Review: Dune Drive by Mariah Stewart

Posted July 31, 2018 by Lorna in Reviews / 18 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Dune Drive by Mariah Stewart
Dune Drive

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: The Chesapeake Diaries #12
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Simon and Schuster
Released on July 31, 2018
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

Jumping back into a beloved series that had fallen by the wayside was like meeting old friends for an evening out. A new couple and all the characters I remember from the first seven of these books are all accounted for here. It didn’t even matter that there was new people to get to know, they all became just part of the whole group of characters that I love.


Mariah Stewart’s series, The Chesapeake Diaries, take place in the charming small town of St. Dennis located on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. I’ve been reading these since before I actually moved to Maryland and now that I have visited the Eastern Shore on several occasions, it’s easy for me to picture the setting, although the town is fictional. It’s truly a beautiful area and made this read even more amazing for me.

St. Dennis is home to quite the collection of eclectic characters, none more so than one hundred year old Ruby. Ruby lives and runs a general store just across the bridge on Cannonball Island. She also has a touch of the “sight” and everyone knows it-whether they believe it or not. When Chrissie, her great-granddaughter, shows up at her doorstep out of the blue, Ruby welcomes her into her home and business. Chrissie has been abused and manipulated by a boyfriend for five years. She finally got away from him and left secretly. Chrissie has a lot of healing to do and Ruby lets her, but ultimately pushes her to find a job doing what she loves-cooking. While exploring the town from her childhood summers, she meets Jared, an ocean ship salvager, and a really great guy. Neither has any intention of falling for each other and both would swear they were just friends. Yeah, safe to say that’s not going to last. Jared has family ties to people in another series that overlaps into St. Dennis. Since I’ve read those books, it was fun to catch up with those characters as well.

I found this book to be well written and since Mariah Stewart wrote it, I’m not at all surprised. She’s an author who has been a favorite of mine for many years, first for her romantic suspense books(so good) and then for her Chesapeake Diaries books. This read was heartwarming at times, suspenseful at others, and of course, ultimately a bit sensual. I enjoyed how the author invented a pretty fascinating history for the town and Cannonball Island, giving Chrissie and Jared a place to explore and the time to fall for each other. While the story is not full of sexual chemistry between the two as in some books, the couple’s relationship is more of a slow burn and of course, that can be just as good.

At times a few things were pretty predictable, but I don’t think it took anything away from the book. I even saw the big reveal towards the end coming a mile away. Again, not a problem. I would highly recommend this book to contemporary romance readers, adult due to a sensual scene. I do think you could read this out of order so that’s not a problem either. Good book and series!


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Iโ€™m a lifetime book addict and currently own nine Kindles, with only six still working. I do tend to wear them out! They pretty much are my favorite technology-well that and my cell phone. Okay, yes and my laptop. I spent most of my life in Kentucky, but moved to Maryland in my attempt to get closer to the the ocean a few years ago. Being retired helps. I have a B.S. degree in law enforcement with a minor in sociology, but never really worked in my major. Instead, I spent my entire adult life working in the medical field in some capacity. After retiring(early), I found my passion in reviewing books for a couple of blogs and I love it. My author favorites include, Dannika Dark, Amber Lynn Natusch, J.T. Geissinger, Colleen Hoover, Samantha Towle, K.A. Tucker, Karina Halle, Sarina Bowen, J.R. Ward, Mariana Zapata, Dianne Duvall, and I could go on and on. I read many different genreโ€™s, but still like a romantic element in most, if not all of them.

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Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
2 years ago

nice review Lorna, I’m on the Dune Blog Tour for Simon & Schuster for a showcase so I’m going to link your review to my post tomorrow. xo

2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Thank you Debbie!

2 years ago

it’s great that even if it’s a bit predictable that you had a good time

2 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

Yes, I loved this series for a long time and it was good to get back into it.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Ah, glad diving back in worked out great. I love eclectic characters.

2 years ago
Reply to  Sophia Rose

Her great-grandmother was a hoot and half my enjoyment was because of her easily.

Kimberly Caffeinated Reviewer

I read some of the earliest books, and like you fell out of the loop. I have this one and was hesitant I think I will read it ๐Ÿ™‚

2 years ago

If you already have it, you definitely should if you can find the time. I enjoyed seeing all the other couples that I remembered from the first seven.

Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

It’s so much fun how you know the setting and were able to picture it! I haven’t read this series before, but it sounds great! I love books with eclectic characters.

2 years ago

It’s been a really good series for me. I wish I hadn’t skipped those four books I missed.

Lover Of Romance
2 years ago

I actually have never read this author before but this book sounds wonderful. I have really been in the mood for a good suspense…which book would you recommend I begin with first?

2 years ago

This one doesn’t have a whole lot of suspense-some but not much. Her romantic suspense, I read so long ago I can’t remember which ones I liked the best. I do remember her Mercy Street books especially. There’s 3 and they need to be read in order. Really good.

Carole Rae
2 years ago

Ruby sounds like fun! She needs her own book ๐Ÿ˜‰

2 years ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

If I remember right, she and two? of her friends have had small parts to play in other books in this series and also back in time when they were young as well, She’s quite the character.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup

She’s not one I’ve tried but it definitely sounds like I need to get on it and check these out ๐Ÿ™‚

2 years ago

If you like small town romances this series is a good one to try.

Naomi Hop
2 years ago

Mariah Stewart is a new to me author… and I’m liking the sound of Dune Drive. Good to see that you enjoyed it even though it was a little predictable.

2 years ago
Reply to  Naomi Hop

Well yeah. But still well written and I love all the characters showing up from previous books. If you like small town romance you might like these.