Home for the Summer by Mariah Stewart is the fifth book in The Chesapeake Diaries series, which is set in the fictional town of St. Dennis. I have looked forward to each new book’s release; this isn’t a series I thought would interest me, but a few years ago I tried the first two books and fell in love with St. Dennis, the unique shops, and of course the characters. For anyone who loves romance but wants to keep it clean, this is a series for you. I even got my grandma hooked on these books.
I was especially excited for Home for the Summer since one of the romantic leads of this story, Lucy Sinclair, is the daughter of Grace, a character who is in every single one of the books in the series, but never really a main character. I was hoping that since this book directly involved her, that I would finally get more about her history. St. Dennis also has a few ghosts, a romantic mystery, and some supernatural elements to it that have been teased since the very first book. A little more of Grace’s history was revealed, but not enough to satisfy me.
Lucy Sinclair left St. Dennis, her birth town, and never looked back. Any time she had to return, she made the visits short. No one has every understood why Lucy has seemingly cut off ties to St. Dennis, and her actions hurt Clay Madison, her very best friend, the most. For as long as Clay can remember, he has been in love with her, but every time she is back in St. Dennis Lucy keeps him at arm’s length. Clay can even pin point the moment she began to treat him differently, and this time he is going to get answers.
Lucy has been keeping a secret from her family and from Clay since the summer before she turned fifteen. It’s the reason why she has pushed everyone away. Once she finally tells Clay her secret, she feels a bit more free. Only Clay can help her heal from the pains of her past, if she will let him.
As always, I loved returning to St. Dennis. The Chesapeake Diaries books aren’t fast paced or action filled, but they still draw me in every time. To really understand the characters and the settings, it’s best to start at the first book. I’ve seen too many people disregard the series because they have read a later book in the series; to really connect, you have to start at the beginning.
Home for the Summer wasn’t my favorite in the series; I was hoping for a bit more excitement and drama, and a bit more closure for Lucy with the events of her past. Nevertheless, I was so glad for all of the glimpses into the lives of earlier romantic couples. I can’t wait to see what will happen next in St. Dennis! Maybe I will eventually get that Grace story line I have been dying for all these years!