So after thoroughly enjoying Roberts’s Bridal Quartet in December, I tried another series of hers in January. While I enjoyed the four Chesapeake Bay Saga books, they dealt with some darker issues and weren’t quite as lighthearted as the Bridal Quartet. Still, all were enjoyable reads, and Roberts is becoming one of my go-to low-stress authors!
The series focuses on the Quinn brothers. Adopted by Ray and Stella, Cameron, Ethan, and Phillip have always been close, even as adults. All three came from really messed up families before the Quinns took them in, and that’s where most of the darker material in the books happens – in the back stories. And I mean some pretty dark stuff: abuse, drugs, alcohol, rape, prostitution, you name it. But Ray and Stella were willing to take a chance on each of these guys, and each of them believes that Ray and Stella saved his life.
Stella died of cancer several years before the books begin, and Ray dies within the first couple of chapters – his death is what brings the brothers back together in their small hometown of Saint Christopher on the Chesapeake Bay. Before his death, Ray had taken in another stray boy, Seth, and Ray’s dying commission to his other three sons is that they treat Seth as their brother and make sure that he stays a Quinn. Seth has also come from a terrible, abusive home, and much of the series is about him slowly learning to adapt to his new home – a place where he is genuinely loved and part o a real family.
Each book, of course, focuses on a brother. And, fear not, each brother finds love! But while yes, the love stories were the main part of each book, it was the overarching story of Seth’s adoption, the mystery of his background, and watching him become a Quinn that really made the books special. From the beginning, there is a suspicion that Seth is Ray’s natural son, which would mean that he had an affair because Seth was born before Stella died. This, combined with the drama of Seth’s mother being crazy, gave a strong story tying everything together.
The first three books all take place within a year of one another, while the fourth focuses on Seth and takes place almost twenty years later. It was really fun to see the three original brothers and their families and know that everyone is happy and doing their thing. I also loved how Seth became an artist.
Honestly, it was the low-grade swearing that really got on me in these books. I don’t mind some moderate swearing, but these guys had zero conversations without cursing, and that just gets old to me. Like, I get it. You’re tough. Move on.
While I definitely enjoyed these as a one-time read, they didn’t become instant favorites like the Bridal Quartet. I gave the series a solid 3/5, with 3.5 for the second and fourth books, my favorites.