Already Home

Already Home

by Susan Mallery
4.3 317

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Already Home 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 318 reviews.
TanyaTX More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book. I love all Susan's books. This is one is different from her other books. I couldn't put it down. I wanted to read more about Dragon and Violet's characters.
SharonRedfern More than 1 year ago
Susan Mallery has written a wonderful story about families, love and loss. Jenna is a chef who has lost her confidence in herself, in a large part to her soon to be ex-husband. He has thrown away their marriage, cheated on her, and bullied her into believing she is a lousy chef. She moves back to her Texas hometown and impulsively decides to open an exclusive cookery store- Grate Expectations. Fortunately for her, she hires Violet to be her first employee. Violet has had to make some tough choices to survive and she too has a low sense of self esteem. She has the retail skills that Jenna lacks and comes to the rescue when uber structured Jenna's first day goes awry. The two women work together, begin again, and make a success of the business. Jenna, who is adopted, is thrown for a loop when her birth parents make an appearance in her store with no advance warning. From that point on a large part of the story becomes one about the issues of adoption from all of the sides- the birth parents, the adoptive parents and the person in the center of it all. Ms. Mallery skillfully lets us into the feelings of all three parts of the triangle, good and bad. Just when you think things are going a little too sweetly, reality bites! Jenna and Violet have to deal with their issues about families, relationships and their own self worth. They move forward and then old patterns of behavior/fears hold them back. Jenna has too much family to deal with- two sets of parents and new siblings, while Violet has her issues with the lack of family in her life. There is joy and sadness in both of their lives but they work through it. I liked the strong friendship that developed between them and how they were able to open themselves up for new love in their life on many levels. I can always count on Susan Mallery for a good read and this book does not disappoint. Have your tissues ready- you will need them. There are some pretty yummy sounding recipes at the end of the book as an added bonus.
CrystalPosey More than 1 year ago
Seeing as I was adopted myself, I was particularly interested in this book, and I nearly fell off my bed when I saw that the egalley was offered at netgalley. Like the main character, Jenna, I too was thrown a curve ball when my biological family suddenly showed up out of nowhere. With a lot of personal experience on the subject, I can say that Mallery nails the turmoil of the situation. The warring emotions displayed in the writing are engaging, relatable, and impressively dead on. In this kind of situation there are so many emotions it's like a web of confusion. I was pleasantly surprised at how well Mallery expressed them through this story. Even though the biological parents are universe-talking, vegan people, there isn't some mystical bond between Jenna and them. At least not on Jenna's end. Jenna doesn't feel a bond, and quite frankly doesn't want one. I loved this aspect, because in truth it really doesn't work that way in the real world. By rule of thumb, most of these situations are not an Oprah show moment. Usually they are awkward and miserable. Fortunately for us readers, Mallery is a clever writer who takes Jenna's awkward misery and turns it into a a comedic triangle between her and both her mothers. Beyond Jenna, there is a wonderful secondary character, Violet. Thank goodness Mallery gave Violet a lot of page time! It saved me the time of having to petition for Violet to have her own book. Violet has a story all on her own. A well-written one that doesn't take over, but has it's own spotlight. In a different way Violet is looking for the same thing Jenna is. Jenna just doesn't realizes what she's looking for, where as Violet knows but doesn't think she deserves it. Then there are the parents, the biological parents, new brothers, and love interests for Jenna and Violet. It's a large cast of the normal, the damaged, and the weird. All of which make for a great tear jerker mixed with humor, a bit of danger, a pinch of heat, and a lesson in opening up to all the possibilities. P.S. There's a swoon worthy Dragon in the story. be on the look out!
SaraBetty More than 1 year ago
Just finished Already Home and like all of SM's books, I loved it. She has a way of building characters that is both touching and unique. The interactions between characters is always moving and real. The emotions when adopted daughter is suddenly confronted with her birth parents is gripping. The relationships between husbands/wives, girlfriend/boyfriend can be right out of real life (sometimes sadly). If I had one fault to find with this book it would be that it ended too soon. Would loved to have it go a little beyond the backyard barbecue. Now I will anxiously await the arrival of the next Fool's Gold series. Love that small town and all of its residents. Write faster Ms. M.
LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
For years, Jenna has lived the city life. She was married, worked in a restaurant by her husband's side, and was doing well. Or was she? Her marriage crumbled,leading into Jenna rethinking her life and her dreams. What did she really want? Was she really living our her dreams? What does one do when she realizes she needs something different? Well, go home, of course. On a whim, she starts her own business. But Jenna's going to need a lot of help to keep up with her new store. Enter Violet, a woman who dresses different and is unsure of things. Having a dark past that haunts her to this day, Violet is a loner, but has the experience and skills necessary to help Jenna run her store. After a hesitant start, the two become friends and rely on each other to keep afloat. Violet helps Jenna rethink her business strategy when it shows that Jenna has no idea how she wants to run her store. And when a love interest enters Violet's life, she turns to Jenna for advice on what to wear on her date. As Jenna's new life and business fall into place, who should come into her life unexpectedly? Her birth parents. What a complete surprise to Jenna and her adoptive parents. Beth, Jenna's adoptive mother stays supportive and encouraging to Jenna to get to know the strangers that gave her up all those years ago. Susan Mallery creates an emotional story that stretches the boundaries of relationships. She tests all relationships in this story - between mothers and daughters, friends, strangers, and significant others. Her well thought out characters are so believable and engaging that the reader can't help but smile, laugh and cry at the situations each one faces. The story is full of conflict and decisions, and questions. Jenna is torn between her feelings and how to react now that her birth mother swiftly enters her life, and how will that affect her relationship with Beth, the woman who has raised Jenna as her own and given her a wonderful life? How does Beth really feel, even though she's encouraging Jenna to get to know her parents? What brought them here now, instead of when Jenna was younger? I know when I pick up a book with Susan Mallery's name on it that I'm in for a heartwarming, emotional, pleasurable read. Already Home was no different. She weaves the the plot and subplot in so wonderfully and long after the last page is read, her stories and characters stay with me in my mind. Her books are a keeper and can be enjoyed after the first, second, and hundredth time reading. If you enjoy a contemporary story full of heart and love, then you'll feel like your right at home with this book. Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
lanalucy More than 1 year ago
Got a print copy of this book from the author, in exchange for a review. This is more stream of consciousness than review,  so not up to my usual standards. Sorry. Jenna is a complex character, a woman with a real flair for cooking and a serious inferiority complex in the kitchen, thanks to  her ex-husband. She packs up her life post-divorce and moves back to her hometown, where she decides on a whim to open  a kitchen/cooking store. Running said store is not all she thought it would be, and the trials and tribulations can be funny. She has a great relationship with her adoptive mom and dad, and has never had any interest in searching for or getting to know her  birth parents. Guess who shows up right in the big middle of her remaking her life? I figured out what her birth mother's agenda was  pretty quickly - it seemed logical to me, though I don't think it was telegraphed much - maybe not at all. I have to confess to not really  liking her birth mother, even by the end of the book. Maybe because I had a mother like that, and it pushed too many buttons for me. The B story of her getting back into dating was not as satisfying for me for some reason. I didn't really connect with Elliot - he seemed  too good to be true, and even at the end of the story, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and for him to turn out to be some jackhole. The other B story of her store manager Violet's relationship woes is actually pretty compelling, and I'd like to read more about her.  She's got a convoluted backstory, and I look forward to learning more about that. I adore Jenna's dad's solution to her big problem. Jenna's birth brother Dragon is very interesting, and I definitely want to read more about him. He sounds like just my kind of  not-quite-bad boy.
jenny_e More than 1 year ago
At first I wasn't sure how I felt about this introduced some characters that I really didn't like. But it also introduced some characters that I couldn't wait until they appeared on the page again. I wish some of the characters had their own book.
Ashley_90 More than 1 year ago
Already Home is not what you would expect from Susan Mallery as it’s not your usual romance novel but have no fear she doesn’t disappoint! She comes through with characters that you’ll laugh and cry with. Jenna changes her life drastically after getting divorced and opens her own business and with the help of her adoptive parents and new friends like the street smart Violet Green, they strive to make a success. However, true to life, there are some bumps in the road along way including her birth parents coming to town. Jenna works to balance her parents, her demanding ex-husband, new friends, new family members, a new store and possibly a new love. From one reader to another I would recommend this to anyone who wants a healthy dose of real-life, strong women with their chick lit despite the lack of quintessential romance novel elements.
