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Sea Swept by Nora Roberts

Sea Swept (original 1998; edition 1998)

by Nora Roberts

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1,583244,608 (4.06)9
Title:Sea Swept
Authors:Nora Roberts
Info:Jove Pubns (1998), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned, Not For Me
Tags:( FICTION, .contemporary fiction, P.US states - Maryland, siblings, {cover-member, | 2steamy4me, P.US areas - Chesapeake Bay, challenge: 50states, from:library-bell, Read 2009, reviewed, Read, | hated it

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Sea Swept by Nora Roberts (1998)

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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Until now, I had never read a Nora Robert's book. Yeah, I know, how can I, a self-proclaimed romance junkie, not have read any books from the queen of the romance genre? Honestly, I don't know, but now, I've rectified that with Sea Swept, the first in her Chesapeake Bay Saga. I'd heard wonderful things about this series, so I thought it would be a great one to start my foray into Ms. Robert's almost overwhelming backlist. It was a very good story that worked exceptionally well as a family drama. I could easily see this novel transformed into a Lifetime movie. It also contained an intriguing touch of the paranormal and a light mystery that kept me engaged and wanting to know more. At the same time though, I felt somewhat let down by the romance. It just wasn't as spectacular as I was expecting given the author's millions of enthusiastic fans, but overall, it was a reasonably satisfying read.

Cameron is one of three boys who were adopted as troubled youths by a loving older couple who had no children. Cam grew up to be a reckless charmer, who loves fast cars, fast boats, and fast women. He's used to living life at a breakneck pace, living on the edge, going wherever he wants, and doing whatever he pleases. He's made a career out of traveling the world, racing just about anything he can. He's unexpectedly called home to the bedside of his severely injured father who makes a deathbed request of him and his brothers that they take care of another young boy he recently took in but had not yet legally adopted. I had to admire Cam's devotion to the only family he'd ever known, and his immediate willingness to accept Seth as his little brother and to fight for his well-being. Despite making that commitment though, staying at home with a kid is a foreign concept to Cam, and he has no real idea what he's doing. At first, he's only taking care of Seth to keep his promise to his dad, but deep down, he relates to Seth and sees a lot of himself in the boy. Slowly but surely, he comes to care for Seth, as well as his social services case worker. He and his brothers also pull together to make a go of living in the same house to share the responsibilities of raising Seth, while starting a boat building business. Even though Cam begins to create ties to his hometown, the thrill and freedom of racing is in his blood, still calling to him, so he has a hard time accepting that he might want to stay permanently. Romance readers who enjoy reckless, hot-headed, bad boys who fight their feelings tooth and nail will probably appreciate Cam more than I did, but usually I prefer my heroes to show a little more gentleness and vulnerability. His personality type is also very far removed from my own, which made it difficult for me to relate to him. Because of that, he's not going to end up on my favorite heroes list, but I think that deep down, his heart was in the right place, and in the end, he did right by both Anna and Seth.

Anna is a very practical woman with a no-nonsense approach to life. She knows pretty much from the moment she meets Cam that she's eventually going to end up in bed with him and doesn't try to fight it in the least, instead accepting it for what it is. After suffering through tragedy and trauma in her own childhood, she was inspired to become a social worker to advocate for innocent children who can't stand up for themselves. As such, she cares about Seth as more than just another case. In fact, she has a tendency to become somewhat personally involved in all her cases, but none more so than Seth's. Anna's relationship with Cam did give me pause. I couldn't help wondering about the rules on a case worker becoming romantically involved with the guardian of a boy under her supervision when she was supposed to be evaluating their situation objectively. I think her practicality helped her to maintain impartiality, but in real life, I'd guess it would be difficult for most social workers to do so if they were in the same situation. Anna is a caring woman who falls hard and fast for Cam and his whole family, but as with Cam, I didn't develop a deep connection to her.

