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review 2019-11-12 15:11
Not Needed At All
Chesapeake Blue (Chesapeake Bay Saga #4) - Nora Roberts

This is going to be short, this book was not needed at all. Roberts jumps 18 years in time and we have Seth Quinn returning to St. Christopher, now a world celebrated painter (I maybe laughed at that) who is hiding something from his family. Seth instantly becomes intrigued by a local florist and he takes after Cameron with the whole, so we are just going to be in a relationship cause that is what I want. What sends Seth back to St. Christopher was beyond dumb. And his relationship with florist Drusilla lacks any heat at all. The only saving grace to this book is that you get to see how the relationships we got to see in the first three books have turned out. I was disappointed this book mostly showcases Seth, Drusilla, Anna, and Seth. I wanted more scenes with Ethan and Grace. I was okay with barely any scenes with Phillip and Sybill. 


"Chesapeake Blue" has Seth Quinn returning to his hometown after I think 5 years or so away in Europe. He plans on staying and working at his family's boat business, while also painting. Something is troubling him though and he doesn't know what to do. He fall in lust at first sight when he comes across florist Drusilla Whitcomb Banks. Dru is wary of becoming involved with Seth or anyone after her last relationship. Things don't improve when she starts showing signs of jealousy because of Seth's relationship with his cousin Aubrey. And there was a whole scene about that and I maybe screamed into a pillow. 


I think the problem with this book is now that Seth is grown, there was no need to tell this story. The first three books had a stronger tie, you had three brothers trying to do right by their father. This book just info dumps about the couples we have read about and we don't really get a sense of anyone in this one beyond Aubrey, Cameron, and Anna, and their kids. 


The writing was not good in this. There was no real tension until I think 50 percent or so into the book when you find out why Seth returned home. And then I got annoyed because the reason was a dumb one and Seth's justification for being this stupid didn't ring true at all. The flow was awful. 


The ending was just blah. 

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review 2019-11-12 14:59
Terrible, I Got Nothing Else
Inner Harbor (Chesapeake Bay Saga #3) - Nora Roberts

Well this really should have been the last book in the series. Roberts finally gives us Phillip's story and it sucked. I think the main problem was that Roberts tries to juggle too many things, we have Seth's mother again in this one causing issues, and the truth about Seth finally becoming known. The romance between Phillip and Sybill didn't work at all. It didn't help that Sybill had a secret that Phillip was quite willing to shrug off when we have seen how the man carries grudges. Also I have to say that unlike with Cameron and Ethan, Phillip has zero relationship with Seth. I didn't see them understanding each other at all. Also Phillip reads like an earlier Roarke prototype at times and I wasn't a fan of the first versions of Roarke in the "In Death" series as it is so I was hard passing by a lot of the mess in this one. 


"Inner Harbor" follows Phillip Quinn who still wants answers about who was Seth to his father, and whether his father really committed suicide. When a woman named Sybill Griffin appears in St. Christopher, she claims she is writing a book about the town. However, Sybill has other intentions and it's quickly shown she is writing about Seth and the rest of the Quinns. 


Seriously that's pretty much the book. Readers quickly know that Sybill is up to something and then we get to "read" her research notes. Phillip is just in lust with her cause of the story. They have zero chemistry and their love scenes were boring to me. I already talked about this in another review, but I initially thought that Phillip was biracial and then it became apparent that he was white like the rest of the brothers in this story. I just felt disappointed that the Quinns who had no problem adopting problem children from the inner city of Baltimore somehow managed to pluck these three out. I would have probably enjoyed this series more if the Quinn brothers had been more diverse. Or maybe I have just been watching too much of "This is Us" lately. 


We now have Cameron and Anna, and now Ethan and Grace happily married and we get to see the couples interact with each other and get to see how much they all love each other. Seth is more settled with the Quinns and finally believes that they will keep him and he won't have to go back to his mother. 


The writing was so-so. Sorry after the reveal with Sybill I wondered at her supposedly being so smart. She's a moron and so is Phillip. The flow was awful honestly. The series making Seth's mother into this big bad was disappointing. She's nothing and why the family never just got a restraining order and went to the police about her terrible ass will continue to baffle me. 

The setting of this book and the time period it's supposed to take place in becomes more confusing after this book.  I am now realizing that Roberts doesn't really mark the book with dates, probably so readers can read it whenever and imagine it is taking place in the here and now. But since the last book has Seth in his early 30s we now that at least 18 years have passed from this book to the next one. I wish that we had more remarks made about what year it is.  

The ending to this book was so weird to me. I felt like there should have been a long epilogue to wrap things up. The last book in the series wasn't written until 2002 and this one was written in 2000. I guess that Roberts always planned on telling Seth's story so she didn't mind that the core story of the three brothers wasn't really finished. 

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review 2019-11-12 14:43
Strongest Book of Chesapeake Bay Series
Rising Tides - Nora Roberts

"Rising Tides" is Ethan Quinn's story and the strongest in the Chesapeake Bay series. I have to say though that the whole thing with Seth's biological mother has gotten beyond stupid at this point. There's a lot of things going on that I wonder why the police haven't become involved. We still have the magical realism elements popping up in this book that don't really work with everything else going on. Cameron is now married in this one and he and Anna are only in the last half of the book. Phillip barely feels real in this one and even when he is the subject of his own book still feels fake to me. 


