Devil's Lake: Bittersweet Hollow Book 1 : Bittersweet Hollow

  • by Aaron Paul Lazar
  • Narrated by Gwendolyn Druyor
  • Series: Bittersweet Hollow
  • 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

After two years of brutal captivity, Portia Lamont has escaped and returned to her family's Vermont horse farm - only to find her parents gone to New York to try an experimental treatment for her mother's cancer, and her childhood friend Boone Hawke running the farm. The man Boone has become frightens her to near paralysis, but she's too traumatized and physically devastated to put up a fight.
Like the rest of her family, Boone has never given up hope that Portia would return. But when she turns up battered, skinny as a 12-year-old boy, afraid of everything and unable to talk about what happened, he does the only thing he can - try to help her heal. He summons the town doctor and Portia's parents, and sets out to put this beautiful, broken woman back together again.
Through her family's love and Boone's gentle affection, Portia gradually comes back to herself, and starts to fall for her old friend in a whole new way. But one thing threatens her fragile hopes for recovery: The man who took her promised that if she ever escaped, he'd kill her. Slowly. And someone is definitely watching her...waiting to make a deadly move.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An Emotional Rollercoaster Ride!

Devil’s Lake by Aaron Lazar was a sobering intense story of what is sadly too real! This book will hit a lot of emotions as a reader that will have your heart pumping for the danger and for the tender parts of closeness. This review is based on the audio version of the book narrated by Gwendolyn Dryer. She had me at the edge of what is next feeling! Since this book was dedicated to the young ladies that were kidnapped in Ohio. It lends that is the primary topic of this book. Abductions by those we see as normal on the outside yet very scary on the inside to the captives. This story was so well layout in a timeline that is so believable. Right out of too many headlines. It will leave you with maybe some feelings you did not have before. It really draws you in. It is a bit of an underlying love story as well.

This story surrounds a young college student, Porsche that was kidnapped at the closing of a garden center where she work at. Watched indiscreetly by a patron that for hours looking at the flowers in the garden center. Putting some in his basket putting some back. Nothing that Porsche has not seen with avid gardeners. Upon the closing of the store Porsche asked the gentlemen to make his final selections and he ends up bringing to the counter a single geranium. After closing up and feeling uncomfortable over the whole situation. Porsche locks up and finds herself approached from behind and a rag put over her mouth. So now I am getting ahead of myself.

The story opens as Porsche is racing home to her parents. Her little dog Cupcake right by her side. “We’ll be home soon.” That is all she could think of. Gone 2 years. 2 long years. Had her family given up hope that she was still alive or were they resolved she was dead and they would never see her again. Rushing into her parent’s home calling out their names. Where was everyone? Then a deep voice comes from behind her and she starts to panic. With relief seeing that it was not her capture that followed her but, she kept telling herself all the way home that she knew that she has killed him! “Who are you?” Is all she can say as she surveys his eyes, his face and broad shoulders? “You know who I am Peaches! It’s Boone.”

Boone a childhood friend is helping take care of the farm. As he explains to Porsche where her mom and dad is. That her sister is now married to a college professor. Knowing that she would not see them till the next day. Boone sees that she is in dire straits he finally talks her into eating, showering and getting some rest. Knowing that her parents were out of town she knew he was right. She would see them tomorrow.

The absolute joy when Porsche is finally reunited with her family is very uplifting. Aaron really hit the nerve of all the emotions that just pour out with the reunion. The questions of where she was the last 2 years. What was happening with her mom’s health? How or did her sister Grace beat her addiction from her actions? Who was her new husband and how did they meet? I find that all the questions are unraveled in the story at a nice pace.

How even after 2 years she could still see her sister really didn’t change all that much even being married. Why? Was she now jealous of the attention that Porsche is getting? However, as the story unfolds and Porsche starts telling the family her story her sister Grace finds that she can’t help wondering and wanting to feel for her sisters’ distain for her capturer named Murphy. To protect her.

Now, the story goes back to the beginning of my review. Porsche now tells them how the capture unfolds to a cabin at Devil’s Lake, WI. The things that Porsche’s capturer makes her do. Now home will she never want another man? Did she kill this man? Afraid that Porsche will be arrested for his murder. If indeed he was killed when she finally escape. Boone and Grace’s husband Anderson head to WI to find out. What steps will they take to protect her throughout the story?

After returning back to the farm in Vermont to inform her that he was not dead based on the information she gave them. Now she feared that her capturer is coming to seek her down. What risk will he take to get her back? Was her family and the police ready to take on one guy? Only this time he takes her sister Grace. Is her capturer ready for her sister’s strong will? Will everyone find her sister in time? What happens between Boone and Porsche? Will there be a happy ending? I will not spoil the stories ending for you.

The narrator Gwendolyn Druyer, is my first experience listening to her. She did a wonderful job with the list of characters she had to perform. She did have the same similar voice as I have heard with other female narrators. A soothing voice when needed. To a scared voice of Porsche and Grace as they were held captive. The male voices I could tell the difference but found Boone’s voice a bit too sultry at times when I didn’t feel it fitting. She capture the mood of each of the scenes and the transition from character to character. I will be looking for her name in future narrations she performs. Whether for any of Aaron’s books or for other authors. Well done Gwendolyn!

I highly recommend this book from young adult +. I would even recommend this for young teen girls to listen to. Being a mother and knowing what I have heard over the years from my girls of not being afraid. This book makes me afraid for them.

Please note that this book was provided to me by the author. In no way was his or anyone else influenced me in the final review of the book. Please feel to comment and if you feel my review was helpful please like it!
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- Sapphire Reader

Thrillride that will not let you stop listening!

When I started listening to this book I did not know much of the back-story. I don't follow news or TV, I am a bookworm what can I say. In the beginning this book was dedicated to the women held captive in Ohio. That got me thinking "okay so this could have actually happened to someone" and I kept that in mind while listening.

The Story is of Portia who was kidnapped and held for 2 years by a psychopath named Murphy. He made her wear a nurses uniform and kept her locked up and inside. She finally escapes and makes her way home only to find her parents gone, in another state and a neighbor taking care of the family farm.

Boone, a neighbor and Portia's childhood friend looks after her until her parents can make it home. Eventually her sister and new husband come too. Boone never leaves her and was a strong character throughout the story. (Yes I loved him!)

Portia making it home is only half the battle, she doesn't know if she killed Murphy or just stunned him so she is constantly jumping at any odd noise. I think that would be awful, just looking over your shoulder constantly. In the end I was so glad that things were resolved.

The narration was amazing. Gwendolyn Druyor did a fantastic job portraying different voices for the characters and I could easily tell who was speaking. The flow of the story was made that much clearer with the seamless narration.

I will definitely be listening to more from this Author/Narrator team in the future.
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- Rayne

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-02-2014
  • Publisher: Aaron Paul Lazar