After taking stock of her life, Sophie Enright has decided it’s time for a break. Between a law career that’s become criminally dull and a two-timing boyfriend she’s done with once and for all, Sophie desperately needs some time to think and some space to breathe. The perfect place to do both is easygoing St. Dennis, Maryland, where Sophie can visit with her brother while she figures out her options. Once in St. Dennis, she discovers a shuttered restaurant and makes a bold move that is also a leap of faith. Sophie buys the fixer-upper in order to finally pursue her dream career.
But Sophie’s labor of love becomes a bone of contention for her new neighbor Jason Bowers. The local landscaper has big plans for growing his business—until Sophie scoops up the property he’s got his eye on. And no amount of buyout offers or badgering from him will get her to budge. It’s hardly the start of a beautiful friendship. But when they’re paired up to work on a community project, they agree to put their differences aside, and sparks begin to fly. Then Sophie’s cheating ex suddenly shows up, looking for a second chance—and threatening to make Jason a third wheel just when his hotheaded feelings about Sophie were turning decidedly warmhearted. All Sophie wants is a new life and a true love. But what are the odds of having both?
Review: There is just something about these small town romance series that just draw me in. I think a lot of it is the interconnecting stories; characters featured in past books reappearing in later books and characters introduced in a book and then get their own story a couple books down the road. And of course, there are some themes that weave in and out of the stories. At the River’s Edge is book seven in the series, and it does stand alone. But, with most series, it’s going to be much more satisfying if you’d read previous books.
I want to start by saying that I found the blurb for this book to be a little misleading. Yes, all that is stated in the blurb happens, but it happens in about a quarter of the book. In fact, as I was reading, I kept waiting for it to happen. Now, this isn’t to say I didn’t like the book. I did. I just felt the blurb wasn’t a true representation of the book.
That said, I enjoyed Sophie and Jason and their romance. Sophie is a lawyer with ties to St. Dennis through her grandfather and brother. When a romance fails, she decides to move to St. Dennis to start over. Jason came to St. Dennis during the prior book in the series to be closer to his sister-in-law and nephew after his brother passed away. He decides to stay since his nephew is his only remaining relative and figures this is as good a place to settle as any. Sophie and Jason meet because her brother and his sister-in-law are getting married, but they’re also attracted to each other.
Sophie is a strong woman starting over. She’s gone into law since it was expected of her. But now she’s rethinking the law thing and wants to open her own cafe. Her family doesn’t really support the idea, but it’s her dream and she’s determined to make it a reality. Jason on the other hand, doesn’t have much other than his nephew and a small start up landscaping business. But when he keeps running into Sophie and the sparks start flying, he find himself ready to start thinking of settling down. There are obvious bumps in the road to their happiness, what kind of romance would it be otherwise.
In the end, this is a satisfying addition to the Chesapeake Diaries series. And I’m anxiously awaiting the next book.
If you’d like to follow Mariah Stewart’s blog tour, visit here for the list of all the stops.