Moondust Lake

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 21 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

A beautiful book in an equally beautiful setting... Moondust Lake reminds me of a Hallmark movie. With a great message and themes throughout, this story reminds us to believe in ourselves no matter what and to do what we know is right despite what others feel. I loved this book.

***Thanks to Kensington for the ARC to review**
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This is book 3 in the Miramar Bay series. Buddy Helms leaves a job he loves and his family after trying for years to please his father.  The family business would have collapsed if not for him but Buddy's dad doesn't see it that way and constantly criticizes him.  Buddy meets Kimblerly and the two becomes friends as he starts counseling with his church pastor.  This is a story of redemption and learning there is more to life than business and money.  Not preachy or overbearing but a nice solid Christian background. Can be read as a stand alone. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Moondust Lake is the third installment from Davis Bunn's Miramar Bay series. I enjoyed the book and give it three and a half stars.
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Was very disappointed in this book. Sadly it wasn’t what we had hoped it would be from reading the description.  It just wasn’t for me
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Moondust Lake is a beautifully written inspirational romance.  I throughly enjoyed the plot and the author’s writing.  Will definitely be reading more of this author’s books.  I received an arc from Netgalley and this is my unbiased review.
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I didn't like this book as much as the first two in the series. I found the entire thing quite disjointed and never connected with any of the characters.
I appreciated the themes of forgiveness and needing to come to terms with what happens in the past in order to move forward to a positive future. Each of the characters completes this journey and it is meaningful. However, Jack is the antagonist and is portrayed as a villain, and most of his scenes don't even appear on the page, and those that are are just him blustering around trying to bully everyone. I just never got a true sense of him and why people would be bowing to his will, because his character was just not fleshed out at all. And his redemption again occurred off the page and didn't feel real or convincing.
The therapy sessions that many of the characters were experiencing were again, never incorporated into the story so we could see growth or change. It just all seemed to happen instantaneously. There were also a lot of privacy and ethical violations that seemed like they would never happen in real life, they were just put in as part of the drama.
And the conclusion--we were told that things were happening behind the scenes, Buddy was drawing everyone together and working out deals--yet this drama happened off the page and was never really revealed to the reader.
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Davis Bunn is a great author and I’ve read many of his books. I was looking forward to reading this one. This book was quite different than many of his that I’ve read.  It’s a well-written book, but it’s a very, very tense family drama overflowing with conflict.   Although I admire the author for writing such a realistic story, I can’t say that I enjoyed reading this one. I could not find a way to connect with these characters.  This book just wasn’t for me.  I did appreciate the fact that this book was clean and did not have any foul language.  Many other authors would have included that in this type of storyline.  

  I’m going to give this a four star rating, but it’s really more of a 3.5 for me.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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This book was very hard to get in to and not an easy book to read. Bullies are everywhere but when it comes to a family member being the bully, life is especially difficult. This is a heavy book to read and not to be taken lightly.
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Moondust Lake by Davis Bunn is an engaging novel of healing and love. Although this newest release is the third installment in the Miramar Bay series, it can be read as a standalone.

  Buddy Helms has finally worked up the courage to leave his family owned company. Patriarch Jack Helms runs the company yet he refuses to acknowledge his son’s accomplishments. At the same time that Buddy is moving on, his mother Beth makes the shocking decision to leave his father.  Beth is hoping her departure will convince Jack to take her seriously when she asks him to go to therapy with her. Beth also implores Jack and his sister Carey to get counseling to help them work through the damage Jack has done to them.  Buddy complies with her request since he is already taking steps to regain control of his life. His sessions with Preston Sturgiss force him to reflect on what he wants for the future. Buddy also encourages Carey to discuss her problems with counselor Kimberly.  Will Buddy finally disentangle himself from his dysfunctional relationship with his father? Can Beth convince Jack to confront the demons from his past? And will Buddy and Kimberly act on their unexpected attraction?

  Buddy is a caring and compassionate man who finally realizes it is futile to continue his attempts to receive validation and appreciation for his hard work.  With a couple of serious job options on the table, he is uncertain which he will chose and he remains concerned about what will happen to his team who worked with him at his father’s company. Buddy is also in the midst of an identity crisis since he has always lived under his father’s shadow. He is completely open and honest in his therapy sessions and his exercises with Preston provide him with valuable insight about himself. A quick retreat to Moondust Lake  provides him the opportunity for reflection but will the peace he finds continue once Buddy returns home?

  The characters are interesting and well-drawn with relatable strengths and flaws. Jack is a particularly nasty man and since he is portrayed at his worst, it is difficult to understand why Beth has stayed with him for so long. Although Kimberly is a counselor, she has yet to recover from her divorce a few years prior. The romance between Kimberly and Buddy is rushed and has an insta-love feel since they are only together for about a week.  It is also notable that Buddy and Carey are receptive to therapy but the speed in which they resolve their issues is unrealistic.

