On Sunset Beach: The Chesapeake Diaries by Mariah Stewart
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Description: Art dealer and gallery owner Carly Summit is thrilled when a huge cache of paintings by an artist who was previously thought to have very little work was discovered in the attic of her friend Ellie's house in St. Dennis. The only catch - the paintings must be shown in St. Dennis. Carly heads to the coast to manage the exhibit and meets Ford Sinclair. Ford has just returned home after 6 years in war torn central Africa where he has seen too many atrocities to not change him. Both are unsettled and looking for changes but can the solutions they seek be found right here in this little town on the Chesapeake Bay?
Why I Picked This Book: I've enjoyed several of Stewart's romantic suspense titles and I really want to like this series. Also, this seemed like the perfect book for the COYER Fun in the Sun Read-A-Thon.
Pros: If you heard a sigh of contentment this past Sunday morning that was me finishing this book. I've had mixed results with this series - liked the 1st but got confusing with all the tie-ins to a previous series, couldn't finish the 2nd, thought the 3rd was okay but flawed. This book was everything I've wanted the series to be. The characters were wonderful. I love Ford and how much attention he paid to Carly. He noticed what she liked and paid attention to what she said and then tried to surprise her just to make her happy. It was lovely. Carly's also a great character. She's ambitious and intelligent but also good-hearted, warm spirited and optimistic. While Ford has been through hell and he is wounded he's not scarred. He's more lost and restless, trying to adjust to regular life after so much time spent on the edge. I love Grace Sinclair and for once the diary entries really felt right with the book. While other characters were mentioned it was only when they fit into the story so there wasn't that deluge of story lines you have to sort out. This could definitely be read as a stand alone though it did make me want to go back and read the stories of the characters who played a role in the book - Ellie/Cam and Lucy/Clay.
Cons: This is a fairly predictable book. You can pretty much guess what's going to happen 50 pages in. I didn't necessarily find this to be a bad thing but some people might.
Overall Impression: This book delivers a small town setting filled with great characters. While it is book 8 in the series it can easily be read on it's own. I loved the Carly and Ford and look forward to going back to read Ellie's story.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes, can't wait to read more of this series!
Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely! If you're wanting a nice summer read in a beautiful setting about a really nice couple this is definitely the book!