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Monthly Archives: January 2013

BeachLucy Sinclair grew up in the Inn in the small town of St. Dennis where she felt safe, carefree, and loved but one day all that changed, causing Lucy to leave St. Dennis, never looking back. In Home for the Summer  by Mariah Stewart, Lucy is brought back to the Inn to help out help her family by planning “the” wedding of the year at the Inn. As Lucy spends time at the Inn, but most especially with Clay Madison, Lucy starts to feel drawn back to the life she once led. But the secret that Lucy has kept for 20 years may keep her from being able to stay forever and finally finding peace.

Clay Madison was best friends with Lucy, spending hours growing up with her and eventually starting to notice her as more than just his childhood friend but one day Lucy inexplicably drew back from him, eventually leaving St. Dennis. Clay has remained in St. Dennis farming the land his ancestors farmed and loves his life, the only thing missing is Lucy. With Lucy returning to the Inn for the summer, Clay decides this is his one chance to show her what they could be together but can he break through the barrier that Lucy has erected between herself and everyone else?!

Home For the Summer is the story of Clay, brother of the main character in Hometown Girl (you can read my review here) and I was glad to read the warmhearted Clay’s story. Lucy’s story was interesting, after leaving St. Dennis she moved to Hollywood where she started an event planning company creating amazing events for celebrities, but after she returns to St. Dennis she starts to realize that what she thought of as a life in California is really just an incredibly demanding job with little or no friends other than her co-workers. Home for the Summer was a great read, I felt like Mariah Stewart handled a tough experience (Lucy’s) with delicacy, tact and great empathy, leaving me, as the reader, with a great understanding why Lucy reacted the way she did. I have enjoyed the entire Chesapeake Diaries series and recommend them all as heartwarming tales of small town pitfalls and triumphs.

You can read an excerpt here.

Chesapeake Diaries Reading Order:

Coming Home

Home Again

Almost Home

Hometown Girl

Home for the Summer

The Long Way Home

home for the summerRating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Home for the Summer

Author: Mariah Stewart

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 384

ISBN: 978-0345531223

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Release Date: May 2012

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

coming home“I started to put him behind me the day I put him in prison. Yes, I still have scars, inside and out, but they remind me to never let anyone else take charge of my life ever again. And yes, I have issues, but I don’t let them define me. I’ve made a life for myself, and I’m very happy here. I could make having been abused the most important thing in my life, but I’ve chose to put it aside and focus on what I’ve done to take control of my life.”

~Coming Home by Mariah Stewart

Novel Reaction is excited to be a part of The Long Way Home by Mariah Stewart Blog Tour! It has been a while since Novel Reaction has participated in one of these and The Long Way Home was a fabulous novel to back into the blog tour grove!

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maryland beachEllie Chapman has led life in the fast lane, jet setting with her father and fiance, Ellie split her time between working in New York for her dad’s company and traveling to “the” places to be. But all that comes to a crashing halt in The Long Way Home by Mariah Stewart when it turns out her father and fiance were running a ponzi scheme. Without any money, all of her belongs confiscated by the feds and no job nor anyone willing to hire her, Ellie is elated to find out that her mother has left her a house in St. Dennis. But the inheritance comes with a condition, Ellie has to stay in the house for six months or she loses it. Intending to fix up the house during the six months and then sell it before leaving to start her life over somewhere else, Ellie is surprised by the contentment she starts to discover in the quiet little town her mother loved so much.

Cameron O’Connor loves St. Dennis but he especially loves one particular house, when he sees someone new move in Cameron is upset to realize that the house was sold without him being offered the chance to purchase it. But as the truth starts to come out, Cameron finds himself helping Ellie take on remodeling and repair jobs she has no experience doing and no idea how to go about them. As Cameron and Ellie start to get closer, Cameron starts to wonder if he can convince Ellie to make St. Dennis her home or will secrets from the past tear apart the fragile relationship they have just started?

The Long Way Home is the sixth book the Chesapeake Diaries series and is a great addition to this heartwarming series. The Long Way Home is a stand alone novel, so you don’t need to read the prior books to enjoy this one but you do get some of the other character’s back stories if you read the series in order.  I loved reading about Ellie’s journey from a woman determined to be alone after being abandoned by the people who she thought were her friends to a strong woman determined to make the right decisions about her life and about not letting love pass her by. Ellie moved to St. Dennis with the intention of keeping herself isolated from everyone else but the residents of St. Dennis (which if you have read the rest of the series you know aren’t the kind to sit back and allow anyone to feel like a stranger) aren’t willing to accept that from Ellie. Just when you think you can see where Mariah Stewart is going with the story (straight to the happy ending) she throws in an unexpected twist (totally didn’t see it coming and well done Mariah!). The twist had me in equally measures cheering on Ellie for her choices and at the same time wanting to slap her upside the head for not doing what I thought she should be doing from the beginning. I am not going to share anything more about that because I don’t want to ruin it for you readers but it is a good moment and in the end I was proud of Ellie for the tough decision she had to make. I highly recommend the entire series but The Long Way Home is a great read by itself, a lovely story about the journey of woman from isolation and betrayal to finding acceptance within herself and others.

You can read an excerpt here.

Chesapeake Diaries Reading Order:

Coming Home

Home Again

Almost Home

Hometown Girl

Home for the Summer

The Long Way Home

At the River’s Edge (August 2013)

the long way homeRating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: The Long Way Home

Author: Mariah Stewart

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 432

ISBN: 978-0345538413

Publisher:  Ballantine Books

Release Date: January 29, 2013

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

no cell phoneI was reading Hunk for the Holiday  by Katie Lane, in it the main character has hired an escort to be her date to a family party but, through some miscommunication, ends up with someone else who she doesn’t realize isn’t an escort until after they have fallen in love. Part of the way this mistake happened is because she left her cell phone in the office over a holiday weekend, so she didn’t have  way for people to get in touch with her. This got me thinking about miscommunication in the age of technology. A large part of the conflict and trials that characters go through in novels is because of miscommunication, either someone says something that is interpreted by the other character incorrectly or one of the characters has to be out of range of communication. Twenty years ago this wasn’t as big of a problem, the character would leave the office or their home and immediately be out of communication range. But we live in a day of smart phones, internet cafes and free wifi everywhere, you can ask just about any stranger on the street to borrow their cellphone. So how does an author of a contemporary genre believably effect this miscommunciation?

I think some of it has to do with the location of the setting of the story, if the story takes place in rural Nebraska and a serial killer is after the main character but cell reception is spotty at best, believable. But if the killer is chasing after someone on the streets of NY, not so believable, why wouldn’t the character just call the police?! Granted, you can always pull the “forgot to charge my cellphone” gimmick but you can only believable get away with that once, maybe twice in the story before it becomes so ridiculous that it is irritating. What really got me thinking about this topic was the main character in Hunk for the Holiday is a control freak, all the characters talk about her in charge attitude, she admits to being in control and yet she willingly left her cellphone at the office for two whole days. I am connected to my cellphone, if I leave to run to the grocery store without it I feel like I have left a limb at home, so I struggled about with this one fact in the story. Would someone who is a control freak willingly leave their cellphone some place else without doing something to go get it?

But then again, in some ways it becomes easier for miscommunication to occur in the age of cell phones. For example, if a cell phone is lost or broken and the main character goes home where killer is waiting, with no home phone (because many people only have cell phones, no home phones at all) then the main character is much more vulnerable without any convoluted explanations as to why the phone line isn’t working.

So what do you think? Is this something that can make or break a believeable story or is it such a minor detail that it doesn’t really matter?

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Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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