Home For the Summer is book 5 in the Chesapeake Diaries series. This series is part of the trend in contemporary romances that take place in small towns. All of the characters know each other and thus previous couples are popping up constantly. This particular volume is about Lucy Sinclair, the event planner. Her family owns the Inn in St. Dennis, but she left years ago to move to L.A. She comes back very infrequently causing her family distress. All through school she was close to Clay Madison. Then in high school, she stopped talking to him and he never knew why. He still lives in town, farming his family’s land. When Lucy comes to town to plan a big wedding, he is determined to get close to her and find a way back into her life. Lucy has always cared about Clay but a secret from the past makes her uncomfortable with staying home. She starts having more events to plan at the Inn and she has to face why she left St. Dennis and Clay behind.
I wish that I could say that I really enjoyed Home for the Summer, but I can’t. This was an easy read and I liked Lucy and Clay. But there was no driving need to find out what happened next. I feel like this was not a contemporary romance because so little time was spent on the romance between the main characters. Lucy is always planning an event and the complex details that accompany them. Clay is always doing something with farming. I know that their careers are part of them and I do enjoy learning about them, but a romance should focus on the couple and their relationship. My other problem is with Lucy’s secret. I don’t feel as if it was treated as seriously as it should have been. Even though this secret has haunted her, caused her nightmares and other problems, we never experience them. They are merely relayed to us in a matter of fact way. She seems to get over this issue relatively easily once she finally reveals it to Clay. Maybe some people do, but in my experience it isn’t the norm. If you enjoy Robyn Carr and Kristin Higgins, you will enjoy the Chesapeake Diaries.
Some of Lucy Sinclair’s best days were those spent growing up in small town St. Dennis—working at the family inn and enjoying summers filled with swimming, sailing, tennis, and the company of Clay Madison, her best friend. But Lucy’s darkest day, the one that shattered her innocence with violence and fear, also happened in St. Dennis. And the town she once loved became the place she gladly left behind—along with the terrible secret she’s kept for twenty years.
While Lucy headed off for college and a career, Clay remained—more than satisfied with the life St. Dennis had to offer. But now, even after inheriting his family’s thriving farm and starting up an organic brewery, he can’t help feeling that something’s missing. And when Lucy comes back to town to plan a celebrity wedding at the Sinclair family inn, she and Clay reconnect, and find themselves reevaluating their long-sleeping friendship that could blossom into something deeper. Like a bookend to those distant childhood days, this summer will be Lucy’s chance to finally confront her hidden pain, make peace with the past, and plan her own whole new future.