Author: Mariah Stewart
Everything Steffie Wyler has always wanted in life is in St. Dennis–except for Wade McGregor, the boy (now man) she has been madly in love with since she was 13. Over the years Wade has come home again only to leave and go back to the life he made for himself away from St. Dennis, and from Steffie. When Wade returns to St. Dennis after his beer brewing business fails, Steffie knows that it is now or never.
But now Wade has someone other than himself to think of, a young son. Any decisions that Wade makes from now on won’t be what’s best for just him, but what’s best for Austin, too. Wade never intended to stay in St. Dennis, but the harder he begins to fall for Steffie, the more he wants to stay in the place where he was born. Is St. Dennis the safest place for Wade and Austin, or will they have to disappear from Steffie’s life forever?
Almost Home is the third book in Mariah Stewart’s saga of the fictional Chesapeake Bay town of St. Dennis. For me, this series just keeps getting better and better. Steffie and her delectable ice cream parlor were introduced to readers in the first book, Coming Home, and this is Steffie’s own book complete with happy ending. That is one of the things I love most, that I know exactly how everything will turn out, even if I might not know exactly how Stewart will take us there. Almost Home was quite predictable in comparison to previous books, but I think that is in part my attraction to this series. I know everything will turn out just the way it should in the end, and I’m left with nothing less than complete satisfaction. This is the kind of book readers want when they’re having a bad day, or just want to hang out with some old, familiar friends.
Stewart has finally expanded on some of the history of St. Dennis and the mysterious Miss Grace, who is one of the oldest St. Dennis residents and who narrates diary entries throughout the books. In the previous books, we get glimpses into her past and know that there is literally something magical about Grace and her friends. Steffie’s best friend owns the house of one of Grace’s friends and they discover the previous owner’s diaries, a Ouija board, and some magic spells. I have been waiting for this side story to develop more, and I love where it’s going. But even without the literal magic, there is a charming quality to St. Dennis. If it were a real town, I’d love to go visit.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*