Sunday, August 17, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Butternut Summer (The Butternut Lake Trilogy #2) by Mary McNear

Series: The Butternut Lake Trilogy #1

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Butternut Summer: A Novel
Series: The Butternut Lake Trilogy #2

Series: The Butternut Lake Trilogy #2
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 8/12/14
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5

GoodReads  |  Amazon  |  BN


Return to the golden beauty of Minnesota’s Butternut Lake in this emotional story that vividly captures the joy and pain of first love, as a mother and daughter each come to terms with the desires of her heart.

Summer at Butternut Lake—a season full of surprises . . . and life-changing choices.

Preparing for her final year of college, Daisy is crazy busy now that she’s back at Butternut Lake. She’s helping her mother, Caroline, run their coffee shop and trying to build a relationship with the absentee father who’s suddenly reappeared. She never expected to fall in love with Will, the bad-boy from high school who works at the local garage. With every passing day she and Will grow closer to each other . . . and closer to the day they will have to say goodbye. As summer’s end looms, Will and Daisy face heartbreaking choices that might tear them apart.

Caroline already has her hands full trying to make ends meet at the coffee shop without having her no-good ex suddenly show up. Now that Jack is back, he’s determined to reconnect with the family he walked out on twenty years ago. But with the bank pounding on her door and Jack’s presence reminding her of the passion they once shared, Caroline’s resolve begins to crumble. As Daisy’s departure looms and her financial worries grow, Caroline just may discover the support she needs . . . in the last place she ever imagined.

My Review
I am such a fan of Mary McNear's Butternut Lake Trilogy.
Book one, Up at Butternut Lake, was a big, rich story, focusing mostly on Allie and Walker, both reluctant to take another chance on love. Allie had great support in her friends Caroline and Jax. Knowing Caroline was getting her own book made me so happy. The fact her daughter Daisy was to be heavily featured made it all the more appealing. Butternut Summer is a romance two-fer. I'm not sure if I've read a novel with both a mother and daughter falling in love, but as long as it's not my family, I'm cool with it.
In book one, we learn that Caroline's husband Jack left her twenty years before, when their daughter Daisy was only a toddler. The marriage was not a happy one, and though it left her lonely and reluctant, Caroline has been happy raising Daisy and running her family-owned cafe. Knowing Jack left, and knowing how he acted before he left, drinking, gambling, womanizing, it seems pretty obvious that Jack was an awful man and doesn't deserve his family back. When Jack shows back up in Butternut Lake, Caroline is obviously skeptical, as was I. With Jack's point-of-view being featured as well, we get a good feel for his character now, his sorrow at all he lost, and his determination moving forward. It helps that Jack never excuses his past behavior, but simply offers his reasons. This gives us the ultimate second chance romance. I loved it.
Now for Daisy. Here's where the story gets even more interesting. Daisy Keegan is falling in love for the first time. Will is not the kind of guy Daisy imagined being with, and he's her mother's biggest fear. Will had a troubled childhood and wasn't much better as a teen. He's drifting, a bit of a womanizer. He has no direction, until Daisy. Caroline looks at Will and sees a young Jack, Daisy looks at Will and sees the man she loves. I really liked that the author could make Will a sort of bad boy, but he wasn't sleazy or gross. He just didn't know how to be the right kind of guy for Daisy, had never been challenged before. But what Daisy knows and Caroline doesn't realize is, Will is not Jack. He is willing to do whatever it takes to be a man worth Daisy's love. Even if it's the hardest thing they'll ever face.
I loved that we get this multi-generation, parallel-ish storyline between mother and daughter. Caroline, being a single parent for so many years, was overbearing and too pushy when it came to Daisy, but I got why she acted the way she did. Given that Jack had abandoned his young family, he stepped into their lives with respect and even helped bridge the gaps between mother and daughter. Daisy and Will were simply a young couple falling in love, trying to do everything the right way, to build a relationship and eventually a life. I just reveled in all of the emotions present in Butternut Summer.
The ending of Butternut Summer was...quite different. It was open-ended, but had a settled feeling as well. I got a sense that one couple had firmly begun down their path towards forever, and that the other couple was just beginning on the right path. Though it wasn't wrapped up perfectly tight, I liked that the author gives the reader a push in the right direction. The feeling was unique.
Butternut Summer was a beautiful addition to the Butternut Lake Trilogy.

