Almost Home: The Chesapeake Diaries by Mariah Stewart

lumbermouth's review

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Totally romanticized small town east coast ice cream shop. Oh, and ouija. Kind of a lot going on but an ice cream fucker at the heart, which is what counts. I'm probably going to look for the next one in the series.

thereadingbel's review

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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 curve ball: 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.

It is a cute little love story.

kitroo87's review

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carm_caught_reading's review

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Super cute love story! Had been awhile since I’d read the other books in this series and I just loved how immediately back at home I felt in St Dennis! So happy for Wade and Steffie. Can’t wait for my next trip back to the Bay.

angrygreycatreads's review

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Not really for me, I tried it because a friend gave it to me.

little_green_shrub's review

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Unfortunately, I didn't love this book. I found it to be pretty dry and boring. It seemed like the little mystery aspect was thrown in there to add some intrigue to an otherwise completely plain read, but there was really nothing mysterious about it.

In my opinion, the one saving grace was the characters; not their personalities per se but the way they interacted with one another. I thought it was really well done, and I appreciated seeing how all the members of this little community were interconnected.

margreads's review

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Started this at 11pm on a Saturday night. finished it at around 3am.

Steffie Wyler is an ice-cream maker extraordinaire. She has always lived in St Dennis and she has no real desire to move anywhere else. She has a successful ice cream business called One Scoop or Two that is right on the waterfront, she is constantly coming up with new, divine sounding flavours. Really, her life is exactly what she imagined it would be when she was growing up, except for the bit where she thought she would be married to Wade MacGregor.

There is no doubt that there are still sparks between them, especially when Wade comes back to town for his friend's wedding. Wade has been building up a successful micro-brewery business in Texas and is in town for only a few days. Things are just heating up between Steffie and Wade when he receives a phone call and leaves town immediately, leaving Steffie confused and wondering what exactly happened.

When Wade comes back, it is with a small child in tow, which leaves her with even more questions. Was he married and is he divorced? Why has he closed his business down in Texas? How long is he staying in town this time?

Keeping secrets in a town like St Dennis is always difficult. The big question is what will happen when the truth comes out!

I have to say, one of the highlights of this book is all the flavours that Steffie comes up with for her shop. If I lived in St Dennis I would be at the ice cream shop just about every day.

Rating 4/5

See my thoughts on the first five books in the series here:

imbookingit's review

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3.5 stars.

I loved the first book in this series. Liked the second one a lot. This one was a solid "like".

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.

katherineep's review

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I really wanted to love this book. I loved Steffie, her store, her family, her friends and Saint Dennis but I just never quite connected with the romance between her and Wade.

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