Maren Mitchell, widowed the same year as a national tragedy rendered many others in her company, finds herself cautiously coming out of her grief. When Maren's young son needs emergency surgery, Steve Kramer, the surgeon on his case quickly picks up on her anxiety...as well as her talent, perhaps more. When he finds out she has the chance to join the staff in the marketing department, he can't help himself but encourage her to apply. If it wasn't at the same hospital in which she'd lost her husband, that would be a snap.
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Letting Go: The Maryland Shores shows Maren (with a name signifying the sea) navigating these choppy waters. Not only does she get the job she swore she'd never take but she gets the attention of the chief of surgery -- the same man whom she encountered at the hospital with her son and now as a co-worker.
Steve Kramer is handsome, sure of himself, and at a juncture in his life where he's seen his friends and siblings move on with someone special in their lives. He does his darnedest to make sure Maren becomes that special woman in his life as he takes to her son, invites her on his classy boat in the Chesapeake Bay, and helps her through personal struggles she faces as well as the regional terror many in Maryland face.
Their romance is real, humorous and steamy at times. And of course, it's threatened when true reality sets in, and Maren realizes she doesn't know that much at all about Steve, who moves at a pace she's unaccustomed to.
How they deal with personality differences, past loves and their own broken hearts, and with the difficult people in their lives makes the rest of the story and is interspersed with his passion for Sunday afternoon football, their workplace romance, and boating on the scenic Chesapeake waters.
Best part of story, including ending:
The family bonds in this story are particularly strong. Each of the characters is fairly different, strong and grounded in their own sense, and by the end of the story you really do know these people, and you like them despite any faults. Amusing interactions with family members and even with the children in this book makes it enjoyable.
Best scene in story:
The scene in which Maren has tried as a single mom to set some reasonable boundaries on this first romance since the death of her husband, and proverbial bachelor Steve wanting her even more has him craft a cute scene in which he claims no knowledge of the computer they both love and have owned since its inception. With playful seriousness, he indicates how much he needs her, and the scene culminates into a memorable...and hot rendezvous they each remember throughout the rest of the book.
Opinion about the main character:
Maren Mitchell starts out anxious and uncertain, and realizes that she has to fix this or she'll have even bigger problems in life. The book shows her realistically tackle that and grow more assertive and strong, particularly with Steve, a man who fits the surgeon bill to the T with his decisive character traits and sometimes over-the-top ego lots of women have experienced in their own relationships.