Most of the time, I felt like Cam and Anna's romance was secondary to other events in the story. I think it was this combined with the fact that I didn't relate well to Cam and Anna as individual characters that prevented their romance from really sparking for me. Cam is very overtly sexual, while Anna has a matter-of-fact attitude about sex. I felt their personalities and perceptions of their relationship didn't leave a lot of room for tender feelings or true passion. In my opinion, they didn't really share any deeply romantic moments either. They end up in bed together with little fanfare leading up to it. I tend to prefer both characters feeling something more serious about one another before falling into bed, but that wasn't the case here. I think both of them begin the relationship resigned to the fact that it's a no-strings affair. Anna starts realizing she's falling in love with Cam, and Cam realizes he's feeling "something" for Anna without much build up to those emotions either, which made it difficult to understand why they were feeling those things in the first place. I truly hate to have to say it about this well-loved grand dame of romance, but when Ms. Roberts does delve into some deeper introspection and begin to explain these emotions, she's really telling about how they arrived at that place rather than showing the development of their feelings in a more organic way. This definitely left some distance between me as the reader and her characters. I was also bothered by the physicality (Anna starts throwing things at Cam) that ensues when their relationship conflict hits the fan. To me, that's not acceptable behavior, especially for a social worker, or romantic at all, even though Cam seemed amused by it.

What Sea Swept lacked in romance, it certainly made up for in family drama. I loved the relationships between Cam and his two brothers, Ethan and Phillip. They all have very different personalities. Perhaps because of this, they tend to argue a lot and occasionally get into a fist-fight, but they always come out the other side as friends. It's very obvious in spite of their bickering that they truly love and would do anything for one another and that goes for their new brother, Seth, too. I love the way they all pull together to fulfill their father's dying wish by ensuring that Seth stays with them and isn't put back into foster care. In many ways, I related to Phillip and Ethan better than I did Cam, especially Ethan, because he seems more quiet and thoughtful. Ethan obviously has a crush on Grace, a young single mother who is a friend of theirs and who helps out around the house. These two become the main hero and heroine of the next book, Rising Tide. I also loved the backstory of how these three men became brothers and the wonderful couple who took them in. Although their mother passed on quite a while before the story opens, their father, Ray, is an inspiration to Cam from beyond the grave, when he appears a few times as a ghost, adding that touch of paranormal that I mentioned earlier. The boys also have a bit of a mystery on their hands when rumors surface that Ray may have been Seth's biological father and that the car accident that killed him may have been a deliberate attempt at suicide. This mystery is not solved in this first book, so I have a feeling it will develop and play out throughout the entire series or at least the first three books. It is also implied that Ray's ghost will be appearing in turn to all of his sons.

Even though I had a hard time connecting with the main characters and even though the romantic relationship didn't quite do it for me either, I did generally enjoy Sea Swept overall. The intense and complex familial relationships are where the story really excelled and my favorite part about it. This first foray into Nora Roberts' work was reasonably satisfying, but I'm not entirely sure her writing in general will work for me long-term. I was rather surprised to see a seasoned author like her engaging in an extreme amount of head-hopping which is a writing style I'm not fond of. I've always felt that rapidly changing perspectives distract from the building emotion of the characters and story, which likely contributed to me not connecting with them as well as I would have hoped. Ms. Roberts may end up being one of those authors I pick up occasionally rather than reading obsessively, but in any case, Sea Swept was sufficiently good enough to draw me into the Quinn family's lives and make me want to continue with the series to see how the story plays out, especially since Ethan's book is next. ( )
  mom2lnb | Aug 31, 2015 |
What a great heart tugging story. It had my complete attention from the beginning attention grabber. The heroine seemed so perceptive and I liked how the hero evolved. Cameron returns home for his fathers funeral and has to care for a lost boy when he meets social worker Anna.
( )
  Dawn772 | Jan 29, 2015 |
This book has such a high rating that I was expecting spectacular, so I was more disappointed than I would normally be, I think. Roberts did a great job with the relationship between Cam and Seth, which I think was her true motivation in writing this story. The romance with Anna was a secondary plot at best, and I never really felt their connection leap off the page. I also prefer a hero who is more mature and dignified, where Cam was stuck at the maturity level of a 13 year old boy. And when Anna started throwing stuff at him, I had to wonder what kind of social worker would resort to that kind of physical violence. Just not what I expected, sadly. ( )
1 vote CyndiTefft | Feb 6, 2014 |
This is the first book of the Chesapeake Bay series by Nora Roberts.
Focused on Cameron Quinn, the story is about a family, not of blood but of the heart, that needs to come together when a tragedy occurs in their lives.
By the hand of Nora Roberts we can see the family dynamics, the sense of belonging, of friendship and true love that comes only in the form of a true family. A nice and cozy romance about hope and trust that weaves you into the middle of this wonderful family and makes you want to belong. ( )
  Lost_Lenore | Dec 4, 2013 |

Cam is living the life in Monte Carlo when he receives an urgent message from his brother, Phillip. He rushes home to find his father on his death bed and a new, ten year old brother that is now his and his two brothers' responsibility. His life is put on hold to make sure Seth gets to stay a Quinn, and finds himself in a new business.

