The First Love; Lake Bittersweet #1
(A standalone within a series)
Publication Date: April 26, 2022
Genre/Tropes: Second Chance/Small Town/Contemporary Romance
Author: Jennifer Bernard
Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars
Every book Jennifer Bernard writes contains a beautiful love story, from beginning to end. What she also adds is an intriguing plot, a wealth of friendships, and sprinkled throughout her small towns she brings a closeness that makes me treasure where I live and where I come from. But most importantly Bernard centers at the heart of every story, wonderful characters that fall head over heels in love.
Each and every element I listed above is contained in The First Love, a new series about a small town located in Minnesota. All new characters, although for fans of her books you might catch a few favorites showing their faces, who center around a summer camp and the friendships made from those nostalgic moments in time. This is a story about the love made and lost, and the experiences they’ve had during those teenage summer-best years- time of their lives/growing pains kind of moments.
The First Love encompasses a lot of ground, since it also peeks at several secondary characters, but that’s to be expected as this is the first book. Thomas and Carly start off this series with a second chance at love, winding us through the present and past in this unique telling of bittersweet moments.
These two had a lovely teen age romance, but it only lasted one glorious summer. Broken hearts left them with years apart, but now they have nothing but distance between them. When Carly loses her father she finally returns to the small town where she first fell in love and to the place where Thomas ripped her dreams to shreds. He’s now the town fire marshall and even though he’s in charge of keeping the town safe from flames, there is a ton that spark up between these two.
I’m really looking forward to where this series is headed as more couples find their happily ever afters. Bernard always brings the emotion and captives me with all the intriguing plot. This series is looking to be fantastic.
Who could ever forget that last summer in Lake Bittersweet…
It’s been seventeen years since Carly stepped foot in the sleepy lakeside community where she experienced her first love…and her first heartbreak. Since then, she’s struggled with her confidence, which is why she’s shocked that her father, rock legend Steven Gault, chose her as the executor of his will. Besides dealing with his shut-down music club and mountain of bills, did he have a reason to lure her back to Lake Bittersweet…like facing the boy who shattered her heart?
Carly Gault. The girl who got away. The girl he gave away. The moment he sees her, Fire Chief Thomas Cooper is hurled back in time to the summer that changed his life. He made the choice to put his family first, but Thomas has never forgotten the passionate, loving girl with the smoky-green gaze. She’s more beautiful than ever—but since that summer, his family has expanded in a way Carly may never, ever understand.
As long-ago secrets come to light, passion reignites between Carly and Thomas. But will one last shocker make it all go up in smoke like the last summer bonfire?