Title: The Summer Garden
Author: Sherryl Woods
Series: Chesapeake Shores #9
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 1st – 6th October 2021
5th sentence, 74th page: He suspected that Mick himself would have said far worse.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sherryl Woods proves once more that home is always where the heart is.
Falling for “Maddening Moira” O’Malley was the unexpected highlight of Luke O’Brien’s Dublin holiday. So when she pays a surprise visit to Chesapeake Shores, Luke is thrilled… at first. A fling with this wild Irish rose is one thing, but forever? Maybe someday, but not when he’s totally focused on establishing a business that will prove his mettle to his overachieving family.
Given Luke’s reaction, Moira has some soul-searching of her own to do. Scarred by her father’s abandonment, she wonders if Luke, with his playboy past, is truly the family man she longs for. Adding to her dilemma, she’s offered an amazing chance at a dream career of her own.
Deep down, though, Moira knows home is the real prize, and that love can be every bit as enchanted as a summer garden.
This kind of feels like the end of the first part of this series. I mean, each of the first nine books feel like they sit within their own trilogy anyway. And then this story just felt like it rounded out the three trilogies. I know that there are more Chesapeake Shores books to go, but Luke’s story finishes out the romances of the first and second generation of O’Briens. And highlights the appearance of a next generation soon to come up the ranks.
As someone who has always been told that she’s incredibly difficult, I kind of loved Moira from her very first appearance in An O’Brien Family Christmas. I mean, I can be rude and surly (especially when I was younger) and often got painted into a specific box. Just like Moira. Of all the women that I have loved thus far in this series (and I’ve loved them all), I think it’s Moira that I most strongly identified with. She’s unsure, confused and there are so many different possibilities laid out before her. However, unlike me, she actually manages to figure out what she wants at a fairly young age. And is able to find ways to fight for it.
One of the things that always confuses me about people and romance is that they have an image of their “ideal” person. Or the “ideal” timeline to fall in love and get married and have kids. In my experience, this is absolute stupidity. There is no ideal time to do any of these things. Rather, life happens and you may as well enjoy it and move forwards with it. Luke most definitely falls into this category of stupid. He just… keeps thinking that if he ticks off his list, he’ll get his happily ever after. To me, happily ever after is the everyday moments and points in life that happen on a daily basis. Luckily, Luke does manage to realise that before its too late.
All in all, this was a good and sweet book. I do enjoy the fact that Kirsten (of fame in Beach Lane) kind of gets a bit of a kick in the butt in this story. I would have liked a little more comeuppance. But, she does get a swift kick in the butt. It just gave an extra sense of joy throughout this story that left me smiling. Nothing better than an entitled brat getting their butt kicked in the name of true love…
As always, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the mad O’Briens at Chesapeake Shores. They’re quite a clan, and honestly, what I’ve always wished family meant / represented.