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Sweet Lake #1

Sweet Lake

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Linnie Wayfair knows just how many people are counting on her. But knowing doesn’t make doing any easier.

Everyone in Sweet Lake, Ohio, wants her to muster all her business sense and return the Wayfair Inn to its former glory. Her parents hope she’ll forgive her scoundrel of a brother and reconcile the family. The eccentric Sweet Lake Sirens want her to open the inn—and her heart—to new possibilities. And her hilarious lifelong friends Jada and Cat are dropping none-too-subtle hints for her to ignite a romance with Daniel Kettering, the sexy attorney who’s been pining for her for years…

Now a shocking turn of events will open old wounds and upend the world Linnie has carefully built. She has to make changes quickly—and the results, though not entirely what she expected, might be what she’s been yearning for all along.

306 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 28, 2017

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About the author

Christine Nolfi

23 books3,844 followers
Christine Nolfi is the award-winning and bestselling author of fifteen novels, including The Passing Storm, cited by Publishers Weekly as “Tautly plotted, expertly characterized, and genuinely riveting” and gold medal winner in general fiction, International Book Awards. Look for Christine’s 2022 release, A Brighter Flame.

Other works include The Road She Left Behind, a top book club pick by Working Mother and Parade magazines, and the award-winning Sweet Lake Series: Sweet Lake, The Comfort of Secrets, and The Season of Silver Linings.

Earlier works include Second Chance Grill, highly recommended by The Midwest Book Review and Treasure Me, recognized by the Next Generation Indie Awards and Put Your Heart in a Book Awards. The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge was cited by The Midwest Book Review as “Poignant and powerful, as much a saga of learning to survive, heal, and forgive as it is a chilling crime story, unforgettable to the very end.”

A native of Ohio, Christine now resides in South Carolina with her husband and their crazy wheaten terrier, Lucy. For more information, visit www.christinenolfi.com

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 326 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,053 reviews30k followers
April 23, 2017
This is the perfect beach or summer read if you enjoy family/friend drama, a fun setting, and sweet romance. It reminded me a little of The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood because of the Sweet Lake Sirens' deep friendship, camaraderie, and hint of mysticism. The author says she specializes in inspirational fiction, and I have to agree; after reading this book, I was left feeling uplifted and happy. This is the first in a series, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment. Thanks to a giveaway from the author, I received a complimentary copy.
Profile Image for Wendy.
1,593 reviews551 followers
October 24, 2017
It is easy to see why Christine Nolfi is one of my favourite authors. Her gift of storytelling makes it a delight to pick up one of her stories and become totally captivated for hours on end.
The Wayfair Inn is at risk of closing and the family is at odds as to how to save it. The town folks come together, especially Daniel Kittering, the town attorney, to help Linnie Wayfair not only battle with her brother but try to bring the Inn back to it's former glory.
Sweet Lake is a beautifully written small town saga involving romance, family ties, heartache and forgiveness.
I adore the characters and settings that this author creates. It felt absolutely delightful to be so emotionally involved with the characters from beginning to end. I felt like I was visiting old friends and making new ones.
I look forward to the next book in the Sweet Lake series!
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,852 reviews1,490 followers
May 13, 2019
While competently-enough written, I have zero respect for any of the characters. Linnie is a weak ditherer who can't bring herself to open a letter(!) from her larcenous brother because she's worried he might be in trouble and she'd be tempted to help him despite how he betrayed the family, took all their money, and left her father unable to foot all the medical bills from a subsequent stroke. All this drama over opening a stupid letter is psychotic levels of weak. Like, get some therapy because you seriously aren't ready for the real world, yet, weak. Yeah, he's a using jerk but not opening the letter is just swathing yourself in ignorance for the sake of . . . drama, I guess? Or you can burn the thing, I suppose. That'd be fine. But hauling that sucker around and dithering endlessly about whether to open it or not is just aching cowardice and supremely unattractive.

And don't get me started on the stupid pagan ladies prancing around on the lake shore doling out portentous twaddle. Or the friends whose idea of support is to call her names (though, to be fair, calling Linnie a weak coward is at least accurate). But the last straw was when Daniel, a lawyer, who is carrying an open torch for Linnie, agrees to represent the dastardly brother in some matter (with an explicit promise of attorney-client privilege) on the brother's promise to "make things right". This is a profoundly stupid idiocy. I'm sorry, but you start off with "how about you make things right and then I consider not kicking you out of my house?" Not only is it rank idiocy to accept this scoundrel's word, but to agree to keep it from the woman that you supposedly love is so stupid you'd need to add a whole new level to the museum of stupid to contain it. Mind, it'd be a shoo-in for admittance...

