Almost Home is a collection of four novellas, headlined by bestselling Debbie Macomber.
Whale Island by Cathy Lamb is about a reclusive children’s book author who lives on a coastal Washington state island and the reporter sent to interview her. Chalese steels herself for what Aiden will uncover. Not just her present as the popular creator of animal stories but her past as a victim.
Queen of Hearts by Judy Duarte tells the story of Marcos “The Brain” Taylor and his high school crush, Jenn Kramer, when they meet up again just before their 10 year reunion. Jenn doesn’t recognize her handsome new boss, Marc, but feels drawn to his kindness and strength. Although there is something familiar about his eyes … Jenn writes the advice column in the local newspaper and several of the recent letters from a self-described lovelorn geek hit pretty close to home.
The Honeymoon House by Mary Carter is Kate and Andy’s story. And Amanda and Pete’s. And Kate and Jeff’s. But really it’s Kate and Andy’s. Amanda called off her wedding to Pete just before walking down the altar and ordered her best friend to strip the Martha’s Vineyard cottage of anything romantic. While fulfilling her maid of honor duties, Kate runs into the cottage’s owner, Pete’s friend Andy. Both Andy and Kate have literal and psychic scars to heal before they find their happily ever after.
The Marrying Kind by Debbie Macomber starts with Jason Ingram seeing a woman from his past in the hotel bar just two days before his wedding. Kate Kern was his first love. Also his first wife. When their honeymoon was interrupted by her parents dragging her off, Jason lost her. Seeing her again awakens old feelings for both Jason and Kate. But he’s engaged.
All four books are fun and fit together well in this collection. Each have strengths and a weakness. In Whale Island, Chalese and her friend Brenda and sister Christie are a bit over the top in their shenanigans. I don’t believe two people could fall through a glass skylight onto a butcher block table without severe injury. But Chalese’s emotional journey rang true for me so I could forgive the inconsistencies in the story.
Probably the weakest story for me was Queen of Hearts. I just never really connected to the stiff-as-cardboard Jenn. And I didn’t believe she wouldn’t recognize Marc, a young man whom she remembered quite well.
The Honeymoon House has plenty to enjoy, and I did, in spite of the overly dramatic and unlikeable Amanda. The ending felt rushed as Kate’s emotions ran the gamut too quickly to ring true.
The Marrying Kind shows Debbie Macomber’s experience in telling engaging stories. Kate and Jason’s chemistry jumped off the page, but I disliked that they hopped into bed so quickly. I get that it’s all about the story and that got the story ticking, but it didn’t make me sympathize with either of them when they were guilt-wracked the next day.
Overall, Almost Home is a fun book to pick up and pass a few hours with. The four novellas make it easy to read one story in a sitting.
I recommend it!
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes and it did not influence the honesty of my subjective opinions.