BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bea Reviews That Chesapeake Summer by Mariah Stewart

Publisher: Pocket Books Romance
Series: Chesapeake Diaries #9
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Challenges: NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | ARe*iTunes | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Jamie Valentine is the wildly successful author of self-help books advocating transparency in every relationship. But when her widowed mother passes away unexpectedly, Jamie discovers her own life has been based on a lie. Angry and deeply betrayed, she sets out to find the truth—which may be in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay. Cutting her most recent book tour short, Jamie books a room at the Inn at Sinclair’s Point, just outside St. Dennis.

The death of Daniel Sinclair’s father forced him to take over the family inn, and his wife’s death left him a single parent of two children, so there’s little room for anything else in his life. His lovely new guest is intriguing, though, and he’s curious about the secret she’s clearly hiding. But in the end, Jamie and Dan could discover the greatest truth of all: that the search for one thing just might lead to the find of a lifetime—if you keep your heart open.

Bea's Thoughts:

As I was reading this book, I realized that I’d read an earlier book in the series and it happened to be the book for Daniel’s sister Lucy. However, you can jump in with this book without having read any of the prior stories. We meet other people in town and while it’s clear that some had their own stories, this story doesn’t depend on or spring off from any of those.
Jamie discovers that much of her life and what she thought she knew has been a lie, but she only discovers if after her mother’s death. Her father died years ago so she can’t talk about it with her parents. She turns to her aunt and then begins to track down the truth. She’s torn between wanting to know and feeling as if she’s somehow betraying her parents. She heads to St. Dennis to find answers and figure out her life. As if she didn’t have enough to deal with, she’s stuck on her next book. She was already having trouble with it and the events in her personal life are starting to affect her writing.

Stewart gives us a heartwarming story about families, loss, acceptance and second chance. She handled Grace’s situation with sensitivity and care. I did find Grace’s paranormal gift to be convenient, too much so at times. It wasn’t a large part of the story but it did stretch believability.

The book is marketed as a romance but it’s women’s fiction first, and romance second. In fact, the romance is subtle at first and I wasn’t sure it was going to lead anywhere. Then without warning it picked up both steam and speed. I’d have liked more development especially as Jamie was in a vulnerable place emotionally with her mother’s death and the changes that brought about. It felt like a rebound romance only instead of getting over a guy, she was getting over some huge emotional upheavals.

Despite that, I enjoyed the book and the setting of St. Dennis. I love a well-done small town series and at nine books in, the world is well-developed. It feels both real and realistic. The little details add up to paint a textured picture and the people are pleasant but not perfect. St. Dennis is a fun place to hang out for a few hours and I wished I could join Jamie on her bike rides. I wanted to borrow a bike and go for a ride. Jamie was a mix of naiveté, worldliness, compassion, impulse, and nosiness. She was really nosy, never minding her own business. I can see why Daniel got annoyed with her. But then, he could be high handed. :D

“That Chesapeake Summer” was sweet, charming, emotional, and a delightful way to spend an afternoon.


  1. Ahhh good to know it's more woman's fiction-ish.

    1. The romance becomes more predominant near the end of the story but it really is more women's fiction, despite the marketing.

  2. Great review -- I felt the same way about this one! My review here

    1. I will definitely have to check out your review. Thanks for visiting!

  3. I keep meaning to try this series. I grew up in Maryland, though not on the Bay, and I live not far from the tidal Potomac now, so I'm familiar with the area... and I love Sherryl Woods's Chesapeake Shores series, also set on the Bay.

    It's interesting that you describe it as being more women's fiction than romance. I find that's sometimes true of Susan Wiggs's books, too - including the one I'm reading right now. I'm happy as long as the book is well-written, and I do love good small-town fiction, so I would probably enjoy this one. They're already on my "someday" list... so I hope to get to them eventually!

    1. The two I've read in this series were definitely heavier on the women's fiction than the romance. It's a nice series, good for a nice, relaxing read.


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