Title: The Inn at Eagle Point (1/14 Chesapeake Shores series)
Author: Sherryl Woods
Published: Kindle Edition was published October 12, 2020; Originally published in 2009.
Final grade: 4/5
I came across this series after watching the Television series based on it from the Hallmark Channel. I always like to read the book when I find out that is the source. In this case I actually found a series that I have quite enjoyed. A Caveat though before we begin – The show is based on the books, but takes its own direction pretty much a few episodes in. Both however are good, but don’t read the books expecting just a more in depth guide to the series.
The Chesapeake Shores series is a group of books based around the O’Brien family in the town of Chesapeake Shores, Maryland. The Matriarch of the family is Nell, a still spirited 80 year old woman who has helped raise her grandchildren after the divorce of their parents (Mick and Megan). She has three sons, Mick, Jeff and Thomas. The three sons at one point were partners in building the community of Chesapeake Shores but their relationship soured and now they really only talk when its the holidays and they gather for their mother.
The first book in the series (which oddly is the second I read, but I’m reviewing first for order’s sake) is Abby’s Story. Abby is the eldest daughter of Mick and his ex-wife Megan. She was 17 when her parents broke up and has since become the reliable daughter, someone her siblings seek when they need help. And in book one, Jess, the youngest sister, needs help with her Inn as she has been struggling a bit with the opening costs.
Abby comes home, at the start for just a weekend though it ends up being for good, to help her sister and ends up running into her ex-boyfriend from high School Trace Riley, who is working for the bank that is run by his family and is the lending partner for Jess.
While there are some romance novel tropes (coming home from the big city, second chance love) they are done in a way that is fun to read and enjoyable. I also enjoy that Woods deals with issues you don’t usually see in romance novels. For example, Abby is a divorced mother of twins. The story deals with co-parenting, and the addition of step parents. Unlike the show, Wes and Gabrielle are shown to be a couple in love and Gabrielle loves the twins like her own, just as Trace does by the end of the book.
There is only one major con to the book. I do feel that Trace takes awhile to get warmed up to, especially as he is blackmailing people at the start of the novel, but its relatively minor. The major issue I have is a short sequence in the book where Abby admits to not getting her kids vaccinated because of concerns for Autism. The book was written in 2009, by which time Andrew Wakefield had been discredited by several studies. I’m trying to give Woods the benefit of the doubt because Wakefield lost his license in 2011, but I felt uncomfortable with the fact that she went that direction then treated it like the kids just caught a cold rather then the measles. No one seemed concern about passing along the illness. The only sane statement was Mick’s wonder at Abby not getting the kids vaccinated. Which again, was brief and largely brushed over.
Other then that I largely enjoyed the novel. I found the characters of the O’Brien’s intriguing and connected with them. As I said before Trace was a hard sell because he seemed at the first place to be the alpha trope who would blackmail and force himself into a situation. He seems to realize this and changes through out the book but nothing specifically is said about his behavior in the first third of the book.
Right now this novel is available on Kindle Unlimited, which is how I accessed it.