Book Review ✭ That Chesapeake Summer by Mariah Stewart

Title: That Chesapeake Summer
Author: Mariah Stewart
Series: Chesapeake Diaries, #9
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
Published date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback

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.

Ironic, isn’t it, that I’ve built my career based on truth—truth at any cost—and it turns out that my whole life has been a lie.

I’ve never heard of nor read any Mariah Stewart book prior to this one, but when I saw the cover, I knew I had to take it on a trip to the beach. Despite the magnitude of the stories situation and perhaps the deeper thinking that will occur, this is a sweet and light read perfect for the beach.

Jamie Valentine has grown up valuing honesty above all. The relationship she had with her parents was vastly engraved throughout her life. She even built a career around being honest in the form of her highly successful self-help books.
When the world of truths she’s come to live and admire rears its ugly head, it reveals that one of the most important truths has been a lie. 

In the wake of her mother’s passing, Jamie busies herself cleaning and packing things up. She comes across a file that leads to a startling revelation that will change the life she knew and the life she’ll continue to live. 
The only way she can get answers now is by going to the source. Her “vacation” in St. Dennis will give her more than she ever hoped for.

For me this wasn’t so much about the romance as it was about the search Jamie was on for the truth. There were certainly elements of romance mixed in, but the real focus was Jamie finding out things that were so greatly hidden from her her entire life. I don’t want to push the romance aside so I will say that when the romantic aspect was present, it was deep and beautiful. 

I liked the formatting of the story with its alternating third person POV’s and the occasional diary entries. I thought the diary aspect was a nice addition to the story. It really amped up the mystery behind the big secret Jamie was trying to find out.

I enjoyed this story so much, I’m going to go back and read the rest of the series. This can easily be read as a stand alone even though this is the ninth book in the series. A small town tale of second chances that will leave you with a heartwarming feeling and a content smile on your face. If you’re a fan of women’s fiction, this book is right up your alley.

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?