I love how drastically different Carrie is from the rest of the O’Briens. Where they all want high-powered careers, she just wants a family. And Woods reminds us beautifully that this is just as important and meaningful as the rest of the O’Briens’ ambitions.
Whilst I seriously enjoyed this romance, the emotional entanglement of Susie’s journey in this also drew me in. She doesn’t act in the best of ways and is honestly quite a bitch in moments, but there is still that understanding that you get from her actions. It adds an extra layer of difficulty and drama that Carrie’s romance would otherwise be lacking.
Although I did really love the departure from the structure of the rest of this series, I did find it harder to relate to Carrie. She is incredibly and beautifully maternal. She has this fantastic natural instinct and willingness to love. Both things that I, myself don’t feel that I have. It was nice to read about someone who does though.
Yet another beautiful and incredibly cute Chesapeake Shores novel to fill a few hours with. There is just something gorgeous about this small town that pulls you in. Something that will have me returning again and again and again over the years.
At first I was a bit thrown as to how the Adrian and Liz were even involved with the O’Brien Family. I mean, every story has featured at least one member of the family. And then this one had two total newcomers that didn’t appear to have any relation to the O’Brien clan. But, as the story unfolds, you begin to understand how this all relates in. And it’s awesome.
Liz and her love of dogs is way too familiar to me. I love how almost every important scene revolves around Archie. He is such a gallumphing fool. Like all good, big dogs. Definitely a fantastic show stealer. And a perfect vessel to encourage the somewhat reluctant couple to spend time together.
As with all of the Chesapeake Shores books, family is still a centre point of this story. The O’Briens are definitely part of that. But I mostly enjoyed Liz’s family dynamics. It’s incredibly awkward and painful, but also realistic. She doesn’t have the perfect family, but she does find a way to reconnect after some fairly painful discussions.
Liz and Adrian are a fun couple. I love how they work through each other’s trust issues to find a better future. Even if there are some boneheaded mistakes along the way, they still find a path that is cute, sweet and very fun.
Caitlyn and Carrie are little show stealers from their appearance in The Inn at Eagle Point. I mean, how could they not be? They’re identical twins who just run havoc across everyone’s emotions and practicalities. And, after reading about Jenny in A Seaside Christmas, I was looking forward to reading another tale about this latest generation of O’Briens.
Caitlyn was everything I had wanted her to be. She is driven and direct. Slightly scarred, and definitely terrified of commitment. Many things that I’ve felt myself. It doesn’t matter how much you love someone… if you’re a woman who wants a career, there are certain aspects of settling down to a family life that are truly terrifying. Caitlyn is scared of all of the same things.
Noah was a fantastic balance to Caitlyn in this tale. He is patient and kind, willing to understand her fears. And also willing to slowly work on them without putting untoward pressure on her. In fact, his patience and kindness in moments reminded me of my own partner… mines not quite as patient as Noah, but who would be? The whole point of a book hero is to be the ideal… not the reality.
This story may be set against Christmas, but mostly when I think about it, I recall the love. Christmas is sweet, well and good. But it is the family that, as always, drives this Chesapeake Shores romance.
After Jenny’s abrupt departure in An O’Brien Family Christmas, I was kind of wondering how things would turn out. I mean, you do understand WHY she’s so upset. But you also feel seriously frustrated at her being… well, brattish. I was wondering how I’d bond with her considering that background. Luckily, this story starts with Jenny KNOWING what a brat she is. And feeling guilty for it.
There’s a lot of things I love about the Chesapeake Shores novels. And, just contemporary romances in general. One of the things though that shines through most in this is that the love story isn’t an insta love. Rather, it is a tale about forgiveness and moving on from past hurts. Regaining trust is incredibly important for any broken relationship, and I love how it takes centre stage in this story.
The fact that this story is also based around Christmas just made me even happier to curl up with it. There’s nothing like spending a warm December’s evening reading a Christmas romance with the dogs curled up on your lap. Tales of Christmas and love always leave me feeling happy and settled. Jenny and Caleb’s tale is no exception.
Christmas by the beach is definitely an Australian tradition. It may be winter in the setting of this book, but it still had a powerful atmosphere to it that felt familiar. That, and the chaotic O’Brien Family just about made this tale. A fantastic way to start off the stories of the next generation of O’Briens.
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 Pace: Medium Format: Novel Publisher: Mira Year: 2012 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.
Title: An O’Brien Family Christmas Author: Sherryl Woods Series: Chesapeake Shores #8 Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again) My Bookshelves:Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romance Dates read: 23rd September 2021 Pace: Medium Format: Novel Publisher: Mira Year: 2011 5th sentence, 74th page: It’s recently been suggested to me that dating is highly overrated.
New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods takes the O’Briens to Ireland for a family Christmas they’ll never forget!
Dating Matthew O’Brien – a playboy and a younger man – cost Laila Riley her career and her parents’ respect. A high price, even for love – and when Laila decides it was just a fling, she breaks it off, despite Matthew’s objections.
