Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Mariah Stewart's latest series, The Chesapeake Diaries - there's a giveaway!

I'm sure most of you have read at least one Mariah Stewart book, if not several. I fall into the "several" group, although I'll admit that it's been a while. I was excited to review COMING HOME for Ms. Stewart on behalf of Romance Junkies and hope that if you haven't already, you'll check out this "The Chesapeake Diaries" series. Yes, I know I typically push romantic suspense, but this is a prime example of contemporary writing. In so many small-town contemps, I find the characters to be a little cookie cutter, sweetly perfect and often unrealistic. Not so in COMING HOME. The hero and heroine are slightly (and believably) flawed and skeptical enough that while there's an attraction from the start, it's far from love at first sight. Check out the blurb below, go to Ms. Stewart's website and read the excerpts, take a peek at my review, then prepare to click yourself over to Amazon to order a copy! The series continues with HOME AGAIN which is also now available. I have a copy but haven't read it yet.

In the wake of his wife’s murder, agent Grady Shields turned his back on the FBI—and everything else—to retreat into the vast solitude of Montana, grieve for his lost love, and forget the world. But after years in seclusion, his sister’s wedding draws him to St. Dennis, a peaceful town on the Chesapeake Bay. Though he swears he isn’t interested in finding love again, Grady can’t ignore the mutual sparks that fly when he meets Vanessa Keaton.
Although her past was marked by bad choices, Vanessa has found that coming to St. Dennis is the best decision she’s ever made. Bling, her trendy boutique, is a success with tourists as well as with the townspeople. She’s made friends, has a home she loves, and has established a life for herself far from the nightmare she’s left behind. The last thing she’s looking for is romance, but she’s finding the hot new man in town is hard to resist.
And when her past catches up with her, Grady finds that he’s unwilling to let her become a victim again. As together they fight her demons, Grady and Vanessa discover that life still holds some surprises and that love doesn’t always have to hurt.

My (4.5 Blue Ribbon) Romance Junkies review:
COMING HOME is a heartwarming small-town story from veteran author Mariah Stewart, about a man who temporarily returns to his hometown to celebrate his sister’s wedding and a woman who has come to that same small town to make a new beginning. Both are looking to escape painful pasts, but will they risk putting those hurts aside for the brightness of a love together?

When Grady “Gray” Shields agrees to return to St. Dennis on the Chesapeake Bay for his sister’s wedding, he anticipates spending a minimal amount of time before hightailing it back to his secluded life in the wilds of Montana. Gray is former FBI, from an FBI family, and has practically lived as a hermit since the murder of his wife. His unexpected meeting of his sister’s future sister-in-law, Vanessa Keaton, makes him question his intended hasty exit. When Vanessa becomes the target of a vicious attacker, he knows he’s not going anywhere until he knows she’s safe. Gray is shocked to discover that emotions he thought long dead are very much alive. Convincing Vanessa to take a chance on him may prove to be more difficult than his return to society.
Vanessa came to St. Dennis as a young woman to escape the brutalities of an unspeakably abusive marriage. It took a considerable amount of time for her to trust and to realize that she was surrounded by people who loved her despite, and maybe a little more because of, her flaws and scars. Gray makes her feel renewed and alive and despite the threats against her, she also feels safe and protected. When her estranged mother unexpectedly shows up at the wedding, her appearance stirs up an entirely different set of emotions for Vanessa to sort through.
COMING HOME, first in the new Chesapeake Diaries series by Mariah Stewart, is a heartwarming book that deals with several subjects, not all of which are sweet and pretty. Ms. Stewart touches on subjects seldom brought to light in small-town romances, such as neglect, abuse, and murder. Vanessa’s past was unsavory on many levels and she unashamedly and regretfully admits her mistakes. Gray was betrayed by those closest to him and as a result had closed himself off from the family who loves and cares about him.
There has been a resurgence of contemporary small-town romance recently and I can’t help but feel that with realistic, heartwarming stories like COMING HOME, the trend will successfully continue.

I have two copies of COMING HOME and have decided to do a giveaway for one of them. If you're interested, simply say so. If you'd like to chat about Ms. Stewart's work, all the better! I'll draw the winner on Tuesday, September 7, so be sure to check back after the holiday weekend. So many fail to read the disclaimer on the sidebar reminding that I DO NOT track down winners.
Thanks for checking out COMING HOME - I hope everyone is having a terrific week. Any special holiday weekend plans?
Our oldest daughter has a birthday this Friday - her 25th!! Goodness sakes, I seriously don't know where the years have gone.


Estella said...

I love all of Mariah's books, not just contemporary.

We always has a family barbecue over Labor Day.

Pat L. said...

Hi, count me in please. I have a few of Mariah's books on my tbr.

Having a barbeque on Sat and hope to catch the Clooney movie and grab a bite to eat another one of the days.

Kathleen O said...

I have read a few of Mariah's books and I am looking forward to the 2nd book in her Chesapeake series in Home Again...

I am having family over on Saturday to celebrate my niece moving into the dorm here at Univercity.

Laurie said...

I've never read any of her books. I like contemps and small time life stories.

Is she anything like Debbie Macomber?

Thanks for the chance to win her book.

Happy Birthday to your daughter!

CrystalGB said...

Coming Home sounds good. Count me in. :)
We are having family over for a BBQ.

Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews said...

I love Mariah's books and was happy to hear about this series!

Thanks for the chance to win her latest!

tetewa said...

This would be a new author for me, count me in!