The Story: Unmarried. That is the one fact that the still single (at 22 years of age!) Emily Graham is unable to escape. Her grandmother and aunts seem to remind her daily of her marital status – and they make sure she doesn’t forget that if she cannot find a husband this summer, she will be past her prime. An independent woman who is active in the suffrage movement, Emily is not opposed to marriage – in fact she dreams of having a husband and someday, a family. A bit of a klutz who thinks her looks are nothing to turn heads, Emily is not about to give in to her aunt’s idea of a suitor – a man more suited to being her father than a lover.
Carter Stockton is back again on Lake Manawa. Defying his father and brother’s hopes for him to enter the family business, Carter is instead playing for the Manawa Owls – the local baseball team. Passionate about the game, Carter finds himself in a whole lot of trouble when he comes face-to-face with Emily again. The younger sister of his former schoolmate, Carter cannot afford to get entangled in Emily’s adventures this summer… but he finds himself becoming more and more attached to her until he craves spending his days with the loveable girl who is always a blunder-waiting-to-happen. Will their family’s feuding – and Emily’s suffrage work keep the two apart?
Review: Until this series came along I knew nothing of this name – which only makes since considering this was her debut fiction series. Lorna Seilstad has a great way of catching (get it?) us up in the story and a phenomenal talent in keeping us laughing-out-loud (I bet you that you cannot keep a straight face in the events of chapter eight). Before even two paragraphs into this work of fiction, I was already swept up into Emily’s cute antics. Writing these, Lorna developed her own way of putting words together that weaves together blocks of memorable banter between characters. Having said that, while I do love that all of the main characters are so involved in each other’s stories, I must confess this story was lacking in comparison to Making Waves. When I read book one, I was impressed by her ability to write such an enchanting start to what promised to be a grand series that would take us on a bubbly adventure. The cover art sparkled with potential and the synopsis reads like the perfect summer escape. Unfortunately, a great deal (perhaps too much) of Emily’s story mirrors that first book far too much to be thought of with much individually. In fact, were it not for different names, there were moments when I felt like I was still reading Making Waves.
Regardless, this is a great fun to read. Emily’s clumsy nature will resonate in each of us – or I’d bet it does and the book reads like a great choice to take along on a summer day at the beach. It is of that genre that makes it an easy read while there is some mystery to the plot when Carter uncovers missing funds. There is conflict in our leading couple’s lives and Emily is as stubborn a heroine as they come. Then there are Emily’s bossy (or nosey) elderly aunts and grandmother.
In Summary: Seilstad’s “Lake Manawa” series is perfect summer-time reading. It is happy-go-lucky and features characters that make an impression.