So I'm done. I was intrigued by the setting and the author writes well-enough. But these characters? Yeah, no thanks.
Profile Image for Laurel-Rain.
Author 6 books229 followers
February 7, 2017
Family traditions, especially those involving a family business, can make for lifelong competitors.

Such is the case for Linnie Mayfair and her older brother Freddie.

Treat and Sarah Mayfair did not realize that they were creating a less than loving relationship between their son and their daughter. They thought they were doing what was right for the business and for the family. The family trust was structured in what they thought was a sensible way, but Linnie doesn’t agree. Can she learn to finally ask for what she wants and needs?

Sweet Lake is a charming tale set in small-town Sweet Lake, Ohio, and the Mayfair Inn is the family business which Linnie has been managing since her father’s stroke. When he turned the management over to her, and she began to slowly improve things, she had the expectation that she would retain control indefinitely. Her parents’ move to Florida seemed to reinforce that belief.

Then Freddie did something truly deceitful that further exacerbated the bad feelings, turning Linnie and Freddie into bitter enemies. Can Linnie ever forgive him? How will she manage to turn the inn into a thriving business when Freddie does his worst?

It might take a village to untangle the mess. How do the charming Sweet Lake Sirens, a group of midlife to elderly women, come up with a plan to bring the siblings together? What will Linnie’s secret admirer Daniel do to aid in the cause?

I love family drama, and there was more than enough keeping me turning these pages. I wasn’t sure how it would be sorted, but I knew that I was rooting for Linnie…and also hoping for a romantic connection between her and Daniel.

The author showed true-to-life characters with real life issues…and then offered us a glimpse of the characters struggling to make things right, just as real people would have to do. By the end, I was happy to learn that another book will follow. I am eager to revisit them all. Even Freddie. 5 stars.

Profile Image for Elizabeth.
1,064 reviews27 followers
March 2, 2017
First, thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read this novel by Christina Nolfi. I admit to being a fan of hers, but I have to say even if I'd never heard of her, I would be amazed by this story!

Linnie Wayfair has a stigma attached to her that she can't escape. She's a girl. And her family inn has always been passed down to the son in the family. However, in this case, there are mitigating circumstances why her brother should not own the inn. I don't believe in retelling the story, so I'll just leave it there.

The plot moves quickly, the characters are believable and likeable/despicable, depending on the relationships and circumstances. I laughed and cried and simply couldn't put this book down! Christina Nolfi is an author who can really tell a story!
Profile Image for Melodie.
588 reviews64 followers
March 14, 2017
Welcome to Sweet Lake. A little Ohio town trying to make a comeback after hitting the economic skids. Linnie Wayfair, is trying to steer her family's inn back into the black after it was decimated by her errant brother when he stole family funds and took off for California.
Along with her close friends, employees and a circle of women called the Sweet Lake Sirens, she is making progress, moving closer to her goal. A monkey wrench is thrown in when her brother reappears with a ridiculous entourage, angering everyone.
I enjoyed this first installment of Christine Nolfi's new series. Her previous series set in Liberty Ohio stole my heart and I look for this one to do the same. A mix of decent small town people liberally peppered with eccentrics along with a villain or two makes for a light engaging read. Would love too see Sweet Lake and Liberty cross over in one of her books!
Profile Image for Marlene.
425 reviews100 followers
May 23, 2019
I'm temporarily - I hope - departing from my usual review style while life is crazy and we're in the construction zone. I'm trying this rather than no review at all. I'm basically going to make occasional notes as I read, which is not as satisfactory to me, but hopefully they'll still be helpful.

Update 5/13/19: This is one of those books that I wish would have been more forthcoming on its cover design. For what it is, this is a very good book. It's just not MY thing. Apart from the whole world view that sex outside of marriage is OK, I enjoyed this book very much. If this were a book that were touted as either a Christian or a sweet and clean romance, I'd have rated it much lower. However, it was well written with a good story, so it will get high marks. I'm going to lower the rating based on the sweet looking cover and the term "sweet" in the title, which I feel is misleading for readers of clean romance novels. 4.5 stars.

