Wednesday, December 28, 2011

ALMOST HOME by Mariah Stewart

Publisher: Ballantine
Date published: March 2011
ISBN: 9780345520371
Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained Via Publisher

Her entire life Steffie Wyler has wanted and believed she would do three things: make ice cream, marry the coolest guy and live happily ever after. She’s got one of them – she makes ice cream and not just ice cream but the best ever ice cream and has a fabulous shop called One Scoop or Two in picturesque St. Dennis. There’s been one and only one man for her—the one that always seems to get away—Wade MacGregor. Over the years he has filtered in and out of her life and when they connect at Beck and Mia’s wedding, she believes this could be it. That is until Wade leaves her in the parking lot and takes off without out a word to his home in Texas.

Betrayal and heartbreak haunt Wade as he makes his way back to St. Dennis, the only place he truly felt loved and at home. With his sister Dallas returning to the family home and finding love with Steffie’s brother, Grant, Wade finds some of the security he needs for his son, Austin. The thing is, no one knows he has a son let alone that he was married. When Steffie learns more about Wade’s life in Texas she runs to her best friend, Vanessa.

Vanessa has begun to clear out the attic of the grand old house that is now her home and finally come across some of the journals left by Alice Ridgeway that St. Dennis chronicler Miss Grace has been asking for. Those journals contain a little more than a woman’s deepest thoughts—according to Miss Grace there are spells in the books and Vanessa casts one to help out her friend. But with Wade preparing to move miles away to Connecticut it doesn’t look like Steffie will ever have the love of her life.

Mariah Stewart’s ALMOST HOME is book 3 of her Chesapeake Diaries and I have to say the best one so far. I love this series and this book is so much more than just a great read. In some ways ALMOST HOME is a symbolic joining of Ms. Stewart’s past, present and future books. One of my favorite previous series were her Enright family stories. I wanted that series to go on and spend more time getting to know the characters. In ALMOST HOME readers have a chance to become reacquainted with some of the characters from her MOONDANCE, WONDERFUL YOU and DEVLIN’S LIGHT. I had to smile when one of my favorite character’s Delia Enright came up in this story.

The present brings readers up to date with Beck, Mia, Grady, Vanessa and other wonderful characters from St. Dennis.

And another of her series I enjoyed and have been waiting patiently for to come out is Ms. Stewart’s Mercy Street series. I’m not sure if another book is in the works but the mention of Trula from that series gives us a glimpse into a future Chesapeake Diaries story.

The weaving of the past, present and future characters is told so well you are left wanting more. This is one of those books that despite having the happy ending I so enjoy, I still wanted more. The characters, the town, the situations are tangible and real. This is one series you don’t want to miss.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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