On the Dock: A Tale of Grand Lake by Susan Vineyard

Posted January 27, 2015 by E.J. Roberts in Adult, Book Review, Romance / 0 Comments

3 star

Hadley found herself pulled from her grand life in Paris when she received news her mother had unexpectedly passed away. An accident had claimed her life and Hadley returned to Grand Lake, Oklahoma to claim her mother’s effects. Finding out she now owned her father’s old boat, she found herself stuck at Grand Lake a little longer than expected. The poor boat had been neglected and had to be repaired before she could sell it. Just as she arrived at the boat, she met Zane Bowman. He told her the dock manager had informed him the boat was to be put up for sale and had been hired him to refurbish it for her. At least, that’s the story he told Hadley.

Hadley had no idea why her mother had returned to Grand Lake. She’d taken herself and her young daughter to Paris years ago after divorcing a philandering husband. When her mother mentioned she was leaving Paris to return to Grand Lake, Hadley was caught up in a current jewelry show and gem buying expedition and didn’t quiz her mother as to why she had to make the trip. While getting the boat fixed up, Hadley decided now was the time to find out about why her mother ended up here and what really happened.

With help from new friends she made around the lake, she began to learn more about her mother and her past.

*My take on it*

This book started out slow. We’re introduced to a scared and lonely Hadley who’d just had her world rocked by the loss of her mother. Her father had passed years before, so she was now alone. She meets the very attractive Zane Bowman at the very beginning and isn’t too concerned about her attraction to him. She’d been brought up to believe love didn’t exist. Dalliances were a normal part of life for her. But the entire book couldn’t seem to make up its mind if it was a mystery or a romance until about halfway through. The first half of the book was consumed by Hadley trying to come to grips with how lonely she was now, hiding from any thought dealing with her mother, and fixing up the boat. Little snippets of information about her thoughts of her mother’s death would slip through now and then, but not enough for the reader to decide if it was a romance that might spring up between Hadley and Zane or if something shady happened to her mother that cut her life short. This book also slipped back and forth between Hadley’s and Zane’s point of view. Though his thoughts seemed to be as shady and confusing as Hadley’s.

About midway, the book seemed to hit its stride and really got moving. Hadley stayed in denial over a lot of things for a long time, and I’ll admit that bothered me. Then again, any female character who’s like that seems to get to me. It’s just a personal thing. I’ll admit I don’t know diddly about boats, and there was a lot of information about boats that went right over my head. Perhaps someone more comfortable with all of the terminology will take to the book easier. It wasn’t a horrible read by any means. I didn’t have any problems reaching the end, and trust me, I’ve been known to fling books across the room when they’re too aggravating. There is definitely a group of people who will enjoy this book, I’m just afraid it’s not me.

I do want to say that Susan did an amazing job portraying life around Grand Lake, Oklahoma. Her descriptions were also great and allowed you to see it with her.  Her descriptions of what it was like to go zipping across a large lake in a fast boat were right on. Her portrayal of it was exhilarating and well done.

*Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book for free for an honest and unbiased review.*


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