Title: At the Lake
Author: Geoff Laughton
Series: By the Lake
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Length: Novel (190 pages)
Publisher: Harmony Ink (February 26th 2015)
Heat Level: Mild
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: Shane Martinelli and William Houghton come from very different backgrounds. They meet at a high-end summer camp in the Adirondacks, where Shane works as a lifeguard to earn some money and begin saving for college. William is one of the guests, and he doesn’t want to be there. As far as William knows, his father only dumped him at the camp so he could spend time with his latest mistress. When Shane figures out William can’t swim, he offers to teach him. William enthusiastically responds, but when an unexpected storm blows in, William is caught in the water and Shane comes to his rescue. They barely reach shore before lightning strikes the dock—close enough to damage Shane’s hearing.
The following summer both boys return to the camp. Shane doesn’t let his use of hearing aids stand in his way. William is now a counselor-in-training. The attraction between them is undeniable, but how can they possibly make it work? Once camp is over, a week at William’s family home in the Hamptons will determine if the love that bloomed at the lake can survive in the real world.
Review: Shane Martinelli works as a counselor and life guard at the Summer Camp at the lake to save money for college, and because he loves to swim and working here also affords him time to hone his skills. When he first meets William he is shy and reserved, scared of the water. But over time Shane breaks down the walls William hides behind, befriends him and teaches him how not to be afraid of the water.
Perhaps he taught William too well, because in the water is where Shane finds him as a bad storm approaches. Shane manages to get William out of the water, but when lightning strikes the dock and Shane wraps William up in his arms to protect him, so he bears the brunt of the damage and loses partial hearing.
In the aftermath of the storm and Shane’s hearing loss, Williams’s father helps Shane and his family with the doctor’s bills and such. Call it penitence for having left William alone for his job so much, or call it a thank you to Shane for saving his son, perhaps a little bit of both. When summer rolls around again, Shane and William are back at camp, but everything is different now.
First off, William is not the shy, awkward, skinny little kid Shane met last summer. He has grown both mentally and physically and is more certain of himself now, more certain of what he wants. And what William wants is Shane.
While there are a lot of similarities between the two summers… they swim, make new friends, bond on the dock by the water under the stars. There are a lot of differences as well. Both William and Shane are growing from boys to men and their feelings for each other are growing stronger every day.
Their first kiss doesn’t go off without a hitch, but once they decide how they feel about each other is okay there are more stolen moments, more kisses and passionate night they share in a tent during a storm will set the stage for their relationship from that point on.
Definitely an age appropriate storyline, but the story is still well written, the character development is slow, steady and believable and the relationship between Shane and William is equal parts awkward and strong. I liked the aspect of the story whereas Shane and William were confused and how they hit a few road blocks along the way, but through communication and a lot of effort, they managed to find a solution and a way to be together.
I don’t think I would have enjoyed this story as much if there hadn’t been that little bit of angst, the uncertainty of where the relationship would go after that first kiss, that first disagreement, that first moment of pure intimacy.
This book was a breath of fresh air for me from start to finish and actually took me back to my own teenage years at summer camp. I do love when a story can transport me back in time. Make me think of how my life could relate to the characters. This is a must read for my fellow sappy, hopeless romantics!
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *