About the Book:
Title: At Home on Marigold Lane
Author: Debbie Mason
Series: Highland Falls #5
Page Length: 351
Publication Date: Sept. 27, 2022
Synopsis: True love deserves a second chance.
For family and marriage therapist Brianna MacLeod, moving back home to Highland Falls after a disastrous divorce feels downright embarrassing. Bri blames herself for missing the red flags in her relationship and worries she’s no longer qualified to do the job she loves. But helping others is second nature to Bri, and she soon finds herself counseling her roommate and her neighbor’s daughter. Bri just wasn’t expecting them to reunite her with her first love . . .
Caleb Scott knows his failed marriage has been tough on his stepdaughter, so he’s grateful she’s found someone to confide in . . . even if it’s Bri MacLeod. Seeing Bri brings up feelings he’d thought were long buried. He knows it’s not the right time for either of them to be rekindling a relationship, but being with Bri feels right—like coming home. He’ll just have to convince her that risking her heart again might give them exactly what they both need . . . a second chance.
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The fifth book in the Highland Falls series, At Home on Marigold Bay follows ex-loves Brianna and Caleb. Bri is back in Highland Falls recovering from injuries she received fleeing her abusive ex-husband. Cal and Raine are the perfect power couple. Determined to bring a much-needed trauma center to Highland Falls, the couple doesn’t want to reveal the truth – they’re separated and ready to divorce. But when Bri and Cal reconnect, Cal must face some hard truths about hiding the truth and what he wants for the future.
This is a lovely contemporary romance, and I enjoyed the mix of humor, romance, heartwarming moments, and shenanigans. Highland Falls is a town where everyone knows everybody else, which proves to be both good and bad. I love small-town romances, and Highland Falls has a cozy feel, though they seem to be dealing with bigger city issues. The town is conflicted between building a casino or a trauma center, and there are many differing views on the community’s future. Bri and Cal are firmly dedicated to building a trauma center, but many prefer the economic boost a casino would bring.
Bria and Cal have interesting stories. Bri has suffered domestic abuse and is starting over. She lost her confidence, independence, security, and sense of self and is still healing from the trauma she experienced both physically and emotionally. Bri also struggles with her complicated relationship with her parents. There is a ton of miscommunication and manipulation, and several people influence the trajectory of Bri and Cal’s life and romance. Cal’s wife Raine, his stepdaughter, his sister, and more affect his decisions and often push him to tamper his own feelings for the well-being of others and the community.
Bri and Cal face many obstacles, but the one thing they both know is that their love for each other never went away. It’s interesting to see how they deal with the issues that stand in the way of their happiness, and after what happened in their past and how deeply they still love each other, I hoped that they would find a way to be together despite some of the more obvious obstacles they faced.
The friendships in the story are also worth mentioning. Bri and Cal’s sister Em are ex-friends who become friends again. I liked how these women found common ground and healed old wounds. They both go through a lot emotionally and related to each other well since they both have overbearing family members. Cal and his best friend are awesome too, and I love the levity Josh brings to the story. The sibling relationships are also great. Cal and Em have a strong sibling bond, as do Bri and her sister. Even Cal’s friendship with his soon-to-be ex-wife is admirable, though I sometimes questioned why he’d want to keep such a manipulative woman in his life.
A story of healing, starting over, and second chances, At Home on Marigold Lane is a great story for readers who enjoy contemporary romances. Thanks to Forever Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The romance.
- The friendships.
Life’s short, my girls. Take your happy wherever you can find it.
Though At Home on Marigold Lane is the fifth book in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone.