Tuesday, September 13, 2022

ARC Review: The Forever Farmhouse by Lee Tobin McLain

The Forever Farmhouse

Lee Tobin McLain
Series: Hometown Brothers (Book 1)
Publication: HQN; Original edition (September 6, 2022)

Description: A Chesapeake island homecoming—and a life-changing discovery...

When Ryan Hastings first came to Teaberry Island, he was a troubled teen on his last chance. He’s returning as a renowned scientist, checking in on his widowed foster mother. But one thing hasn’t changed—Ryan’s feelings for the girl next door who he loved…and left. Mellie Anderson has a son now, and a good life that Ryan believes he’s still too damaged to share. But he knows he can help young Alfie, who’s getting picked on at his new school.

Mellie is grateful her gifted son is getting extra support, and torn about where it’s coming from. Ryan has no idea he’s Alfie’s father. No matter how valid her reasons were, could Ryan ever understand why she didn’t tell him? But in this close-knit community, friendship and forgiveness are always near at hand, and forever love might be waiting just next door.

My Thoughts: This was a nice second chance romance filled with broken people. Ryan Hastings was a product of child abuse who finally found a home on Teaberry Island with Betty and Wayne. Mellie Anderson was the girl next door who had issues of her own taking care of her father and younger sisters when her mother left. They had a brief romance before fear of relationships sent him running from the island.

Ten years have passed. Betty is now a widow who is suffering from depression after the death of her husband. Ryan is a well-known scientist who wants to help out his foster mother and save the Chesapeake Bay. Mellie runs the local grocery store and keeps busy caring for her genius ten-year-old son Alfie who is Ryan's son.

With Ryan back on the island for some time now, Mellie is conflicted. She knows she ought to tell Ryan that she had his baby. But as he was leaving, he told her that he never wanted children and Wayne counseled her that he didn't think Ryan would ever be able to get over his childhood trauma and form a lasting non-abusive relationship.

There was a very emotional story. The characters traveled from fear and anger and had to deal with their own uncertainties about each other and themselves. I liked the relationship that grew between Alfie and Ryan. I also thought the progression of Ryan and Mellie's relationship was very realistic. 

Fans of second chance romances will enjoy this sweet romance.

Favorite Quote:
"You saved me as a teenager, you know," he continued, punctuating his words with tiny kisses. "I was so lost. You were something to grab on to. You anchored me."

Something about that didn't sit so well. She didn't want to be an anchor. That's why she cut him free.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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