Ellecyd More than 1 year ago
Can you fall in love with 4 or 5 people at the same time? Yes! If you’ve read Susan Mallery’s book “Already Home” I was hooked from page one and couldn’t put the book down until the end and then I wanted MORE. I still want MORE. I loved the way Jenna struggled to begin anew after her divorce and I felt for her. I laughed with her and cried with her and got annoyed with her at times. I loved her mom, Beth. Beth would say these quirky things and I would find a giggle escaping. I also fell in love with Violet and Serenity and of course I fell in love with Dragon! What truly touched me about this book was that it was about relationships, ie: Mothers and daughters and women friends who become family. The men were there but as supporting cast and you know what? I didn’t miss them. I enjoyed them but I’m glad they were in the background. I REALLY enjoyed the interactions between these women. This is a book that’s going on my favorite shelf that I will read again. I can’t wait for the next story from Georgetown, Texas.
becx More than 1 year ago
I'm a BIG Susan Mallery fan so there was no doubt I would like "Already Home". What I hadn't expected was how different this book is from other Mallery books I've read. All the previous books I've read are centered on romantic relationships; "Already Home" is centered more on family relationships. I liked that Jenna was opening her own business. That interested me because I hope to do the same someday. The business ideas Susan writes about are things real life businesses should take into account. I wish I could find places like these to spend time. Jenna's birth parents brought humor to the story. I could so easily envision this couple and it was a hilarious sight. I wish there were a way to bring to life these men Susan writes about, Ellington is just about perfect!! His and Jenna's romance is realistic and what readers who don't like contemporary romance will enjoy is their romance isn't the center of the story. Susan has managed yet again, to not only create a story where I fell in love with the main characters, but one where the secondary character of Violet had me reaching for the tissues. Violet's backstory is heart wrenching but her character's strength is inspiring. The ending of the book was an emotion fest. Between Violet's confessions to a man who refuses to let her push him away and Jenna's unexpected family news, I had trouble reading through my blurry eyes. I give "Already Home" 5/5 stars. This heartwarming story of confidence, friendship, love, and the imperfect families we create and are born into is sure to touch your soul.
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Review by Valerie: My first read by Susan Mallery. It is NOT a romance novel but does have elements of romance woven in. Rather, it's a book about relationships - family, friends, spousal, adoptive, and especially the inner self. When I first started reading, I expected the story to be about one character and her life's ups and downs. The story is so much more. Jenna, her new assistant, her mom, and her birth mom share equal parts of their lives as you read about Jenna's failed marriage and her attempt to reconnect with her creative self. While she's gaining self-confidence, her new assistant, Violet, is forging her career path after rough teenage years without any family to fall back on. Beth, Jenna's mom, is dealing with the birth mother's surprise intrusion into their lives and Serenity, the birth mom, is a free-spirit who wants to make up for years without memories. While guys are mentioned and relationships with them explored, they aren't the center of the story. The center is about change and forgiveness and growing. What do you do when your life is turned upside down? How do you find the strength to pick yourself up? Can a heart hold enough love for two families? A very enjoyable read that brought tears to my eyes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having never read anything by Susan Mallery, I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this novel. I was initially intrigued by the cover. It's gorgeous. I tend to find myself choosing books based on the beautiful cover design, and often it's disappointing. Not so with Already Home. I loved just about everything about this novel, the engaging story, the well-written (and often flawed) characters, the little cook shop. Oh, how I wanted to pop into Grate Expectations and chat and cook with Jenna and Violet. While some of the plot points were a tad predictable, I found the book as a whole to be completely enjoyable and one I had a hard time putting down. From just a quick glance at some of the other titles under Ms. Mallery's belt, it appears she's typically a romance novelist. Like I said, I've not read her other work, so I'm going strictly by titles and cover art, and I could be wrong. But in any case, it does appear she's branching out with Already Home. It's got romance, but I wouldn't call it a romance novel. There's too much substance to attach that narrow a label. If you enjoy really good women's fiction, this is definitely one to put on your to read list.
sebe More than 1 year ago
Newly divorced sous-chef , Jenna Stevens, moves home to Georgetown, Texas where her adopted parents, Beth and Marshal still live. She opens a store named Grate Expectations. She hires streetwise and business savvy, Violet to help her run the store. After the first week Jenna realizes the store is in jeopardy of being a failure. With the help of Violet they brainstorm and come up with new ideas. She reopens and the store becomes an instant success. One day a man and woman show up at Jenna's store and announce that they are her birth parents, Serenity and Tom. Serenity is a free spirit and totally different from her adoptive mother Beth. Jenna learns that it is alright to have two mothers. I love the way Susan Mallery tells this story. She makes you think about lifes twists and turns. Even though things change, the love of family and friends is most important in your life.
