Series: Chesapeake Shores #11
Published by Harlequin on 2014-10-01
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Source: the publisher
Also in this series: A Seaside Christmas, Dogwood Hill, Willow Brook Road
Also by this author: Midnight Promises, Where Azaleas Bloom, Catching Fireflies, A Seaside Christmas, Home to Seaview Key, Swan Point, Dogwood Hill, Willow Brook Road
When it comes to family and Christmas, #1 New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods always looks to the O'Briens for a little holiday magic. For the very driven medical student Caitlyn Winters, catching the bridal bouquet at a Christmas wedding has set off a chain reaction that she's sure is more curse than blessing. Not only has she fallen in love with family medicine resident Noah McIlroy, but an unexpected pregnancy threatens her well-laid plans for the future. It doesn't help that Noah—with a whole lot of help from her O'Brien relatives—is completely on board with the prospect of marriage and happily-ever-after. It takes a whole lot of patience, love and family persuasion to help Caitlyn realize that she can still have everything she ever wanted, including a home in her beloved Chesapeake Shores and a man who understands all of her dreams.
I love Sherryl Woods’ Chesapeake Shores series featuring the large, loving O’Brien family, so when I learned that The Christmas Bouquet was part of the series, I was eager to read it. It’s well-written, and there’s plenty of the extended O’Brien family and their tendency to meddle in one another’s affairs – with the best intentions, of course!
Unfortunately, Caitlyn, the heroine, got my back up early on. Surprised by an unexpected pregnancy – with a man she loves, who clearly adores her and is totally committed to her and the baby – all she can focus on is how it messes up her plan. Granted, she has a passion that has driven her entire career choice, and it’s not one she will easily be able to follow with a baby, not in the way she originally planned. But she’s totally roadblocked by the fact that things aren’t going the way she wants them too – and she’s stubbornly refusing to consider compromises. Or rather, she’s refusing to make any kind of decision, because in her mind, anything short of her dream means giving up her dream. I kept thinking, “Grow up! Life doesn’t always follow the plan.” The unexpected things life throws at you aren’t always as wonderful as a loving man and a baby on the way. Time after time, I would think she was coming to a more mature acceptance, and then she would revert to being stubborn again, as if she were a spoiled child rather than a doctor doing her residency.
Noah, on the other hand, seemed almost unnaturally perfect – perfectly patient (nearly so), perfectly supportive – the ideal man. He’s also a good and dedicated doctor, though we know that more from what people say and think about him than from seeing him in action . I liked him; it would be impossible not to! But I couldn’t quite believe in him.
To be fair, other readers may not have the same reaction, and may find themselves more in sympathy with Caitlyn than I did. And O’ Brien fans will enjoy the glimpses of family – particularly patriarch Mick and his devious attempts to get Caitlyn married to Noah. (It’s easy to see where she gets her stubbornness, at least!) I don’t regret reading A Christmas Bouquet, but it won’t be joining my list of favorite Sherryl Woods novels, either.
NOTE: I feel a little funny rating this book, because my reaction to it has more to do with who the main character is than any flaws in the writing. So please take my rating as my personal and subjective reaction, and not an objective evaluation.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: