy. All this adds up to some major trust issues that are challenged when Lilly spends more time with Nick Perrin.

I enjoyed this book, but not nearly as much as I enjoyed the first two books in this series. Maybe th
Victor Gentile
May 26, 2012 Victor Gentile rated it it was amazing
Lorna Seilstad in her new book, “The Ride of Her Life” Book Three in the Lake Manawa Summer series published by Revell brings us back to Lake Manawa, Iowa in 1906.
From the Back Cover: She’s planted firmly on solid ground.

He’s ready to sweep her off her feet.

The only man pragmatic Lilly Hart needs in her life is a six-year-old. Widowed for three years, Lilly has decided to leave the home of her intrusive in-laws to stand on her own. However, her in-laws find her new life as a cook at Lake Manawa
Ibjoy1953 Hannabass
Jun 02, 2012 Ibjoy1953 Hannabass rated it it was amazing
The Ride of Her Life by Lorna Seilstad


First of all, if you don’t have this book on your summer reading list, it needs to be there! This is such a good, fun, interesting and light read that I thoroughly enjoyed!

Lilly Hart is trying to make it on her own after moving from her ex-in-laws mansion. It has been three years since Lilly lost her husband to a train wreck, and its time to move on. But that is not what Mr. and Mrs. Hart thinks. Well they don’t really care that much
May 02, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: revell-blog-tour
This is my first novel by Lorna Seilstad, but it won't be my last! Even though I haven't read the first two books, it was easy for me to follow along with this third installment to the Lake Manawa Summers series. I look forward to going back to read the first two books! Lorna Seilstad is a talented writer with the ability to write a great story full of fun, a sweet romance, and that special element of faith that readers of Christian Fiction look for in a novel. The Ride of Her Life is a light, f ...more
May 18, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Author: Lorna Seilstad
Publisher: Revell
May 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3447-3
Genre: Inspirational/historical fiction

She’s planted firmly on solid ground. He’s ready to sweep her off her feet.

Lilly Hart and her six-year-old son, Levi, are managing after the death of Lilly’s husband, Ben. Lilly’s is working as cook and waitress at Lake Manawa, and living in a tent in the campgrounds. But Ben’s parents are on the warpath, demanding that Lilly and Levi return to live in their hom
Lynnann Richards
Jun 24, 2012 Lynnann Richards rated it it was amazing
I've just finished reading The Ride of Her Life, a historical romance novel by Lorna Seilstad and really enjoyed it.

The story is set in 1906 at Lake Manawa, Iowa, the location of one of America's popular lakeside resorts and trolly parks. In her author's notes, Ms. Seilstad tells us that in the early 1900's these were the first amusement parks in America, and were called trolly parks because they were funded by the cities' streetcar Companies.

In this particular location, we meet the story's her
Valerie (Val's Vicinity)
The roller coaster detail is what originally drew me to this novel, especially since it's such a unique thing for the time period. The story covers the entire building process of the coaster and also sees it up and running, but fortunately the plot doesn't get bogged down by anything overly technical.

Though I enjoyed the story, I often had a vague feeling that something was missing. I'm not quite sure what it was, but maybe it had something to do with the fact that the relationship angle just se
Widow Lilly Hart can't take her in-laws for much longer, so she and her six-year-old son head to Lake Manawa Park where she will work as a cook and start a new life. Unfortunately, her in-laws do not agree with this choice and make it hard on her. Meanwhile, trying to make amends for an unintentional slight toward the handsome roller coaster designer, Lilly has to become friends with Nick Perrin in order to keep her job. It seems like her whole decision is headed for disaster when Lilly begins t ...more
Valerie Comer
Jun 11, 2012 Valerie Comer rated it really liked it
Widowed Lilly Hart knows what’s best for her 6-year-old son, and it isn’t life with her rich, domineering former in-laws. She and Levi head to Lake Manawa for the summer of 1908 so Lilly can cook at the diner and save money for a house. As the daughter of a woman who’s been a housekeeper for the wealthy Westing family, she’s never had a place to call her own, and she’s determined Levi will.

But when Levi’s grandparents ramp up their interference, roller coaster designer Nick Perrin steps into the
Apr 18, 2012 Faye rated it really liked it

A story sure to quirk up the corners of many a mouth!

Lilly Hart is a cook working on the shore of Lake Mawana, and she has dreams of giving her 6 year-old son, Levi. But the parents of Lilly's late husband have plans for Levi that threaten what Lilly and her late husband held dear. Then along comes Nick the striking Roller Coaster builder, who tests both Lilly's ability to trust others and to trust God, challenging her to open her heart once more.