Nora Roberts has written over 200 books. How does she create so many unique stories and not repeat herself?! I know I would. There are so many facets to a Nora Roberts book. She can write a sizzling sex scene, and turn out one of the greatest thrillers I've ever read in one book. I love a good NR thriller, but this series is more of a family saga and I can honestly say it's the best saga/drama I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

For most of this book I thought Cam was an ass. The book starts off with Cam attempting to seduce a Sports Illustrated bikini model, and then once he gets the letter from Phillip, he tosses her out of his room NAKED! Towards the end of the book, when he's wooing Anna, falling in love, than making an ass of himself, I just thought he was an idiot. But he is a strong and caring family man, so at least he's got that going for him. I will admit he's very charming and has loads of sex appeal, so I understand why woman tend to fall into his lap—er, bed.

Anna is a strong female character at her finest. She overcomes her past and uses it to help troubled kids find loving homes. She prides herself on being objective when it comes to who would be suitable to care for foster kids. That is, until she's assigned Seth, a young boy that was in the process of being adopted by Cam's father before he died and left Cam and his brothers in charge of the new Quinn.

Things become more personal than ever for Anna. She's closer to Seth and the Quinn family than she usually would be. It doesn't help that it was lust at first sight for her and Cam. The man gets under her skin like nobody else has, and the next thing she knows, the heated fling turns out to be more than just sex. It might just be the real deal, but she doesn't let her growing feelings for Cam get in the way of what is most important: making sure Seth stays with the Quinns.

This book—hell, this series-—is one of the best I've read, yet. It's very dramatic and emotional, but it works for this book. It kept my interest, so much so that I could have read it in one sitting if I hadn't been so busy last week. I'd recommend this book to those of you who like Nora Roberts, contemporary romance, or family sagas.

Read more reviews and other bookish posts on No Book Left Behind Book Blog ( )
  Sarah_Hearts_Books | Oct 7, 2013 |
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Nora Robertsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mota Gómez-Acebo, Almudena de laTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
A champion boat racer, Cameron Quinn traveled the world spending his winnings on champagne and women. But when his dying father calls him home to care for Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was, his life changes overnight. . .

After years of independence, Cameron has to learn to live with his brothers again, while he struggles with cooking, cleaning, and caring for a difficult boy. Old rivalries and new resentments flare between Cameron and his brothers, but they try to put aside their differences for Seth's sake. In the end, a social worker, as tough as she is beautiful, will decide Seth's fate. She has the power to bring the Quinns together - or tear them apart. .
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0515121843, Mass Market Paperback)

Sibling trilogies are fast becoming Nora Roberts's forte. Sea Swept tells the tale of three brothers--all former juvenile delinquents adopted by Raymond Quinn and his wife, Stella. Cameron, Ethan, and Philip are as different as can be, but they are bound by their love and respect for their adoptive father, who has recently passed away. On his deathbed he asks his sons to look after their most recent brother, 10-year-old Seth, who--if the rumors are to believed--just may be Ray's biological son. Of course, the brothers don't know anything about caring for the young boy, and if social worker Anna Spinelli has anything to say about it, they won't. However, the sparks that fly over the fate of Seth are nothing compared to the romantic sparks that fly between Anna and Cameron. Nora Roberts once again proves why she is the premiere author of 1990s contemporary romance. Her stories have universal appeal, and Sea Swept is no exception.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:48 -0400)

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A champion boat racer, Cameron Quinn traveled the world. But when his dying father calls him home to care for Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was, his life changes overnight. . . In the end, a social worker, as tough as she is beautiful, will decide Seth's fate.… (more)

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