Content: One tastefully done sex scene with some talk about sex-related issues. I do remember a couple of instances of swearing, but it wasn't rampant. I would not recommend this book to anyone wanting a clean read, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it to a minor.

Original note: This book is NOT clean. I didn't realize that before I started reading. I've enjoyed the story so far, and I think I got to about 70% before the bedroom scene. Before then, there were occasional comments related to hanky panky. I'm going to finish it, but will not be reading any others by this author.
Profile Image for Clare.
408 reviews42 followers
February 28, 2017
This review was originally posted at Dual Reads
Copy received for an honest review

This was so much more than I was expecting. I thought I was getting a sweet romance. And there was a really great romance. But there were also strong friendships, diverse and eccentric side characters and a family dynamic that at times broke my heart. I was engaged with every single page and every single character.

Linnie, our main character, was a delight. She was such a lovely person and I really felt for her with her insecurities and worries and cheered for her as she grew stronger and more confident throughout the novel. She was written so well that I felt everything she felt - her worries, the betrayal she felt, the love and gratitude for her friends. Her relationship, or lack thereof, with her brother Freddie hurt to read about. There's a line in the story;
"A sibling carries your history."
And that's something I agree with - I have such a wonderful relationship with my siblings and it was such a shame to watch Linnie have to do without that. She was by no means alone, however. She had the whole of Sweet Lake behind her - including the glorious Sirens, who were some of my favourite characters. And she also had her best friends Jada and Cat and Daniel - her best friend/something more.

Plot wise there is quite a lot going on which made for a very page-turning read. We have all the secrets of Freddie's business in Ohio as well as his intentions for the Inn. The latter caused me a lot of anxiety as I desperately wanted Linnie to have a complete happy ending - getting everything she could possibly want. Greedy of me, sure, but I love her as a character and she deserves all the best. Freddie was a character who, though compelling, I never grew to like. Even though Linnie was working towards forgiving him I never quite could and I was so mad at him for how he treated her!

The romance felt very real and I definitely felt like it was a healthy and supportive relationship - which I always appreciate. Daniel was willing to push Linnie but also ready to support her no matter what she chose. And whilst it took Linnie slightly longer to come around to the idea of commitment, I could understand her reasons and trusted that she would go all in eventually.

I was so pleasantly surprised by just how engrossed I became in this book - I was prepared for something light and enjoyable and got something that was funny and moving and exciting. I just loved it. With such a wealth of side characters I know that this series has a lot of room to move forward and I can't wait to read the next book! If you love romance then I heartily recommend this but also - if you just want strong, inspiring characters, family dynamics that feel real and an emotional, heartwarming story - then read this.
Profile Image for Gloria.
784 reviews55 followers
July 15, 2018
This is a new to me author and I found the book a fun read with quirky characters in a small town setting. The Wayfair Inn in Sweet Lake, Ohio has been in the Wayfair family for many generations and managed by a male family member until Freddie Wayfair stole money from the family and inn bank accounts then ran off to California to make his fortune in the film industry. Freddie's first video was his filming of the legendary group of local middle age and up women called the Sweet Lake Sirens as they paraded around Sweet Lake less than fully clothed. The group comes across as silly busybodies but truly want to spread kindness along with their shells, feathers and herbs. When Freddie left town to make his millions, he left the inn in a bad place without funds to function. A few months later, his father Treat had a stroke. This prompted Treat and wife, Sarah, to move to Florida and leave the inn in the hands of daughter, Linnie, who was less than willing to be in charge of the inn. Linnie has done a great job of getting the inn back in the black with her best friends, Jada and Cat. Both friends lost their own business when the inn was struggling as did other businesses in town. Linnie had to let half of the staff go during that time. Seven years later, Freddie returns home to wreck havoc and maybe claim his part of the inn. Needless to say, the townspeople, including Linnie and her friends don't want to see him return. Linnie's pal (although both see each other as more), lawyer Daniel Kettering is put in an awkward position when Freddie asks Daniel to represent him in a legal matter.
This is a story with a strong cast of characters that are small town funny and quirky but yet the story deals with some serious issues-family hurts, forgiveness, loyalty, self confidence and romance.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,011 reviews178 followers
February 26, 2017
I went into this book ready for a sweet read. The story started out fine, yet after a few chapters I found myself struggling to keep reading. My issue was with the characters. No matter how much I tried and tried, I could not find any connections towards any of them. Therefore, if you strip away that fact I am left with just a story that could be about anyone. Although, I did like the charming town of Sweet Lake. In addition, the fact that Daniel was slowly charming his way into Linnie's life was sweet. The fact that Daniel and Linnie did not just fall for each other instantly lent itself nicely to the story. As I have pointed out there are elements of this book that I did enjoy and had I found that strong connection to the characters in the story, I would have kept reading on. However, I would try this author again in the future.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
1,438 reviews237 followers
March 14, 2017
Sweet Lake is the first book in a new series by Christine Nolfi. Set in Ohio in a small town where everything went downhill in terms of work when Freddy Wayfair took off with most of the money from his family's account, leaving his sister Linnie to struggle on with the family inn. Now she is working on a shoestring, has let many of the staff go, and because numbers are down at the inn, the whole town has lost business. Serious times. Fortunately she has very good friends, a good man who has his eye on her and very loyal employees.

