Book Review: Moonlight Cove by Sherryl Woods

 Sherryl Woods- Moonlight Cove (Chesapeake Shores #6)

 Format- Paperback

 Source- Review copy

 Publisher- MIRA/ Harlequin

 Publication date- May 2012

 Synopsis- Jess O’Brien has overcome a lot—the challenges of attention deficit disorder, the near bankruptcy of her beloved Inn at Eagle Point and her self-perception as a screwup in a family of overachievers. Now she’s ready to share the future with a man. Her friends persuade her to join a dating service—but she gets no takers! Which is fine with her childhood friend, psychologist Will Lincoln, who’s already chosen the perfect man for Jess: himself.

Will has loved Jess practically forever. He knows her faults and her strengths. But for all Will’s sincerity and charm, Jess fears he views her as some psychological case study. With her family and the town of Chesapeake Shores behind him, Will finally makes his case. But is it enough to convince Jess to take the risk of a lifetime?

 Review- Jess is the youngest sister in the large, well-known O’Brien clan in Chesapeake shores. She has struggled with ADD her whole life and fears she will always be viewed as young, irresponsible Jess that no one can trust. Now 30, Jess runs a successful Inn and is eager to find a partner and have a family of her own, but emotionally she isn’t quite ready.

Will Lincoln has loved Jess since he was a teen, but as a psychologist he has an uncanny way of making her feel completely vulnerable and self-conscious whenever she is in his presence, despite them being long-time friends. Jess is in denial about the depths of his feelings for her, but it isn’t until Jess signs up for a local dating service with some friends run by Will that she realises she may have some feelings for him too.

The beginning of Moonlight Cove had me hooked, Jess is a flawed but likeable character who obviously has feelings for Will but is too stubborn to admit it. Her two best friends Laila and Connie convince her to start dating but Jess’s heart isn’t really into it. The early scenes are from Jess’s POV talking about Will and then Will’s POV talking about Jess. Their first scene together in the pub where he takes a big risk and walks up and kisses her passionately and leaving her speechless, marks the story with a bang.

But unfortunately, for me the story didn’t quite stay at that level. Perhaps because this is number 6 in the series and there are a LOT of characters to keep up with whom presumably have been in previous stories, it tends to go off track a bit with various romantic sub-plots. I found it difficult to have a vested interest in these other relationships because I really just wanted to identify with Jess and Will and follow their story.

The plot itself is quite slow and nothing much really happens outside of the character conflicts. Much of the story is about Jess’s insecurities and fears of committing to a relationship with Will, while Will has the most admirable patience in waiting for Jess to be ready. I think the ADD was mentioned a bit too much and I didn’t really see it impacting on Jess’s life too much except for her being distractible at times and sometimes forgetting things. Her resistance to getting involved with Will really had nothing to do with her ADD and everything to do with her early abandonment issues that she struggled to overcome. She’s emotionally immature and I think in many ways Will was quite therapeutic for her as a solid, reliable and secure person in her life and being a psychologist gave him the insight into her personality that some other men may not have persisted with.

Despite some of the drawbacks with the story, I did enjoy seeing Jess open up to love and learn to trust Will which in many ways was quite realistic given her early experiences and losses. Will is almost too perfect but a very likeable character.

Overall, Moonlight Cove is an easy, quick and light-hearted read about families, relationships and overcoming fears to find love and happiness. Romance fans will probably enjoy this undemanding read.

3/5 rating

Purchase book @

Fishpond/ Amazon/ Book Depository UK

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2 comments

  1. This sounds like the kind of series I would like. Each book does need to be able to stand up on it’s own though which it sound like this one doesn’t quite do.

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    • It was an enjoyable contemp romance, perhaps I would have liked it more if I had started at the beginning. I have enjoyed series like this (anna jacobs for one) where the characters overlap but only when i know all their stories from the beginning.

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