Thursday, 16 January 2014

Review: At the River's Edge by Mariah Stewart

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?

Paperback, 432 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2014 by Ballantine Books 
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Kristine's Thoughts:

* I received a copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group- Ballantine Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*

At the River's Edge is the 7th book in the Chesapeake Diaries. Although I did not read the previous books it was easy to follow along as a stand alone. There were many references to different characters that perhaps I would have been more familiar with had I read them but it did not disrupt the flow of the book. If anything it makes me want to go back and read the first six so that I can know all of their stories.

This book is marketed as a romance or contemporary romance but I really think it is story about Sophie figuring out her direction and path in life. Does she join the family law firm like her brother and grandfather want her to or does follow her heart and open a restaurant like she has dreamt of since she was a teenager?

There is romance but it doesn't really pick up until the second half of the book. Sophie has an instant attraction to Jason and I can't say that I blame her. He is good looking, a loving uncle and a respected (although new) member of the St. Dennis community. As luck would have it, the attraction is mutual and the potential for a great relationship starts. Just when things are looking up they have a huge disagreement over property and things seem to end before they really have a chance to begin. Sophie struggles with her feelings and what to do about the man that she isn't sure she wants to let go.

Stewart does such an amazing job of describing the town of St. Dennis that it is almost a character in itself. I could easily visualise the landscape and all the little shops and restaurants and picture myself sitting at a table with all of the locals. I loved the sense of community throughout the book.

I would recommend this book if you are a fan of sleepy romance stories with strong family and community ties. I will be checking out the first 6 books so that I can find out more about the members of the St. Dennis community.


About the Author
Mariah Stewart is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-six novels and three novellas and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal. She is a RITA finalist in romantic suspense and the recipient of the Award of Excellence for contemporary romance, a RIO Award for excellence in women's fiction, and a Reviewers Choice Award from Romantic Times Magazine. A three-time winner of the Golden Leaf Award presented by the New Jersey Romance Writers, Stewart was recently awarded their Lifetime Achievement Award (which placed her in their Hall of Fame along with former recipients Nora Roberts and Mary Jo Putney — very excellent company, indeed!)

After having written seven contemporary romance novels, Stewart found true happiness writing murder and mayhem. She considers herself one lucky son of a gun to have landed the best job in the world: getting paid for making up stories. At home. In sweats and J. Crew flip flops. Could life be sweeter?


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