That Chesapeake Summer by Mariah Stewart
Description: 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 (from Goodreads)
Why I Picked This Book: Despite some ups and downs this is a series I always enjoy so I couldn't pass up this most recent one. Plus, I've always been a little intrigued by Daniel.
My Impression: In this latest entry in the Chesapeake Diaries series we finally get the story of Dan, the last and most mysterious Sinclair sibling. Dan's been in the background of a number of the books and while we get to know a little bit about him in those stories we never get to see how he's feeling or what he's thinking. I really liked seeing his interaction with his mother and his struggles to figure out how to parent his now teenage daughter. His great sense of responsibility for things that weren't always his responsibility were evident which made him sympathetic at times. He did come off as angry and distrustful which he had reason to be but it made me a bit unsure of him being really ready to move on and into a happy and functional relationship.
Jamie's quest is very sympathetic and I really liked that her main purpose is just to try her best and she acknowledges that she doesn't really have a plan. In many ways I don't think even Jamie knew what she was really looking for and that really worked because even when she didn't act in the most logical way it still worked. I did get frustrated with Jamie not telling anyone the truth. I could see not wanting to come to town brazenly announcing what she was looking for but as time went on and she and Grace became friends I didn't understand why she didn't tell her the truth especially with Grace dropping hints that she knew.
But the end - the end was lovely. I loved how Jamie and Dan figured out what they wanted and I loved Grace's involvement. The book deals with a fairly serious issue and I really liked the way Stewart handled it. No one was vilified or trivialized and everyone involved was very considerate about the other's feelings. I really enjoyed this latest entry into the Chesapeake Diaries series and I'm glad that I've skipped a few of the earlier books in the series because now I can get visit St. Dennis a time or two while I wait for the next book!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes. In fact I'm glad I've got a couple of earlier books in the series to keep me company until the next one comes out.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes, especially if you're looking for a lighter read that has a more serious edge and a great sense of community.
Challenges Met? Reading Roadtrip (Maryland)