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    Review of CHESAPEAKE BLUE by Nora Roberts (see her website)


    G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2002

    Seth Quinn is back in St. Chris on Maryland's eastern shore. After a couple of years in Europe, he's a rich and celebrated artist. But now he is home--with his family, the family business, and the curse that has followed him over the years since he was a young boy. His mother is blackmailing him, doing her best to spoil everything for him--and for the family that gave him everything. Although he's all grown up now, he'll still pay her off, do just about anything to protect the brothers who raised him.

    Drucilla Whitcomb Banks has fled a cheating fiance and the life of the outrageously rich in Washington D.C. to strike out on her own in St. Chris. She owns a flower shop and does her best to fit into the community. Given her experience with men, she doesn't want to fall in love--doesn't even want to date. But Seth Quinn can be as convincing as any of the Quinn men and Dru finds herself spending time with Seth despite what she promises herself.

    Author Nora Roberts (see more reviews of Nora Roberts novels) writes a compelling emotional story. Both Dru and Seth are damaged by their families and upbringing--damaged in ways that make it hard for either to commit, and in ways that make it hard to open up and trust anyone. Even supernatural help from Seth's adoptive grandmother (who had died before he was adopted) seems unable to do the job. Yet only if the two can overcome their upbringing can they find happiness with each other--or with themselves.

    Fans of the earlier novels in this series will joy in seeing Cam, Phil, and Ethan again--each with a growing swarm of children who are now growing up. Nora Roberts can't write a bad book and CHESAPEAKE BLUE is a page-turning read. I would have liked to see a little more threat from Gloria--after all, one woman doesn't have a chance against the entire Quinn clan--ghosts and all--and I would have liked to see more of a resolution of Dru's issues. Still, BLUE works as a story and delivers an emotional wallop.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 11/23/02

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