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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Learning at 40 (Lakeside Cottage #2) by L.B. Dunbar

A Review by Wendy
 4.5 Love This Series Stars
* * * * 1/2  

Spoiler Free

L.B. Dunbar has become a favorite author of mine. I appreciate the way she is able to write flawed people and give them the ability to try to see where they have made mistakes in the past, and then work to become whatever way that may need to be. We are there watching, hoping, sometimes annoyed, but always thrilled when they see the light and figure things out.

In Learning At 40, Zack Weller is going through the biggest challenge he has ever faced.
He is newly divorced, has twin sons he knows he has not connected with and is at a loss as to how to let them know he loves them. The boys were the surprise result of a one-night stand between two attorneys during a seminar. When Zack was informed about the pregnancy, he was not going to abandon his babies and married into a loveless marriage.

After seven years of being focused on work, with a wife who had affairs, Zack finally took the correct action. He is protective of the kids yet has a difficult time managing them. The good news is he is at Lakeside Cottage for the new tradition of staying with his best friends for a couple of weeks.

These friends have been a family providing each other the support and unconditional love families do. All of these people are mourning the loss of one of their own and it is touching how connected they are.

River Nagle moved into the house next door to Zack's friends' house last year. She never expected to have a home like this but it was willed to her and she found herself there. This is a woman who has lived with pain and suffering daily as an oncology nurse. She came from city life, working at a hospital focused on adults who were fighting cancer. After losing a patient who touched her heart, reminding her of her beloved grandfather, she transferred to children's care.

This new "old home" has land that allows privacy and is perfect for River as she is a free spirit of sorts. She loves to sunbathe au natural and has no worries about coming out at night and enjoying the night on her lounge anyway she wants.

Zack is up in his room which looks out on River's yard and sees more than River ever expected someone would. Zack is so taken by this woman, so moved he cannot think of anything else...she is like an angel in the moonlight.

Things take a real turn for Zack when his boys discover how to get to River's yard and climb up an old treehouse that is there. Zack freaks for a number of reasons and is rude in his way of interacting with River. This is not a great first impression and shows all the flaws he has to River.

Knowing he messed up, later that night Zack comes to River's yard while she is there. Zack is clumsy yet so direct in his attraction to this woman. Both know there is something there but how they want to go about it is the challenge. River is not a fling woman, Zack only has 10 days for this coupling.

Oh, there is so much to this book. Real-life lessons are addressed; accusations of deceit, learning who you are, and learning to let go of pain from the past. Those are the heavy stuff...

But Oh, the loving stuff is so good. These two are perfect together. Grownups having grown-up sex and loving every moment of it. It is emotional, sexy, dirty, pushy, and fun.

I loved River, she was a strong amazing woman who deserved a partner who was equal to her. Zack didn't start out that way but as he grew and discovered how to be a better man through his time with River...He became that partner she deserved.

Ms. Dunbar creates characters who are not perfect but feel real. More entries are coming and I will be front and center for all of them. 

 Arc provided in exchange for an honest review

L.B. Dunbar has an over-active imagination. To her benefit, such creativity has led to over thirty romance novels, including those offering a second chance at love over 40. Her signature works include the #sexysilverfoxes collection of mature males and feisty vixens ready for romance in their prime years. She’s also written stories of small-town romance (Heart Collection), rock star mayhem (The Legendary Rock Stars Series), and a twist on intrigue and redemption (Redemption Island Duet). She’s had several alter egos including elda lore, a writer of romantic magical realism through mythological retellings (Modern Descendants). In another life, she wanted to be an anthropologist and journalist. Instead, she was a middle school language arts teacher. The greatest story in her life is with the one and only, and their four grown children.


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