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Summer at Willow Lake (Lakeshore Chronicles #1)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  8,897 Ratings  ·  615 Reviews
#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs explores the many facets of love and friendship in Summer at Willow Lake, where family ties clash with family secrets during long, hazy days and hot, languid nights…

Renovating her family's once-posh resort is a labor of love for Olivia Bellamy. When duty calls, she forgoes a fast-paced Manhattan summer for the Catskills retr
Paperback, 496 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Mira (first published January 1st 2006)
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In this day and age of books that contain one-word sentences, run-on phrases and attempts at wittiness that can sometimes be downright nerve-racking, I found SUMMER AT WILLOW LAKE to be a breath of fresh air. This story is engaging, the characters had real depth and the descriptions are beautifully written. Even the secondary characters were interesting and the subplots were easy to follow. Maybe parts of it were a little "Thornbirdish" in nature, but I still truly enjoyed this one. Family saga ...more
Mar 16, 2010 Rossy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Macomber, Carr and Cont. romance fans
Recommended to Rossy by: Tammy
This was not just a new series for me, but author as well. I've had this book for a while but kept putting it off on my TBR. I'm glad i was finally able to read it, the book was really good.

The characters are those that you can relate with, and the story is able to bring different emotions from the reader. There were some parts where i even found myself laughing out loud. A secret is revealed in this book that sets up the premise for the following story. It was quite intriguing and enjoyable to
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dale Harcombe
Definitely not my favourite of hers. I have read this author before and enjoyed her books. But not this one. Not even sure why I continued to read it. Maybe because I kept waiting for this one to get better. I skipped bits. I got sick and tired of hearing about the Connor's erections and the size and shape of breasts of various females, though that was not the term used in the novel. Since I abhor the other term and never use it, I will stick with the correct terminology. I also got tired of hea ...more
Feb 07, 2011 Courtney rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: really-hated-it
I wish that I agreed with the other reviewers who seemed fascinatedly in love with this book, but I am not able to. I did like the idea behind the story, and a few of the characters in the most general sense, but found much of the book to be schmaltzy and unrealistic. It felt like a weird mash up of Dirty Dancing, every movie or book about a summer camp that you've ever heard of, and a harlequin romance novel. The leading male character, Connor, was wholeheartedly unbelievable- from his 80's/90' ...more
Misty Baker
When I was a teenager I loved romance novels. I would spend hours on the beach reading Harlequin’s and had an obscene number of Nora Robert’s novels stacked around my room. I absolutely adored the “happily ever after,” the moment where I knew everything would be ok, that life would return to normal, (like at the end of the hour on The Brady Bunch.) Since then however, I have drifted away from conventional (contemporary) romance novels. I would like to tell you my aversion was due solely to liter ...more
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
Aug 16, 2014 Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of ugly-duckling-to-swan stories
2.5 stars

Originally I rated this 3 stars, but then I thought about it some more and realized that I didn't care enough about any of the secondary characters to consider continuing the series.

This is one of those family/anyone-loosely-connected-to-the-family sagas, so there are numerous threads to follow/pique your interest . . . except they didn't--with one possible exception (male MC's brother), I couldn't care less about any of them.

SO. Docked half a star for the sheer mediocrity. Even the s
Raven Seanchai
Jan 11, 2010 Raven Seanchai rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So far I'm on page 105 and have learned a good lesson: why NOT to use flashbacks. The story itself seems to be ok but I'm getting so tired of the "here and now" being interrupted that I'm about to give up on it. Also there seems to be too many characters to keep track of...
Nov 11, 2011 TJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
This book had a lot of really good points and only two not so good but those two continued throughout. I loved the backdrop of summer camp and all of the memories adults would carry of it. What a wonderful idea for a series of books! I really enjoy Susan Wiggs writing style, her characters always seem real and it is easy to lose oneself in their stories.

I had trouble with the choice in this book, however. While I enjoyed the secondary characters, their stories took up entire chapters NOT relati
Dec 04, 2009 Stacy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Camp Kioga means many things to many people. For Olivia Bellamy, whose family operated the camp in the Catskills, it's all about bad memories. Although she was just as rich as the other attendees, she was never as pretty or thin or self-assured. The only thing that kept her from being completely miserable was the arrival each summer of Connor Davis. For Connor, the camp took him away from a life far different than Olivia's and showed him how life could be. Connor and Olivia finally have a relati ...more
Jun 16, 2011 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Property expert Olivia Bellamy reluctantly trades a trendy Manhattan summer for her family’s old resort camp in the Catskills, where her primary task will be renovating the bungalow colony for her grandparents, who want one last summer together filled with fun, friends and family. A posh resort in its heyday, the camp is now in disarray and Olivia is forced to hire contractor Connor Davis – a flame from her own summers at camp. But as the days grow warm, not even the inviting blue waters of Will ...more
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
I am a Susan Wiggs fan after reading this book! I enjoyed reading every page of it. I truly loved the campground atmosphere that the story had and all of the natural descriptions of the campground. I was able to really visualize in my mind the sunsets and the moonlights. I did enjoy the different stories entwined into Lolly and Conner’s love story too. I especially enjoyed reading on Lolly’s father and his lost love. I was very sad when his girlfriend broke up with him and was never heard of aga ...more
Jan 01, 2012 Sian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
I had high expectations of this book even though the only books I have read from this author are her older "historical" romances ones and I remember loving them, however I don't think this matched them.

I expected the story to be a bit more in depth to what it really was.
It starts of with Olivia (Lolly) hating Connor over what happened one summer when she was 17 and years later asking him for help on renovating their old camp.
The story took a while to get started and it consisted of one chapter b
Liz B
I got this for free from Amazon at some point, for some reason...

This was better than OK--it was longish, and I got through it (not a guarantee these days), and I enjoyed reading it. However, I suspect I might not have finished it had I not been reading it when I was travelling by plane--that gave me a chance to read some long chunks of it, which kept me interested and involved. It's really slow-moving, and while I liked both protagonists (particularly the heroine), I didn't really feel the chem
Una bonita lectura para el verano. Seguramente leeré el resto de los libros de la saga porque este ha sido entretenido, rápido de leer y con una historia dulce, justo lo que andaba buscando.
Victoria Sigsworth
I discovered this author last Christmas and having read "Christmas At Willow Lake" and loving it, just had to read some more of hers.

As usual the story gets off to a good start but wasn't sure it was going to be as good as the first one. The story is about a family who owned a summer camp and it goes backwards and forwards through time to tell the back story in order to progress the plot. The main character, Lolly, found her first love there and on going to back to renew the now closed camp for
Jennifer Sawatzky
Sweet romance blended over the years
Sep 25, 2011 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
It started ok for what it was. OK enough I read it fast, but I may have to give this genre up. The drama drove me crazy and too frequently I wanted to throttle the heroine and tell her to grow up, life is hard, deal with it. Maybe I'm too jaded to find these kinds of books any fun anymore.
Jan 25, 2012 Mery rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summer at Willow Lake atau yang mengambil judul terjemahan Musim Panas di Danau Willow menceritakan tentang percintaan Olivia Bellamy dan Connor Davis.
Mereka adalah teman semasa kanak-kanak yang bertemu tiap musim panas di sebuah perkemahan milik kakek-nenek Olivia, di Avalon, Camp Kioga.

Sebenarnya sinopsisnya sendiri sudah mencerminkan isi buku.

Hanya saja yang membuatku tertarik dengan buku ini adalah konflik-konflik yang disuguhkan pengarang begitu kekeluargaan. Aku sempat terkecoh dengan labe
Feb 18, 2011 Melinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, library
This is the first in the Lakeshore Chronicles, which I started on book 5 or so (Marrying Daisy Bellamy). I liked that one enough to start at the beginning.

Wiggs writes in the style of Robyn Carr and Barbara Delinsky - romance that borders on women's fiction in that, while there is a Main Couple, there are so many family members and friends that the story is woven around a community more than a couple. Small town citizens and extended families come together around a central theme, and the Heroine
This was my first introduction to Susan Wiggs. This book was offered for free for the Kindle (perhaps as a teaser for future books in the series?) and the description intrigued me (and the price was right). I found this to be an enjoyable read on a rainy weekend. Having attended camp as a kid (Camp Oweki and Camp Inisfree), I was transported back to the dining hall, the lake, hiking, swimming, canoeing, etc. This certainly helped set the stage for my enjoyment of those parts of the book --- but ...more
Lauren K
Jul 28, 2012 Lauren K rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Summer at Willow Lake is a character-driven and relationship-focused contemporary romance by well-established romance author, Susan Wiggs. This is the first instalment of the Lakeshore Chronicles that was originally published in 2006 and has been re-released under MIRA with a funky, modern cover.

