✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 4.5 ⭐️ Review: L.B. Dunbar’s Letting Go at 40 ✍🏻

Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️

Tropes: small town romance; husband’s best friend; second chances; band of brothers; single dad; widow

If you’ve read any of L.B. Dunbar’s first three books of her Lakeside Cottage series, you grabbed Letting Go at 40 with two emotions: elation and trepidation. How do you write a story about two characters falling in love in the specter of one of the character’s beloved husbands? Seemingly a challenge, I entered Letting Go at 40 figuratively holding my breath. Ben was beloved. He was the perfect husband for Anna. How would Dunbar successfully craft a story for Anna and the forever-pining Mason, the playboy of the guys’ friend group? With aplomb. 

If you’ve been reticent to read this story, don’t be. Dunbar has written the heck out of Mason and Anna’s story. I will say that it isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re not a fan of a slow burn, this story isn’t for you. But the slow burn is necessary for this story. Dunbar has carefully plotted Mason and Anna’s journey with the premise of “two steps forward, one step back.” This was necessary. In doing so, Anna could grieve and begin to understand herself beyond Ben. And Mason could face his own challenges: becoming a better father and realizing that he can be good for Anna. It takes much of Letting Go at 40 to achieve this, but honestly, Anna and Mason had to learn to “let go” of expectations, other dreams, and guilt. While it could sometimes be frustrating for Anna to push Mason away, it was completely necessary to Dunbar’s story. 

What you earn at the end of this book is a journey of a thousand miles and the acceptance of Anna with Mason. Dunbar also deftly highlights the complications of friends’ and children’s perceptions in this story, and she rewards her readers with a gorgeous happy ending for these long-suffering characters. 

Please don’t miss this book. I believe it’s the best of the four Lakeside Cottage series, and here’s to hoping she will write the next generation of love stories for this group.

In love and romance,

Professor A