Home Sweet Home

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Home Sweet Home

An Emerald Lake Novel, #1

Can you rediscover the love you left behind if you go home again?

Andi Powell left Emerald Lake ten years and two hundred miles ago. But now her high powered job is in danger and she finds herself back in the hometown she's tried to forget...and having to face Nate Duncan, her first love and the man she's never been able to forget. Will Nate help her or fight her when she tries to convince the town to let her company develop the lake front?

Nate used to look at Andi with love in his eyes but that was before she abandoned him to pursue her high powered dreams. Now he's the ruggedly handsome mayor of their small town who can either make or break Andi's career. As Nate and Andi clash over Emerald Lake's future and the sparks between them rekindle their passion, will Nate forgive Andi for breaking his heart?

Andi left town in a quest for the brass ring but could everything she's ever wanted have been there all along?

Home Sweet Home by Bella Riley is a sweet and heartwarming second chance romance and the start of a new "Emerald Lake" series. I fell in love with the characters and the small fictional town which Ms. Riley set in the Adirondacks in upper New York State. While the focus of the story is the romance between the two main characters, it's also the story of a young woman who discovers who she really is and what she really wants with the help of the women in her family.

Andrea "Andi" Powell is a twenty-eight year old woman on the verge of failing in the career she's sacrificed everything for. While making a presentation to an important client, Andi realizes she's failing and in a moment of rare inspiration she mentions Emerald Lake, her hometown, as the perfect place to build. Even as she speaks, Andi knows she's in trouble, she's barely gone home in ten years and while she and her client, The Klein Group, may need Emerald Lake, there's no guarantee Emerald Lake will need or want them. When her client agrees, Andi knows she'll have to go back to Emerald Lake and face what she's left behind. Her family and Nate Duncan, her first love and the man she can't forget.

Nate Dan is a really great character; he's young, ruggedly handsome and very responsible. His parent's death when he was eighteen forced him to change all of his plans; instead of joining the girl he loved at college he became a single parent to Madison, his baby sister, and stayed behind in Emerald Lake. It's been ten years but now he's the town mayor and wants to preserve the town that embraced him with open arms. He's not big on development; Emerald Lake is the perfect place to raise a family and he wants it to stay that way. He never thought Andi would come home and want to change that. He didn't plan to fall in love with her again.

The scenes between Andi and Nate are very emotional; they have to face their past before they can face the future. Andi has to discover what she really wants in life and Nate has to face the anger left over from his parent's deaths. Ms. Riley did a great job developing their characters; they both grow throughout the story and the discoveries they'll make about themselves and each other will really shape their future. Andi and Nate also have incredibly chemistry together as a couple; their love never died, it was just hidden behind the walls they built in their lives. Walls they can no longer keep between them.

The secondary characters in this story are well developed and important to the plot. Andi's mother and grandmother, Carol Powell and Evelyn Thomas, don't just help Andi face what's in her heart. They own "The Lake Yarns", a yarn store where the women in town meet, knit and solve each other's problems. It's where Andi first realizes everything she left behind to chase a dream that wasn't her own.

As the town holds a meeting regarding the future development in Emerald Lake and Andi realizes everything she's wanted is in jeopardy, will she be able to make things right? And will Andi and Nate realize sometimes love needs more than a second chance? You'll have to read Home Sweet Home to find out. I know I didn't want to leave Emerald Lake and look forward to the next book in Ms. Riley's series.

Book Blurb for Home Sweet Home

What if you can go home again?

Ten years and two hundred miles. That's what separates Andi Powell from quiet, secluded Emerald Lake-and that's exactly how she likes it. But now her job brings her back to the hometown she's tried so hard to forget . . . and to Nate Duncan, the man she's never been able to.

Nate once looked at Andi with love in his eyes. But that was before she left him in the dust to pursue her big-city dreams. Now he's the town's ruggedly handsome mayor with the power to break Andi's career like she broke his heart. As the two clash over the future of Emerald Lake, the sparks that fly between them rekindle a passion neither of them can deny.

Andi may have left town looking for the life she thought she wanted. But could everything she needs have been in Emerald Lake all along?

Night Owl Reviews Oct, 2011 4.50