Fireside (Lakeshore Chronicles Series #5)

Fireside (Lakeshore Chronicles Series #5)

4.3 80
by Susan Wiggs, Joyce Bean

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Baseball hopeful Bo Crutcher is about to get his shot at the majors. That is, until life throws him a curveball. When AJ, the son he'd never met, lands on his doorstep, Bo's life becomes a whole new ball game. He needs help—fast.

Enter Kimberly van Dorn. Hired to smooth Bo's rough exterior for the media, she expects the kind of shallow pro athlete

…  See more details below


Baseball hopeful Bo Crutcher is about to get his shot at the majors. That is, until life throws him a curveball. When AJ, the son he'd never met, lands on his doorstep, Bo's life becomes a whole new ball game. He needs help—fast.

Enter Kimberly van Dorn. Hired to smooth Bo's rough exterior for the media, she expects the kind of shallow pro athlete she's used to handling. But Bo is willing to sacrifice everything for his vulnerable son. Kim can train him to hit a home run with the press, but over a breathtaking winter on frozen Willow Lake, she realizes he has far more to teach her about the game of life…and putting love first.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With the ease of a master, Wiggs introduces complicated, flesh-and-blood characters into her idyllic but identifiable small town setting..."--Publishers Weekly Starred Review on The Winter Lodge (Best Books of 2007 selection)

"Susan Wiggs paints the details of human relationships with the finesse of a master."

-Jodi Picoult

"Wiggs's storytelling is heartwarming... clutter free... [for] romance and women's fiction readers of any age."

--Publishers Weekly

"Wiggs's talent is reflected in her thoroughly believable characters as well as the way she recognizes the importance of family by blood or other ties."

--Library Journal

"Susan Wiggs writes with bright assurance, humor and compassion."

--Luanne Rice

"Empathetic protagonists, interesting secondary characters, well-written flashbacks, and delicious recipes add depth to this touching, complex romance..."

--Library Journal on The Winter Lodge

"Emotionally intense."

Booklist on The Winter Lodge

"Wiggs is at the top of her game here, combining a charming setting with subtly shaded characters and more than a touch of humor. This is the kind of book a reader doesn't want to see end but can't help devouring as quickly as possible."

--RT Book Reviews [Top Pick] on Snowfall at Willow Lake

"Rich with life lessons, nod-along moments and characters with whom readers can easily relate.... Delightful and wise, Wiggs's latest shines."

--Publishers Weekly on Dockside

"Wonderfully evoked characters, a spellbinding story line, and insights into the human condition will appeal to every reader."

--Booklist on Summer at Willow Lake

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Lakeshore Chronicles Series, #5
Edition description:
Unabridged, 10 CDs
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.10(h) x 1.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

La Guardia Airport, Concourse C, Gate 21

The dark glasses didn't hide a thing, not really. When people saw someone in dark glasses on a cloudy day in the middle of winter, they assumed the wearer was hiding the fact that she'd been drinking, crying or fighting. Or all of the above.

Under any number of circumstances, Kimberly van Dorn enjoyed being the center of attention. Last night, when she'd donned her couture gown with its scandalous slit up the side, turning heads had been the whole idea. She'd had no idea the evening would implode the way it had. How could she?

Now, at the end of a soul-flattening red-eye flight, she kept her shades on as the plane touched down and taxied to the Jetway. Coach. She never flew coach. Last night, however, first class had been sold out, personal comfort had taken a backseat to expediency, and she'd found herself in seat 29-E in the middle of the middle section of the plane, wedged between strangers. Sometimes the need to get away was more powerful than the need for legroom. Although her stiff legs this morning might argue that point.

Who the hell had designed coach class, anyway? She was convinced she had the imprint of her seatmate's ear on her shoulder. After his fourth beer, he kept falling asleep, his head lolling onto her. What was worse than a man with a lolling head?

A man with a lolling head and beer breath, she thought grimly, trying to shake off the torturous transcontinental night. But the memories lingered like the ache in her legs—the lolling guy with a snoring problem, and, on her other side, an impossibly chatty older gentleman, who talked for hours about his insomnia. And his bursitis. And his lousy son-in-law, his fondness for fried sweet potatoes and his dislike of the Jude Law movie Kim was pretending to watch in hopes of getting him to shut up.

No wonder she never flew coach. Yet the nightmare flight was not the worst thing that had happened to her lately. Far from it.

She stood in the aisle, waiting for the twenty-eight rows ahead of her to deplane. The process seemed endless as people rummaged in the overhead bins, gathering their things while talking on mobile phones.

