The second book I finished as part of the Holiday Reading Challenge was A Chesapeake Shores Christmas by Sherryl Woods. This is apparently the fourth in this series, although the first that I have read. While it might have helped for a bit more background on some of the characters in the story, I don't think it was by any means necessary to have read the previous books to enjoy this one.
When trying to figure out how to describe the book, I just kept thinking to myself...what a nice story. And really, that's what it is. It is the story of Mick and Megan, a couple with 5 grown children, who were married, divorced, and have now found their way to reconciliation. It's their story, but it's also the story of their family, especially their son Connor who has never forgiven his mother for leaving initially, and carries a lot of scars.
Megan has been living in New York, but we start the book at a time just before Thanksgiving when Mick has asked Megan to marry him (again) and they've set New Year's Eve as the date, with the wedding to be just the family and held at the in their daughter Jesse runs. As the story progresses, we see Mick and Megan trying to move forward with their relationship while still dealing with putting all the issues that drove them apart before to rest. We see how the family reacts to the wedding announcement as well, which is largely positive, but Connor is the true exception. His reaction is the first in a series of events that causes Megan to want to postpone, which is a whole new set of issues for her and Mick to deal with. Throw in a baby essentially showing up on the family's doorstep on Thanksgiving, that turns out to be Connor's 9-month old son he's told no one about, and you've got plenty for a family to deal with.
It really is just a nice story, a heartwarming family tale set during the holidays and incorporating the holiday sentiments and feelings and atmosphere and all that go along. I enjoyed the book, and at some point will likely try to check out the first three books (and likely the next three that are said to be forthcoming) from the library. The first three books appear to follow the relationships of 3 of Mick and Megan's children, and I suspect they would provide the background on the beginnings of their reconciliation. A nice holiday read, and one I'm glad to have read as part of the Holiday Challenge - especially since it was a new author and not likely one I would have found otherwise.