The Inn at Eagle Point
Sherryl Woods has begun a new series featuring the members of an estranged Irish-American family who live on Chesapeake Bay. The Inn at Eagle Point introduces them, tells the story of the oldest daughter, Abby and sets the stage for the other character’s stories. While I wanted to like it, it was ultimately just too dull for me to enjoy.
Mick O’Brien is a famous architect and town planner. He is married to Megan, has five children and basks in international renown, especially for his work designing Chesapeake Shores, a planned community. Mick clashed with his brothers on the project and, as the story begins, he and his wife Megan have a major fight and she leaves him and the children – promising that she will send for them. But she doesn’t.
Fifteen years later, the oldest daughter Abby has become a successful financial planner on Wall Street and she and her mother have reconciled. Abby’s marriage has crumbled since her husband resented her workaholic life, and she decides she needs a break. So with her five year old twins, Abby leaves for Chesapeake Shores to try and touch bases with her family.
Abby’s younger sister Jess has bought an old inn – one she has always admired – and wants to renovate and open it for the tourist season. However, Jess is not exactly a good planner, so right now she is in danger of foreclosure. Abby, the financial wiz to the rescue! Jess, who up until now has spurned all offers of assistance, (insert eyeroll here) accepts Abby’s help and they meet with the banker. Said banker turns out to be Trace Riley, who is banking under protest. His sister Lalia is perfect for the position, but their sexist father (the bank president) wants Trace (who has his own career) at the helm. Trace figures somehow he can smooth the way for Lalia (how, I never figured out). When Trace meet Abby, it’s an awkward moment since they had been involved ten years ago, but she up and left breaking his heart. After an awkward lunch (she dumps a pitcher of water on him), Trace and Abby act more like adults and begin to work to save the inn.
That’s the main plot of The Inn at Eagle Point, but there’s much more. Abby’s former husband comes into the picture, Megan and Mick see each other again and another sister Bree makes a short appearance (she will be the next book in the series). I can’t say I liked any of these characters very much and that was the main problem I had with the book. I wouldn’t want to be around anyone in it, much less have one as a friend. They were all self-centered, annoying, and prone to keep a lot of secrets.
Jess was the worst. Her family excuses a lot of her problematic behavior since she has a mild case of ADD. However, Jess seemed to be more spoiled than anything else. If she wanted something, she went for it and hang the consequences. If anyone offered help she refused it until she got deep in a hole then took it grudgingly, and if she got called on her risky behavior, she exploded in fury only to crawl meekly back when she found out that she was in the wrong. I wanted to put her in time-out.
Abby and Trace were the quintessential bland pair. I didn’t like them, I didn’t dislike them. There was so much going on in the book that they quite got lost several times. Of course they got their happy ending – yay for them – but I wasn’t engaged in their story at all.
I do love a good family saga, and The Inn at Eagle Point is smoothly written and moves along at a nice clip. But I simply couldn’t care about the characters. If you like this kind of family tale, and you like the setting, Nora Roberts Chesapeake Bay series is one I can recommend very highly. This one, I can’t.