Author: Mariah Stewart
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Part of a Series: The Chesapeake Diaries
Type of book: Wholesome romance, adult, Chesapeake, small town, characters from other novels, 2000s, contemporary, gardening, restoring, community
Year it was published: 2014
After taking stock of her life, Sophie Enright has decided it’s time for a break. Between a law career that’s become criminally dull and a two-timing boyfriend she’s done with once and for all, Sophie desperately needs some time to think and some space to breathe. The perfect place to do both is easygoing St. Dennis, Maryland, where Sophie can visit with her brother while she figures out her options. Once in St. Dennis, she discovers a shuttered restaurant and makes a bold move that is also a leap of faith. Sophie buys the fixer-upper in order to finally pursue her dream career.
But Sophie’s labor of love becomes a bone of contention for her new neighbor Jason Bowers. The local landscaper has big plans for growing his business—until Sophie scoops up the property he’s got his eye on. And no amount of buyout offers or badgering from him will get her to budge. It’s hardly the start of a beautiful friendship. But when they’re paired up to work on a community project, they agree to put their differences aside, and sparks begin to fly. Then Sophie’s cheating ex suddenly shows up, looking for a second chance—and threatening to make Jason a third wheel just when his hotheaded feelings about Sophie were turning decidedly warmhearted. All Sophie wants is a new life and a true love. But what are the odds of having both?
The main characters would be Jason and Sophie as well as Sophie's brother and the grandfather. In beginning one could describe Sophie as determined and someone who really doesn't let herself do what she wants, but instead she seems to be obedient. She starts listening to her inner voice more and is determined to satisfy herself as well as her family members for the time being. For a long time she was a lawyer but then she realized she wanted to do something else with her life. Jesse Enright is Sophie's elder brother who is also devoted to his family and he is best described as conservative if I'm not mistaken. Jason Bowers used to be in-laws with Jesse's fiancee Brooke, and he is caring, devoted and willing to do what he can for Brooke's son as well as his friend Cody. He always wanted to do landscaping. Pop (Jesse's and Sophie's grandfather) is the patriarch of the family and both Jesse and Sophie want his approval and look up to him a great deal. He often believes that his dead wife Rose is with him through the mysterious gardenia smell.
You never know how you'll find someone.
The book is written in third person narrative mostly from Sophie's point of view, while other point of views included Sophie's grandfather (really liked him!) and Jason's. Most of the book is best described as sort of a "slow" read, what I mean is that its a relaxing read as well as wholesome. The exciting things happen at the end and are resolved a little too quickly in my opinion. The characters from previous books do play big roles in this one; in particular Sophie's brother and his fiancée who used to be in-laws with the hero. (Anyone sense a need for family tree or something?)
Mariah Stewart is the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband and their dogs amid the rolling hills and Amish farms of southern Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she gardens, reads, and enjoys country life.
I really enjoyed reading the book as well as getting to know the residents of St. Dennis. (Will be reading previous books, I promise!) and I also liked that its a quiet and wholesome romance as well as the fact that most of the struggle focused on Sophie trying to discover her place in the world as well as trying to convince her family members of her destiny. (Would love to review On Sunset Beach by the way!) Besides Sophie and Jason, other characters made appearances and participated such as Dallas MacGregor, Sophie's brother and his fiancée, Violet, and so forth. In other words this is really much more than a romance novel but instead its something how life and decisions can help us find true love. What I felt the book lacked was the chemistry between Jason and Sophie, and I also felt that we didn't really get to know Jason, although I wonder if in previous book(s) I will finally get to know him? Somehow there didn't seem enough time to build chemistry. While I liked the ending, it seemed as if the most exciting things were crammed at the very end and were resolved rather quickly.
This is for TLC Book Tour
Mariah Stewart’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, January 27th: Literally Jen
Tuesday, January 28th: Romancing the Book
Tuesday, January 28th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Tuesday, January 29th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Thursday, January 30th: Staircase Wit
Friday, January 31st: Gidget’s Bookworms
Monday, February 3rd: Booked on a Feeling
Monday, February 3rd: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Tuesday, February 4th: Reviews from the Heart
Wednesday, February 5th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, February 6th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Friday, February 7th: Joyfully Retired
Friday, February 7th: From L.A. to LA
Monday, February 10th: Bibliotica
Tuesday, February 11th: Book Mama Blog
Wednesday, February 12th: A Chick Who Reads.
Thursday, February 13th: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Friday, February 14th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, February 17th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, February 18th: Novel Reaction4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)