Almost Home

Almost Home

4.2 340
by Barbara Freethy

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Katherine Whitfield hadn't left her seamless life in California to get mixed-up with a rough around the edges man like Zach Tyler. With his well-worn jeans and slow, seductive smile, he was nothing but a cowboy on the wrong side of the Mississippi — a diversion in her heartfelt quest to discover the father she never knew.

Zach has



Katherine Whitfield hadn't left her seamless life in California to get mixed-up with a rough around the edges man like Zach Tyler. With his well-worn jeans and slow, seductive smile, he was nothing but a cowboy on the wrong side of the Mississippi — a diversion in her heartfelt quest to discover the father she never knew.

Zach has a gentle hand with horses and a seductive touch with women...and when he takes Katherine in his arms, he unleashes the passion simmering just below her cool exterior. Yes, her probing questions and tantalizing ways could cause nothing but trouble — but sometimes a man needs a little trouble...


Author Biography:

Since turning her attention to fiction writing in 1988, Barbara Freethy has sold fifteen novels. For a former public relations professional and freelance business writer, fifteen novels is a dream come true.

Barbara most enjoys writing books about love and family with a little bit of magic. Her first novel for Avon Books, Daniel's Gift, a poignant tale about a little boy and his estranged parents, won the RITA award and has been optioned for a television movie. Barbara is currently working on her seventh novel for Avon.

Barbara resides in Northern California with her husband and two children.

Editorial Reviews

Jill M. Smith
The magic of Barbara Freethy’s words once again paints a compelling and wonderfully written portrait of discovery and love.
Romantic Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Katherine Whitfield finds a chest containing some of her deceased mother's mementos, she leaves her sophisticated life in L.A. for Kentucky's thoroughbred-racing country, hoping to find the father she never knew. Armed with a quilt, a cufflink and a letter addressed to a man identified only by the initial J, Kat begins her search. But it seems every man in town has a name beginning with J, and every one of them has something to hide. Her only friend is Zach Tyler, a rough-hewn horse trainer. Zach supports her against the town's slimy characters but stands to lose everything when Kat discovers the truth about her parents. While stock ingredients--tortured hero, driven heroine, secrets galore--keep the story moving at a brisk pace, it's the behind-the-scenes peek at the world of horse racing that gives substance to Freethy's latest offering (after The Sweetest Thing). (Jan.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Driven by a need she barely understands to find a father who doesn't know she exists, Katherine Whitfield leaves her ordered existence in Los Angeles and heads for Paradise Valley, KY, armed only with a restaurant's name and a man's initial. But her quest quickly throws the town into chaos; and when her questions begin to lead to unexpected answers, Katherine begins to wonder if she really wants to find her family after all. A strong but vulnerable heroine who needs to belong, a worthy, driven hero determined to prove himself and live down his father's reputation, and a cast of well-developed, not always conventional secondary characters drive the plot, which also skillfully blends down-home country charm with a dash of horseracing fever. Unlike Freethy's earlier novels, this emotionally involving romance has no paranormal elements; it is sure to please her many fans--and garner her new ones. Freethy (The Sweetest Thing) is a RITA Award-winning writer of warm, contemporary romances and lives in the San Francisco area. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\

Product Details

Barbara Freethy
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

We're going to have a baby. I know I'm a coward to write but I'm aftaid of what I'll see in your eyes when you hear the news. I know this isn't what you want, and I don't see how we can ever be together. But I believe in my heart that you must know the truth— you are going to be a father. Now, if only I have the courage to send this letter.

Katherine Whitfield sat in the front seat of her rental car, tears filling her eyes as she traced the handwritten words with a shaky finger.

She'd read the letter a hundred times since she'd discovered it a week ago, hidden away in an old cedar chest in her stepfather's attic. She'd memorized every word, every curve of every line, wondering if it could possibly have been written to her father by her mother.

There was no signature, but the writing looked familiar—or did she simply want it to be true? She'd spent years wishing for the tiniest bit of information about her father, but her mother had always said they'd discuss it later. Unfortunately, later had never come. Her mother had died two days before Katherine's twelfth birthday, and she'd been left alone with a stepfather of only nine months and no other blood relatives anywhere in the world.

Was it possible her real father had never known about her? Obviously the letter hadn't been sent. And she'd found the letter with other things in the chest as well, matchbooks, cocktail napkins, and a fun-sized hand-stitched quilt with dates and words of memory. But whose words? Whose memories? Whose life belonged to the chest?

It was a question that had sent her halfway across the country from the urbanstreets of Los Angeles, California, to the rolling hills of Kentucky. Now she had parked her car in the lot of a Dairy Queen, where she'd stopped for a Diet Coke and a few moments to rethink her plan.

Suddenly, a child burst through the doors of the restaurant, holding a large milk shake in her hand. The little girl's small face was covered with an earto-ear smile and a matching smear of chocolate.

A tall man stepped out of a car. "Over here, sweetheart," he called.

"Daddy, Daddy. Look what I got," the child said.

The man held out his arms with a wide, beaming grin, and the child ran into his embrace. He kissed the top of the little girl's head, and the small affectionate gesture tore at Katherine's heart. There were no words of reprimand for the messy face, only loving acceptance.

A deep ache of longing swept through Katherine. She'd wanted a relationship like that. She'd never had it with-her stepfather. Mitchell Whitfield had always treated her more like a responsibility than a daughter. If there was a chance, even a small one, that her real father could be alive, that he could want to know her as much as she wanted to know him—Katherine had to take it.

Setting the envelope aside, she started the car and pulled out of the parking lot. She barely paused at the entrance to the road. Since she'd left the main highway, traffic had been almost nonexistent.

As she headed down the two-lane road, past the rolling green hills, endless white fences, thoroughbred horse farms, and elegant dogwood trees still clinging to a few spring blossoms, she knew she was a long way from home and the only life she knew. But the cocktail napkins, the match covers, all had one thing in common: the name Paradise, Kentucky.

Katherine had never acted so impulsively in her life, but with her stepparents out of town, she'd had no one to answer her questions. So she'd arranged to take care of the loose ends in her life and traveled to Kentucky. She flipped on the radio for a distraction. She was just in time to hear a female singer ask, "Where have all the cowboys gone?"

A good question, she thought with a wistful sigh. She didn't know if it had to do with wanting a father or wanting a boyfriend or a husband or just wanting someone who really cared about her, but there was a hole inside of her that she couldn't seem to fill. She'd tried to keep busy with work and friends and chocolate-lots and lots of chocolate. Nothing had worked.

jeez, she was a head case, wanting, wanting, wanting, when most everyone would look at her life and say it was good. And it was good. It was also a little lonely.

Katherine switched off the radio with a decisive click, knowing, it was foolish to yearn for some impossible romance of the century. At twenty-seven, she'd been around enough to know there weren't any more cowboys, no more men who roamed the open plains, who were strong and invincible and protective of their women. Those guys didn't exist anymore.

The men she knew were soft in the middle from too many business lunches and too much time spent firing the remote control. They didn't wear holsters, they wore pagers. And a cowboy hat would have messed up the style of their hair.

Smiling to herself, Katherine knew she was generalizing, but for the life of her, she couldn't think of one man she'd gone out with in the last year who had made her heart race.

Where was the deep, passionate love, the desperate need to be with someone, the feeling of intense and utter connection? She wanted to believe she would feel it all someday, but maybe such a love didn't exist. Maybe her father didn't exist.

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Almost Home 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 340 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i have to say this is one of the best books i have ever had the chance of reading. i don't know what makes this book better than all the rest. i think it is because it is so real. this story could have happened to some one. because it is so hard to find a good man in this world today it gives me hope that some day i will be lucky enough to find me someone i can love for the rest of me life. even if i know my chances are slim. that is what makes it so real.
BookaholicTracy More than 1 year ago
It's excellent. Starts out slow but gets better and better. Loved it!
harstan More than 1 year ago
It was finding the unsigned and never mailed letter that sent Katherine Whitfield from Los Angeles to the thoroughbred country just outside Louisville. Ever since her mother died when she was twelve, Katherine has longed for love. Her stepfather raised her, but never showed he cared beyond providing for her material needs. When she found that letter her mother wrote, Katherine decided to find her biological father.

As she begins her inquiries, she finds the locals refuse to help her on her quest. Katherine also finds herself falling in love with Zach Tyler, whose horse Rogue is a Kentucky Derby contender. Zach has lived for only one thing and that is winning the Derby. He has no time for a California outsider. On the other hand, Katherine has replaced Rogue in his dreams. She insists she will return to LA once she meets her father.

ALMOST HOME is a remarkable relationship romance. The story contains all the sorcery expected from a wizard like Barbara Freethy. Katherine and Zach are an intriguing duo whose life goals need modification to include love. The support cast provides a feel for the close knit Kentucky horse racing community, which helps readers understand Zach¿s reluctance to embrace love. Award winning author Ms. Freethy makes reading fun.

Harriet Klausner

JMiles24 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book. The story was interesting, fun, and unpredictable! I highly recommend this book and this author! I cant wait to read more from her.
fitgirl1 More than 1 year ago
Katherine and Zach are a great couple, complete opposites. She's a city girl. He's a hard-edged rancher with a big racing dream. The Kentucky Derby setting was really intriguing. Very well written novel.
Sherry Nelson More than 1 year ago
This is definitely a hot and steamy novel! Good read! A little predictable and too good to be true. But I would definitely recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In Almost Home it takes you right into the horse racing world. With a mix of mystery and romance. I did not figure out the suprise ending until the end, just like Barbara wanted me to. The book was very hard to put downn. I have read a couple of Barbara's books. She is an amazing author. Her books have many twists and turns in them. Many nights I could not put the book down. The characters are very real. I enjoy Barbara's books because they are longer than other books on the market and do not lag in the middle. Barbara's books keep you hooked from beginning to end. I now look for Barbara's books when picking a new book to read. Well done on this book Barbara!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great mystery and romance in one good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. nice small town romance .you almost felt like you were there .my emotions were on a rollercoaster at some points. I wanted the book to to go on and on.
Nana8CA More than 1 year ago
I love Barbara Freethy but this was the best book of hers that I have read. It had romance, intrigue, it was funny and heartwarming. I really enjoyed it. A very good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enough said.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Predictable love story but good surprise for the outcome of the revelation of the father! I could easily see a sequel for this book, Karen H
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter and I both loved this book. It was great that it was a lend-me.
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