Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Driftwood Cottage

Driftwood Cottage (Chesapeake Shores - Book 5) by Sherryl Woods

Publication Date: March 2011
Publisher: Mira
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: Paperback, 384pp
ISBN-13: 9780778329473

(Received for review from Nancy Berland Promotions)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Sherryl Woods on the WEB: Website, Facebook

Excerpt from
Driftwood Cottage
Book Trailer:

Synopsis (Book Blurb):

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.


Master storyteller Sherryl Woods takes readers back to Chesapeake Shores, with her novel,
Driftwood Cottage. Woods' heartwarming style and compelling stories filled with love, friendship and family have earned her a huge following and readers will be thrilled with the latest book about the O'Brien family. Woods has a knack for writing about people who could be your neighbors, giving her characters every day problems and engaging the reader on a personal level.

Heather Donovan, like any woman, has always dreamed about love and having a home and family of her own. When she met Connor O'Brien in college he was quick to let her know he was not the marrying kind. His parents had gone through a bitter divorce and his job as a divorce attorney had basically turned him off to the idea of ever becoming that attached to someone. But, Heather believed that the longer they were together, Connor would start to change his mind. He didn't. He just couldn't give her what she needed, even though they had a child together out of wedlock, which caused to be estranged from her own family. When Heather decides to move out and start over, taking their son, Mick with her, Connor has to face a future without them. Can he get over his issues with commitment and find love with Heather or is it just too late?

Driftwood Cottage is he fifth novel in the Chesapeake Shores series, that surrounds the O'Brien family. In this book, Sherryl Woods continues the story of Heather and Connor. Essentially this is a book about working through issues within a family. Connor has some serious issues, surrounding the divorce of his parents, even though they have recently gotten back together. He just just can't seem to let that go and it has skewed the way he looks at love in his own life. Since his mother walked out them when he was young, it's safe to say he probably expects that same kind of thing from any woman he is with. Heather on the other hand has issues with her family, because she chose to stay with Connor and have a child out of wedlock. So both characters are going through some heavy stuff within their own families. I thought Woods did an excellent job of showing the reader how divorce can effect families in some cases. She also made it clear that it doesn't have to go that way. I liked the fact that the O'Brien's were so accepting of Heather and her son and that they gave her the comfort and support she needed and wasn't able to get from own family.

Family drama's are so interesting to me, probably because I have a lot in my own family. As a reader and a woman, I know I should have sympathized with Heather and her situation. She has given so much of herself for this relationship and it doesn't seem to have gotten her anything. But, I found myself leaning more toward Connor. Here's someone who has seen how messy divorce can be. Has seen what it can do to a family. Someone who deals with this kind of thing on a daily basis with his job. That's enough to turn anyone off to marriage. I'm divorced, and I am not really sure I can ever take that step again. So I found a sort of kinship with this character, that was unexpected. Woods has a great ability to develop characters that people can relate to and I think there will be readers who will understand both sides of this coin. She did a remarkable job of giving this book a plot line that is current and relevant.

The O'Brien family is an interesting bunch. Mom and Dad O'Brien were divorced for years and then finally got back together. Instead of being happy and ready to try to start over, Connor is bitter and unrelenting. I thought the author showed a lot of emotions that someone would go through in this type of situation. It was realistic and had a very authentic feeling. Connor doesn't get over his issues with his mom or marriage in the blink of an eye. He doesn't just have this huge epiphany where he suddenly knows exactly what he wants. He agonizes over this decision. He is self-conscious and unsure and it takes something pretty drastic to let him see what he truly wants. That's how it is in life. These kinds of things are not easy and I really loved that Woods' was able to convey that.

The book started out a little slow, as Woods kind of tells the reader what's going on, instead of letting them figure it out as they go along, but once it hits it's stride, this is a great book. Lots of family drama and love. We get to see what is happening with the old characters from previous books, while being introduced to new characters that will take the series even further. It was a little predictable, as romance readers we expect a happy ending in most romance novels, but with this one it's all about how they got there. What they had to go through to get that happily ever after. It's a journey of self discovery for both Heather and Connor and it was a joy to read.

I recommend this one to contemporary romance readers. Woods has a way of engaging the reader. Her stories are heartwarming and full of love and friendship. These are realistic characters with realistic problems. This is a great story and a great addition to the series. There are also two more Chesapeake Shores book due out this year that you won't want to miss!

Driftwood Cottage is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

With her roots firmly planted in the south, Sherryl Woods has written many of her 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether from her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. Shes also especially partial to small towns, wherever they may be. A member of Novelist Inc., Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America, Sherryl divides her time between her childhood summer home overlooking the Potomac River in Colonial Beach, Virginia, and her oceanfront home, with it's lighthouse view, Key Biscayne, Florida.

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