  Moondust Lake is a lovely story of reconciliation, family and love. The storyline is interesting and it is easy to relate to the issues the various characters are working to overcome. Old and new fans are sure to enjoy this heartwarming addition to Davis Bunn’s Miramar Bay series.
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Buddy Helms has finally decided to seek help in dealing with his demons- most of which relate to his difficult relationship with his father.  Jack Helms is more than a difficult man and his actions and words have laid waste to his relationships not only with Buddy but also with his wife Beth and daughter Carey.  Kimberly Sturgis is the therapist who helps Buddy and his mom to unwrap their issues and move into the light.   It's not really the third in a series but rather the third in a group of books which are loosely connected by setting (although here the setting is Moondust Lake, which is adjacent to Miramar Bay, famed for second chances.)  Thanks to Netgalley for the arc.  This is a thoughtful novel.
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This is quite different from other Davis Bunn books - & I have read a lot of them....                                        
For me it was quite difficult to get ‘in’ to the story, but as it progressed I became more & more gripped.       
Most people have encountered a bully at some stage, whether it be within the family, at school, at work – but hopefully not to the degree of this one. A lot of us have also experienced some form of counselling, so one way or another there is much in this book for readers to identify with. We can be left feeling we have been through a profound therapy session, ourselves!                                                                                              
An increasingly harrowing account draws us in to the very depths - & yet there are characters who retain their deep sense of peace throughout. It actually came as a shock to realise the book had ended, but then maybe that was how the protagonists felt as well...                                                                                      
 Don’t pick this up expecting a light read, but rather allow time to explore the depths it will bring to light. It is not a book which skims along the surface of a story, instead it will make you think - & maybe choose a different path yourself.
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Davis Bunn’s third installment in the Miramar Bay novels is a story of family struggle, redemption, and tragic consequences. It has all the marks of a great romantic novel woven in the setting of family secrets, business intrigue, and the struggle of small-town politics. In typical Bunn fashion, the characters are richly developed. The settings impeccably detailed in word pictures. There are enough twists to keep the plot interesting without leaving the reader in the dark as to what just happened.
If you grew up in a small town you will immediately identify with the characters of the Helms family. What they do for a living might be different, but you’ll recognize the power of small-town life at play. The problems that plague the family are familiar to most families. How can you develop your own life apart from the power family leader? What happens when you dare challenge that person’s authority? Can the family peacemaker keep them all together?
The issue of the place of mental health counseling in the life of people of faith is also a central theme in the book. What would happen if a church devoted some of their resources to providing quality counseling to the members of their congregation and community. Would the secrets be set free on the town or would the people be set free from the secrets that have kept them bound up? Bunn does a great job of weaving the two in a very believable situation.
Fans of Davis Bunn will not be disappointed in the latest edition of the Miramar Bay novels. If you haven’t read his works yet, I would highly recommend this book. You don’t need to have read the previous two works Miramar Bay or Firefly Cove to enjoy Moondust Lake. The stories are set in the same general area but the characters and the stories are distinct. All of them highlight the urban legend stated in the book that Miramar Bay is a town of second chances. If you believe that everyone deserves a second chance you will really enjoy the series.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys good fiction. I don’t think you will be disappointed in this relaxing read.

I was provided a free copy of this book for review by the publisher.
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Wow! This is some novel filled with great writing and a tense storyline. It has a family teetering toward total and utter destruction. There is a son intent on capturing his demons and put things right. There is the wife and mother trying desperately to find what remains of the love her husband once held for his family.  It is a rugged journey for every character to find peace.
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I chose to read this book because I have been a fan of the author for years. But I forgot that the author is so versatile, and this book wasn’t as interesting to me. I prefer his thrillers and adventures which teach spiritual values more than the stories like this. That said, it was very well written with excellent character development, and I was able to follow easily despite the fact that I hadn’t read earlier books in the series.
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This is a well written book that will hold your attention. It deals with problems of real life and is not a relaxing read. Thank you Kinsington Books via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. This is my honest opinion.
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I enjoyed MOONDUST LAKE, the third book in the Miramar Bay series, though the connection to the series is tenuous at best (readers get a brief scene at Castaways in Miramar Bay). Also tenuous at best is the title of the book, a location where a couple scenes in the book took place, but those scenes could have taken place anywhere.

And then there's the speed that events happened. The Helms family, minus father and oldest daughter, enter therapy and a week later the source of the need for therapy is resolved for the most part?

So, if I found so many things to "complain" about, why am I giving this book 5 stars?

1. The story itself, ignoring the speed of the events taking place, is excellent. The story features Buddy Helms and Kimberly Sturgiss as the main protagonists, but it is just as much the story of Buddy's parents, Jack and Beth, and his sister Carey. Readers will care about the characters and want to continue reading to find out what happens next.

2. The book has a cinematic quality to it. I had no problem visualizing the action or getting caught up in the drama. With a little tweaking to make Jack's story more of the focus, I could see MOONDUST LAKE as a movie and would definitely watch it.

3. It's by Davis Bunn, one of my favorite authors. While he's just now entering the mainstream contemporary fiction market, Bunn is a master of creating characters the reader will care about, regardless of the genre. The fact that the majority of his output has been for the Christian market also means he knows how to write without the need for profanity while still dealing with current issues or topics of interest.

Highly recommended!

(Readers should be aware that there is another Kindle edition of MOONDUST LAKE on Goodreads that has a different book description.)

I received a copy of the book from Kensington through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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This is the third book in what I would call a loose series (the books are linked, but not strongly).  You do not need to have read Miramar Bay or Firefly Cove first.  I liked this book the best of the three.  To me it has a different flavor than the first two, which each had some elements of almost fantasy in them.  This is full of the nitty-gritty of life.

It took me well into the second chapter before I got the various characters and their relationships straight in my mind.  Then the action ramped up, and it was hard to put the book down.   It's not an easy or relaxing book to read.  However, there are some good, deep truths in it that may help a reader face his/her own past and come through to a beginning of healing.

This is not an overtly Christian book.  However, it is built on a foundation of spiritual truth that Christians will easily recognize.

I think one reason I enjoyed this book is that it's set along the central California coast, which is where I live.  However, you don't need to be familiar with the locale to enjoy the book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kensington Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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