Dune Drive by Mariah Stewart Release Date: July 31, 2018 Publisher: Pocket Books Book #12 in the Chesapeake Diaries series Number of pages: 400 Kindle Edition Source: ARC from Net Galley Contemporary Romance M/F Rating: R Read 7/21/17 to 7/22/17
This series has definitely had its ups and downs with me. But as I mentioned in my review of The Chesapeake Bride, I’m a big fan of the Cannonball Island stories and Ruby. The heroine of this story, Chrissy, is Ruby’s great (great?) granddaughter. The hero, Jared, is a salvage diver who works with Owen, Chrissy’s cousin who was the focus of The Chesapeake Bride. Needless to say, I really enjoyed this story.
There are parts to Chrissy’s story that just had me in tears. I’m not giving anything away to say she was in an abusive relationship…that’s established from the beginning. It’s not the abuse that tore at my heart, but more the aftermath. Things I hadn’t ever really thought of. As much as I am aware of the long-lasting psychological effects of being in such a situation, the scope of how that can play out when looking for a job or making friends hadn’t occurred to me. Mariah Stewart really handled Chrissy’s situation beautifully and taught me a thing or two in the process.
The relationship between Jared and Chrissy starts very slowly. In fact, the two of them don’t so much as hold hands for quite a while and insist they are “good friends” when anyone mistakes their relationship for anything more. It’s actually very sweet and romantic although neither of them means for it to be sweet or romantic. Their bond happens so organically and their feelings grow in such a natural way, it’s almost a surprise when you realize how enmeshed they are with each other.
As the reader, you know certain things are going to play out. I don’t believe the author means for it to be a surprise and she surely drops hints constantly throughout the story. As always, that is fine with me when the author makes it a point of ensuring the trip is a joy to take. And here, it really was.
I’m a huge fan of this author’s The Hudson Sisters series and my curiosity was piqued when Devlin’s Light was mentioned. Now I’m going to have to hunt down the books in her Enright series since they tie to both The Hudson Sisters and The Chesapeake Diaries. I’d love to go back and find out more about some of the characters I’ve met in all the books that I didn’t realize had their own stories.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**