Series: Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay Series by Nora Roberts: Rising Tides, Inner Harbor and Chesapeake Blue

Posted November 19, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

The Chesapeake Bay Series by Nora Roberts: Rising Tides, Inner Harbor and Chesapeake BlueReviewer: Holly
Rising Tides by Nora Roberts
Series: Chesapeake Bay #2
Also in this series: Sea Swept
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: 1998
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 339
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts presents the second novel in the dramatic trilogy of three men who return home to honor their father's last wish—to care for Seth, a troubled boy in need of a family. Coming home has taught the brothers more than they ever dreamed about the meaning of family and responsibility. Now it is time to learn the meaning of acceptance and love...
Of the three brothers, it was Ethan who shared his father's passion for the Maryland shore. And now with his father gone, Ethan is determined to make the family boatbuilding business a success. But amidst his acheivements lie the most important challenges of his life...
There is young Seth, who needs him more than ever. And a woman he has always loved but never believed he could have. But beneath Ethan's seemingly still waters is a dark and painful past. He must learn to see around the shadows to accept who he is. Because through Ethan's past lies the future—and his one chance at happiness...

I read three books this weekend! THREE! I used to read sometimes upwards of 9 books in a single weekend, but lately that number has dropped to one..or even none depending on what I’ve got going on, so reading three is a huge accomplishment for me.

See my review of the first book in this series, Sea Swept, here.

Rising Tides
Nora Roberts presents the second novel in a dramatic trilogy of three men who return home to honor their father’s last wish. Of the three brothers, it was Ethan who shared his father’s passion for the Maryland shore. And now with his father gone, Ethan is determined to make the family boatbuilding business a success. But amidst his achievements lie the most important challenges of his life.

Of the four brothers, I think Ethan is my favorite. Calm, cool and collected, but with a well of deep feelings hidden underneath his calm surface, Ethan was a joy to read about. We met his heroine, Grace, in Sea Swept and I was really happy that they ended up together. I really like Grace and her daughter Aubrey and I liked her attitude towards her relationship with Ethan. Though Ethan is slow to act in anything he does, he doesn’t think he’s good enough for Grace because of his background and because he sees her as delicate. Of course we all see that Grace is anything but delicate. Stubborn? yes. Prideful? yes. A hard worker? Yes. But delicate? Not even close.

Once again we’re shown the amazing relationship between the three older brothers and their newest charge, Seth. And once again this was my favorite aspect of the book. I love seeing the family dynamics and adding Anna (Cam’s new bride) into the mix was fabulous. We also saw glimpses of Grace’s painful relationship with her father and the toll that relationship takes on her mother. I truly enjoyed both aspects.

A fabulous read. In Sea Swept, I enjoyed the family dynamics more than the romance, but in this novel it was a pretty even split. Even if I did want to smack Ethan a time or two for acting like a dumbass.

4.5 out of 5

Inner Harbor
Inner Harbor is the crowning achievement in the story of the lives of the brothers Quinn. While the previous two books dealt primarily with Cam and Ethan, Inner Harbor focuses its attention on Phillip, the most unattached of the three after having given up his sexy job in Baltimore to be part of a boat-building enterprise in the small town of St. Christopher’s, on Maryland’s eastern shore. Phillip may be the hunkiest of the brothers, and when a mysterious writer named Sybill crosses his path, his world begins to rock.

Of the three older brothers, Phillip was the one I was least interested in. A metro-type who was into fine wine and good suits, he just didn’t suit me as much as the quiet Ethan and bad-boy Cam did. But my opinion of him changed, especially after reading what trials he went through as a child before the Quinn’s took him in and saved his life. Having said that, however, this is still my least favorite of the four books.

I think my biggest issue was Sybill. I truly enjoyed that all four heroines were different, but Sybill just wasn’t my type of girl. I did like that she eventually grew a backbone, but I couldn’t forgive her for not trying to do more to help Seth when he was a baby. Even if she didn’t realize the full extend of her sister’s mental and physical abuse to her young son, she did know he was unhappy, had terrible nightmares and didn’t act like the average 4-year-old normally would. That she didn’t do what she could to find them after they ran from her apartment in NY frustrated me. Even understanding her reasons didn’t help, because she continued to ignore what was right under her nose. That annoys me.

Phillip himself was a good hero, and seeing him battle some of his own demons was lovely, but this is still the least favorite of the series for me.

3.5 out of 5

Chesapeake Blue
Seth Quinn is finally home.

It’s been a long journey. After a harrowing boyhood with his drug-addicted mother, he’d been taken in by the Quinn family, growing up with three older brothers who’d watched over him with love.

Now a grown man returning from Europe as a successful painter, Seth is settling down on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, surrounded once again by Cam, Ethan, and Phillip, their wives and children, all the blessed chaos of the extended Quinn clan. Finally, he’s back in the little blue-and-white house where there’s always a boat at the dock, a rocker on the porch, and a dog in the yard.

