cover image The Forever Farmhouse

The Forever Farmhouse

Lee Tobin McClain. HQN, $8.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-1-335-42742-7

Bestseller McClain (the Safe Haven series) launches her Hometown Brothers series with a magnetic second-chance romance. Marine biologist Ryan Hastings returns to the Chesapeake Bay’s Teaberry Island to stay with his foster mother, Betty Raines, as she mourns the death of her husband, Wayne. He’s nervous to see Mellie, his high school girlfriend and Betty’s neighbor, for the first time since he moved away for college and broke her heart—and he’s certainly not expecting Mellie to have a precocious 10-year-old son, Alfie, who’s eager to help Ryan in his bay-related research. Ryan’s instantly drawn to their small family, but he worries that the abuse he suffered before moving in with Betty and Wayne left him unfit to be anyone’s partner, let alone a surrogate father. Meanwhile, Mellie fears the consequences if Ryan learns the truth of Alfie’s parentage. As they forge a tentative friendship that slowly blossoms into love, Mellie and Ryan must let go of secrets and learn to forgive. McClain pits her charming, authentic characters against the realistic problems of everyday life, making for a story that is deeply emotional but never soapy. The welcoming community and beautifully described scenery of Teaberry Island only enhance this cozy romance. Readers won’t want to put this down. Agent: Karen Solem, Spencerhill Assoc. (Sept.)