Olivia “Lolly” Bellamy is a Manhattan Real Estate “fluffer” who turns dreary homes up for sale into welcoming paradises to potential owners. But after a series of relationship entanglements, Olivia acce
Diana Brockelbank
This was a great read, bringing back memories of my own summer camp times. I thought the secondary characters were easy to keep up with and enjoyed Lolly and Connor getting reacquainted again. It certainly took them enough time to get together but it was worth the wait. The story line was intriguing-Lolly was hired to refurbish the camp for her grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. She gets to work with Connor and finds that she enjoys it. They both are plagued by assumptions from the past and ...more
Kate Vale
Apr 26, 2014 Kate Vale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemp-romance
First of the Lakeshore Chronicles, this book takes us back and forth between the years when Olivia Bellamy was a camper, when she was a counselor and now, when she's been asked by her grandparents to help renovate the place where they want to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. The guy she falls for at age 12, but thinks he's rejected her their last year at Willow Lake, is as hot for her as she is for him, but Connor needs to protect his heart, too. Much of the story they play hot and cold ...more
Art Proulx
May 13, 2014 Art Proulx rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished this book and it was my first from Susan Wiggs.
I actually enjoyed this book. I had never read this type of book but I found it very entertaining
This was so well written and well-characterized that I was probably halfway through the book before I realized that it was actually pretty boring. I'll usually take a good character over a good story any day, but ultimately, I want both. The dramatic tension in this story was based on hiding from the reader incidents that happened in the past -- incidents, moreover, that the main characters knew about. Romance novels seem to withhold information like this a lot, but I have rarely seen that hidde ...more
Carol Stanley-Snow
Yes...a great summer read. Have you ever been to summer camp? I have, but it was never like this!!

Go to the beach, lay out your blankie and won't be sorry.
Louise Annette Marshall
This was the first book in a while i could not really get into.I gave up half way ,may go back to at a later date.The idea of the American summer camp backdrop,and the flashbacks to those times,an intertwining stories just didnt grab me ,wether it was the fact not being American i no nothing of this tradition or have any memories to be nostalgic of or wether it was the characters just didnt grab me not completly sure,bit of both i think.Could be an enjoyable read to those who want to remember ti ...more
Jul 19, 2011 Vicki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in The Lakeshore Chronicles series. I really enjoyed it because as the first book it set a great tone for me to want to read the rest of the series. In fact, I was eager to jump to the next book so I could see what was going on with the characters I was quickly growing to know and love! That, to me is the sign of a good book and a great author. I was entertained without getting bored. To me, the book as a little bit of everything: love, laughter, a little mystery and at it ...more
Feb 27, 2011 Kathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adults
I just couldn't get excited about this book. I finally muddled my way through it. This is the story of a Olivia Bellamy and her evolution from pudgy tween/teenager into a lovely slender young woman. The new Olivia is a successful decorator/entrepreneur but a loser at love. When her grandmother asks her to work on upgrading the family-owned camp at Willow Lake, Olivia takes the job even though here childhood memories of summers at camp were not the fondest.

Other than a couple of F-bombs, this is
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Susan Wiggs's life is all about family, friends...and fiction. She lives at the water's edge on an island in Puget Sound, and she commutes to her writers' group in a 17-foot motorboat. She serves as author liaison for Field's End, a literary community on Bainbridge Island, Washington, bringing inspiration and instruction from the world's top authors to her seaside community. (See ...more
More about Susan Wiggs...

Other Books in the Series

Lakeshore Chronicles (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Winter Lodge (Lakeshore Chronicles #2)
  • Dockside (Lakeshore Chronicles, #3)
  • Snowfall at Willow Lake (Lakeshore Chronicles, #4)
  • Fireside (Lakeshore Chronicles, #5)
  • Lakeshore Christmas (Lakeshore Chronicles, #6)
  • The Summer Hideaway (Lakeshore Chronicles, #7)
  • Marrying Daisy Bellamy (Lakeshore Chronicles #8)
  • Return to Willow Lake  (Lakeshore Chronicles #9)
  • Candlelight Christmas (Lakeshore Chronicles, #10)
  • Starlight on Willow Lake (Lakeshore Chronicles, #11)

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