Friday, September 23, 2011

Book Review: Already Home

'Already Home'
Author: Susan Mallery


Format: ARC
Published: Mira; Mar. 2011
Pages: 368
Genre: Contemporary romance
Grade: A
Source: Publicist


Synopsis: After nearly a decade as a sous-chef in a trendy eatery, Jenna is desperate for a change. She's supported her ex-husband's dreams for so long that she can't even remember her own. Until she sees a for-lease sign near her parents' home and envisions her very own cooking store.
Her crash course in business is aided by a streetwise store manager and Jenna's adoptive mother. But just as she's gaining a foothold in her new life, in walk her birth parents—aging hippies on a quest to reconnect with their firstborn.
Now Jenna must figure out how to reconcile the free-spirited Serenity and Tom with her traditional parents, deal with her feelings for a new love interest and decide what to do about her ex's latest outrageous request. In the end, Jenna will find that there is no perfect family, only the people we love….

My Take: I'll be honest here, contemporary romance is not a genre I read. However, the description sounded like a book I would love and I am so glad I took the risk because what the book contained was a bunch of women dealing with real emotions and real life and no bodice-ripping which is what I imagine romance novels to contain. Oh who am I kidding, I went through a phase in seventh grade and that's totally what the romance novels contained that I enjoyed reading! Anywho, this book was much more mature and much more my style!

Already Home centers around Jenna who is recently divorced and decides to return to her home town of Austin, TX. She was a chef in LA with some success but her ex-husband ruined her confidence. She decides to open a cooking store, knowing much about cooking but little about retail. Luckily she is smart enough to hire Violet who is street-wise and has a lot of retail experience. Between the two of them they are able to make Jenna's store, Grate Expectations, a new success with some hard work. The descriptions of the store and the cooking classes they hold there make this a store I wish I had in my home town!

At any rate, nothing is ever as easy as it seems. Jenna's life is thrown upside down when her birth parents show up unexpectedly. See, Austin, TX is her hometown because her adopted parents raised her there since she was an infant. She loves her birth parents with her whole heart and never felt that anything was missing. She wasn't looking for her birth parents, so their arrival was a shock to say the least. Jenna's birth parents are hippies from Napa, CA (why is everyone from Northern California in books always a hippie?!). Jenna must now deal with this new found relationship and all its complications.

Violet also has new problems of her own. She is starting to dip her toes in the dating game. She hasn't had much success with it before and thinks she may have found The One with Cliff. However, when she starts changing herself for him and he starts becoming more controlling, all may not be as rosy as it initially appeared.

Let's just say, that I could not turn the pages fast enough! I adored this book and all of the characters within. Already Home was a realistic portrayal of women and the realities we face with friendship and family at its root. I look forward to reading many more books from Susan Mallery.

Cover Lust: This is so scenic! Who doesn't want to eat al fresco under the stars?!

21 comments:

  1. There is something I really enjoy about that cover...

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  2. I don't read a lot of contemporary romance either. Glad to see that you enjoyed this one. It sounds like an interesting read.

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  3. Aside from Jill Mansell, I don't really read romance, but this one sounds really good.

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  4. Already Home was an incredible story. If you're a fan of Mallery's read her Fools Gold Series, you'll love them.

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  5. Love that cover. Sounds like a great book, too. Thanks for the wonderful review.

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  6. This is not my kind of read either but the dreamy cover and the reviews have had me add to my Wishlist.

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  7. While I typically don't read romance novels either, this one does sound appealing! Thanks for the review!

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  8. It sounds lovely and I would be there with you eating under that lovely tree :D

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  9. Okay, I have a tree just like that, a yard that's pretty big a view of the city. Now I just need that table, chairs and those lights!!

    What a gorgeous cover!

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  10. This covers really draws me in. I'm going check my library for this one soon.

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  11. I'd love to climb into the cover! I'm glad the book is so good.

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  12. That cover really reminds me of Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister! Also a good read...

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  13. I don't read romance really either, but this one does sound good. Perhaps I'll pick it up and see if I like it too!

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  14. This book sounds really good, and the cover is so pretty!

    thanks for the review!

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  15. I've read a few of her books but not this one - yet. Nice review!

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  16. Oops, previous comment was from me (signed into wrong email acct).

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  17. I like romances, but I;m usually more of a historical gal. This one looks good so I;m adding it to my list.

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  18. I am a huge fan of contemporary romance and no one does it better than Susan Mallery. This was a great book and if you enjoy it, you should definitely check out Susan’s Fools Gold series. You’ll be hooked on contemporary romances after that!

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  19. Susan Mallery writes a lot of contemporary romance and I'm a huge fan of hers. I love her new Fool's Gold series, especially the trilogy out this summer. However, Already Home is more women's lit and I really connected with the women in this book! I'd love to have a store like this in my hometown, too!!

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  20. I'm not sure that the books for me, but I so love that cover!

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