Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Summer on Mirror Lake - Contemporary Romance Review

Goodreads: Summer on Mirror Lake (Honeymoon Harbor #3) by JoAnn Ross

Rating:  A Good Read
Source: Publisher

Description:  Summertime is the best time to lose yourself in the romance of Honeymoon Harbor…
When he lands in the emergency room after collapsing at the funeral of a colleague and friend, Wall Street hotshot Gabriel Mannion initially rejects the diagnosis of an anxiety attack. But when warned that if he doesn’t change his adrenaline-fueled, workaholic lifestyle he could end up like his friend, Gabe reluctantly returns to his hometown of Honeymoon Harbor to regroup.

As he adjusts to the sight of mountains instead of skyscrapers, Gabe discovers advantages to this small Pacific Northwest town he once couldn’t wait to escape. But it’s irresistible librarian Chelsea Prescott who, along with the two foster children she’s taken under her wing, makes slowing down seem like the best prescription ever.

Over the course of their summer romance, Gabe gets a taste of the life he might have had if he’d taken a different path. But with his return to New York City looming on the horizon, he’ll have to choose between the success he’s worked tirelessly for and a ready-made family who offers a very different, richly rewarding future…if he’ll only take the risk.

Genre:  Romance - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:  I've read the first two books in this series and I'm always willing to read about one of the Mannions finding their HEA whether they want to or not.

My Impression:  I do love a small town romance and this one set in the cutesy named (but there's a reason for it!) Honeymoon Harbor is becoming one of my favorites.  It's not all unicorns and rainbows.  People have their struggles, down times, and relatable worries but it never gets over-angsty or overly dark. 

Chelsea is a great character.  She's a librarian not only because she loves books but also because she loves the community of the library itself and wants it to as much of a haven for those around her as it was to her during her turbulent childhood.  She's optimistic and upbeat and tries to see the best in situations.  She has her demons and sorrows but she doesn't let those define her.

Gabe was a little harder to like.  He's spent most of his adult life not connecting to the people around him.  He's a workaholic and even a pretty big wake up call doesn't really wake him up.  He sees no real issue with the way he's living even though he's taking a doctor ordered break.  He's so focused on work and succeeding that his personality gets a bit lost and replaced with sheer intensity.  Right from the start we know he has a softer side (he's invested in several businesses around town mostly for altruistic purposes) but not only does he not want to talk about it, he really doesn't seem to want to admit to himself that it exists.

The romance is a bit of a slow burn as at the beginning of the book the Chelsea and Gabe don't know each other at all and really only have one conversation.  But that doesn't mean it was a slow read.  I loved seeing Chelsea in the library and developing her relationship with library patrons (2 in particular) as well as seeing Gabe and Chelsea get to know each other.  I think this is my favorite kind of romance as these two have very different personalities and it was so fun watching a bond develop.

While this book is a romance there is a lot of other things going on.  It's more of a segment of time in Honeymoon Harbor that just happens to focus on Chelsea and Gabe for a bit.   I really love visiting Honeymoon Harbor again but don't feel like this is a series that has to be read in order.  I think you could jump in here with no issue though I bet you'll be wanting to go dive into the previous two books as soon as you finish this one!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I noticed there were a few novellas I missed that I'm adding to my wishlist now!

Would I Recommend this Book?  I would!  If you enjoy small town romance with a real community feel and likable and sympathetic characters I think you'd love this one.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. Sounds good, I love a librarian with two foster children kind of character. I don't mind the romance being slow to start as other events happen along the way. Trying though to stay away a little from small town romance for awhile anyway as am a bit burned out on them. I need some variety!

  2. I read a novella from this series and enjoyed it. I need to read the rest of the books.

  3. I appreciate you mentioning that you feel the books do not need to be read in order. There are some books that need to be. Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove series comes to mind and I've been told the In Death books by J.D. Robb.

  4. This sounds like something I would maybe read. I still can't read a series out of order. It bugs me how the library has some series but then skips around to other books in them.