Review: Almost Home by Mariah Stewart

19 May

Almost Home (Chesapeake Diaries #3)My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the first book in this series. I liked the second one a lot. This one was a solid “like”.

Summary via

When she was young, Steffie Wyler always knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life: 1. Make ice cream. 2. Marry the coolest boy in town. 3. Live happily ever after. These days, Steffie is the proud owner of One Scoop or Two, a wildly popular ice cream parlor. But the cool guy left town right after high school, before they could scratch the surface of their mutual attraction to see what, if anything, lay beneath. Steffie’s made a great life for herself in St. Dennis, but true love has never come knocking.

Wade MacGregor left for college in Texas and remained there to start a successful business with his best friend, Robin Kennedy, but he’s always felt something was missing. Then life throws him a curveball: A third partner has robbed the company blind, and Robin has died—but not before entrusting Wade with a precious secret. Now back in St. Dennis, Wade’s determined to do whatever it takes to protect his friend’s legacy—and to figure out, once and for all, if the sparks that fly whenever he’s with Steffie are just temporary fireworks or the lights in the window leading him home.

Certainly, I enjoyed returning to St. Dennis and all the characters from the previous books. I liked Steffie in her previous appearances, and had been looking forward to getting to know her better.

Part of the problem was that I didn’t feel like I had a deeper understanding of her character by the end of the book. Sure, she was fun to hang out with, and I really enjoyed the look into the working of her ice cream creation process, but I never felt I knew her as more than a good buddy.

Part of the problem is all mine. The base story was a very standard romance plot– girl falls in love with boy, boy moves away. Boy turns into man, girl turns into woman, but somehow something is missing in both of their lives until they meet each other again as adults.

For someone that likes romance novels, I have very little patience with the ideas of love at first sight and that there are matches that are fated to be. On the other hand, these are such staples of the genre that it makes no sense to fault a book for containing them.

Wade (the love interest)did have a creative story, one that I haven’t seen before. It had moments of both predictability and of being over the top in what it asked me to believe, but mostly it was the blend of fun and touching that I would hope for.

As with the other books in the series, the strength is in the characters and their relationships. I particularly like the links between friends that cross generations, and I think the way the books actually let some of the folks older even than me be real people is a very refreshing change of pace.

If you’ve been following the series, go ahead and pick this one up. If you haven’t, I’d suggest starting at the beginning.

TLC Book ToursI read Almost Home as part of a TLC Books Tour.  Thank you to TLC and Random House for providing me a copy for review.

For other opinions on this book, check out the other tour stops:


Posted by on May 19, 2011 in books, reviews, tour


Tags: , , , , , ,

5 responses to “Review: Almost Home by Mariah Stewart

  1. Lisa Munley

    May 19, 2011 at 6:45 am

    They seem real and they’re even older than you?? *gasp* LOL That makes me laugh but I do know what you mean. Thanks for being on the tour! I’m glad you liked this one.

    • Laura

      May 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      Haven’t you noticed– romance novels are worse than prime time TV– there are almost no real characters over 40 (particularly women)! I’m not even talking about the leads, but the sidekicks and secondary characters.

      Thanks for having me on the tour :-).


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