She took out her phone, thumb hovering over the power button. She really ought to call her mother, let her know she was coming home. Not now, though, she thought, putting the phone away. She was too exhausted to make any sense. Besides, for all she knew, the thing had one of those tracking features, and she didn't feel like being tracked.

Now that she'd arrived, she wasn't in such a big hurry. In fact, she was utterly unprepared to face a dreary midwinter morning in New York. Ignoring the stares of other passengers, she tried to act as though traveling in an evening gown was a routine occurrence for her, and hoped people would just assume she was a victim of lost luggage.

If only it could be that simple.

Shuffling along the narrow aisle of the coach section, she definitely felt like a victim. In more ways than one.

She left behind a scattering of sequins in the aisle. There was a reason clothes like this were designated as "evening wear." The silk charmeuse dress, encrusted with sequins, was meant to be worn in the romantic semidarkness of a candlelit private club or Southern California garden, lit by tiki torches. Not in the broad, unforgiving daylight of a Saturday morning.

It was funny, she thought, how even a couture gown from Shantung on Rodeo Drive managed to look tawdry in the morning light. Especially when combined with a side slit, bare legs and peep-toe spike heels with a crisscross ankle strap. Only last night, every detail had whispered class. Now her outfit screamed hooker. No wonder she was getting funny looks.

But last night, in the middle of everything, Kim hadn't been thinking about the morning. She'd just been thinking about getting away. It seemed as though a million years had passed since then, since she'd dressed so carefully, so filled with hope and optimism. Lloyd Johnson, star of the Lakers and the biggest client of the PR firm she worked for, was at the pinnacle of his career.

More importantly for Kimberly, he'd found his dream house in Manhattan Beach. They planned to live there together. It was supposed to be her night, a moment of triumph, maybe even a life-changing occasion if Lloyd had decided to pop the question. Well, it had been life-changing, just not in the way she'd anticipated. She had sunk everything she had into her career as a sports publicist. And overnight, that had crumbled. She was Jerry Maguire without the triumphant ending.

She finally reached the front of the aircraft, murmuring a thank-you to the flight attendants as she passed. It wasn't their fault the flight had been so miserable, and they'd been up all night, too. Then, just as she stepped onto the Jetway, the security doors opened and a ground-crew guy in a jumpsuit and earphones blew in on a gust of frigid wind.

The arctic air slapped her like a physical assault, tearing at the silk dress and skimming over her bare legs. She gasped aloud and gathered a fringed wrap—the only outerwear she had—around her bare shoulders, clutching it in one fist, her jewelencrusted peacock evening bag in the other.

Sweet, merciful Lord. She had forgotten this—the East Coast cold that simply had no rival anywhere in California. She grabbed her long red hair but was too late. It had already been blown into a terrifying bouffant, and she was fairly sure she'd lost an earring. Lovely.

Holding her head high, she emerged from the Jet-way and entered the terminal, walking at a normal, unhurried pace, though she wanted to collapse. The red-soled Louboutins with their three-inch heels, which had looked so fabulous with the single-shoulder sheath, now felt hideous on her feet.

Silently cursing the couture shoes and clutching the silk wrap around her, she scanned the concourse for an open shop to buy something to wear on the last leg of the trip, to the town of Avalon up in the Catskills, where her mother now lived. Last night, there had been no time to grab anything, even if she had been thinking straight. She'd made the flight with moments to spare.

To her dismay, all the kiosks and shops along the way were still closed; never had she craved a pair of flip-flops and an I V NY T-shirt more. It was a long walk to the commuter concourse, especially in these heels.

She passed people in warm winter clothes, probably heading up to the mountains for a weekend of fun. She pretended not to notice the looks of speculation, the comments whispered behind snugly gloved hands. Ordinarily, other people's opinions were her first concern. But not today. She was too tired to care what people were saying about her.

Across the way stood a guy, leaning with his foot propped against the wall, staring at her. Okay, so a lot of guys were staring at her, since she was dressed like an escapee from a Hooters convention. He was easily six foot five and had long hair, and he wore cargo pants and an army surplus parka with wolf fur around the hood.

She was an idiot for not being able to ignore him. Men were her downfall; she should know better. And—please, Lord, no—with a leisurely air, he pushed away from the wall and seemed to be ambling toward her. Kim had never been much of a student of literature, but as he advanced on her, she found herself remembering a phrase coined by Dorothy Parker—What fresh hell is this?

