A Seaside Christmas by Sherryl Woods
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Harlequin MIRA
Series: Chesapeake Shores #10
Jenny always wanted to be part of a big family, but when her mom married into the O'Brien clan, she felt her mom had chosen a new husband instead of her. Their relationship was split even more when Jenny took off to Nashville to make a name for herself. Now, after having her heart broken by the heart throb Caleb Green, Jenny heads back to her home in Chesapeake Shores.
Caleb has admittedly done Jenny wrong. He went to rehab and has turned his life around. When he learns Jenny has gone to Chesapeake Shores, he follows her there and is determined to do whatever it takes to win her back. Things seem to be going to plan, that is until Jenny discovers the reason that sent Caleb to Chesapeake Shores to begin with.
I absolutely love the O'Brien family and was happy to revisit with many of them again. I will be honest and say, this was not my favorite one of the series. I can't quite put my finger on what was missing though. Jenny seemed to be a nice young girl who was hurt by her mother's marriage, but instead of sticking around and figuring things out with her mom, she took off to college and landed a career in Nashville as a song writer. Her split to Nashville only severed their relationship even more and she never gave her step dad or her new little brother a chance. Once she realizes how they all still love her and only want the best for her, she slowly begins to come around and let them into her heart.
I've read quite a few reviews that really attacked Jenny for being so immature about her mother's marriage. For me though, I'm not so sure I would have acted any differently. See, I also grew up in a home where it was always just mom and me. I'm not sure how I would have felt and reacted if my mom had started dating someone and then married them when I was about 18. It would be tough and I honestly can't fault Jenny for feeling like her mom was choosing a new husband over her own daughter. Now, I'm not saying that I agree with Jenny's decision, but I also can't throw her under the bus and say she was being a childish brat.
When Caleb first came on the scene and was trying to get Jenny's song, I was a little unsure of his character. After he headed to Chesapeake Shores and had the nerve to show up at an O'Brien run Inn, I knew he was serious about wanting to fix his past and make a new future with Jenny. I really enjoyed watching him truly try to understand Jenny's need for space and not just push himself on her.
The O'Brien clan tends to be a lot more meddlesome and perhaps they toned it down some because of Caleb's celebrity status, I don't know. I do know that this was a sweet story just in time for the holiday season about forgiveness, even when it's not easy.
For my Christian reading fans, this book had no cuss words in it, however it did have the knowledge of premarital sex. However, none of it was described with any in depth details, you just knew what was happening.
I was graciously provided a free digital copy of this book from Harlequin MIRA in partnership with NetGalley to review it. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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