harstan More than 1 year ago
With her marriage to chef Aaron in ruins due to his cheating and her self-esteem in the sewer, sous chef Jenna Stevens leaves Los Angeles and returns home to Texas. When Jenna sees a to rent sign near her parent's home where she is staying, she decides to open a cooking store. She immediately hires Violet to work at the store. Like Jenna, trying to move on to is Violet. She and Jenna make a terrific team at the store and as friends. Violet also is welcomed by Jenna's mother, Beth who worries about her daughter succeeding with a store as Jenna has no experience running a shop. However, just after the store opens, her biological parents Atomic and Serenity arrive hoping to bond with their daughter; confusing Jenna and upsetting her mom. The extended family females (to include Violet and Jenna's high school friends) are fully developed characters with fears, flaws and diverse personalities. On the other hand the men in their lives lack that same level of intensity as they each come across as one dimensional in support of the prime woman in their life. Still readers will enjoy Susan Mallery's warm contemporary tale as jittery Jenna finds her groove. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jenna's story has some definite pluses: her wonderful parents, Violet, and the fact that her ex-husband got some of what was coming to him. Her adoptive mother's insecurities seemed very real and honest. And Jenna's reaction to her birth parents deciding to show up because she had not listened to the promptings of the universe to search for them was right on target. However, I found her birth mother to be so incredibly irritating. Violet's attempt to date a good guy ended up being really scary. And Jenna's love interest was patronizing and not terribly likable. It was not difficult to figure out her birth mother's agenda. (She was pushing the universe along in aid of her own desires.) But I was not a fan of her conviction that she could, upon a few weeks' acquaintance, attempt to guide and goad Jenna into what she considered Jenna's true calling. The funeral seemed to be a cosmic release for Jenna, frankly. I have liked Susan Mallery's books for years, and can accept an ensemble story with no problem, but with only a tepid romance for the main character (which is maybe more real with all she had going on in her life), Violet and Dragon's relationship was so interesting that I was wanting the book to be about her. Jenna could have been the supporting character. No, it was not my favorite Susan Mallery book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The storyline captures you & draws you in. . .would love to see more on this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Snoozy24 More than 1 year ago
Jenna looks for a new lease on life after divorce; running her own cooking store in her home town. Learning business from a street smart store manager, her parents helpful and the an unusual occurrence happens. Her birth family appears and she has the surprise of hippy parents, who own a winery and 2 brothers. Her ex-husband makes an appearance, when a book and TV deal appeared , and he's not the real chef. Dating is interesting, for Jenna and Violet, the men are a real range of characters. Susan Mallery's talent for being able to piece multiple scenarios together in a great story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ProoferTX More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book. It made me cry, laugh, happy & angry. When I read a book and can REALLY feel it, it is the kind of book I am after to read. I would HIGHLY recommend this.
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Cupcake247 More than 1 year ago
Seems like it’s been two years since I’ve been able to spend the evening huddled around a Susan Mallery book. Finally getting the opportunity to do just that showed me how much I’ve missed it.  Here are the reading results: Best supporting actor goes to Dragon. His quick and snarky attitude had me wanting an entire book dedicated to Dragon alone. But back to the main storyline:  This book is one of evolution. The synopsis informs the to-be reader that Jenna is in need of change after a failed marriage which resulted in a broken cooking-spirit. I tentatively began reading but was soon grateful that I did.  Jenna is not the same person the reader meets at the beginning of the book. But it’s the evolving story that comes together page by page. Already Home involves a dynamic and intriguing cast of characters, not a single one boring or out of place. And finally, my eyes watered…and I don’t cry; it’s a fact of life. However, without giving away any spoilers, my eyes did get a bit misty.  In sum, do you want to spend a few evening reading a book from which you’ll place next to your collection of all of Susan Mallery’s other books with a sense of peacefulness, or, I dare say, Serenity? Closing Already Home after finishing the final page put a content smile on my face, and I can’t ask for more from my favorite authors. 
lacynpiper More than 1 year ago
I loved the relationships in this book.  It was more about Jenna's relationships with her parents, her biological family, and her friends than it was a romance.  I'm very close to my mom and so I loved the dynamics between mother and daughter.  As a native Texan, I also appreciate that she accurately portrays us and doesn't create characters who sound like hicks.  In total, this is a book that feels like a hug and makes you want to hug your mom or best friend and tell them how much you love them.  In my opinion, that's a great book.