Chesapeake Shores has always represented home and family for the O’Briens, but in Lilac Lane, the community extends its healing powers to a woman recovering from overwhelming grief
Single mom Kiera Malone struggled for years to raise her three children in a small town on the coast of Ireland. Just when she’s let down her guard and allowed herself to love again, her fiancé suffers a fatal heart attack and leaves her alone yet again. Overwhelmed by her loss, she’s persuaded to visit her father, Dillon O’Malley, and her daughter, Moira O’Brien, in Chesapeake Shores. With the promise of family ties and a job at O’Brien’s, her son-in-law’s Irish pub, she takes what seems like the biggest risk of her life.
As it turns out, though, crossing the ocean is nothing compared to moving into a charming cottage on Lilac Lane, right next door to Bryan Laramie, the moody chef at O’Brien’s, who doesn’t do anything the way Kiera believes it should be done. Their kitchen wars quickly become the stuff of legends in Chesapeake Shores, and the town’s matchmakers conclude where there’s heat, there’s sure to be passion.
As these two deal with their wounded pasts and discover common interests, they might just find the perfect recipe for love.
Woods's 14th addition to her beloved Chesapeake Shores contemporary family saga (after Willow Brook Road) brings past protagonist Moira's mum, Kiera Malone, to visit from Ireland. The brusque single mother, now middle-aged, is grieving the sudden, unexpected death of her fianc and showing signs of retreating permanently behind emotional walls. Moira convinces her to visit and then to work at her husband's Irish pub as an Irish culture consultant. Kiera starts butting heads with the pub's possessive "the kitchen is my domain" chef, Bryan Laramie, who has a few secrets from his own past still haunting him. Nosy family members see more sparks than sparring between the two, and when Kiera's cottage rental turns out to sit next to Bryan's house, the new neighbors find an opportunity to explore the romantic possibilities. Their sweet and careful journey toward love is the heart and strength of the story. Readers will enjoy reuniting with the O'Malley and O'Brien clans, but the cook-off they instigate between Bryan and Kiera seems a bit contrived. Woods shines, though, in portraying the realities of more mature people finding second and third chances at love.
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3 1/2 STARS!
Family reunions in Chesapeake Shores! A story of finding second chances when you least expect it. I've read books in this series before and loved them, but this one didn't quite make it's mark for me. It was hard to connect with the characters and their romance felt a bit flat. Although it drug on in parts, there did come a time when interest picked back up and I was following along to see if the relationships they were working on would reconnect and make for a happy ending.
Keira Malone never thought she'd find herself here at this point in her life. She raised three kids as a hard working single Mom in Dublin, Ireland and carried the weight of the world on her shoulders. On her own after the kids had all began their own lives, she finally found a way to let go of the bitter betrayal of her ex-husband and learned to love again. As fate would have it, she wasn't meant to be happy yet again when her fiancee died suddenly of a heart attack. Now alone and struggling, she agrees to her daughter's request to come to Chesapeake Shores, Maryland to visit, see her grandchild and help out at her son-in-law's restaurant.
Chef Bryan Laramie finds himself butting heads with Keira almost from the start when she comes in and starts making suggestions on how his kitchen should be run! The last thing he needs is her becoming his neighbor and sharing his cozy courtyard too! Though they spat like cats and dogs, they begin to unearth a friendship and sparks begin to simmer the more time they spend getting to know each other. When his long-lost daughter shows up to reconnect, will Keira be able to help pave the way for him to get to know her? And when it's time for her to make a decision about her future, where will he fit in?