This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Simon and Schuster
Released on July 31, 2018
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!