Ethan Quinn is quiet and loyal. He loves being on the water and now is turning his hand at helping his brothers with their hand made boating business. That said, this book is pretty hard to read since it deals with child rape. Though Phillip and Cameron's childhood stories are tough to read about, Ethan's definitely affected me. Ethan feels as if what happened to him as a child now makes him unclean and unworthy of love as an adult. When childhood friend Grace Monroe finally makes her feelings for Ethan known, they stumble along to something, though Ethan is reluctant to have things become permanent.


I did like Ethan for most of this book, and then I didn't at times. His talking down to Grace after she is almost assaulted was definitely one of those times. I really got tired of the men in this series and how they supposedly talked to women they cared about. At least he apologized though so that was something. Ethan is probably the brother that gets Seth the most so it was great to see the scenes involving them together. And Ethan telling Seth about his past has Seth opening up even more about things. 


Grace was great and I felt for her. A young woman who had dreams of dancing that were taken away by her parents, she married a man she didn't really love who left her when she was about to give birth. She is now raising her 18 month old daughter on her own while working several jobs. I hated how Ethan and even other people acted like Grace was acting too prideful when her father treated her like dirt because she was pregnant before marrying, and is now divorced. 


The writing was strong in this one, though the flow was off here and there. I think there were too many things going on with Seth's mother, the insurance company still, rumors about Ray Quinn, etc. When the book just focused on Ethan and Grace and their budding romance it really works.


The ending did make me laugh and sigh at times though. Ethan finally gets told about himself and it finally starts to sink in that what was done to him as a child doesn't have to shape the rest of his life. 

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review 2019-11-12 14:31
Romance Didn't Matter
Sea Swept - Nora Roberts

So I lost my mind a little bit this weekend and read all four books in the series which is probably going to color my reviews cause I know what is coming. This book really is around 2 stars, but I rounded it up to 3 based on books #3 and #4 which were pretty terrible. The strongest book in the series is book #2 honestly. Each of the books in this series deals with a Quinn brother.


This book really does a nice job of setting up the relationship between the brothers, how much they loved their parents, and them focusing on doing what their father wanted them to, helping to raise Seth, another brother that their father had just taken in. The romance between Cameron and Anna (Seth's social worker) did not work for me at all. This book was written in 1998 I think so you can definitely see a lot of the older romance tropes that authors for the most part have turned away from (Cameron is slightly alpha and doesn't listen to the word no from the heroine and just puts his hands on her when he wants to). The flow of the book was all over the place I thought and then Roberts throws in some magical realism that didn't fit the book at all. Unfortunately it is repeated in all four of the books and I was bored by it. 


"Sea Swept" follows Cameron Quinn who returns home after his father, Ray Quinn, is in an accident. Cameron has been living in Europe and racing boats. I guess one can make money at that though I am still baffled by it. When Cameron returns to Maryland, he finds out that his father recently took in a 10 year old boy named Seth. He and his brothers, Phillip and Ethan are all asked to help raise Seth in their family home. That means that Cameron and his brothers are going to have to rearrange their lives and defer in some cases their dreams in order to do this.


There is also a specter of small town gossip going around that Seth is their father's biological son and that he also killed himself. Dealing with Seth's biological mother who seems to have other motives means that the Quinn brothers have a lot of issues going on. Roberts throws in a romantic entanglement with Cameron, with Seth's social worker Anna.


I honestly didn't like Cameron this much. He reminds me a bit too much of other Roberts romantic heroes in her trilogies, the former bad boy made good and I wanted to drown him at times. 

Ray Quinn and his wife sound like loving and generous people. I have to wonder though at Roberts having Phillip and Ethan coming from Baltimore's inner city and both are white. It just read weird to me after a while. At one point I thought Phillip was biracial, but that isn't how he reads in his standalone book, so I wonder if that was what Roberts was going for in this book and just dropped it. 

It was heartbreaking to read about what Seth went through, but my favorite parts of this book was reading how Cameron, Ethan, and Phillip were there to take care of Seth no matter what. 


I actually liked Anna and thought she had great points to make about therapy and having Seth talk through what he went through. I loathed how she got shut down by Cameron and it was just never discussed again. Heck, that whole family needed therapy. I also have to laugh at a social worker getting involved with a man who she supposedly going to determine if he keeps custody of Seth. I just rolled my eyes about that whole conflict of interest thing and rolled with it. I didn't really get Anna and Cameron's relationship and thought that Anna was smart in shutting him down at times. He pretty much bullies her anytime she says no to him about anything. 


The setting of St. Christoper on the Chesapeake Bay seems very small town and sounds like an old fishing village that is going to be deserted in about 10 years or so unless something comes along to save it. 

The ending of the book was okay, I honestly was drawn more to the brothers' relationship than what was going on with Anna or Cameron. 

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review 2014-05-21 00:31
Sea Swept: The Chesapeake Bay Saga #1 - Nora Roberts

Way too slow moving for me.  The setting up of the story arc (three men taking over custody of a younger boy) for the series vastly overpowered this book; to the point I would call this romance by the very skin of its teeth.

Reading the next in the series because silent, suffering longing are balms to my sadistic nature.

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