The Cottage at Firefly Lake by Jen Gilroy – #TLCBookTours Review and Giveaway

Posted 19 June, 2017 by Heather in Blog, Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaways, Heather, Heather Book Review / 21 Comments

I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Cottage at Firefly Lake by Jen Gilroy – #TLCBookTours Review and GiveawayThe Cottage at Firefly Lake by Jen Gilroy
Series: Firefly Lake #1
Published by Forever, Hachette on January 31, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Marriage & Divorce, Romance
Pages: 368
Source: TLC Book Tours
Buy on Amazon
4.5 Stars

Some mistakes can never be fixed and some secrets never forgiven . . . but some loves can never be forgotten.

Charlotte Gibbs wants nothing more than to put the past behind her, once and for all. But now that she's back at Firefly Lake to sell her mother's cottage, the overwhelming flood of memories reminds her of what she's been missing. Sun-drenched days. Late-night kisses that still shake her to the core. The gentle breeze off the lake, the scent of pine in the air, and the promise of Sean's touch on her skin . . . True, she got her dream job traveling the world. But at what cost?

Sean Carmichael still doesn't know why Charlie disappeared that summer, but after eighteen years, a divorce, and a teenage son he loves more than anything in the world, he's still not over her. All this time and her body still fits against his like a glove. She walked away once when he needed her the most. How can he convince her to stay now?


The Cottage at Firefly Lake is a great second-chance romance featuring a picturesque small town on a Vermont lake, full of summer vacationers and the townies who cater to those who fill the area for the busy season. Over twenty years ago, Charlotte and Sean met in just this way when Charlie’s family would summer at their cottage on Firefly Lake, which happened to be close to Carmichael’s, where Sean’s father made and rented canoes. Their relationship was best friends as kids, but it turned hot and heavy as they grew into teenagers, finally ending in a difficult breakup when an 18-year-old Charlie left Sean heartbroken and their family never returned to Firefly Lake. Now it’s eighteen more years later, and Charlie has returned to the cottage to get it ready for sale after their mother’s death. But Charlie and her sister Mia plan to sell it to a company that will build a hotel, and this doesn’t sit well with the locals, especially old-flame Sean whose business and livelihood is right next door.

Charlie thought she left everything behind her, from who she used to be as a teenager, to the old resentment that she held for how her mother seemed to like her perfect sister Mia better, to her intense love for Sean as well. But all it takes is one chance meeting with Sean for her old feelings to come bubbling back, and it’s not long before her loyalty to her family is being tested–no matter how their actions seem to make sense. Charlie knows she’s stronger now after leaving Sean was the hardest thing she’s ever done, and she’d gone to college and become a very successful field journalist to prove it. Although her job is a dangerous one and she’s got the scars–both internal and external–she’s loved every minute of it, but she’s not so sure she can do it anymore.

Sean was left bewildered and hurt when Charlie abruptly walked away all those years ago, but he moved on like he had to do. He got married, had a child, took over the family business, got divorced… While he’s been content, he’s not exactly happy with his life. He loves his teenage son with all of his heart, but he knows he’s missing something–and that hole has always been Charlie. When she walks back into his life and becomes a threat to his entire world by selling their mother’s property, he can’t believe she’d hurt him all over again. And he also can’t help the attraction that’s still buried deep within him. He just needs to get to know her again, and maybe she’ll remember all that she loves about Firefly Lake, and more importantly, maybe she’ll change her mind about selling the cottage to a foreign corporation.

I really loved the small town feel and the homey atmosphere of this book. The pacing was a bit slow sometimes, and time does seem to move a lot more leisurely in places like these when the sun is hot over the water. The overarching stories of family, forgiveness, redemption, and rekindling an old love were very enjoyable to read here. While Charlie’s family is very small now–consisting of her sister and her two nieces–Sean has a large and very charismatic family, and the ones who took a prominent place in this book were so well-developed and fleshed out. I also really enjoyed the sense of community that was woven throughout the book, and it’s something that I don’t see very much anymore since I’ve lived in a suburban area for the last twenty years after I graduated high school and moved from my small rural town.

I give The Cottage at Firefly Lake a 4.5 out of 5. Charlie and Sean’s slowly rekindled romance was so nice to read. They had such a painful history full of so many happy memories that were covered over with such a bad goodbye, they just couldn’t find a way to meet each other halfway to have an adult, respectful relationship. The secondary romance between Sean’s son Ty and Charlie’s niece Naomi was sweet, and it paralled Sean and Charlie’s romance enough to scare the parents. Overall, this is a fun, sweet, and enjoyable read with sisters getting to know each other better, family history coming to light, old romance rekindling, and a strong community coming together. I’m definitely looking forward to the next two books.


The Cottage at Firefly Lake is the first book in the Firefly Lake series. The next book, Summer on Firefly Lake, comes out on July 25, 2017. I can’t wait to read Mia’s story and find out who she finds love with next. 





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About Jen Gilroy

Jen Gilroy lives in a small town in Ontario, Canada. She’s worked in higher education and international marketing but, after spending too much time in airports and away from her family, traded the 9-5 to write contemporary romance and women’s fiction to bring readers’ hearts home. Jen likes ice cream, diners, vintage style and all things country. Her husband is her real-life romance hero, and her teen daughter teaches her to cherish the blessings in the everyday.

The Cottage at Firefly Lake, the first book in her Firefly Lake series, was a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® award in 2015. It was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon Award 2017.

Connect with Jen Gilroy

Website | FacebookTwitterGoodreads


Enter the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win either print copy or digital copy of THE COTTAGE AT FIREFLY LAKE. Open to US/Canada mailing addresses only.

