Monday, September 13, 2010

Review & Giveaway of Home Again by Mariah Stewart

July 27th 2010 by Ballantine Books (first published July 15th 2010)
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
isbn 0345520351
(isbn13: 9780345520357)

From Goodreads: "Dallas MacGregor is living the Hollywood dream. At thirtysomething, she’s an award-winning actress beloved by the public and bound for even bigger success. But when her soon-to-be-ex-husband, producer Emilio Baird, is caught in a sex scandal, Dallas’s charmed life turns tabloid nightmare. Determined to shield her young son, Cody, from the ugly uproar, Dallas seeks refuge in sleepy St. Dennis, Maryland—the Chesapeake Bay town where her happiest childhood days were spent. Reunited with her boisterous great-aunt, Dallas wants nothing more than to leave her Hollywood days behind. And when she crosses paths with local veterinarian Grant Wyler, her high school summer love, she finds he’s everything she remembers, and more—and that the spark is still there. But Dallas’s promising new life takes a troubling turn when the unimaginable happens and she finds herself living a mother’s worst nightmare—and Emilio storms into St. Dennis to save the day, along with his damaged career. Trapped in the unwanted glare of the limelight once again, Dallas discovers that it’s coolheaded Grant who is willing to risk everything to protect her and her son, and to secure the future they were always meant to share."

My thoughts: Escaping to St. Dennis was a good move for Dallas as she is welcomed back as one of their own. The town's people rally around her to protect her from the unwelcome attentions of the predatory papparazzi. Being in St. Dennis is also a good thing for Dallas's son Cody. Unlike in Hollywood where even the kids are superficial and judgemental, he's made a real friend in town and is being spoiled and much loved by Dallas's great aunt Berry.

Running into her old flame, Grant,  again was another bonus of visiting St. Dennis. The spark was still there alright. Phew! I could feel the heat emanating from the pages and it wasn't just the humidity of the Chesapeake Bay. Maybe now these two will get a chance to rekindle their feelings at a better point in their lives. They were just too young before. Now with some life experience behind them, they have the maturity to know what they want and how to achieve their goals.

Stewart has come up with a very likeable cast of characters, except for Emilio. He was such a dispicable creep, it was almost fun to see him get kicked to the curb! Aunt Berry, Dallas and Grant's sister Steffie are all strong women characters who know what they want and how to achieve their goals. I really liked the dynamic Aunt Berry and kind of wished I had an aunt just like her. What a personality!

I read the first book in the series, Coming Home, and this was like visiting with old friends in a very familiar place. I just love the little town of St. Dennis, that realistic small town atmosphere that Stewart does so well .
Parts of the book were a tad predictable but that never took away from the enjoyment of the story at all. In fact the ending *sniff* had me tearing up. I really enjoyed this one. 4****

Home Again is the 2nd in the Chesapeake diaries series.

From Mariah's website: "Almost Home, the third Chesapeake Diaries book, which will be released on March 22, 2011. This is Steffie Wyler’s book. When her long-time crush, Wade MacGregor, comes back to St. Dennis, the fur is flying."

Ooh, I can't wait to see what else is in going on in St Dennis! If you would like to read excerpts from Mariah's book, please visit her website.
For more stops on the tour:

Monday, August 30th: Heart 2 Heart
Wednesday, September 1st: Reading at the Beach
Tuesday, September 7th: Simply Stacie
Thursday, September 9th: My Two Blessings
Monday, September 13th: Pudgy Penguin Perusals Review & Giveaway
Wednesday, September 15th: A Book Blogger’s Diary
Monday, September 20th: Along the Way
Tuesday, September 21st: I’m Booking It
Wednesday, September 22nd: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Thursday, September 23rd: Joyfully Retired
Monday, September 27th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Tuesday, September 28th: Rundpinne
Wednesday, September 29th: Trisha’s Book Blog
Friday, October 1st: Luxury Reading
Monday, October 4th: Thoughts From an Evil Overlord
Tuesday, October 5th: Beth Fish Reads – Pennsylvania Author Guest Post and Giveaway

The publisher is allowing me to host a giveaway for one copy of Home Again. Open to US & Canada. Please include an e mail address in your comment.

Bonus entries available :
+2 for old followers - remind me how you follow and under what name
+3 for new followers thru GFC
+3 for posting about and linking to drawing or tweeting.
Please, please please, DO NOT leave 3 separate comments saying you tweeted or that you are a follower! :)

Deadline is Sept 23rd at 5 PM (est) Good luck!

Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by TLC book tours in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. Sounds like a great read! I'm an "old" Goggle Friend follower as Karen B.


  2. I enjoyed the excerpt and I would love to read this book.

    +2 Old GFC follower as myself
    +3 Tweeted this giveaway

    seriousreader at live dot com

  3. Sounds like a great series - I'd love to read it.

    I'm and old GFC follower - Mary

    I blogged on my Giveaways page:

    meah56[at]gmail dot com

  4. Sounds so good!! I love that small town setting. We're really happy you enjoyed the book.. thanks so much for being on the tour.

  5. Thanks for the giveaway. Please count me in.
    +2 I am an old follower on GFC

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  6. I would love to enter this giveaway.


  7. I just recently read this book, it was a fun read, and I am looking forward to reading the third book in the series coming out in March 2011.

    I will pass on entering the contest, since I've already read it.

  8. Of course I love books that are realistic in their settings!! Sounds like one I could curl up with on the couch and a comfy blanket!

  9. I would love to read this. Please enter me, thanks.
    I follow you on my yahoo home page.

  10. I would love to read this! It sounds really good.

    +3 old follower on gfc under Martha Lawson

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  11. I was born and raised in Maryland so I think that I would enjoy these books Thanks for the giveaway

    +3 New Follower
    +3 Tweeted

    tanyainjville at yahoo dot com

  12. No need to enter me but I like how you comment on the lives of the characters. It always cracks me up!

  13. This sounds like a wonderful story, thanks for the info and chance to win.

    +2 I am an old GFC follower (holdenj)


  14. I'd love to read this
    I'm an old follower on GFC
    msboatgal at

  15. I'm just starting this book so I'm glad to hear you really liked it. She's a new author to me but so far so good.

    Don't enter me in the giveaway. Just wanted to say Hi.

  16. This reminds me of another small town series that I read. I never used to read this type of books before but now they are very appealing. I check this series out starting at the beginning. Thanks for the recommendation and contest.

  17. I am so.o.o looking forward to reading these books! Please, count me in. I grew up not far from St Dennis and it's always thrilling to read something set where you can relate.

    + I am an old follower on Google Reader

    gcpeach17 at aol dot com

  18. This sounds like a great series. I would love to read Home Again. Thank you for the chance!

    +3 New GFC follower (Carole Spring)

    +3 tweeted the giveaway:


  19. Please enter me & thx for the contest


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