Almost Home by Mariah Stewart


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.


Here is why occasionally it is a good idea to try stepping out of your genre.   You will not find many romance novels here.  I just don’t read them.  Yet here I am.  Admitting I read this book… and I enjoyed it.  

Was the draw the ice cream parlor?  Certainly…. that is interesting, who wouldn’t want to own an ice cream parlor? And I liked Steffie, making it on her own and doing fine, but of course…. she misses Wade who moved away some time ago.  Upon his return to town, Steffie is turned upside down trying to decide what to do…. and while the romance part is ok, I prefer the mystery and suspense in the story that kept me interested in knowing more.  There are plenty of twists and turns along the way that kept me engaged.

Almost Home is actually the third book in the Chesapeake Diary Series.  The first two being Coming Home and Home Again.  While the other two books build on this one, it is not necessary to read them before Almost Home. 

I think the moral of my review is that when we know what we like to read and stick to only that we are doing ourselves a disservice.  Occasionally we as readers need to read out of the normal habits.  Not only should we not judge a book by its cover, we also should not judge a book by its genre.

Mariah Stewart was a wonderful author to take that genre leap with. 




About Mariah Stewart

Mariah Stewart is the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of twenty-nine novels of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband and their dogs amid the rolling hills and Amish farms of southern Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she gardens, reads, and listens to the voices in her head. She is currently working on the next book in her bestselling Chesapeake Diaries series.

Connect with Mariah:
On her website
On Facebook


There are a few more stops on this tour:

Thursday, June 2nd:  A Cozy Reader’s Corner

Monday, June 6th:  Colloquium

Wednesday, June 8th:  A Chick Who Reads

I read this book as part of a TLC Book Tour

17 thoughts on “Almost Home by Mariah Stewart

  1. Isn’t this the truth! I see those covers with cowboys on them and think, what drivel – who reads that stuff. Well, the funny thing is I got a free book on my Nook and it was titled, One Lucky Cowboy. I started it yesterday just to have something to read at lunch and got so into it I almost finished it last night. Just goes to show you never know until you try.

    1. Kaye I hear you there – I always say I do not like westerns, country music… its true… I just never have… cowboys do not do it for me…. but who knows what would happen if I was caught like you with only a western type book to read?

      Oh! The world could change as I know it! 😀

  2. I like the look of this one…see, good to step outside that old comfort zone.

    You might be surprised to read, Sheila, that I’ve actually preordered a book by Beth Kephart (I think hers are mostly YA). Out of my usual reading genre. I left you the link earlier on your Morning Meanderings post.

  3. Definitely worthwhile to step outside our reading comfort zones at least occasionally. 🙂 Even if we don’t end up liking that particular book, it’s still good for us, I think.

      1. LOL! Sometimes I get frustrated with myself when I can’t recall why I added a certain book to my wish list or requested it … Glad this one worked out for you, though!

  4. It’s so nice to step outside your comfort zone and have a positive experience!

    I was tempted to read/review ALMOST HOME (I’ll admit the ice cream caught my attention), but was short on time and Mariah Stewart wrote a lovely “spotlight on bookstores” guest post for the blog instead.

  5. I really thought of your review to be catching and I might have to read it. Not so sure with all the reading challenges I have. Great book as your blog says its stepping out of our comfort zones to make a new journey into a new Romance.

  6. I haven’t read anything by Mariah Stewart but this does sound good. I don’t read a lot of traditional romance novels but I picked up Julia Quinn’s What Happened in London and was pleasantly surprised. I have since read and enjoyed two more of her books. I agree with you that it is good to step outside our usual reading and try something new. Plus it is kind of good for my job as an adult services librarian to be familiar with a wide variety of books. I’ve already found some great books to try at your blog. Thanks!

  7. I don’t read much in this genre either but since this series is set practically in my backyard, I might have to give it a try.

    Thanks for being on the tour Sheila!

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