Favorite Quote
 "Are you in the habit, Daisy, of finding the world more interesting than it actually is?"
 "But the world is interesting, Will," she said seriously."Don't you think so?"
 "I think you're interesting,"he said. And, all at once, he realized he was exhausted. Talking, it turned out, took a lot of energy, and he and Daisy had just talked more in one evening than he and Christy had probably talked in the last six months.
  So instead,he anchored his beer bottle in the sand beside him and did something he'd wanted to do since he'd first seen her again at the garage four days ago. He kissed her. 
  "What?" he said, look at her warily.
  "Jack, I've asked you before not to smile that smile at me."
  "You've asked me that. But I have no idea what you're talking about."
  "You know exactly what I'm talking about."
  "So I can't smile at you?"
  "No, you can smile at me. You just can't smile that smile at me, that slow smile when you..." When you want something. Or someone.
  "Okay, no slow smile," he said, his expression playful.

The Butternut Lake Trilogy
Up at Butternut Lake (The Butternut Lake Trilogy, #1)   Butternut Summer: A Novel
(covers lead to GoodReads page)

I have an extra copy of Butternut Summer to give away. Must be 18+ years of age to enter; open to US only.

About Mary McNear
Mary McNearMary McNear is the author of the Butternut Lake series published by HarperCollins. The first book in the series, Up at Butternut Lake, is now available.

Mary McNear lives in San Francisco with her husband, two teenage children, and a high-strung minuscule white dog named Macaroon. She writes her novels at a local doughnut shop, where she sips Diet Pepsi, observes the hubbub of neighborhood life, and tries to resist the constant temptation of freshly made doughnuts. She bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the northern Midwest.

 photo AndreaSig_zps3f75055b.jpg


  1. I'm so happy that Caroline got her own book as she sounds like a really interesting character. Also this story seems really good and I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Great review, Andrea :)

  2. Sounds wonderful!! Love your review. I really enjoyed the first book and I definitely want to read this one!

  3. That's really interesting that you get both the mom and the daughter's relationship. While both romances sound lovely, I think I would like Jack and Caroline's story more because it's a second chance romance and Jack seems like a complex character.
    I'm glad this was as great a book for you as the first one, Andrea. :)
    Lovely review!

  4. Aw the reluctants for being in love are so sweet to watch fight it and then give in

  5. This sounds really original and I like the concept of the mother and daughter relationship parallels. Great review!

  6. First off I love the cover art! It's so relaxing yo look at.

    I love themes like this, mother daughter and similar stuff and all. I find it romantic LOL

  7. I'm a sucker for 2nd chance romance but I don't discriminate :)

  8. First chance romance!

  9. Aw, this sounds really sweet! Actually, I think I'd like to spend some time at Butternut Lake, hanging out on the dock with my honey... *dreams*

  10. This sounds multidimensional dude! I love second chances and first loves. There's something independently special about the two tropes. Great review.

  11. I'm really excited for this one, Andrea! I know that Jack is supposed to be a womanizing jerk from reading the first book. I think he cheated, right? Anyhow, I'm still hoping for things to work out because they got married young and people can behave so stupidly when they're young. Doing things they don't mean, misunderstanding because of inexperience, so I hope he removed his head from his ass and they worked things out. I'm sort of hoping Daisy's romance is the one that's left in the air rather than Jack and Caroline, because J & C have had enough years of turmoil and they need their HEA. I'll have to message you about this one. Lovely review and thanks for the giveaway! :)

  12. To answer your question, I think second chance romance is a little more satisfying. There's a history! :)

  13. I like both but first time love is my favorite. Thank you

  14. I like both, but my preference is the first time love. You never forget about. That memory stays with you forever!!!!

  15. I would say a second chance romance.

  16. I prefer first time love. This book sounds wonderful. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  17. Lovely review, Andrea. This story sounds so endearing and I like that it's a two-fer. :) I think, probably because of my age, I prefer second chance romances best. :)

  18. That's a hard question! I would say I prefer second chance love under the right circumstances ;)

  19. Love is love. I'll take it in either form. lol

  20. Love both!

    I really like the idea of mother daughter parallel!

  21. How have I not heard of this series, or maybe I have and just forgot. Great review and it sounds awesome. Adding it to my list now.


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