ARC REVIEW: Return to Cheshire Bay by J. M. Shander
Disclaimer: I received a free ARC via Booksprout in exchange for a fair review.
Lily Baker comes back to Cheshire Bay, the town she summered in as a child, to try and get her life back on track. Single, unemployed, and with a baby on the way, things are a bit of a mess, to say the least. She has every intention of fixing up the old summer house to rent out or sell by the end of the summer, and getting back to her life.
Only then she meets Eric, her next-door neighbour from when she was a kid—and oh boy, he is all grown up.
I immediately connected to Lily as a character; she's so easy to relate to and empathise with. And I couldn't blame her for being so thoroughly charmed by Eric, even though she very clearly wasn't looking for a relationship—the man is so sweet and patient, who wouldn't be? He welcomed her into the fold so easily, as did his friends, which I appreciated. Lily clearly needed to have people in her corner, and it was nice to see Eric's friendship group welcome her with open arms.
The only issue I have with this is that I wanted more! It might have been nice to see some of Eric's perspective as it was a little hard to get a read on what he was thinking and feeling sometimes. I also would have liked to see Lily work through her guilt and regrets a little more, but I appreciate that this was a fairly short read and there wasn't really page space for it.
Final verdict: An easy, heartwarming read that utterly charmed me. 🍯🍯🍯🍯/5 honeypots!