Disillusioned accountant Laila Riley is stuck in a bad phase of her life, and it's all because of a philandering younger man, Matthew O'Brien, who stole her heart and created a rift with her family that cost her a job. When she finally breaks off her steamy affair, Laila finds that she's lost without Matthew and his large Irish-American clan of a family. It looks as though she might even be spending Christmas alone. That is until Matthew, devastated by their split, becomes determined to win Laila back. It is via the efforts of his meddling, dynamic and lovable family that Laila is convinced to join the O'Brien Christmas celebration in Dublin, Ireland under the condition that she and Matthew will keep "hands off" each other and start their courtship afresh.
This is the seventh installment in Sherryl Woods' "Chesapeake Shores" series. Each book profiles a different set of characters from the O'Brien family, and in this latest novel, Woods delivers another warm, touching saga about familial ties, romance and love. Matthew and Laila hold center stage, but as in previous books in the series, recurrent characters from the family, with stories of their own, enhance the plot--including a couple who are celebrating a honeymoon deferred by illness and the 80-year-old family matriarch who returns to Ireland for what might be the very last time, only to rekindle a relationship with an old flame. The young lovers courting in preparation for a possible future together nicely complement the story of two old friends who reunite and think only about "the now."
An O'Brien Family Christmas by Sherryl Woods
Mira, $16.95, Hardcover, 9780778312706, 288 pp
Publication Date: September 27, 2011