One of the things I've been doing this year is rereading some old favorites. After reading the McKade series by Nora Roberts I felt the need to go dig out her Chesapeake Bay series. I last read these while living in Alabama, so it's been a while. There are four books to the series, but the fourth (Chesapeake Blue (The Chesapeake Bay Saga, Book 4)) came out long after the first three and I never read it. I picked it up at the library yesterday, but since it's not a reread for me I'll hopefully eventually give it it's own review.
This series is built around three brothers who as adults come back together to face their father's death, and to adopt the young boy (Seth) with whom their father had begun to build a relationship. While many of the people in their small hometown revered their father, there are some ugly rumors circling about his death and his actual relationship to the boy. Ray and Stella Quinn had adopted all three boys as troubled teens and their love for their parents is staggering.
The first in the series is Sea Swept (Chesapeake Bay, Book 1), which focus on Cameron. Cam lives all over the world. He races boats for a living and likes fast cars and pretty models. He's called back home just in time to say goodbye to his dad. He has no intention of giving up his flashy life, but agrees to stay for a year to figure out what to do with the boy, Seth. Anna Spinelli is the case worker assigned to the case and she takes her job very seriously. Of course, Anna is wildly sexy when she's off the clock, and is pretty modern in sensibilities. She's more than willing to have a casual relationship with Cam, so long as it does not impact her job, but then OOPS! they fall in love. Cam is definitely an alpha hero, and a bit overbearing, so it's a good thing that Anna is equally strong and forceful.
Next comes Rising Tides: The Chesapeake Bay Saga #2 (The Quinn Brothers Trilogy). This one is about Ethan, the quiet, solid, fisherman of a brother. Ethan didn't go far when he live Ray's house and spends his days catching fish. Ethan has long been in love with Grace, but due to the difference in age, plus his background, he's always felt she's out of reach. Grace, who has always been in love with Ethan, gave him up as a lost cause, got married, got abandoned and had a baby very young. She works multiple jobs to keep her indepence, but at heart craves a solid, quiet marriage. Things between them explode in an instant, and then there is the inevitable struggle to work things out between what they each see in the furture. Ethan is really my favorite type of hero, so this is one of my favorite Nora Roberts.
Going into book three, Inner Harbor (The Chesapeake Bay Saga, Book 3), the third brother, Phillip is really my least favorite. He's a professional, moved away to Boston, likes fine wine and piano music and really doesn't do a lot for me. This really carries through to the book itself and while it is a good conclusion to the story it remains my least favorite of the three. The heroine of Inner Harbor is Sybill, who shows up in St. Christopher as a stranger, but who really has a hidden motive. She keeps her true identity a secret, which threatens not only the relationship with Phillip, but also the situation with Seth and the brothers. Typically, my least favorite type of romance is one where one of the characters pretends to be someone they are not, or who hides a big secret part of their identity, so it's no surprise that I feel the way I do about this one. I will give Roberts credit for not drawing out the misery of the revelation or letting it become the entirety of the story.
If you're a fan of family stories, or a fan of Nora Roberts and have not picked up this series, I recommend that you do so. As always, the relationships between siblings and friends is one of her strong points and she does not fail with this series.
Now, who wants to take bets on how long before I get around to Seth's story (Chesapeake Blue (The Chesapeake Bay Saga, Book 4)) ?
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