December 3rd, 2023
Home | Log in!

On Top Shelf
Fresh Pick

New Books This Week

Fresh Fiction Box

Video Book Club

Holiday Giveaways

December's Must-Reads: Top Books to Close Out the Year with a Bang

Slideshow image

Since your web browser does not support JavaScript, here is a non-JavaScript version of the image slideshow:

slideshow image
Reporter Emma Cross confronts high society and murder at a 1900s Newport yacht gathering.

slideshow image
Unraveling a secret aboard the missing Goliath, where history collides with present danger.

slideshow image
Undercover agents at a holiday party face unexpected danger and a budding romance.

slideshow image
Lord Julian unravels a dangerous mystery to reveal a child's heritage as well as his own birthright.

slideshow image
Uncovering the truth: A determined mother, a torn DA, and a dark mystery.

slideshow image
A Ukrainian medic and a Marine sniper's perilous mission ignites unexpected passion amid danger.

The Forever Farmhouse

The Forever Farmhouse, September 2022
Hometown Brothers #1
by Lee Tobin McClain

HQN Books
ISBN: 1335427422
EAN: 9781335427427
Kindle: B09NGWKTVQ
Add to Wish List


"Teaberry Island holds secrets and romance"

Fresh Fiction Review

The Forever Farmhouse
Lee Tobin McClain

Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted August 24, 2023


Mellie Anderson is a young widow with a lively boy on Teaberry Island in Chesapeake Bay. She’s running a local store because the owner is an older woman who can’t cope right now. Alfie, her son, is growing up gifted and is about to be sent off-island for daily school. THE FOREVER FARMHOUSE is not about a farm, but about a family.

Ryan Hastings arrives on the ferry to help his widowed foster mother, Betty Raines. Since the loss of her husband Wayne, the local pastor, she’s been depressed and too weary to run her store or look after herself. Ryan asks neighbour Mellie to help them clear the clutter in the house. He’s a research scientist and he also wants to spend time on a grant application to help the environment of the bay. Teaberry Island was good to him. He came from a difficult background, and his rough-and-tumble foster brothers and caring substitute parents straightened him out and gave him opportunities in life. It's time he repaid Betty and made amends with Mellie for deciding not to date her anymore when they were in high school.

I have read a similar theme more than once, but individual factors set THE FOREVER FARMHOUSE apart. Reawakening the youthful romance is an option, but it’s not the only option either person has, and nobody is pushing them to date. Mellie keeps going over something in her mind, and I believe she should have spoken out sooner, but then there would have been less tension. Ryan’s environmental research and the eager help he gets from kids and fishermen alike add hugely to the depth of this story. And while many romances feature bright and lively kids, the demonstration that Alfie is gifted and needs different tuition, as well as finding how to get along with his classmates, is well worth reading.

I note that not many young people are shown on the island, tourists aside.  Some might only be there for the summer work. As the tale turns to autumn and Halloween decorations appear, the tourist crowd thins and the island life gets quieter and more comfortable. It’s a get-along place, where people don’t poke their nose in anyone’s life but are ready and willing to help if needed. I also like the issues for seniors and how Betty starts re-learning life alone. Lee Tobin McClain has chosen a beautiful setting for a warm and character-filled romance. As this series is called Hometown Brothers I am guessing we will see the other fostered brothers in the next books. THE FOREVER FARMHOUSE is a slow and steady build towards love and the next generation of islanders.

Learn more about The Forever Farmhouse


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.

What do you think about this review?


No comments posted.

Registered users may leave comments.
Log in or register now!




© 2003-2023  all rights reserved Privacy Policy