Meadows Shore Series
by Eva Charles
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Prepare to fall in love with the Claytons and Harringtons and their rich Portuguese heritage. A Wedding at Meadows Shore is the first book in the series. In it, you’ll meet the family and visit their beloved Meadows Shore nestled along the moody Atlantic in the charming seaside town of Fair Harbor.
It all begins with Sophie’s story, where she discards the past and learns to trust herself and others. The series follows the lives of her sisters and cousins while they, too, sort through their baggage and fall in love. Travel with them on their romantic journeys, stopping in rural Minnesota, New Orleans, and other enchanted places along the way.
They are wealthy and powerful, but suffer pain and loss much like the rest of us. Even great privilege can’t shield them from those experiences. But despite their wealth and power, I think you’ll find them approachable and down-to-earth—or as Cole Harrington would say: “We put our pants on one leg at a time, same as everybody else.”
There’s an old Portuguese adage, “the rooster crows loudly, but it’s the hen who’s in charge.” And so it is with the Claytons and Harringtons: strong women, alpha males, and of course, Avó Angelina, the family matriarch who keeps them all on their best behavior.
Bem vindo à família, Welcome to the family!
A Wedding at Meadows Shore:
His voice took on a husky, seductive quality. “The women I date aren’t interested in my body, Sophie. What interests them is how I pleasure their bodies.”
She stared deep into his icy blue eyes and snickered.
Max never missed even the smallest of details. They were often the difference between success and getting your hat handed to you. Tonight, he noticed Sophie’s eyes betray her, even as she mocked him. Her pupils were dilated, the rich, whiskey-colored irises nearly overtaken by black. I have her attention.
Embolden by her body’s reaction, he took a step closer. He was so close that if she’d been breathing, her breath would’ve warmed his skin. “I can bring much more to your bed than my father does. So…much…more…” He drew out the words, emphasizing each in a voice that oozed sex. “And though I’m not an easy man to impress, I’m sure you’d have no trouble persuading me to finance your agency. None at all,” he drawled.
Neither of them spoke for a long moment, maybe two. The air was charged. The silence dangled between them like a ripe peach, fragrant and swollen, tempting the weakest among them to reach for it first.
“What do you think?” he asked softly, ending the silence.
While waiting for her response, a calculated kind of wait, he resisted the urge to lift his hand and run his fingers through the strands of hair that’d come loose, softly framing her face.
“I think you really are an ass.”
With that, she turned and walked away. Leaving him to gape at her magnificent back.
The Dirt on Writing a Series
Meadows Shore is the first series I’ve written, and while it’s been great fun, writing a series is rife with pitfalls. Some authors publish a book without thinking about a sequel, and it’s not until readers beg them for more, that they consider a series. I planned on a series from the beginning, and the ability to pre-plan has made the process far less complicated. But it still does take precious time, and a high level of organization to keep everyone and everything straight.
To maintain my sanity, and avoid getting myself into too much trouble, I keep an up-to-date series bible, a binder, in which I catalog character descriptions, traits, and other minutia. I do this for both the main characters, and for each of the supporting characters, many of whom, will one day have their own books. I also keep careful notes on places the characters frequent, where they live, work, and play. While maintaining the binder takes some effort and a great deal of discipline, having the information at my fingertips has saved me considerable time, and perhaps, some embarrassment.
There are dozens upon dozens, of small, seemingly insignificant details in every book that are easy for an author to lose track of. This number grows exponentially with each new book in the series. If readers fall in love with a character, they remember everything about them. Every single thing. While a meticulously kept series bible can save an author from making some blunders, it’s not entirely foolproof.
The trouble usually arises with a main character in a story, who was first introduced in a previous book. If a character makes even an off-handed comment, or behaves in a particular way in an earlier story, the writer is stuck with it for the entire series unless it can be easily explained away. Readers pay attention to everything, and they hold authors accountable, as they should.
The best part of a series, for both readers and writers, is that you don’t have to say goodbye to the characters you’ve fallen in love with. There are lots of opportunities to revisit beloved characters in subsequent books. Like my readers, I’ve enjoyed immersing myself in the family I’ve created, and their Meadows Shore community. It’s not unusual for writers to become attached to the characters they birth, and this is especially true in a series where one lives with the characters over an extended period of time. They take-up residence inside your head, and some of them find their way into your heart.
Writing the Meadows Shore series has brought me tremendous joy, and I will continue to write the books for as long as readers want to read them. Maybe even longer, because I’ve fallen madly in love with the place, and the charming characters that call it home.
Harlie here: I will review the books individually but just a few things before I start.
1. This is a series. You DO NOT have to read the books in order. They stand alone but I read them in order.
2. At the beginning of each book, there is a family tree so you can remember who is who. Trust me, with all those Harrington boys (cousins to the Claytons) and the Clayton women…you will need it in the first book. After that, it’s easy.
3. These are grown-up romances. In other words, The characters are firmly in their careers and the pecking order in the family. Plus, these characters deal with real issues. Issues that everyday people have. Yes, they have money but they don’t flaunt it nor do they use it in ways that are for quick fixes.
4. Ms. Charles has written a series that I would read until the end of time. Her characters just fly off the pages. You get into their heads and actually know what they are feeling. They are in 3rd person present so the story just flows.
