Firefly Lane by Riley Hart (Briar County Book 1)

I cheated on the ARC pile - I read two ARCs in a row that I just couldn't get into, so I checked my personal TBR pile and immediately went for Riley Hart's new book Firefly Lane, because I knew that it would put a smile on my face and I was so right!!!

From the Author:

At forty-three, Holden Barnett is getting along just fine. His job as a pilot keeps him from getting restless, and he’s got a man who doesn’t want promises for the future. One phone call from his estranged sister changes everything. She needs his help, so Holden drops everything and heads to Harmony, a small town in Briar County, which represents everything he’s tried to avoid in life.

Monroe Covington is forty-five and happy. He loves his life—running his store, helping at his family’s farm, and spending his days with his best friend, Lindsey, and their son, Wyatt. Sure, half the town likes to forget he’s gay, and he’d love for the queer population to be bigger, but Roe makes do. He misses dating, relationships, and a man to hold at night, but at least he gets new eye candy when Holden, the brother of the woman who’s renting his cabin, shows up.

The attraction is instant, the friendship not far behind, but between Holden’s initial relationship status, family complications, and the two of them wanting different things, they’re a disaster waiting to happen…only it doesn’t feel that way, not with how much time they spend talking, laughing, and eventually, tumbling into bed, a field, or the back of a truck together. The closer they get, the more Holden realizes that just being fine isn’t enough, and Roe begins to see that his life isn’t as complete as he thought. Now, if they could only sort out the rest of it…

Firefly Lane is a small town, strangers-to-friends-to-lovers summer romance with no cheating, mature characters who talk out their problems, like to work with their hands, and have amazing chemistry. Did I mention they watch movies in the company of goats?

Heather's Review:

In a trend that I can fully embrace, writers that I read regularly are creating mature characters who are finding love in their 40's with other men in their 40's!  Riley Hart has done this with her first book in the Briar County series to perfection!

Roe and Holden go from strangers to friends, with a few typical misunderstandings and longings.  As a mature person, Holden holds back because of his boyfriend and I totally appreciate that there's no cheating and no real angst in this decision.  I see Roe holding back for the same reasons - Holden's relationship status and short term stay both weighing on his mind.   These main characters, their families and friends are all well written and you get to know all of them, their personalities and their natures throughout the book.  Hart balances the romance with the storytelling beautifully.

I am honestly loving this trend of stories featuring mature men who know who they are and embrace what they want when they find it.  There's something wonderful in reading a HEA between two men who get it and embrace who they are in their new relationship.  If you're like me and ready for a more mature romance read, than pick up Firefly Lane and enjoy it!