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Monday, June 19th: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, June 22nd: Reading is My Super Power
Friday, June 23rd: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Monday, June 26th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, June 28th: Laura’s Reviews
Friday, June 30th: Cafinated Reads
Monday, July 3rd: Books and Spoons
Wednesday, July 5th: Books and Bindings
Monday, July 10th: A. Holland Reads
Friday, July 14th: Not in Jersey
Monday, July 17th: Broken Teepee – author guest post
Wednesday, July 19th: Suzy Approved


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I'm a PhD chemist who loves sarcasm, music, and books-paranormal, mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and romance. Most of my free time is spent at the martial arts studio these days--whether practicing Combat Hapkido or reading books while watching my son's Taekwondo classes, or even working up a sweat with Kickboxing for fun. Goodreads

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21 Responses to “The Cottage at Firefly Lake by Jen Gilroy – #TLCBookTours Review and Giveaway”

  1. Anne

    I have vacationed by lakes in rustic cabins when iIwas younger. When we lived in Montreal we drove to Eastern Ontario and stayed in a cabin that was right on Sand Lake. This was a wonderful summer experience, swimming, fishing and enjoying the simple pleasures. We also drove to The Laurentiens and stayed in different cabins on lakes in Ste, Agathe, St, Donat. This was special. I would love to go back now and see how these lakes are now. I miss those areas and the beauty.

    Reply »

    Jen Gilroy 6/19/2017

    Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing your special memories, Anne. If “your” Sand Lake in Eastern Ontario is the one that is part of the Rideau System, it’s not too far away from where I now live.

    When I wrote “The Cottage at Firefly Lake,” I was inspired by my own memories of summers spent at lakeside cottages and nearby small towns. And yes, those simple pleasures like the ones you mentioned!!

    I hope you’re someday able to revisit the summer places that are special to you.

    Reply »

  2. danielle hammelef

    My favorite summer memories are in the small cabin my parents built. As teachers, they had the entire summer off, so we’d leave right after school was out and return just in time to start again. Many summers of swimming in the lake, exploring the woods, no TV, catching frogs, fishing, picking berries…if only I’d realized how good I had it then…

    Reply »

    Jen Gilroy 6/19/2017

    That sounds wonderful, Danielle. I appreciate you sharing your special summer memories. And how meaningful that your parents built your family’s cabin. Like you, when I look back on some of my childhood summers, I didn’t realize how good I had it…or how magical those times were. I’ve tried to capture a little bit of that kind of summer magic in “The Cottage at Firefly Lake.'”

    Reply »

  3. Anne

    Sand Lake was very close to Elgin and Delta, Ontario. We passed by Brockville, Smith’s Falls. Gananoque and explored these areas since we visited the Ain cousins then. They are all gone now as that was in the 1950’s when we travelled to Sand Lake. The cabin had a wood stove, no indoor toilet, basic furniture and we read and colored. Most of out time was spent swimming in the sandy lake and fishing for trout, pike, perch and going out on a small motorboat with a very small motor.

    Reply »

    Jen Gilroy 6/19/2017

    “Your” Sand Lake is very close to me, Anne. I live about twenty-five miles from Smiths Falls. It’s still a beautiful area.

    I spent childhood summers in the Rideau Valley visiting my mom’s family. I always wanted to live here and finally I do. As a very small child, I remember going out on a lake much like Sand Lake with my mom and grandparents in my grandpa’s boat–similarly a very small motorboat. He fished, but I was more interested in the water lilies almost at my eye level. I expect my mom was more concerned with making sure I didn’t end up in the lake! Thanks for popping back to let me know where (and when) you visited. Such lovely memories.

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  4. I completely agree with the way the review has picked out the themes of “family, forgiveness, redemption and rekindling old love” as being so important in this book. I read The Cottage at Firefly Lake a while ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. The sense of place was just captivating and made such a wonderful backdrop to this multi-layered story. The Cottage at Firefly Lake is so much more than a romance – it explores several relationships in depth – between siblings, between parents and children. The reviewer is quite right about Sean and Charlotte needing to find a new relationship characterised by being “adult and respectful.” These two characters have suffered so much in the past and watching them wanting to get back together but not finding the right way at first to achieve it created an absorbing and realistic read. To those of you who are entering the giveaway, all I can say is, if you win the book, you will be in for a treat.

    Reply »

    Heather 6/25/2017

    I totally agree, Susanna! I loved The Cottage at Firefly Lake, and after reading the excerpt from the second book, I can’t wait to dig in to that one at the end of July! Thanks for your insights!
    Heather recently posted..The Cottage at Firefly Lake by Jen Gilroy – #TLCBookTours Review and GiveawayMy Profile

    Reply »

    Jen Gilroy 6/26/2017

    And thanks again, Heather. I hope you also enjoy ‘Summer on Firefly Lake.’

    Reply »

    Jen Gilroy 6/26/2017

    Thank you, Susanna. I’m glad you enjoyed ‘The Cottage at Firefly Lake’ and appreciate your thoughtful comments about my book. and Heather’s lovely review.

    Reply »

  5. This sounds like a wonderful summertime read. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

    Reply »

    Jen Gilroy 6/23/2017

    Thanks from me, too. I appreciate your support.

    Reply »

    Heather 6/25/2017

    You’re very welcome, Jen and Heather! It was my pleasure, and I can’t wait to read the next installment in this excellent, engrossing series!
    Heather recently posted..The Cottage at Firefly Lake by Jen Gilroy – #TLCBookTours Review and GiveawayMy Profile

    Reply »

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