cover image Lakeside Cottage

Lakeside Cottage

Susan Wiggs, Author . Mira $7.50 (409p) ISBN 978-0-7783-2190-3

In Wiggs's appealing summer romance, single mom (and newly unemployed journalist) Kate Livingston and her edgy son, Aaron, arrive at her family's lakeside cottage in Lake Crescent, Wash., to discover unexpected company in the form of a troubled teenage girl and a handsome but mysterious neighbor. Callie Evans has run away from an abusive, unloved childhood; former military medic JD Harris is hiding from the relentless media scrutiny he's received following a sudden heroic action. Each is warily drawn to Kate's good-heartedness, and Kate responds with characteristic warmth and commitment. But their growing bonds are threatened when Callie becomes ill and Kate discovers the famous identity JD has tried to conceal. Wiggs (The Ocean Between Us ) strains when her characters interact with the world at large: Kate's overnight success in top-level freelance writing is unrealistic, while both JD's fame and his phobia about it are exaggerated. In contrast, the characters' intimate personal interactions are pure gold. Especially appealing are Wiggs's evocations of timeless summer pleasures and her sweet yet complex depictions of Aaron's healing at the hands of his new father figure and foster sister. Agent, Meg Ruley. (Sept.)