But the O’Brien family has other ideas, and they conspire to get Laila to join them on a Dublin holiday. It’s a great time to get away from it all, but Laila has reservations about the trip. Matthew’s bound to be there, and she’s far from immune. What if she can’t resist temptation?
Meanwhile, the O’Briens are in an uproar over matriarch Nell’s unexpected romance with an old flame. Will she follow her heart, despite the risks? And will Laila discover that some risks are actually once-in-a-lifetime opportunities?
Alright, it’s a little weird reading a Christmas book in September. But I seem to be doing that a bit lately. And, honestly, it mostly works. I think because the whole Christmas spirit thing is around and kicking, regardless of what time of year. And although I’d probably smile a lot more about actual Christmas if I read this at the right time of year… I still loved this romance.
Matthew and Laila came as quite a surprise when it was revealed in Beach Lane. As does the way their story ended on a bit of a cliffhanger in the novel. Which, of course, meant that I just had to pick up An O’Brien Family Christmas immediately. I just HAD to know what was going to happen next.
The weight of parents’ expectations can be intensely difficult. Particularly if they are then weighed against a lack of respect and recognition when you do hold up against their hopes and dreams. I truly felt for Laila throughout this. She was constantly being placed in situations of doubt by her parents. The very people who are supposed to support her. It would have been heart breaking. If not for Matthew, Trace and the rest of the O’Briens rallying about her.
This is yet another beautiful, sweet Chesapeake Shores story. It also sets up the next book (which I believe features Luke and Moira), whilst rounding out Susie and Mack’s story. That, and Nell, the most perfect matriarch gets her own taste of romance. All completely sweet and adorable.
New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods returns to Chesapeake Shores with a heartfelt story about the healing power of love.
In the close-knit community of Chesapeake Shores, Maryland, Susie O’Brien and Mack Franklin’s “not dating” claim befuddles everyone, especially since the two spend every spare minute together. Susie’s thrilled when their friendship finally heats up. Then, just when happily-ever-after seems within reach, Mack loses the job he loves and Susie faces a devastating diagnosis.
But O’Briens always unite in a crisis. Even her cousin Jess, Susie’s rival for most of their lives, becomes her staunchest supporter – especially when Mack’s former lover comes to town. The stakes are higher than ever before, but Susie’s definitely up to the challenge… as long as Mack’s right there by her side.
After reading the blurb if this book, I’ve honestly been putting it off. Mostly because as soon as it said health scare, I knew it would be cancer. Its always cancer. And some days I just can’t deal with reading about cancer. It makes me cry. And all spoilers aside, yes, this book made me cry.
I love the small town speculation around Susie and Mack. Probably one of the most ridiculous aspects of small town living is the gossip in all honesty. And people’s need to meddle and find out the answers. The fact that I swear half of Chesapeake Shores seems to be an O’Brien just makes it all that much better.
From the very beginning of this story, there is a lot of turmoil threatening Susie and Mack. In many moments its actually hard to stomach because it is so damn tragic. But, it also shows the amazing strength of the couple. Susie and Mack are able to find a way to create their own happily ever after, in spite of all of the difficulties they face.
This is a fantastic friends to lovers story. One that left my heart feeling just a little bit lighter and more beautiful. And kept me grinning happily long after I turned that final page. Even though there were multiple moments throughout that reduced me to tears….
Title: Moonlight Cove Author: Sherryl Woods Series: Chesapeake Shores #6 Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again) My Bookshelves:Contemporary, Contemporary romance Dates read: 18th – 21st July 2021 Pace: Medium Format: Novel Publisher: Mira Year: 2011 5th sentence, 74th page: There’s nothing to indicate that you’re about to be fired.
Welcome to Chesapeake Shores, where New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods weaves a world with compelling characters and heartfelt emotion
Jess O’Brien has overcome a lot – the challenges of attention deficit disorder, the near bankruptcy of her beloved Inn at Eagle Point and her self-perception as a screwup in a family of overachievers. Now she’s ready to share the future with a man. Her friends persuade her to join a dating service – but she gets no takers! Which is fine with her childhood friend, psychologist Will Lincoln, who’s already chosen the perfect man for Jess: himself.
Will has loved Jess practically forever. He knows her faults and her strengths. But for all Will’s sincerity and charm, Jess fears he views her as some psychological case study. With her family and the town of Chesapeake Shores behind him, Will finally makes his case. But is it enough to convince Jess to take the risk of a lifetime?
Jess is most definitely the most damaged and vulnerable of the O’Brien siblings. This just made her story all that much more heart wrenching and sweet. I mean, she has a whole lot more abandonment issues than her other siblings, and she also has some huge insecurities. It doesn’t help that the whole town seems to kind of reinforce these ideas.
I loved that Will is able to look at Jess’ insecurities from the beginning and just… support her. He sees all of her flaws and loves her in spite of them. To me, this is what true love entails – knowing someone’s flaws and loving them in spite of it. It does make this a bit of a one-sided relationship for much of the story. Bu a lot of relationships do start like this. I also love that Will’s support makes Jess finally choose to let go of her crap and take the plunge into trust.
