Book Review

Sunny Shelly’s Review: Learning at 40 by L.B. Dunbar

Welcome back to Lakeside Cottage!

A grumpy, newly divorced, single father meets a ray of sunshine in this small town, second-chance romance.

RELEASE DATE: September 16, 2021.


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She didn’t want a one-night stand. He couldn’t promise more than a ten-day fling. Sometimes compromise is all you need.

Zack Weller is timely, orderly, and meticulous. Too bad his seven-year-old, twin sons are hellions. With his divorce final, a two-week vacation beckons him to his best friend’s cottage. Unfortunately, he can’t help the magnetic pull of memories from the house next door—the one that was once his childhood home—or fight the force of nature in the naked woman sunbathing in that backyard.

River Nagle is a free spirit. She understands the trials and tribulations some people face and offers the compassion to deal with them head on. When she inherits a lakeside home, she takes the blessing for what it’s worth: a gift and a new beginning. Until one day two little boys make themselves at home in the tree fort in her backyard and she meets their hot, growly dad who steals her wine, her time, and her heart.

Newly divorced, single father grump meets a ray of sunshine, next-door neighbor in this small town, second chance romance where learning to love over 40 works with the right teacher.


What to Expect from Learning at 40

– Grumpy single dad

– Rambunctious twins

– Ray of sunshine, next-door neighbor

– Over 40 romance

– Second chance at love

– Lakeside shenanigans

Sunny Shelly’s Review: 5 Stars

Another absolutely charming story in LB Dunbar’s Lakeside Cottage series. In a sea of contemporary romance books featuring heroes and heroines in their 20s and 30s, I really appreciate her over-40 books.

In Learning at 40, we return to the lakeside cottage for Ben’s funeral. The remaining three points are trying to find their way through life without him, as are his widow Anna and teenage sons and sister. This book focuses on Zack, and his struggles to adapt to being a single dad of rambunctious twins as well as the death of his best friend. The night of Ben’s funeral, he swears he sees an angel in the yard next door — the house that was once his childhood home. Returning a few months later for the group’s two-week vacation, he again sees the free-spirited woman, but when he finally meets her, he and River definitely get off on the wrong foot.

But the chemistry! So much chemistry! But what do you do when he’s only there for two weeks and she’s not interested in one-night stand? By the time the two weeks are up, neither one of them can walk away — and Zack finds that the last thing he thought he wanted was exactly what he needed.

I loved how River brought out the best in Zack, and how well she handled the twins. She calmed his rough edges and soothed him when he got anxious.

Learning at 40 isn’t as much of an emotional rollercoaster as the first book was, simply because it doesn’t involve Ben’s illness. But this story still packs quite an emotional punch as Zack learns how to fall in love with River. He started off as so rude and grumpy and a dude with so many issues, but there is a really nice arc for his character as he falls hard and fast for the neighbor.

This book ends with an intriguing epilogue for Anna’s brother, Asher, who I figure will be the focus of the next book, but I really can’t wait for Mason’s story!

I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.

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