Still, a lot has changed in St. Christopher since he’s been gone – and the most intriguing change of all is the presence of Dru Whitcomb Banks. A city girl who has opened a florist shop in this seaside town, she craves independence and the challenge of establishing herself without the influence of her wealthy connections. In Seth, she sees another kind of challenge – a challenge she can’t resist.

But storms are brewing that are about to put their relationship to the test. Dru’s past has made her sensitive to deception – and slow to trust. And Seth’s past has made him a target of blackmail – as a secret he’s kept hidden for years threatens to explode, destroying his new life and his new love…

After reading the first 3 books in this series, I was anxious to start this one. Watching Seth grow from a scared, abused child into a strong, confident man was wonderful. Once again the relationship between he and his brothers stood out more than his relationship with his heroine, but both were extremely satisfying to read about.

I really liked Dru and felt she was just what Seth needed. Someone who was a bit insecure and yet strong..and only stronger as the story went on. She and Seth complimented each other and worked well for me.

I was very disappointed in the way Seth dealt with his mother in the beginning. Though I understood his need to keep his family (The Quinn’s) safe, I still felt he should have learned from his big brothers and stood up to his mother, rather than feeding her need for hate. But in the end he stood up and did what was right, and I felt it was a satisfying close to the series.

His relationship with Aubrey was hilarious and knowing he could handle whatever life threw at him as long as he had his family’s support was…awesome. I truly enjoyed it.

4.0 out of 5

Overall a wonderful series and something I’d highly recommend. I cried at least once during each novel, and I felt emotionally invested in all the characters and their lives. Do yourselves a favor and pick these up to read over the holiday.


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Lightning Reviews: Sexiest Man Alive, Feels Like Home, Sea Swept

Posted November 8, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Lightning Reviews: Sexiest Man Alive, Feels Like Home, Sea SweptReviewer: Holly
Sexiest Man Alive by Diana Holquist
Series: Make Me a Match #2
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 1st 2007
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 300
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Shy No More Worksheet
Name: Jasmine Burns
Imagine the person who intimidates you. Naked. I'm intimidated by Josh Toby, the world's biggest movie star. Who has to imagine him naked? I've seen it on a forty-foot screen.
Breathe deep. Did I mention he's Josh Toby? As his costume designer, I'm supposed to dress him. And undress him. Oh, and my psychic sister Amy, who has never been wrong, named him my One True Love. Breathing is completely out of the question.
Ask for what you want. What I want is for him to stop being so...irresistible! I want not to fall in love with a man who's stalked by the paparazzi, whose washboard abs could cut glass, and whose movie star girlfriend is the most stunning creature ever.
Believe you can do what needs to be done. Then do it. So, all I have to do is believe I can resist Josh Toby. Resist those deep violet eyes, those strong, muscular arms, and the way he makes me feel like the only woman on earth. Couldn't be easier. Yeah right...

Sexiest Man Alive by Diana Holquist

I think the concept behind this book was a good one. She’s shy, has a phobia about hot men and he’s the sexiest man alive. But honestly? It didn’t work for me. The timing felt off, so things that should have been funny fell flat instead. And her sister, Amy? Hell no. The bitch needed to be drop kicked a time or five. I remember reading a review elsewhere (maybe it was Jane’s at Dear Author) who said she felt Amy almost redeemed herself in the end. For me? Not so much.

The romance was pretty good and worked well for me, and there were some humorous moments, such as when she tracks down the librarian and tries to explain he’s her One and Only, but overall I thought it lacked…something.

3.0 out of 5

Sea Swept by Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is really hit or miss for me. Some novels I love, some I think are ok and some are just plain blah. This fell into the “love” category. I decided to read this after Ween’s hero of the month post and I don’t regret it at all.

I think NR really excels are writing relationships. Whether it be between women, men, siblings, friends, etc, she does it better than any other writer I know. She didn’t disappoint in this novel, either. Although I enjoyed the relationship between Cam and Anna (his heroine), it was the relationship between the brothers and Seth (their newest adopted brother) that really grabbed me. Occasionally I found myself skimming through the parts with Anna and Cam just so I could get to the parts with Seth and Cam or Cam, Ethan and Phillip. Fab read, I highly recommend it.

4.5 out of 5

Feels Like Home by Maggie Shayne

I picked this one up from Books on Board the other day because I was in the mood for something short and sweet. That’s exactly what this was.

I really enjoyed the overall story, but I kind of felt like this one went in too many different directions. Jimmy, Kara and Tyler should have been the focus, but instead MS spent a lot of time focusing on Kara’s sisters and mother, Jimmy’s ex-wife and the convict she hooked up with and not enough time on Jimmy’s partner, who’s injured early in the book, or on Jimmy and Kara. Their relationship kind of takes a backseat to the action and secondary characters. Sometimes I’m ok with that, but as this is a short(er) story, it didn’t really work for me.

I think this one could have been put together better, but was still good for what it was: A light, fluffy, quick read.

3.5 out of 5

There you go, my first attempt at lightning reviews. What do you think? Need more? Less? Have questions? Let me know…


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