Moonlight On Butternut Lake
The Butternut Lake Trilogy, Book #3
By Mary McNear
Author’s website: https://www.facebook.com/MaryMcNearAuthor
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jerjen
From the author of the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Up at Butternut Lake comes the third novel in the Butternut Lake series—a dazzling story of two wounded souls seizing a second chance at life and love
Mila Jones, fleeing a dark past, leaves Minneapolis for the safety and serenity of Butternut Lake. Ready to forge a new life, Mila’s position as home health aide to Reid Ford is more than a job. It’s a chance at a fresh start. Though her sullen patient seems determined to make her quit, she refuses to give up on him.
Haunted by the car accident that nearly killed him, Reid retreats to his brother’s cabin on Butternut Lake and lashes out at anyone who tries to help. Reid wishes Mila would just go away. . .until he notices the strength, and the secrets, behind her sad, brown eyes.
Against all odds, Mila slowly draws Reid out. Soon they form a tentative, yet increasingly deeper, bond as Mila lowers her guard and begins to trust again, and Reid learns how to let this woman who has managed to crack through his protective shell into his life. While the seemingly endless days of summer unfold, Reid and Mila take the first steps to healing as they discover love can be more than just a dream.
Mila is running away from an abusive relationship. She has tried unsuccessfully to leave her husband, Brandon, but he found her and brought her back. This time, when she leaves, she has no plans to be found and does everything she can to make sure that does not happen. This time she has a plan, a job and a place to stay, far away from Brandon. She has taken a job as a home health aide for the summer and she will do whatever it takes to keep the job. Even if it means putting up with her patient, Reid, who has been in a serious car accident. He has already caused two other aids to leave, due to his disposition. Mila cannot be number three, she has to stick it out, no matter how mean and nasty Reid is.
The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional. Mila has not had an easy life, growing up with a mother who does not have any time for her. Although she does not have the most loving and attentive mother, she does have two women who encourage her and help shape her life. She befriends a school nurse, Heather, while in grade school and they become close and form a lasting friendship. She is part of the reason that Mila has always wanted to become a nurse. And she meets Gloria Thompson when she is making plans to run away. Mrs. Thompson runs an employment agency and after spending time with Mila, she realizes that Mila is an abused woman. Having been abused herself, she has a soft spot for Mila and does what she can to help Mila leave Brandon.
Reid is a very unhappy person when he meets Mila. He sits in his room, in the dark, not wanting to socialize with anyone. When he meets Mila, he suspects that she has secrets that she wants to keep hidden. He can tell that she is afraid, by the way she cringes when a car pulls into the driveway and by the way she is always scanning her surroundings, as though she is looking for someone. But he also realizes that she is tough and strong. She does not back down from him and does her best to get him back into the land of the living. The more time they spend together, the more they both begin to respect and like each other. Soon the feelings develop into more than just friendship and respect, but Mila knows that she can have no future with Reid because she is still a married woman. And Brandon will never let her go.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The author takes a very serious social issue, that of marital abuse, and explores it sensitively and realistically. I could feel Mila’s fear and hopelessness while I was reading this book. The author is also very talented in creating tension and suspense with the written word. I kept wondering and worrying if Brandon would find Mila and what would happen if he did.
Sometimes you find a book that just clicks and you cannot read it fast enough. That is what happened for me while reading Moonlight On Butternut Lake. I enjoyed everything about this book and I cannot wait to read more of Mary McNear’s books. I am definitely a fan of her work. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well written women’s contemporary fiction. Check it out, I do not think you will be disappointed.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*