by Mariah Stewart

October 2011
ISBN: 978-0345531216
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books
Mass Market Paperback

Brooke Madison Bowers never expected to move back to St. Dennis, Maryland. The former beauty queen married her soul mate and embarked on a life outside the small community. But fate intervened, and after her husband was killed in Iraq, Brooke knew that she wanted her son to grow up in the welcoming embrace of her home town.

Armed with dreams of opening her own business, Brooke moves back in with her mother and brother on the family farm. From there she sets her plans in motion, re-enrolling in college and marketing her cupcakes to local businesses.

The one thing that is not on her agenda is romance. Even though it has been three years since Ericís death, Brook thinks her one shot at love is over. Well-meaning family and friends have been unable to convince her to give anyone more than one date.

Jesse Enright is a new resident in St. Dennis, but his family roots run deep in the community. His grandfatherís law firm has been around for decades, and he hopes he can prove to be the right one to take over the family practice. It will be a tough job since his fatherís reputation has tarnished the name, but Jesse is persistent. He is convinced that he can win over the older generation. He is not so sure he can win over Brooke Bowers.

Hometown Girl is full of charm and humor. It picks up the story threads from Coming Home and carried the series along in winning fashion. Author Mariah Stewart has her finger on the pulse of small town life, with its pitfalls and promises.

Readers will enjoy watching Jesseís patient non-courtship of the wary Brooke and rejoice as her dreams come true. It was evident to me that there are still a few stories on the horizon for St. Dennis, so you may want to be sure to catch up on The Chesapeake Diariesseries soon!

Reviewed in October 2011 by Paula.

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