Release Date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: Pocket Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
From New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart comes the latest book in her celebrated Chesapeake Diaries, a small-town romance series in the tradition of Barbara Freethy, Susan Mallery, and Robyn Carr.
Jamie Valentine is the wildly successful author of self-help books advocating transparency in every relationship. But when her widowed mother passes away unexpectedly, Jamie discovers her own life has been based on a lie. Angry and deeply betrayed, she sets out to find the truth—which may be in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay. Cutting her most recent book tour short, Jamie books a room at the Inn at Sinclair’s Point, just outside St. Dennis.
The death of Daniel Sinclair’s father forced him to take over the family inn, and his wife’s death left him a single parent of two children, so there’s little room for anything else in his life. His lovely new guest is intriguing, though, and he’s curious about the secret she’s clearly hiding. But in the end, Jamie and Dan could discover the greatest truth of all: that the search for one thing just might lead to the find of a lifetime—if you keep your heart open.
Sorry for being MIA folks. This lady was recuperating from a bad bout of flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, retching) for the past 48 hours. Thankfully, I'm feeling much better now. I think it's the combination of heat and dehydration that did me in. Anyway, I was almost done with THAT CHESAPEAKE SUMMER by Mariah Stewart when the fever hit.
Though THAT CHESAPEAKE SUMMER is already the 9th book in the series, I didn't have a hard time acclimating to the story. There's no series arc and I'm guessing each novel can stand on its own. Also, the novel feels more like women's fiction than contemporary romance with a swirl of magic realism.
The main plot of THAT CHESAPEAKE SUMMER surrounds Jamie Valentine. Shortly after the death of her mother, Jamie discovered that she's adopted. After much digging, her research led her to St. Dennis, a small town in Chesapeake Bay. As soon as Jamie got to St. Dennis, Grace Sinclair, the Inn owner who's reputed to have the sight, took Jamie in and guided her through her discovery. It's also duing this time that Jamie met, and eventually fell in love, with Dan Sinclair. It wasn't love at first sight though, more like vex-me at first sight.
Like most novels with this type of setting, I love the small town feel of THAT CHESAPEAKE SUMMER. St. Dennis is idyllic, historic, and peaceful. Families have lived in the same town for generations so everyone knows everybody including their personal business. The novel didn't have a villain, Jamie just had a few struggles during her self discovery which weren't very antagonistic. The flow of the novel is very light, easy, and heartwarming. Very Hallmark if you ask me.
The romance was slow burning and took the backseat for the most part. I connected more with Jamie's personal journey than her budding romance with Dan. There are also things about these two that irritated me a bit: Jamie had a lot of opinion about Dan's parenting (too soon!) when she doesn't have kids of her own; and Dan's nosiness on Jamie's business. The man is also a bit of a gossip, disclosing Jamie's secret without her consent. But compared to the overall scheme of things, these are minor stuff and I still had a good time escaping in MStweart's Chesapeake Diaries.
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NetFlix Original Series
June 12, 2015
In between bouts of high fever and lucidity, I indulged in ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK season 3. There's a lot of things that went on in this season that will, once again, change the scenery in season 4. I will focus on some character driven highlights and be warned, there might be spoilers:
- Piper is and will ever be, a wolf in sheep's clothing. Last season, she ratted out Alex to the latter's probation officer which resulted to Alex going back to Litchfield. Why? Because Piper is lonely. Boo-hoo! And as if this isn't enough, Piper (almost) got herself a new (hot) girl... whom she also screwed over in the end.
- The new hot girl being Stella aka Ruby Rose. Chick's L-Word hot, she makes me want to dip in the lady pond!
- Alex is paranoid that her former drug dealing boss sent someone to stalk, and eventually killl her. Alex is acting a more than a little crazy this season.
- Crazy Eyes is still reeling after Vee's escape/death. Suzanne eventually found her footing and became Litchfield's premier erotic writer... much to the guard's dismay as one of her characters is based off him. Too much estrogen to handle!
- Nicky got sent to Max because of the heroin Vee left from last season. Red is back in the kitchen. Sophia is in SHU because of some gossip the latinas spread about her.
- Dayanara had her baby but not before Bennett run off on her.
- The whites started a cult with Norma as their leader. The blacks are trying to be jews. The latinas are having baby mama issues. And more backstories are revealed.
- Litchfield was almost shut-down, but saved when a corporation absorbed the correctional facility. What seemed like a good move in the beginning turned into a nightmare for Caputo. Budget cuts were snipping away the effeciency of Litchfield which resulted to his guards quitting on him.
- Part of Litchfield being part of Corporate America, some of the inmates are making panties. Piper saw this as an opportunity to make money by recruiting other inmates to wear smuggled overruns which Piper then sold to panty-sniffing perverts.
This season is tamer than the previous one and focused more on the women's individual stories, and growth than their notoriety. Except for Piper's turn for the worse (bitch is getting cold hearted and more evil every season), I enjoyed getting to know more of the ladies intimately. I also loved Crazy Eyes' erotic serial, it sounds ridiculous but girl's smart and her book is such a hit among the inmates. So much so that Suzanne found herself fans and a girlfriend in the end. The ending made me a bit teary too. The women got a bit of freedom and they enjoyed it to the max! It was a very touching scene and can be very metaphorical in some ways. Sure, these ladies are no role models and they probably deserve to be incarcerated. However I can't help but feel sympathy for their living conditions, it's still deplorable and sometimes inhumane, even if it's dealt with some humor.
Also, Litchfield being under a big corporation is sure to change things. With the senior guards quitting and more inmates joining the crew, the climate is sure going to be different in season 4.