Review: When We Found Home by Susan Mallery

Title: When We Found Home by Susan Mallery
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Length: 432 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


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.

In this emotional, funny and heartfelt story, Susan Mallery masterfully explores the definition of a modern family—blended by surprise, not by choice—and how those complicated relationships can add unexpected richness to life.


When We Found Home by Susan Mallery is a thoughtful and heartwarming novel about three half-siblings who are trying to make the most of their unexpected family connection.

Thirty-four year old Malcolm Carlesso lives with his beloved grandfather, Alberto, and he also runs the family business. Although he did not meet Alberto until he was twelve years old, they are quite close but he never really had much of a relationship with his now deceased father. Malcolm has not had a serious relationship since his engagement ended, so he is surprised when barista, Delaney Holbrook, catches his eye. At the same time he is trying to navigate his unexpected attraction to Delaney, Malcolm is trying to come to terms with the stunning discovery he has two half-sisters whom he has never met.

Malcolm’s youngest sister is twelve year old Keira who, before moving in with them, was in the foster care system. She is spirited, perceptive and due to her life circumstances, mature beyond her years.  Since Malcolm is really not a people person, he has no idea how to relate to a twelve year old, so Keira does not exactly have a close relationship with him.  She has, however, formed an endearing friendship with Delaney, since she sees her most mornings before school.

Malcolm’s other half-sister, twenty-six year old Callie Smith, lives a low-key life and works two jobs to make ends meet.  She is leery of accepting the her newfound family’s offer to move to Seattle, but she decides to give them a chance. Overwhelmed by their generosity, Callie insists on making her own way once she begins living with them. She and Keira immediately hit it off but Callie and  Malcolm are rather wary of one another.  Callie wants to make the most of this opportunity that has been offered to her, but will her reluctance to reveal the truth about her past ruin the new life she is building?

Malcolm’s love interest, Delaney, has experienced a lot of upheaval during the past eighteen months. She has recently decided to switch careers and she is struggling with whether or not she made the right choice. Delaney is also still trying to come to terms with a tragic loss and she is having difficulty moving forward. She is quite happy with her budding romance with Malcolm and her advice to him about Keira has helped smooth over the rough edges of their relationship. However, Delaney’s inability to amke peace with her past could ruin her chance at happiness.

When We Found Home is a heartfelt and uplifting novel of new beginnings. The siblings’ attempts to navigate their new relationships are realistic and the problems they encounter ring true.  The romantic relationships are beautifully incorporated into the storyline and add to the various characters’ growth.  Old and new fans of Susan Mallery  will greatly enjoy this charming story of healing.

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Filed under Contemporary, HQN Books, Rated B+, Review, Susan Mallery, When We Found Home, Women's Fiction

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