The Wayfair parents have retired and live in Florida. Linnie sends a little money to them as she can. She is the good girl, a hard worker, responsible, thinks of others and basically has been left "holding the baby". Do her parents value her? Do they really love her? Because to me love involves respect and fairness and as the story progresses it seems to me they honestly don't.

Life growing up in the Wayfair family was a little rough around the edges. There were many expectations put on the older brother Freddy, some of them quite tough. We briefly meet the mother, and my impression was of a woman I didn't really like. Her attitude annoyed me!

Freddy is gifted, harbors a few secrets, and acts without thinking at times. Hello! Taking all that money and not thinking of the consequences for all those people relying on the inn. I sort of had a love/hate approach to him. He is redeemable and circumstances surround, as Frances would be keen to point out.

Frances? One of the Sirens, a group of middle aged and elderly women who appear a little eccentric, and into new age stuff. However secret kindness is their catch cry and they rally to many a good cause and they see Linnie as a very good cause!

So as I read questions abounded. Could Linnie take hold of her reins and stand up and speak up and go after what she really wants from life? Freddy did that to a large extent, but he too his a little tied to his parents wishes so how is he going to deal?

This is a heart warming, humorous story. It is well paced, has a variety of entertaining characters and some important issues to explore. A great start to a new series.
Profile Image for Deborah Blanchard.
380 reviews86 followers
February 3, 2017
Christine Nolfi does it again with the first book in her new Sweet Lake series. I loved the small town of Sweet Lake, Ohio and you will too. I felt a part of this small town and its people. Linnie runs the family inn and is trying to help to rebuild a town where so many shops have closed. Like most small towns, everyone knows everyone. You will love the cast of characters, strong, independent Linnie is the main character along with her longtime friend Daniel. There is lots of love there and romance as well. The Sirens you will love. With their crazy ways of influencing the outcome of things using herbs and such. You will laugh often. Linnie is trying to find a way to reconnect with her brother, and he is a difficult one. We all have brothers that we love but that also drive us nuts! At least I do. "Siblings carry our history." That is my favorite quote of all. Because they do. They are a part of us forever. All of these characters are quirky and lovable in their own way. You will feel a part of this town and the people. I know I did. I always feel a part of Christines' stories. She has a way of drawing you in and making you fall in love with the towns and the people in her stories. The characters are all well developed and you will feel like you know them. The flow of the story is extraordinary. It will draw you in and not let go. This is a feel good book. This is a wonderful book. I simply can not wait until the next book in this series with its lovable cast of characters. I wish one day this would be made into a movie. I would love that. I received an ARC of this book to give my honest opinion. Honestly, I never had a doubt that I would love it. Pick it up and follow along for an extraordinary ride through the streets of Sweet Lake.
Profile Image for Christine Moore.
783 reviews28 followers
February 25, 2017
I really enjoyed this book! Linnie runs her family's inn the Wayfair. Her brother Freddie years ago took off and took all the family's money. Linnie has been running the inn and it has consumed her life. Now Freddie is back and the family drama is on! There is a group of older women, the Sirens, that want to protect Linnie and show her there is more to life than work. Daniel has loved Linnie for years but Linnie thinks they are just friends. This is a wonderful story of family, friendship, and love. I can't wait to read all the books in this series! Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC of this book for an honest opinion.
1,074 reviews5 followers
January 9, 2017
Sweet Lake is a novel that I want to, no need to, share with family and friends. It is a coming of age story, even though both Linnie and Freddie are both older than the typical coming of age characters. It is a story of family, love, and determination. Ms. Nolfi's characters are quirky and so much fun. I can't wait to read the next book in this series, and I desperately want to be a Siren!

