- Title: The Chesapeake Bride
- Author: Mariah Stewart
- Series: The Chesapeake Diaries #11
- Pages: 384
- Genre: Contemporary Romance
- Published: August 2017 – Pocket Books
- Source: Publisher; NetGalley
Description: From New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart comes a new chapter in her celebrated Chesapeake Diaries series, featuring her signature “rich characterization, charming setting, and a romance you’ll never forget” (Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author).
Architect Cassidy Logan has sworn off good-looking adventurers. Newly divorced, she’s focused on building ecologically friendly, historically accurate homes on the Chesapeake Bay for her father’s construction company. Traveling to Cannonball Island—where there has been no new construction in nearly one hundred years—Cass is sensitive to the heritage of the island, and has come up with plans so perfect she’s determined to buy a home for herself. Even the fact that Owen Parker—a local who she dismisses as a lightweight and a player—seems to be everywhere isn’t enough to deter her from building her dream house.
Owen Parker is and always has been sinfully handsome and wickedly clever, a magnet for mischief as well as girls. He’s a rolling stone, going and doing whatever appeals to him, from flying a mail plane in Alaska, to working on a cattle ranch in Australia, a shrimp boat in Louisiana, and surfing and diving in Costa Rica. When an old friend offers him a job salvaging a sunken ship on the Chesapeake Bay, Owen gladly accepts. Something’s been telling him it was time to head home to Cannonball Island, and a job is as good an excuse as any. And he’s totally smitten by the pretty architect on the scene, but it seems he’s finally met a woman who’s immune to his charms. Sooner or later, Owen will have to face the reason why he always runs, because this time, leaving just might be harder than staying. (publisher)
My take: Mariah Stewart takes readers back to the shore in the 11th book of The Chesapeake Diaries – The Chesapeake Bride. In this series Stewart weaves threads of area history, various generations of characters featured in each book – some who possess a sixth sense, and usually an indirect road to romance. We have Cass, a talented architect from Baltimore who is developing homes on Cannonball Island which is where she meets the handsome and adventurous local son, Owen. She immediately recognizes him as a player and not worth her time or heart but her judgement may prove to be hasty and wrong. I liked discovering that these two had substance and experience that motivated their decisions. It also helped when life throws them a curve ball. Yes, things got a little shaky but Mariah Stewart left me happy at the end and looking forward to what happens next in this enjoyable series. Although I’ve only read three of the books in this series I didn’t feel lost picking #11 up. It can easily stand alone.
Praise for The Chesapeake Bride, Book 11 of The Chesapeake Diaries series:
“Stewart succeeds in giving both Owen and Cass a smooth blend of strength and vulnerability, and the setting of this heartwarming romance will draw readers in with its island-life charm.” —Publishers Weekly
“Strengths: Noteworthy historical content; Engaging characters; Strong Romance; HEA…Measure of Love: Teaspoon…Mood: Poignant and lighthearted…Why You Should Read this: Definitely will appeal to readers wanting a strong romance. And the genealogy and historical aspects are a perfect addition to a pleasing story!” —Heroes and Heartbreakers Women’s Fiction Best Bet for August 2017
“The Chesapeake Bride is a small-town romance which will leave readers wanting more of the charming characters and unforgettable story. I enjoyed this book so much that I am still running some of the scenes through my head, which shows how fantastic the story is. Another great read by an outstanding author. A Recommended Read!” —Romance Junkies, Five Heart Review
“The romance is slow and sweet…the lack of unnecessary melodrama, angst, and over-the-top gestures makes this a refreshing contemporary romance between two adults who act as such.” —Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Driftwood Point, Book 10 of The Chesapeake Diaries series:
“This second-chance-at-love romance is gentle and sweet…The colorful friendship between the family matriarchs…charms. Stewart seamlessly checks in with former series protagonists and introduces future romantic pairings without stealing attention from Lisbeth and Alec.” —RT Book Reviews
Praise for That Chesapeake Summer, Book 9 of The Chesapeake Diaries series:
“[That Chesapeake Summer] deftly uses the tools of the genre to explore issues of identity, truth, and small town kinship…Stewart offers a strong statement on the power of love and trust, a fitting theme for this big-hearted small town romance.” —Publishers Weekly
“A touching story of self-discovery and homecoming that is sure to warm readers’ hearts…fans are sure to feel right at home in Stewart’s idyllic seaside setting and follow this emotional journey with avid interest.” —RT Book Reviews
Praise for The Last Chance Matinee, Book 1 of The Hudson Sisters series:
“The popcorn, the red velvet seats, the glittering Hollywood stars on-screen…I’ve enjoyed all aspects of going to the movies since I was a kid…so when I saw a vintage theater on the cover of this book, I quickly swiped it up…The tale was a sweet reminder of the importance of family. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!” —First for Women magazine, July 2017
“[This] lively, warmhearted series starter will have readers eagerly awaiting the second installment.” —Booklist
“A good read, with a nice blend of mystery, family drama, and romance.” —Library Journal
THE CHESAPEAKE BRIDE
11th in The Chesapeake Diaries series
August 29, 2017
About the author:
Mariah Stewart is the award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of numerous novels and several novellas and short stories. A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband and two rambunctious rescue dogs amid the rolling hills of Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she savors country life and tends her gardens. Visit her website at mariahstewart.com, like her on Facebook at AuthorMariahStewart, and follow her on Instagram at mariah_stewart_books.
