Review: When We Found Home by Susan Mallery


Release date: July 10, 2018

Publisher: HQN


Life is meant to be savored, but that’s not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Still, Callie Smith doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister–Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old.

Callie doesn’t love being alone, but at least it’s safe. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life.

But starting over can be messy. Callie and Keira fit in with each other, but not with their posh new lifestyle, leaving Malcolm feeling like the odd man out in his own home. He was clever enough to turn a sleepy Seattle mail-order food catalog into an online gourmet powerhouse, yet he can’t figure out how to help his new sisters feel secure. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love.

But love isn’t Malcolm’s strong suit… until a beautiful barista teaches him that an open heart, like the family table, can always make room for more.


I love the idea behind this story, I can’t imagine finding out I had not one, but two half siblings as an adult. How hard would it be to form a familial bond later in life? Difficult I’m quite sure, especially when every one of the siblings comes from a completely different background. Malcolm is the oldest and moved to his grandfathers home as a teenager, Keira was discovered when she was twelve and Callie as a woman in her twenties. Each age would present a new set of challenges and many are explored throughout this book.

The handful of Susan Mallery books that I’ve read in the past have leaned to the contemporary romance genre but this one definitely fits better under women’s fiction. There are bits and pieces of developing romances, even some spicy, sexy scenes, but the exploration of complex family dynamics is really the heart of this novel. Not only are the Carlesso family’s relationships with each other complex, their own individual personalities are also extremely complicated. I was invested in each of them right away and enjoyed watching them grow and blossom throughout the book.

This had the perfect blend of lightness and depth, plenty of heart and humor but also intrigue and even a light mystery too. It’s full of relatable and well drawn characters and written in an easy, fluid way. If you’re already a fan of Mallery you’ll love this and if you haven’t read her before this is the perfect place to start.

When We Found Home in three words: Heartwarming, Engaging and Relatable.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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