I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Karen McQuestion.
Author 31 books2,243 followers
August 8, 2018
The title speaks volumes. This is a sweet book, with relatable characters, a romance, and some interesting family dynamics. This book came to me when I needed a break from some stressful stuff going on in my own life and it was a lifesaver. If you love the cover, and enjoy books like Jan Karon's Mitford series, you're going to love this series!
Profile Image for Kathleen Kelly.
1,290 reviews106 followers
March 18, 2017
This is a story about a woman, Linnie Wayfair, who is now the owner of the Wayfair Inn. Her parents retired and left the inn to Linnie. Trying to keep the inn open is a challenge, paying her staff, the ones that she kept anyway, the others had to be let go. She receives a letter from her brother Freddie, whom she has not seen in seven years. He is not a very nice person, at least to Linnie. He is a movie producer, doing well, and only thinks of himself. With his visit, Linnie finds that she is not an owner of the inn but part owners with her brother.

Freddie hires the town lawyer, Daniel, and Linnie is eager to find out why he did so. Of course, it is a confidential matter but it does put up a wall between Daniel and Linnie, see, Daniel has had a thing for Linnie for a long time and Linnie has kept him at arm's length. With Freddie back in the picture, Daniel and Linnie's relationship is on tender hooks.

These are not the only characters in this novel, as we have the Sweet Lake Sirens, a small group of eccentric women who love to have their meetings on the beach by the Wayfair Inn, women who are comfortable with themselves even to the point of having their meetings in the nude. A few of these women actually work at the Inn and are involved deeply in Linnie's life.

Linnie would like Freddie to sell her the other half of the inn but money is a bit short. The problem is, there have always been the men in the family who own and operates the Wayfair Inn. Freddie had stolen some money seven years ago and Linnie and the Siren's enlist their help on how to get this money repaid.

I really enjoyed this lighthearted, romantic story. At first, I was not sure how I felt about Linnie, she seemed very passive, but over a period of time when her relationship with Daniel turns for the better, I saw a lot of potential in her to stand up for what she believes is rightfully hers. By the end of the story, I really liked her and started to like Freddie. If you are looking for a sweet, lighthearted and fast paced novel, then this one is for you. I had never read anything by Ms. Nolfi but now I look forward to the second book in the series.

This book is also part of the Booksparks Wintervention challenge.
9,347 reviews76 followers
March 2, 2017
Nicely written small town romance with good characters (don't we all know someone like one of the Sirens?) and a positive plot line. Linnie has her struggles but she also has her friends. The romance aspect of this was less interesting to me than the interaction between them, although Daniel is definitely interesting. I'd not read Nolfi before (thanks to Netgalley for the introduction) but I'm going to look for the next installment in this series. It made for a very pleasant read.
Profile Image for ❤Marie Gentilcore.
874 reviews40 followers
March 2, 2021
This was the second book I’ve read by Christine Nolfi. I liked it and while I won’t continue on with this series, I will read more of Ms. Nolfi’s books.
Profile Image for Susan.
1,110 reviews183 followers
March 13, 2017
Sweet Lake

Christine Nolfi

Received from Netgalley

SWEET LAKE is the first book in the Sweet Lake series. I am a huge fan of Christine Nolfi's books and have loved every single one of them. Linnie Wayfair is running her family's inn and sadly, she was born a girl. The family inn has always been passed down to the males in the Wayfair line but Linnie feels it should be hers as her brother, Freddie, left the inn years ago after creating a huge debt to not only the inn but also to the towns people of Sweet Lake, Ohio.

Once I started reading SWEET LAKE I was instantly invested in the story and had a hard time putting it down. Why does my family always want to eat when I'm reading such an awesome story? The Sirens, a group of women in Sweet Lake will keep you laughing out loud with their antics and their meddling. They try to get Linnie and Freddie to be a loving sibling to each other, like they were many years ago, but Linnie is fearful that Freddie will break her heart again. She has worked so hard to keep the inn running with no help for years from her brother. Will her parents see all the sacrifices she has made and give her the inn?