More quickly than was prudent in the skinny heels, she headed for the moving walkway, wishing it could be a magic carpet, whisking her away from her troubles. She stepped aboard—and felt one of her heels sink down between the grooves of the walkway. Gritting her teeth, she tried to tug her foot free. As she did so, the other heel sank into another groove.

And just when she thought the day could not get any worse, it did.

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Fireside (Lakeshore Chronicles Series #5) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 80 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoyed the first 4 Lakeshore Chronicles books you will like this one. I like reading stories with recurring characters in them. The nice thing about Susan Wiggs is that she does a good job of developing her characters and providing plausible stories about them. Within that framework she still is able to remind the reader about characters they have met previously. I am looking forward to a #6 in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the way she has the characters develop. I also like how she works with one and then weaves back to another but not letting us know which one is next. I like how she works trough the troubles of the characters. I would like more of these Chronicles.
julese More than 1 year ago
This was part of a trilogy so to speak great book , must read the ones before this one
maggieLB More than 1 year ago
Susan Wiggs has a mystical ,magical ability to create a world in which the reader is immersed into romance, hope and achieving dreams. Her characters in all of the Lakeshore Chronicles are believable and continuing in all of her books in this series. I could not get enough and treasured every moment reading this series. I really loved the fact that the characters were continuing throughout the series. The plots were believable and her style of writing made the reader want more. If you need to escape into a community of romance, dreams and hope, this is the series for you. They are addictive and should be accompanied with chocolates.
smp More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading the Fireside. The characters tell their story yet include others from previous books. I can follow her characters through the town to Willow Lake. Susan Wiggs has become one of my favorite authors. She has set the stage for more Lakeshore Chronicles. I like the fact that her characters aren't perfect. They have flaws, but overcome their obstacles. Susan Wiggs promises you a well written story with true characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of Susan Wiggs. This book is the same winning formula that she is so loved for. I have read all her books and like this book as much as the others. This is a great book for a rainy or snowy day, or if you want to "run away from home" without going anywhere.
gina-bookjunkie More than 1 year ago
After the 3rd, & 4th books in the Lakeshore Chronicles I was really disappointed. Fireside changed my mind. This book was so much better. The chemistry between Bo and Kim was great. And Bo and AJ's story was also a tender one. Although, I'd would have appreciated a little more than the final wrap up gave. I really liked Bo and Kim's story.
Kim7 More than 1 year ago
Fireside is another hit in the Lakeshore Chronicles for Susan Wiggs. I enjoyed catching up with some of the previous characters and meeting some new folks to Avalon. A good book to escape to a quaint location and nice folks.
dmb More than 1 year ago
I am so glad that I bought this whole series and read them all together. All of Susan Wiggs books were wonderful. There are 5 books in this series and I read them all in 8 days. I really enjoyed all of the characters. I cannot wait for the next book to come out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my favorite of all the Lakeshore Chronicles series.....somewhat unusual plot and interesting to learn of the trials and tribulations of not only pro-sports figures but also illegal aliens working in the U.S. Very warm, touching, yet not overly so. Although I suspected how it would end, it turned out quite differently that you (and I) might think. Couldn't put it down once I started. It's a keeper to read again another day!
Pure_Jonel 9 months ago
Wiggs writes emotions in a way that allows readers to experience it. The in-depth story takes readers deep into situations that are not only heartbreaking, but also well researched. Wiggs doesn’t make up the details that she puts forth as fact. At the same time, this is an unforgettable work of fiction, combining the best of both worlds. The scenery in the novel was also breathtaking. I love how I was able to picture myself in the Catskills, while also being able to let my imagination run wild, placing myself in the story. Wiggs’ characters are so detailed and realistic, struggling with the twists life throws at them. I love how we get to follow certain characters through the entire series while also getting to know new ones. Kim & Bo definitely stole my heart in this one. I loved seeing under Bo’s bad boy exterior, getting to know who he really is. Her multifaceted development really lets you experience each and every aspect of who he is. Kim’s journey of self-discovery while helping Bo was priceless. She was the type of woman that I could easily see myself sitting down with for coffee. Enter AJ. His situation broke my heart. At the same time, he was so much fun to get to know. This might just be the most engaging story of the series yet. Wiggs’ emotionally poignant yet absolutely heart-warming tale is one that I’d recommend to all lovers of romance.
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mosesmom More than 1 year ago
I have really enjoyed the Lakeshore Chronicles Series. I will soon begin Lakeshore Christmas. I just can't wait to read them all.
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ryan olson More than 1 year ago
These books are great! I love how everyone is intertwined but yet have their own stories!! Great!!!
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