This is the sixth year in a row Mariah Stewart has given us a touching summer romance set in the small town of St. Denis. Thanks to her previous nine novels, I already know most of the prominent citizens. I always enjoy touching base with those people and then meeting a new two-some. In That Chesapeake Summer my new friends are Jamie Valentine and Dan Sinclair.
Jamie is an author and frequent talk-show guest. She’s written five books specializing in honest relationships. As we first meet her she has just suffered the sudden loss of her mother. (Her father died years earlier.) As she was cleaning out a desk drawer in her old family home, she discovered a set of documents which revealed she was adopted.
Jamie’s parents had never told her. Now in her mid-thirties, this was a major shock. Here she was, a person with strong beliefs in honest relationships and her own background was based on deception. Jamie was thrown for a loop, but calmly decided to pursue the truth. She would attempt to learn as much as possible about her background. She booked a room for a month at the old St. Denis Inn and set upon a plan of solid research.
Dan is the general manager of the St. Denis Inn. He took over running the Inn when he was only 22. He has slowly built it so that it is now the premier place to stay when vacationing in the area. Dan is also a widower and the father of two teenagers. His life is busy, full and complete, or at least it was until Jamie came to stay at the Inn. The summer proves challenging for both Dan and Jamie.
I enjoyed my latest visit with the people of St. Denis. I really love this little town and wish I could visit for real. I like how people keep growing and changing every time I come back for a visit. A reader could pop in for just one visit, but why would you want to? Invest the time and get to know the stories behind all those interesting people you meet. The story may seem to drag to some people. For me, this is the charm of these books. They are very laid back.
Mariah Stewart has written some of the books in this series for other times of the year, but I like best the ones that take place during the summer months. They have that calm, lazy-summer feel to them. Plenty of things still happen in the story. Don’t get me wrong. It’s just that they inspire me (and maybe you) to take it easy. Just sit or lie back, sip something cool and let yourself mingle with the lives of the people on the blue waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
Thanks to the publisher, Simon & Schuster|Gallery/Threshold/Pocket Books, for my copy of the book. Thanks also to Mariah Stewart for all the hours of reading pleasure she has given me the past six years. Keep them coming, Mariah.