SWEET LAKE is going to pull on your heartstrings and never let you go. I'm excited to continue with the Sweet Lake series and all the lovable characters that live there. Will Linnie finally give her old friend Daniel the time of day and her heart? Christine Nolfi sure knows how to write a story that keeps the reader emotionally invested in all the characters, not just the main ones, but all of them. It takes the whole town, coming together, to untangle the mess Freddie made years ago and you will find yourself cheering them all on. If you love small town romance with family drama thrown in, you have to give SWEET LAKE a try. You will not be sorry and I bet you will want to become a Siren just like me.
Profile Image for Karen Komarinski.
902 reviews12 followers
February 19, 2019
Sweet Lake story is set around the Wayfair family and a Inn that is caught in traditions that should of died out a long time ago. The tradition that the Wayfair Inn is passed on from son to son Works until Treat and Sarah Wayfair had a son Freddie and a Daughter named Linnie. Events that happened 7 years ago not only put a family at odds but almost ruined the Wayfair Inn and the town of Sweet Lake, Ohio. You will find a lot of characters in Sweet Lake; the most popular is the Muses known as The Sweet Lake Sirens. They are middle aged group of ladies who love mojito's, match making and plain meddling and being protectors of all. They have there sights on protecting Linnie; because of the unexpected arrival of her brother Freddie who hurt her and the town when he fled to California. Frances not only a high ranking Siren but an old Family friend. Frances saw first hand how Linnie & Freddie were torn apart by misguided love; with a cryptic message to Linnie "Remember a sibling is the only one that carries your history, and "A secret Kindness" can heal and bring people together. Take a trip to Sweet Lake and find out all the surprises waiting for Linnie and the town. Christine Nolfi writes from her heart and puts her sole into her characters and stories.
Profile Image for  Gigi Ann.
628 reviews28 followers
February 3, 2017

My Thoughts...

I always know I can depend on Christine Nolfi to satisfy me when I want some "Comfort Food Reading." And she didn't disappoint me this time either.

The story is about family, friendship, with a few whimsical characters thrown in the mix. Some characters are likable, with a few unlikable, as well. But to keep the story interesting we need the unlikable ones, they keep the story lively.

It was a delightful treat to be able to set down these last few days and read such an entertaining story. I especially liked this book because even though it was a feel-good story with some romance in the story. (PG) I found it refreshing to read a good storyline that didn't rely on bedroom roll-arounds to sell the story. Give me a good clean storyline, and I will continue to read your novels.

A Thank You to Christine Nolfi for providing this ARC copy of "Sweet Lake." I enjoyed it enough to award it 5 Sweet Stars*****

I did not receive any type of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers and authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review.
Profile Image for Gina.
1,156 reviews93 followers
March 1, 2019
These types of “sweet hometown romances” that I would maybe label as a “cozy” without the mystery are really not the type of books that I often read. However, I read an early sample of a novel by Nolfi that I received in some type of promotion and I thought it was was...sweet and that’s a good thing. For people who know me, definitely will agree that I am an avid mystery reader. Give me any mystery novel and I will give it a chance. So it’s really not often that I read these types of books, of which I own many, and I’m beginning to realize that I’m missing out on some great books. I also realize that reading something different than a mystery is actually more fun for me lately. Now I know none of these statements give any sense of what the book was about; plot, setting, characters, and all of the other literary elements. (Yeah that sounds a little nerdy but I am an English/Reading teacher so I speak/write what I teach)

Anyway, I loved that it was set in a fictional town in Ohio, which is where I live. Ohio is an interesting place because we have everything from cities to very rural areas. We have the very wealthy suburbs outside of the 3 major cities as well as many middle class neighborhoods. I see Ohio as a good sample of the country as a whole. Outsiders may think we are a farm state filled with cornfields, but that’s not the case. Going off topic again, I have noticed when either reading or watching TV, that Ohio and Cincinnati specifically is often a place where a main character is from or is referenced in the TV show or book. Once I started paying attention to that tiny little thing, I see it in almost every show I watch and many books. Ohio has it all and I’m glad to see it represented.

