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Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Chesapeake Shores Christmas by Sherryl Woods

A Chesapeake Shores Christmas by Sherryl Woods
Publisher: Mira
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (285 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

After years apart, Mick and Megan O'Brien are finally ready to make it official…again. Most of their grown children couldn't be happier about their rekindled love and impending marriage this holiday season. Only Connor is a holdout. Driven to become a divorce attorney after what he views as his mother's abandonment of their family, Connor's not about to give his blessing to this reunion romance.

The last thing Megan wants to do is hurt her family again. After all, is she really sure she and Mick can make it this time around? And when an unexpected delivery causes chaos, it seems only a miracle can reunite this family.

Of course, it is Christmas—the season of miracles.

Memorable characters and exquisite writing makes A Chesapeake Shores Christmas exceptionally good reading.

Megan wants to remarry Mick but she wants to be a partner not a possession to him. Making it happen may be next to impossible. Mick’s controlling, I-know-best attitude had made him a successful, rich man but had negated Megan’s value in their marriage until she ran to save her sense of self, but their love for each other never died.

She’d tried to communicate that she and the children needed him to be a part of their lives not just a good provider. Communication did take place, but each person interpreted the words from his or her own perspective. It reminds me of a song from ‘back when’ that said, everybody’s talking at me. I don’t hear a word they are saying. The lack of understanding brought heartbreaking results—a divorce that colored the lives of Megan and Mick’s five children.

Older and hopefully wiser Megan tries to mend family ties that she rent asunder when she divorced Mick and allowed their five children to stay with him—a decision that cut deep wounds in her heart—wounds that bled afresh each time her children rebuffed her.

The children, now adults, play major roles in the reconciliation efforts of Mick and Megan. Connor, the youngest and a divorce lawyer, is an antagonist deluxe. His pessimistic, judgmental attitude not only threatens his parents’ happiness, it also threatens his own happiness.

Families squabble, but the O’Briens have developed it into an art form.

Consequently, Megan’s being strong enough to stand up to Mick’s bulldozer ways gets tested over and over again as he works to make good on his claim that he has changed. An even tougher test is holding on to her convictions while dealing lovely with Connor who has deep-seated anger and abandonment issues that make him truly cruel at times. The other children add opinions to their parents reuniting which makes for some volatile family gatherings. However, great-grandmother Nell and tiny baby Mick just may be two of the most pivotal characters that influence the resolution of some major issues—these two wield lots of power.

Sherryl Woods’ character development reveals such true-to-life emotions that the members of the O’Brien family seem like neighborhood friends that weather some of the toughest of life’s emotional storms, never giving up, and never taking the easy way out of problems. A mixture of ‘muleheadedness’, we-will-survive attitude, and an abundance of both family love and romantic love makes A Chesapeake Shores Christmas a story with its share of Christmas miracles. When the chips are down, love wins the day, but not without a ton of conflicts that make a spellbinding story.