BLACKBIRD LAKE – Jill Gregory
A Lonesome Way Novel , Book 3
Today in Lonesome Way, Montana
Carly McKinnon's early life in Boston was difficult, but it actually took a turn for the better when she went into foster care at age ten. She really lucked out when she was taken in by Annie, who loved her and gave her the confidence in herself to become a successful career woman. But then life knocked her down again when the man she loved turned out to be a cheat and a liar. In a rash moment on a business trip to Texas, she had a one-night stand—something most unlike her—with Jake Tanner, champion rodeo bull rider on the road. It was supposed to be just a quick fling to try to erase the memories of her ex, and Jake made it perfectly clear that he was not into changing his happy, free of commitment life on the road. When Carly realized she was pregnant in spite of precautions, she decided to move to Lonesome Way, Montana, where she had spent some of the happiest days of her childhood when she and Annie visited Annie's cousin Martha. With Annie gone, Lonesome Way was the place Carly wanted to raise her child. She almost told Jake about Emma, but with his attitude against settling down, his reputation as a love ‘em and leave ‘em man, and his rare visits home, she thought it best that he never got the chance to break Emma's heart.
Now, over two years later, Carly and her daughter Emma have become welcome additions to the community. Carly owns and runs a knit shop in town. Martha is like a grandmother to Emma, and some of Carly's best friends are members of the Tanner family, though they don't know that Emma is Jake's. Jake rarely comes home and probably won't remember her if he does should they happen to meet…she hopes. She managed to avoid him when he came to his brother's wedding, but now he may come again for one of his niece's birthday party that they have both been invited to.
Jake is not the uncaring man he appears to be; a hurtful incident in his past makes him wary of anyone depending on him. He loves his family and has plans to put his prize and endorsement money to good use. When the inevitable happens and he discovers Carly's secret, he's determined to be a major part of his daughter's life, whether Carly likes it or not.
The main focus of BLACKBIRD LAKE might seem to be on Carly and Jake, but Lonesome Way itself and many of its citizens are featured also. It's a happy place full of kindly, endearing, and often quirky characters, as might be sensed in the names of some of the businesses—the Lickety Split Ice Cream Parlor, for one example. And for the most part, BLACKBIRD LAKE is a light, easy read about likable people living decent lives, looking for love and sometimes finding it, but there is a menace lurking in the shadows that adds touches of suspense. BLACKBIRD LAKE continues the tale of the Tanner family (Jake has two brothers and a sister) and others; it began with SAGE CREEK and LARKSPUR ROAD.
Mix up a batter with love, passion, children and dogs, and you have a confection worthy of the Bun in the Oven Bakery in Lonesome Way.