Okay now to the book. Linnie Wayfair is a girl which is a problem in her family because it’s the tradition to pass the responsibilities of their inn, The Wayfair Inn, to the male son. That’s a problem because her brother, Freddy, almost brought the inn to it’s downfall with his mismanagement, inability to manage money, and other issues. So Linnie took over the responsibilities and brought the Wayfair Inn back to its former glory. Now her brother is back and her parents want to give over the inn to him again. Linnie wonders why her parents can’t see all of the hard work she has done to bring the Wayfair Inn successful again and why would they want to take that risk with her brother again?

Thankfully Linnie has the Siren Sisters, who are literally quite a group of characters. These are a group of middle aged women who love their mojitos, meeting on the beach in the nude, and meddling in the townspeoples’ lives, but their actions are good intentioned for all. They reminded me of the women in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. They want to continue to see Linnie happy and successful as well as forgive her brother so they can be close again. Although Linnie’s isn’t sure she is ready to forgive and forget everything her brother has done and definitely doesn’t want to give up the Inn. There is also the town attorney, Daniel Kettering, who has helped Linnie with the Inn but is now working for Freddy because he wants his share of the Inn back. This is very conflicting for Daniel because he has had his heart set on Linnie and doesn’t want this to affect their possible relationship.

This book definitely has something for everyone. Small town gossip, family drama, family and romantic love. I identified with quite a few of the issues presented in the book because they are so universal. I understood Linnie’s feelings as a sister just on the basic level of having a brother who she sees as getting things too easy in life. I think every sister probably thinks that way about a sibling at some point or another. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book going in, but Sweet Lake, Ohio captured a little bit of my heart and I definitely will visit again. 4 stars.
Profile Image for Melanie Adkins.
789 reviews16 followers
February 28, 2017
The Wayfair legacy was set in stone long before Linnie was born. Now she's trying to save that legacy and regain the glory the Inn once knew. When Linnie pictured her life as a kid, she never saw the path she was now on. The question she's facing is can she incorporate her dreams and her future.

This book is a warm, feel-good, easy read. It's well written and the plotting is fantastic. The characters are relate-able and fun. The pacing is very comfortable. I love that Ms. Nolfi included some humor in this book. It just gives you a more realistic view of life in Sweet Lake. You'll have lots of cozy feelings as you work your way through this book.

I did find one minor issue. In chapter one you start out saying it's Autumn. A couple pages later it's summer.

I gave this one 4 cheers out of 5 because it's a terrific read. The Wayfair legacy was set in stone long before Linnie was born. Now she's trying to save that legacy and regain the glory the Inn once knew. When Linnie pictured her life as a kid, she never saw the path she was now on. The question she's facing is can she incorporate her dreams and her future.

This book is a warm, feel-good, easy read. It's well written and the plotting is fantastic. The characters are relate-able and fun. The pacing is very comfortable. I love that Ms. Nolfi included some humor in this book. It just gives you a more realistic view of life in Sweet Lake. You'll have lots of cozy feelings as you work your way through this book.

I did find one minor issue. In chapter one you start out saying it's Autumn. A couple pages later it's summer.

I gave this one 4 cheers out of 5 because it's a terrific read. The Wayfair legacy was set in stone long before Linnie was born. Now she's trying to save that legacy and regain the glory the Inn once knew. When Linnie pictured her life as a kid, she never saw the path she was now on. The question she's facing is can she incorporate her dreams and her future.

This book is a warm, feel-good, easy read. It's well written and the plotting is fantastic. The characters are relate-able and fun. The pacing is very comfortable. I love that Ms. Nolfi included some humor in this book. It just gives you a more realistic view of life in Sweet Lake. You'll have lots of cozy feelings as you work your way through this book.

I did find one minor issue. In chapter one you start out saying it's Autumn. A couple pages later it's summer.

I gave this one 4 cheers out of 5 because it's a terrific read. ~Copy of book provided by author and I voluntarily reviewed it.
Profile Image for Ailish Fitzgerald.
40 reviews2 followers
October 18, 2017
First off I want to thank Christine Nolfi for sending me a copy of Sweet Lake in exchange for a review which I was only too delighted to do. This is the first book I have read by Christine and it won't be my last!

This novel is set in a small town called Sweet Lake, in Ohio. Now while Christine introduces a whole cast of fantastic characters our main two characters are Linnie Mayfair and her friend Daniel Kettering who is the local Attorney.