This book may have the best proposal scene in it of the many romances I’ve been reading thus far. It wasn’t necessarily all flowery words and epic sentiments, but it most definitely did have that feeling of love and thought. The idea of snow, bonfires, candles and the beach is just… way too picturesque for me to even deal with. I would love to spend an evening with light snowfall and a bonfire on the beach. Although, I do tend to struggle in the cold… so that may not work perfectly.
I thought that Moonlight Covewas the perfect way to round out the first of the O’Brien batches. It also had a great romance with Uncle Thomas, brining him back into the fold. This novel also helped to really introduce Mack and Susie, the next O’Brien (albeit from a different branch) to take centre stage. I’m both excited and terrified to read Beach Lane, because it mentions a bit of bad news (which I automatically associate with cancer). But I also can’t wait to meet the next batch of insane O’Briens to steal my heart away.
Title: Driftwood Cottage Author: Sherryl Woods Series: Chesapeake Shores #5 Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again) My Bookshelves:Contemporary, Contemporary romance Dates read: 14th – 18th July 2021 Pace: Medium Format: Novel Publisher: Mira Year: 2011 5th sentence, 74th page: A tap on the front door had her glancing up to spot Connor with their son in his arms.
New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods again brings her signature heartwarming style to the community of Chesapeake Shores
Single mom Heather Donovan’s dreams of home an dfamily are tantalizingly within reach when she settles in Chesapeake Shores. The welcoming arms of the boisterous, loving O’Brien clan embrace her and her son. But accepting their support seems to further alienate her son’s father, Connor O’Brien. His parents’ divorce and his career as a high-powered divorce attorney have left him jaded about marriage.
Then everything changes. Will the possibility of a future without Heather make Connor look at love and his career differently? Heather’s just about given up on her old dreams – of love, of family and especially of Driftwood Cottage, the home she secretly wishes were hers. It’s going to take a lot of persuasion – and some help from the O’Brien family – to make Heather believe that some dreams are worth fighting for.
Connor seemed like a bone head from the very beginning of A Chesapeake Shores Christmas. And, as you find out that he has a secret missus and a kid that he doesn’t tell his family about… even more of a bonehead. But, as the story unfolded, you could understand Heather’s love for him. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t really change my bonehead opinion at all. But I did enjoy the story overall.
As someone who is pregnant and with a man that never plans to have a wedding, I found this story really intriguing. The premise that marriage is so important is always in the romances that I read. It’s not necessarily something that I feel myself, but I do kind of like reading these stories which feature this kind of conflict. Our ever-changing social dynamics make it more acceptable (and less) to be unmarried and living together. Although this story ultimately ends in marriage, it was interesting.
Although I really and thoroughly enjoyed this story and like that it offered up some different opinions on marriage, it is also very much pro-marriage. In some ways, I did feel a little uncomfortable with the strength of conviction of the social world throughout it, I did like that it bought up an issue I often deal with. I mean, people aren’t actually as understanding as you would hope about being unmarried – when they’ve found out that we’re expecting after ten years together, the first comment is generally about a ring.
All in all, I think this Chesapeake Shores story hits me the closest as far as my own story. There were a number of moments throughout that I connected with quite strongly. Ones that made me sit back and go “huh”. It was probably the book that’s made me look at my own happiness in a relationship in such a long time. One that actually made me feel incredibly happy and content in my own relationship and life. And grateful that I have a man who isn’t quite as boneheaded as Connor O’Brien.
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Sherryl Woods brings the O’Brien family home for a heartwarming Christmas…
After years apart, Mick and Megan O’Brien are finally ready to make it official… again. Most of their grown children couldn’t be happier about their rekindled love and impending marriage this holiday season. Only Connor is a holdout. Driven to become a divorce attorney after what he views as his mother’s abandonment of their family, Connor’s not about to give his blessing to this reunion romance
The last thing Megan wants to do is hurt her family again. After all, is she really sure she and Mick can make it this time around? And when an unexpected delivery causes chaos, it seems only a miracle can reunite this family.
Of course, it II is II Christmas – the season of miracles.
This was one of those fun, cute and easy reads. It’s been a while since I’ve visited Chesapeake Shores (because I didn’t have any more of the books, rectifying that situation immediately). So it was nice to just slip right back in… like putting on a well loved coat.
Megan and Mick are a good lead for the chaotic of the family of O’Briens. I enjoyed their reconciliation and how it kind of closed off the first three siblings with their happily ever afters. All the while setting up the next two Chesapeake Shores books perfectly.
I may have read this Christmas story in the middle of the year… but I do always love a good Christmas tale. They just have this extra layer of hope that always seems to surround the season. It’s that feeling of family and together-ness that Woods is able to capture in this story. The story becomes less about Megan and Mick, more about family. Connor and Megan in particular.
This was such a happy feel good book. One I very much enjoyed. And one that was a great reminder of how much I love my family. And Sherryl Wood’s romances.