Aug 6 2017 10:00am

One Last Summer Romance in Jen Gilroy’s Summer on Firefly Lake

The Cottage at Firefly Lake by Jen Gilroy

Mia Gibbs left an indelible impression in Jen Gilroy’s first Firefly Lake novel, The Cottage at Firefly Lake. She was brittle, nervous, trapped in an unhappy marriage, but over the course of the summer, she started to change. Here’s a summation of how her life has evolved.

Mia Gibbs spent her marriage putting her husband's needs before her own. And now, after a painful divorce, she's building a new life for herself and her two daughters back home at Firefly Lake. The last thing she needs is a man to complicate things. But former bad boy turned friend Nick McGuire-and the one kiss they've shared-has turned everything upside down...

What is a mid-life restart without a resurgence of feelings from long ago? Feelings for someone you knew long before life got complicated. New York City attorney Nick McGuire is back at Firefly Lake for the summer because his mother needs his help. Gabrielle Brassard is recovering from cancer and the prognosis is promising but she is struggling to regain her strength. Nick thinks his mother needs to downsize, and he knows who to hire to help make that happen—Mia Gibbs.

“I couldn’t work set hours,” She smiled in return. The kind of smile she’d perfected as the doctor’s daughter, the executive’s wife, and the queen of more beauty pageants than she could count.

“Completely flexible. You’d be doing me a big favor.” Nick pulled at his tie, took it off, and stuffed it in the pocket of his suit jacket.

“I can start today if you want.” Mia’s stomach churned.

“Mom will be thrilled. I knew we could count on you.”

Everyone had always counted on her. First her parents, then her husband and daughters and all the organizations where she’d volunteered in each new city her husband’s job had taken them to. She was helpful and dependable Mia. But she was also a thirty-nine-year-old woman, and it was more than time she learned to count on herself. Depend on herself.

It’s so tempting to count on Nick though. Back when they were teens, he was “the only male friend she’d ever had who didn’t want something she couldn’t give.” It’s a memory she returns to often, especially when Nick is using his charm to get her to do something or other she’s reluctant to do, like visiting Camp Rainbow, once her childhood cottage and now a summer camp cum refuge for needy kids. Saying yes is sometimes as hard for her as saying no, in the brave new world she’s created for herself and her two daughters.

Her smile hit him full force. “Did anybody ever tell you you’re pushy?” She unclipped her seat belt and slid the car door open while he was still blindsided by that smile, the way it changed her face and wiped away the sadness he’d grown used to seeing there. How it wiped away the mask she usually wore to keep the world at a distance.

“All the time.” He got out of the car to join her and tried to smile back, even though the ground had dropped from under his feet. “It’s one of the reasons I’m a good attorney.”

Mia is a tad slow to see the grown-up benefits of a good friend-with-benefits but Nick is all in—all in for a lusty, affectionate fling, to be exact. His career is in New York City and he is only in New England for the summer. Mia is still reeling from a very difficult divorce and when she looks back on her past, it’s with a lot of pain. She appreciates Nick’s listening ear so much, though, and tells him so, with a “quick hug.”

“Thank you for being my friend and, like today, comforting me even when I didn’t think I needed it.”

Except friendship and comfort hadn’t been at the top of Nick’s mind. He’d wanted to take her here in his office, on the desk or the table. Or pull her onto his lap in his desk chair and wrap those endless legs of hers around his waist. He bit back a groan as he pictured her head thrown back as he ran his hands through her cloud of dark hair. Her eyes and hands on him too.

Mia and Nick are so likable, so honorable, and honest—they are overdue for an affectionate, passionate, exciting relationship, even though they have to wear and respect the labels they carry around with them like son, mother, ex-wife, sister. But who you are on the outside shouldn’t determine how you feel on the inside and it’s to the applause of everyone who loves them that Nick and Mia finally let down their defenses. Viva summer romances and their second acts, even if they are decades in the making.


Learn more about or order a copy of The Cottage at Firefly Lake by Jen Gilroy, available now:                       

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Janet Webb aka @JanetETennessee moved from the San Francisco Bay to eastern Tennessee. Baseball is my passion: I follow the Chattanooga Lookouts and the Nashville Sounds (farm team of my beloved Oakland Athletics). Social media devotee. Stories on royals and politics catch my eye. Ottawa born. Grew up on Georgette Heyer and Helen MacInnes. I also review at Criminal Element.

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