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Excerpt from The Chesapeake Bride:
I love the changing of the seasons—and I think summer into fall might be a favorite, being as how I relate to the whole “autumn of my years” thing. That’s how I see myself, anyway. If sixty is the new forty, I believe seventy must be the new fifty, eighty the new sixty, and so on. Therefore, I fall into that third quadrant. Don’t try to change my mind or confuse me with facts.
One of the reasons I love this time of the year: the steady influx of tourists into St. Dennis begins to wane. Not that I don’t love our visitors. Why, without them, St. Dennis would have continued to languish and would never have become the Eastern Shore mecca it now is. But there’s something sweet about having your hometown belong to you and yours again, even if it’s just for a while. I know soon enough the holidays will be upon us and many will flock to town for all the beautiful festivities—the Christmas House Tour, the weekend of caroling, the tree lighting at the square on Old St. Mary’s Church Road, Christmas at the Inn (a favorite of mine), and, oh, yes, the shopping! But this little respite between the beginning of September, when the families leave to return their offspring to school, and the holiday madness belongs to us, we old St. Dennis folk who like a little downtime.
Not to say there’s nothing going on here! There are new babies to celebrate and a special wedding on the horizon, one that makes me especially weepy. My dear nephew, Alec, will be marrying his lovely Lisbeth in an event that will be the talk of both St. Dennis and Cannonball Island for a long time to come. I’m not privy to all the details, mind you, but since my daughter, Lucy, is planning the wedding, I’ve heard bits and squeaks of what she has in mind, and it will, no doubt, be perfectly wonderful.
When we were children, Mama told us that when good folks passed, they earned a star in the heavens where they could sit and shine down on all the goings-on here on earth. Our brothers scoffed, but we girls believed her, and so it is that I know my beloved sister, Carole, will be watching happily from her star as her son marries his bride out on the point in just a few more weeks.
Thinking about the point makes me think of all the changes that are coming to Cannonball Island soon. So much, it could make your head spin! For the first time in roughly two hundred years, new dwellings will be going up on what had once been barren land. I heard from one in the know that some of the older homesteads—mostly those that have fallen into ruin or have been abandoned—will be replaced with new versions more suitable to modern living. Some are up in arms about this, but frankly, it’s about time. Those dilapidated old shells offer no shelter and, if anything, detract from the beauty of the island. My good friend Ruby Carter—the island’s matriarch—has given her blessing, and that’s good enough for me. Besides, Alec will be serving as the environmental consultant, so I feel confident that all will be well. The new homes are being designed with the island’s history in mind, so the legacy of those early settlers will be well protected. The architect is a lovely young woman who is serious about this project, so I know, eventually, all will be well. Of course I do.
I know, too, that a certain islander with a “rolling stone” reputation will be finding his rolling days coming to a halt before too long. It will be amusing, to say the least, to see him meet his match. Will he be bested? The smart money’s on the new girl. That’s all I have to say about that.
And so much excitement over all the goings-on at the mouth of the river on the other side of Cannonball Island! Who knew such mysteries lay beneath the water, waiting to be discovered—and now that they have been, well, the flurry of activity these days has my poor old head spinning like an old-fashioned top. I cannot wait to see what they find, and I’m more than happy that one of the principal players is staying at the inn. Not that I’d pry, but if one overhears a snippet of conversation now and then . . . well, let’s just say it’s good to keep informed. Now, how all this is going to affect the construction that was slated to begin in November, well, I suppose everyone will have to wait and see. Could be there will be delays, which will keep the new girl around for a while longer and will keep the rolling stone on his toes.
My, what fun this will be~
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This is for a review copy of Book 10 in the series!
Giveaway ends on September 21st, 2017
NOTE FOR THE NEW YEAR:
Look for Gallery Books’ second installment in Mariah Stewart’s all-new trade original women’s fiction series, The Hudson Sisters, following a trio of reluctant sisters as they set out to fulfill their father’s dying wish—and discover themselves in the process. Book 2, The Sugarhouse Blues, will publish March 2018!