This book has stellar dialogue, and I loved th
Shari Larsen
Jul 14, 2014 Shari Larsen rated it really liked it
This is the 3rd and the last book of the Lake Manawa Summers series. The story is set in 1906, and Lilly Hart, Marguerite's former maid and best friend (Marguerite's story is told in book 1, Making Waves) has been widowed for 2 years, and is trying to make a life for herself and her 6 year old son Levi. She takes a job as a cook at Lake Manawa for the summer, hoping to save enough to finally buy a house to call her own.

However, her wealthy in-laws find that living in a tent for the summer is utt
Jun 01, 2012 TAMMY CUEVAS rated it really liked it
In the summer of 1906, Lilly Hart is a widow of two years with a six year old son. She is determined to provide for him without the help of her in-laws, and has accepted a position at a cafe at Lake Manawa Park. The crews are are still working, trying to get the park ready for opening day, when Lilly meets Nick, the designer of the new roller coaster ride. Lilly is not only afraid to take a chance on the new roller coaster, but is afraid to take a chance on a new love, as well.

Once again, a writ
Jelly Bean
Jan 21, 2013 Jelly Bean rated it it was amazing
The implications behind this book, I could so relate with. Considering the highs and lows, twist and turns of life, a roller coaster is a fantastic analog for life. Life can be a thrill ride just like a coaster. Some people don't like the unexpected in a ride nor in life. Some people are always trying to climb to the top, just to suffer the plunge into a valley below. However, if you lean on Him, he will see you through. He will carry you safely in His hands if you will look to Him with the fait ...more
May 29, 2012 Cafelilybookreviews rated it really liked it
Third and final book in the Lake Manawa Summers series, The Ride of Her Life promises more of the fun, action-packed adventure that readers have come to associate Lorna Seilstad’s books with. For readers like myself who love historical fiction, Lorna once again explores the early 1900’s and includes interesting characters and locations in her storyline.

Lilly Hart, a young widower raising her small son, unintentionally causes herself some headaches at work when she is rude to the man responsible
Jun 02, 2012 Lauri rated it it was amazing
She's planted firmly on solid ground. He's ready to sweep her off her feet. The only man pragmatic Lilly Hart needs in her life is a six-year-old. Widowed for three years, Lilly has decided to leave the home of her intrusive in-laws to stand on her own. However, her in-laws find her new life as a cook at Lake Manawa utterly unsuitable for their grandson. When an argument ensues, a handsome stranger--who designs roller coasters, of all things--intercedes on her behalf. But Lilly is
Jun 01, 2012 Carly rated it it was amazing
In my humble opinion, summer just wouldn’t be summer without a trip to Lake Manawa. I have loved this series and I am sad to see that it has come to an end, but there is no reason why I can’t read them again one day. The setting of these stories was the thing that initially appealed to me, but as I have read them, I have come to love Lorna’s writing and her characters.

She has continued all the things that I love about her stories in The Ride of Her Life. I loved the theme of roller coasters and
Mar 23, 2014 Ellen rated it it was amazing
Sigh... does this wonderful Lake Mawana Summers Series really have to end? Seilstad did such a fantastic job of researching and including period and locale details that I'm actually sad I can't go see the little Iowa resort spot the way it looked in its heyday. Her ability to bring in real historical details without it feeling like a research paper is a gem.

In this last volume of the series, we revisit Lily, Marguerite's former maid who had married well-to-do lawyer Ben Hart. Tragedy struck and
Jun 12, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
Oh my goodness! This has been SUCH a fun series and The Ride of Her Life is as entertaining as the new-fangled amusement park contraption promises to be! Lake Manawa is filled with charming characters--as well as a few not so charming! Lilly and her sweet boy, Levi, absolutely endeared themselves to me from the very beginning. (Her controlling and conniving in-laws, on the other hand, generated a whole other set of emotions!) And then there is Luke Perrin, who Lilly is determined to keep at arm' ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Apr 05, 2016 11:39AM  
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For as long as I can remember, I loved writing. I even dreamed in plots. I also grew up attending antique auctions nearly every weekend, so history was as much a part of my life as chores on our farm in Iowa, reading books, and playing with Barbies.

So, writing historical romances fit perfectly. Times may change, the style of clothes, the way we speak, but the common threads that unite us remain th
More about Lorna Seilstad...

Other Books in the Series

Lake Manawa Summers (3 books)
  • Making Waves (Lake Manawa Summers #1)
  • A Great Catch (Lake Manawa Summers, #2)

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“She paused, and he guessed she was considering whether she trusted him. At last, her lips curved in a smile. Why hadn’t he noticed her smile earlier? Pure sunshine. Too bad she had so little to smile about. Perhaps he could fix that. “Did” 0 likes
“The little pistol of a woman couldn’t be an inch over five feet tall, but he had no doubt her quick tongue made up for any size she lacked.” 0 likes
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