5. Lastly, the characters have sex. I know, right. But again, these are grown-ups. They behave like grown ups. They talk like grown ups and they deal with their issues as grown ups. And yes, parents play a big part in the stories.
6. All the characters show up in all the books. The Harrington men are there for each other, through the good and bad. They are tough on each other and put up the mirror to their brother’s face. You don’t see that much in books. Their love is fierce but they don’t take any bullshit either. The woman are a hoot. When you read the books, you will see that and agree with me. Plus, it’s nice when they put their cousin’s in their place, too. Strong women indeed.
Okay, now the individual reviews.
A Wedding at Meadows Shores (Max & Sophie)
Oh my. Max is a handful. A manwhore that isn’t ashamed but underneath all that sleeping around is a man that is lost, sad and desperately wants what his parents had. And to make matters somewhat worse, after the death of his mother, his dad is dating. Of course, he thinks that his dad is dating Sophie, calls her a gold digger and the sparks fly from there.
Sophie is a great character. Strong, a fixer but has no one to fix her. Yes, she has her male cousins (overbearing to a fault) and her younger sister but after a messy marriage, she longs for the love that her parents had, too. She knows what she wants from a partner and finding it in Max is troubling.
This is a grown- up couple with issues that everyone goes through. Trust, parents dying, having to pick up the pieces for your siblings/cousins and being strong throughout. In that process, you lose yourself and will fight through the bowels of hell to find that someone to share it with. Max and Sophie do that and more. This is a gem of a romance. Sophie’s cousins give him hell when he needs it but they also realize that Sophie is a grown woman that she will not be cuddled by them.
Overall, I loved the story. Max and Sophie are perfect for each and start the series off with a bang.
My Sweetest Sasha (Cole & Alexa)
Cole (Sophie’s cousin) is in even bigger manwhore than Max. Yes, trust me, Read the book. He is a piece of work. One thing that he isn’t, a trauma surgeon that should be let go from the hospital. Dedicated, treats patients and staff with dignity; just can’t keep in his pants. He cracked me up in the beginning but then my heart would break for him a little at time when dealing with the emptiness.
Alexa, oh my. She had to be the strongest woman or the dumbest (He He) to be able to bring Cole to his knees. And yes, strongest. She never thought that she was strong but watching her grow as a character in the book is a joy. It’s refreshing to read when a character finds the strength within themselves and gives some of that strength to the person they love. She did that for Cole and at that point, Cole is toast.
Theirs is a love story that is slow building. Oh yes, the sex doesn’t happen until about 65-70% into the book but it is not needed. Their romance is friendship based and Cole needed to learn that before the sex could happen. Alexa needed to learn that Cole was true to his word and his love for her.
Overall, watching Cole fall was a gift that Ms. Charles gave me. He didn’t have to grovel, make promises that he couldn’t keep but just keep doing the right things and behaving like a grown up.
Petite Madeleine (Derek & Cassie)
So now we Derek’s book. Second chance love. What could be sweeter? Especially when Derek and Cassie never fell out of love with each other. We get to know how they “broke up” and the why. But captured my heart is the lengths that these two went through to be together again. They didn’t let Derek’s depression or Cassie’s cancer stop them. Okay, maybe a little but Ms. Charles deals with both issues gracefully and with great emotion.
This is most emotional of the books so far. Sure there is humor but the issues in this book are well though out, emotional and tender, too. The scene when they reconnect physically brings a smile and tear, too. Beautifully written; raw, emotional and tender. Derek just sealed his fate with me. *swoon* I also liked how when it came to the sexy times, that Cassie had to remind him how it was before in college and I had to giggle. 😉
Did I mention baseball? Lord, how did I get this far and NOT mention that Derek is the General Manager for a MLB team. That’s extra swooning for me. I’m a HUGE baseball freak. Yes, freak. But that’s a whole different blog. Any way, I liked how his job didn’t get in the way of his love for Cassie. These two fought for the love that had before and they love that shared now. It was a truer, purer love.
You really need to do yourself a favor and read this series. I know, I’m a series whore at times, but I honestly haven’t read a series this great in a long time. All three books are top notch with characters that I love and would read about until Ms. Charles is tired of writing them. Her writing is flawless, the pacing is perfect and you can lose yourself in a book/series and never want to leave.
I can not recommend a book/series higher.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Eva Charles is the author of the multi-titled Meadows Shore Series chronicling the lives and loves of the Clayton-Harrington family. She invites you to visit their beloved Meadows Shore, nestled in the charming seaside town of Fair Harbor, where you’ll enjoy love, laughter, loyalty, and an abundance of mouth-watering food, Portuguese style.
After being a confirmed city-girl for more than thirty-five years, Eva moved to beautiful western Massachusetts in 2014. There, she found herself living in the woods with no job, no friends (unless you count the turkeys, deer, and coyotes roaming the backyard), and no children underfoot, wondering what on earth she’d been thinking. But as it turned out, it was the perfect setting to take all those yarns spinning in her head and weave them into a romantic tale.
When she’s not writing, trying to squeeze information out of her tight-lipped sons or playing with the two cutest dogs you’ve ever seen, Eva’s creating chapters in her own love story.
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Eva-Charles/e/B0140FZ442
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Eva Charles will be awarding a $75 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway