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Personal and public agendas are flying in the first of this new fictional romance series. The O'Brien clan is quite a motley crew of individuals who have been so busy pushing their memories into oblivion as possible that the fireworks are always near the surface. The sparks stem from fury in some scenes and oh so fiery, repressed passion in others! Whichever turn the reader takes, he or she is bound to be mesmerized by this vibrant family, beginning with Abby O'Brien Winters, a woman who thinks she knows her own mind - today at least!
Abby, divorced and the mother of twin girls, has a successful financial career in Manhattan, New York. She desperately could use some vacation time but is still surprised by the desperate call she receives from her sister, Jess. Abby drops all and travels to the lovely Chesapeake Shores in Maryland, a community her father built but never really stuck around long enough to cement with his children. Abby and Jess have very different reactions to their mother leaving when they were very young and to their father, the master of incompleteness. Communication is sorely in need of healing, if not an almost impossible goal for either to obtain.
For now, Abby must contend with helping Jess save the Inn at Eagle Point, which is in dire financial condition and which Jess will lose unless Abby agrees to an old lover, Trace Riley's demand that she help to manage the Inn in order to assure it can survive with an adequate income generated from its guests. The demand is outrageous but Abby doesn't have much choice if she wishes to help her fragile (in some ways) sibling. But complications will arrive there as well; an ex-husband who uses Abby's move to further his own needs, a threat to take her to court for legal, full-time custody of the twins.
These are just a few of the conflicts racing through these lively pages. While there are multiple problems, they are depicted in a smooth, linear fashion that never confuses the reader.
Sherryl Woods has created the first of a funny, challenging, heart-rending, passionate and endearing story, a family portrait so powerful that the reader will eagerly await more in another O'Brien tale in the near future!
Very nicely done!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on April 6, 2009