Jane Stewart's Reviews > Chesapeake Blue

Chesapeake Blue by Nora Roberts
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Sep 04, 2010

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bookshelves: contempry-romance-with-some-fantasy
Read in November, 2009

2.5 stars. Weak characters, relationship development, and plot. Enjoyable teasing and conversations among family members.

The Chesapeake Bay series includes four books which tell a continuing story about a family. Ray and Stella Quinn adopt three troubled boys who came from abusive homes. In the first three books the boys are about 30 years old. They left home, have good jobs and are single. Stella died several years earlier. In the beginning of the first book Ray took in another boy, 10-year-old Seth, who was abused by his mother Gloria. Gloria offered to give legal guardianship to Ray in return for a large sum of money. Before anything was official, Ray died in a car accident. Shortly before he died, he asked his three sons to move back home to take care of Seth. All three men promised they would. They decide to start a boat building business. In the first three books each of the three men meets and falls in love with a woman. The fourth book tells the story of Seth, who is grown, returns home and falls in love. The best parts of the first three books are watching the developing relationships among Seth and the three men and seeing Seth blossom. Each book has a minor amount of fantasy due to some conversations with a ghost. The four books, main characters, and my ratings are:
Sea Swept (Cameron and Anna) 4 stars
Rising Tides (Ethan and Grace) 3 stars
Inner Harbor (Phillip and Sybill) 3 stars
Chesapeake Blue (Seth and Dru) 2.5 stars

STORY BRIEF (WITH MILD SPOILERS) (Chesapeake Blue, Book 4):
Seth is now about 28. Gloria began contacting him when he was a teen, threatening to hurt his family. He secretly has been paying her money to stay away. He spent several years in Europe to get away from her. But when he became a famous painter, she followed him to Europe. Since he couldn’t avoid her and since he missed his family, he moves back to Chesapeake Bay.

Dru is the only child of a wealthy family in Washington D.C. Her fiancé cheated on her, and she moved to Chesapeake Bay to open a flower shop. She bought a house and loves living alone, with no domestic help. She likes the small town environment. Seth sees her and immediately falls for her. He wants to paint her. She is reluctant. He rents the space above her flower shop for his art studio.

The primary weakness was the two main characters were not interesting enough. There was not enough relationship development. I also felt it was too quick for Seth to ask her to marry him. The best parts of the book were the camaraderie, teasing, and conversations among the Quinn family members. That was entertaining and well done.

The major conflict in this story was regarding Gloria, Seth’s horrible mother. The Gloria problem was resolved in Book 3. So I was unhappy to see that the author had to weaken Seth’s character in order to reactivate Gloria’s bad guy role. I did not enjoy seeing Seth wimp out and pay her blackmail money over fourteen years without telling his family. They stood up to her and scared her off before. They would have done it again. I wasn’t happy with this plot. I enjoyed the first book the most.

Story length: 240 pages. Swearing language: strong. Sexual language: none. Number of sex scenes: 3. Total number of sex scene pages: 7. Setting: current day Chesapeake Bay area and Washington D.C.. Copyright: 2002. Genre: contemporary romance with fantasy.

For a list of my reviews of other Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb books, see my 4.5 star review of "Angels Fall" posted on 6-30-08.
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