Elizabeth Lara has taken an extended leave from work, a San Francisco law office where she’s a high-powered, high-adrenaline, and highly successful attorney specializing in divorce. In her mid-30s, she’s not allowed herself time to grieve the loss of her beloved great-aunt, the woman who raised her. Her life is catching up to her, and she’s run to Ireland, where she’s rented a cottage. Arriving there, she’s greeted by a naked man coming out of the shower.
The naked man is Connor Bannon, who owns the property and the surrounding estate and didn’t know his real estate agent had rented the cottage. He’s borrowing the shower while the plumbing in his own house is repaired. Connor has about as much emotional baggage as Elizabeth, as he’s still mourning the loss of his mother and all of the circumstances surrounding his father.
Elizabeth and Connor discover a mutual attraction, one that grows in intensity over a fairly short period of time. Elizabeth is reading a series of letters her great-aunt left her, and now she’s beginning to take chances she never dreamed of taking.
The Irish Cottage: Finding Elizabeth is the first in the Irish Heart series by Juliet Gauvin. It’s a “finding one’s self / romance” kind of story that gets a bit R-rated and steamy in a few places. Well, perhaps a bit past R-rated.
Gauvin has published six books in the Irish Heart series, three in the “original romance trilogy” and three in the “continuing romance” trilogy. All six have the same two main characters, so I suspect it will be a while before Elizabeth and Connor get married.
The Irish Cottage is a well-written, quick-reading romance steeped in the Irish countryside, customs, and traditions. It features mid-30s, two rather strong-willed main characters, who are able to imbibe large amounts of alcohol while they pursue each other.