Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Driftwood Cottage by Sherryl Woods

Driftwood Cottage
(Chesapeake Shores, book 5)
~Sherryl Woods

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Mira
Publish Date: March 29, 2011
ISBN-10: 077832947X
ISBN-13: 978-0778329473

From the author's website:
Single mom Heather Donovan’s dreams of home and family are tantalizingly within reach when she settles in Chesapeake Shores. The welcoming arms of the boisterous, loving O’Brien clan embrace her and her son. But accepting their support seems to further alienate her son’s father, Connor O’Brien. His parents’ divorce and his career as a high-powered divorce attorney have left him jaded about marriage.

Then everything changes. Will the possibility of a future without Heather make Connor look at love and his career differently? Heather’s just about given up on her old dreams — of love, of family and especially of Driftwood Cottage, the home she secretly wishes were hers. It’s going to take a lot of persuasion — and some help from the O’Brien family — to make Heather believe that some dreams are worth fighting for.
Heather Donovan has just moved to Chesapeake Shores with her one-year-old son, Mick.  She recently left Mick's father, Connor O'Brien.  Heather is estranged from her own parents, but is very close to Connor's family, which is part of the reason she moved from Boston, where she lived with Connor, into Chesapeake Shores, where Connor's family lives.  She's started a new life and a quilting business, and is surrounded by this surrogate family.  The O'Brien clan is a big family, always in each other's business, but it's obvious they love each other and treat Heather like one of their own.

Well, everyone except Connor that is.  He loves Heather; he just won't marry her.  His parents apparently went through a bitter divorce, and he is now a high-profile divorce attorney.  And although his parents reconciled and are now happily married, Connor just doesn't believe in marriage. And while Heather knew that going into the relationship, her feelings have changed and she feels like she deserves more than just "shacking up".

Connor wants to charm his way back into Heather's life and she won't let him if he's not going to marry her. When gets a glimpse of life without Heather, Connor makes a promise to God that he intends to keep; but Heather wants more than just words.

My Thoughts:
Driftwood Cottage was a sweet, comfortable read.  Sweet because the characters were likeable and I loved the "grand gesture" near the end.  Comfortable because Ms. Woods' writing is so descriptive that I felt like I was there, and Chesapeake Shores sounds like someplace I'd like to visit on vacation.

Connor and Heather are the hero/heroine, but so much of the story involves Connor's family: The O'Brien family is one of those big families that like everyone stumbling all over each other; Connor and Heather were good at ignoring all the matchmaking by his parents and siblings, but I wanted to holler at them to back off already. This is the fifth book in the series, and while we get some background information on the family members, there are some holes - like why is Connor so angry at his mother?  It's obvious he blames her for divorcing his father but we don't know why he's had a hard time forgiving her, especially if his parents are remarried.

It's apparent from the start that Connor and Heather love each other very much, but they are in a position that really has no compromise - either you get married or you don't.  Heather has decided she needs the security and commitment that comes with marriage, and Connor doesn't understand why he can't be committed to her and little Mick without signing a piece of paper.  In his mind, marriage just leads to divorce, so if you don't get married you don't get divorced. While I understood where he was coming from, Connor's cynicism got old quick.  If you took every time he gave his reasons for not getting married out of the book, you'd easily lose a quarter of the story.  Because of that though, Heather's reasons for not agreeing to a HEA right away made perfect sense - Connor had a lifetime of marriage phobia to overcome; I loved that she made him work for it and his grand gesture had me awww-ing. I enjoyed Driftwood Cottage and wouldn't mind reading the previous books to get the stories of his other family members.

My Rating:

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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