Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.
But memories in small towns are bitter and long.
Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets. – Goodreads.com
If I knew nothing about this book, I’d want to read it based on the cover alone – isn’t it the perfect picture of tranquility? But don’t be misled because, as it also says on the cover, ‘Small towns hold the darkest secrets.’ And that is so true of the town of Eclipse Lake.
Mae Clair captures the atmosphere of small towns so well – the gossip, reputations that are never forgotten, nosy neighbors, etc. But she also creates characters that lure you into that small town, asking you to stay awhile and learn their hidden secrets and scandals. And that’s why I found it so difficult to put this book down.
Most people who read this will be charmed by the romance between Dane and Ellie – and I was, but the relationship that wormed its way into my heart was between Dane and his son, Jesse. I loved how they were so protective of each other and the way Jesse’s respect for his father grew even more (eventually) upon learning about his past. As an animal lover, Koya also stole my heart.
When the mystery is revealed – I sure didn’t see that one coming. Thought I had it figured out all along – wrong!
Well-paced, both captivating and unlikable characters, clashing family dynamics – Eclipse Lake offers mystery and suspense as well as a good redemption story.