The Lighthouse Keeper by Cynthia Ellingsen

The Lighthouse Keeper by Cynthia Ellingsen

Series: stand aloneRating: 3.5/5
Date of Publishing: April 4th 2017Genre: fiction, romance, mystery
Format: KindleAvailable: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Number of pages: 380Author’s website:

“To me, lighthouses didn’t represent loneliness or desperation, like my mother said. They represented a port in the storm. My very own star, waiting to guide me back home.”



Dawn Conners’s parents are famous for finding historic treasures, but she has a knack for losing things—her job, her boyfriend, and now, her reputation. Thanks to a mud-slinging exposé, Dawn’s late great-grandfather is assumed guilty of stealing silver from a century-old shipwreck. Hoping to clear his name, Dawn returns to Starlight Cove, her idyllic hometown on Lake Michigan, where the doomed vessel sleeps beneath the beam of a ramshackle lighthouse.

Her plan: remodel and sell the lighthouse while untangling the perplexing family mystery. Neither task is easy, especially once her well-meaning parents and the quirky locals—including nautical researcher and Starlight Cove’s most eligible bachelor, Kip Whittaker—get involved. Despite their attraction, Dawn is reluctant to trust Kip, or any of the close-knit townsfolk. But as she pieces together the truth, Dawn’s once-shuttered heart opens up. And if she’s willing, the lighthouse might guide her to a place she never expected to find, where the past entwines with a bright new beginning.


Personal notes

I admit, romance is not my normal go to genre these days. There was a time I loved romance novels, especially YA books, but back then I was young, naive, and still believed in love – or that there was someone out there for me. These days I don’t have such illusions. Plus I got tired of all the clichés these books have. This book, however came highly recommended in the Goodreads group where I’m most active so when I happened to have an unexpected free weekend between two books, and needed something light to lift my mood up, I decided to go for it.



There is something undoubtedly charming about lighthouses. I’ve never seen one in real life, but I want to. Kind of envied Dawn every time she went up to the top, sitting looking out to the lake. In her place I would totally have my library/study up there with a spectacular view.

Dawn lost her job, her boyfriend and her family’s reputation in a day, after a disastrous TV programme about her family, and treasure hunting. On top of it, her family might lose their house, the only real home she ever had during her adventurous childhood. To get her minds off of things and to help out her family, she decides to buy and remodel Starlight Cove’s lighthouse during the summer. In the small town, which is bustling with tourist in the summer season, not everyone welcomes her. Some shun her because of her family’s past, some doesn’t trust her intentions and think she stole their right to own the lighthouse. Fortunately he finds some friends too in Kailyn the real estate agent, the three handsome Henderson brother who own the hardware store, and of course Kip Whittaker, the heart-throb bachelor everyone wants.

While doing the restoration, Dawn also has to find out what actually happened to his great-grandfather Captain Fritzie, whose ship drowned in a storm not far from the beach, with a huge amount of silver and whisky stored on it. The treasure never was found and its whereabouts is still unknown almost a 100 years later. Dawn and her family has to find the treasure and clear his great-grandfather’s name before the bank takes away their home. All this while keeping away other, more ruthless treasure hunters and revealing the tragic events of that night, and the next few days.

As the plot goes, it’s pretty simple – despite the fact that we actually read two different story lines – , and quite predictable. You can see the twists coming from a mile, but despite that it manages to be an enjoyable read. Dawn is less annoying than I expected, at least in the beginning, when she decides to suck it up and for once go for her instincts and do something reckless: buying the lighthouse.

“Maybe it was just a matter of letting life happen to me a little bit more and planning for it a little bit less.”

She is determined, willing to work hard, clever and doesn’t let anyone talk her down. She holds her ground no matter what, believing all the time in her great-grandfather’s innocence and his love for his wife. Troubles start when she forms a friendship with Kip, and she starts to act more like a stupid schoolgirl than a mature 32-year-old what she is. I couldn’t help rolling my eyes when she threw a tantrum because of some misunderstanding, and without trying to talk it out and solve the problem she decided to give a cold shoulder. Classy.

While Dawn is the big-town-woman and the local enemy for the time, Kip is the prototype of the perfect guy: he is good looking, kind, friendly, rich, athletic, intelligent and single oh and loves romance movies. No kidding. This guy practically has no flaws, which makes him a bit boring. Although if you are into the kind, romantic type, you’ll probably be head over heels in love with him.

A lighthouse is the perfect place for brining together generations, and witness history as it did in this book. All the while the mystery keeps you reading on and you find yourself wondering where the treasure might be, feeling the thrilling of the search. For someone like me, who doesn’t like the romance genre much anymore, this book was a nice surprise. Didn’t make me want to go back to read more of these, but it was perfect for a weekend read between all the dark fantasy books I’m reading lately. Actually, this is a perfect summer read for those who like to read romance books, while lounging by a pool, drinking cocktails, and pointedly not acknowledging the world around them. The Lighthouse keeper blends romance, mystery, past and present loves together nicely. I recommend this book for everyone who looks for a nice light romance book, with a summer feel, and the vibrant life of a small town.