Linnie runs the Mayfair Inn, which is a family business along with her two friends Jada and Cat. She has been trying to get the Inn back on track after her brother Freddie stole family funds and ran off to California to become a director. Now he is back ready to cause mayhem which he excels in and Linnie discovers some shocking news which will turn her life unexpectedly upside down. Family drama to follow!

Daniel who has been trying to get Linnie's attention for years finds himself stuck in the middle of the two siblings. But fear not the Sweet Lake Sirens, a group of fantastic eccentric women come up with a cunning plan but will it work?

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. There are so many themes to discuss in this story from friendship, love, loyalty, family and siblings. One of my favourite lines in the book is from Frances Dufour, one of the Sirens in a conversation with Linnie when she says "A sibling carries your history" This is very profound for Linnie.

The best news is this book is the start of a series - I can't wait for the next instalment!
Profile Image for Laurie.
880 reviews
April 6, 2017
A wonderful place to visit!
Sweet Lake sounds like just the perfect place. relaxing, calm and peaceful.
The owner and manager Linnie, has been working and keeping the family Inn from going down and has done a fabulous job through many years . She has given up her own happiness to continue with the family business.
Her brother Freddie also is half of the owner and definitely nothing like his sister. He has not cared about the Inn for years nor has he visited or helped.
Though the two have had many disputes- Linnie remembers the line "A sibling carries your history." that a dear friends has told her. Can they fix their relationship? Will Linnie ever find love and happiness at Sweet Lake?
This is a terrific story and I read it in 2 days .
131 reviews1 follower
January 1, 2019
I normally read mysteries and historical fiction. The book was interesting.
Profile Image for Vikki Vaught.
Author 11 books158 followers
July 4, 2017
My Musings

I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful romance. The characters are enchanting and I look forward to the next one in this series. Happy reading 📚!
Profile Image for Mommysmoose.
297 reviews2 followers
March 1, 2017
This book is beautifully written in typical Nolfi fashion. A great story, quirky characters and tons of suspense take you to the end and leave you wanting more. Linnie loves her Inn and the beautiful town of Sweet Lake. For years she has done everything in her power to bring the huge mansion inn back from the brink of disrepair. Battling her parents and long lost brother for control of her beloved inn isn't as easy as she hoped. But, with a legacy of only men running the inn, she has her work cut out for her. With two great friends and a group of quirky old ladies she is forced to take charge and find a solution that everyone will agree on. Finding and letting herself be loved is a bonus.

This book is wonderfully written. I loved the Sirens. They added humor and wisdom to the story. Christine has a way of bringing her characters to life. Whether it be the colorful Sirens or the loyal Daniel, her characters have a way of keeping you interested from the first page to the last. Twists and turns keep the story flowing until you can't put the book down and end up finishing it in one read. I loved this book and can't wait for the next installment.
Profile Image for Crystal Otto.
103 reviews11 followers
March 3, 2017
Do you like a little drama? Some suspense? Romance? Happy Endings? If like myself, you like nothing more than a Hallmark Movie Special, then Sweet Lake is the book for you. Grab yourself a cup of your favorite beverage, cuddle up in a comfortable chair, and be prepared to enjoy this well written, perfectly paced novel. I seriously could not put it down until I had devoured each and every page.

The characters were well-developed and believable. They reminded me of some of the peculiar characters in my own life. I would love to hop in my vehicle and take a little drive to Sweet Lake. It feels so real (like Stars Hallow and the Gilmore Girls).

Even the cover of the book drew me in. When I showed it to friends, they immediately asked if we would be doing it for our book club because just the title and the cover got them excited. Some books are just fabulous from cover to cover, and this book is one of those. An absolute 5 star read!
Profile Image for Jeanne Maliner.
93 reviews1 follower
March 2, 2017
I borrowed this book from the library. Imagine my surprise when I checked out my Ohio library and found a copy of this book days before it was published. I immediately put it on hold. Finding the author through events on Facebook, I read her Second Chance Grill and immediately fell in love with her writing. While most would classify this as a romance, it is also belongs in Womens' fiction. The story is isn't just a girl meets guy, girl falls in love with guy, something breaks them apart, and then they live happily ever after. It is a novel of growth, love, some mystery, romance, and the unusual circle of women that one loves immediately. One wants to live in the town. Walk the streets, visit the inn. Party with the Sirens. You must read to see what the sirens are and see if you will be as delighted by them as I was. It isn't a book to start at bedtime, because you won't want to put it down
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