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Home for the Holidays

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  523 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Joe Lawson has a thing for his new neighbor Hannah Napier. As a single dad, he shouldn't be thinking what he is about her. Still, that doesn't stop them from getting close. And the way she connects with his kids, it's as if they're a family.

Turns out it's too good to be true. Seems Hannah has plans that don't include staying in Melbourne. Joe won't stand between her and he
ebook, Harlequin SuperRomance #1599, 188 pages
Published November 2009 by Harlequin Books
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4 to 41/2 stars

Home for the Holidays is one of those books that's easy to love. It's a well written and full-of-depth love story with believable and endearing characters. It was more angsty and bittersweet than I anticipated for a holiday read, but the ending was perfect and gave me that blissful feel I was looking for, making the angst and the touch of heartache more than worthwhile. If you're looking for a well written, angsty, moderately steamy, evenly paced enemy-to-lovers romance with depth
5 stars – Contemporary Romance

This is the third Harlequin romance I’ve read by Sarah Mayberry, and I’m happy to say that so far her books are a strong 3 for 3 for me in terms of earning 5 stars. I’m continually impressed by the level of character development and realistic, honest drama that’s conveyed in her stories. And she wowed me once again with this sweet, emotive story of a hot, responsible widower with two kids trying to forge a tentative, yet hopeful friendship (and then inevitable relat
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I ended up loving this book. It was so well-written and the emotions and the characters were real life and genunine. I just adored Hannah. I loved how she was down-to-earth, a tomboy who was more into working on motorcycles than doing her nails, wearing dresses, and primping. She was tough and strong, but genuine. I could understand her pain of being betrayed by her sister and her ex-fiance', but it was also good that she was able to move on from it and live her life. I liked how she interacted ...more
Home for the Holidays by Sarah Mayberry was such a wonderful book. I totally loved it and the little girl Ruby was amazing, Ben the boy wasn't that bad.

Joe Lawson has just uprooted both his kids to a new place and new life. Joe worked in oil rigs but since his wife died two years ago he took a desk job but now he has bought a pub to run, which was his wife's dream and has moved closer to his mother. He is still grieving and feeling his way through. His kids are also still recovering.

On his first
Joe Lawson is a widower with two children and decides to move his family to Melbourne to be closer to his mother. He is barely moved in when he wonders if it is a mistake after meeting his neighbor. Hannah Napier is a grease monkey with a motorcycle that needs a new muffler. And she lives with her mother. But that is only temporary. She has plans to hit the road and explore Australia.

I've had this on my TBR shelf for a while. I loved the characters, especially the children, Ruby and Ben. The st
Joe Lawson has hit a rough patch. His wife was killed two years ago, leaving him with a 10 year old daughter and a 13 year old son. He’s just uprooted his family from Sydney to be closer to his mother in Melbourne. Now the jerk next door is revving his motorcycle, threatening to wake up his kids. When he marches next door to give the guy a piece of his mind, he’s in for a bit of a surprise.

Hannah Napier was working on her motorcycle in her mom’s garage, like she has on many occasions before, whe
Jan 24, 2013 Kay rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks
4 1/2 Stars ~ Hannah has good reason to be angry with the world. Practically on the eve of her wedding she discovers that her fiance wants to get married but just not to her; he wants her sister. With her life a shambles she's forced to move back home with her mother, and she'll have to work hard to recoup the losses she took on the sale of their condo. When his wife died suddenly in a car accident two years ago, Joe had to make some drastic changes in his life for his two children. Moving to Me ...more
If this had stopped before the surprise breast cancer reveal, I probably would have given it three stars, because I liked the story of opposites falling for each other and the building a new relationship surrounded by kids. Alas, it did not stop there and there the breaking up with the dude for his own good was and of course she forgives her sister in the epilogue. Because in magic writing land, nothing is unforgivable. This is not true. And it pisses me off.
I really like Mayberry's writing. She's great at blending real-life issues with great romance. I love how she brings her characters to the brink of disaster (in terms of their actions), but always pulls them back before they cross the line. Both characters are damaged, both have baggage and both are wary about moving into a relationship. But that doesn't stop them from going forward.

I wanted to be annoyed with the heroine over her desire to protect the hero, but I understood her reasons too wel
4.5 stars

One of the best category novels I've ever read. The only thing that keeps it from being 5 stars is I would have loved to have more of the ending.


5++ star contemporary family romance from Ms. Mayberry

I don’t know how she does it, but Sarah Mayberry is one author who never disappoints. In this Harlequin Super Romance, Sarah Mayberry explores the story of a single father Joe with his two children Ben and Ruby and the second chance at love this family is given, with a few surprises thrown in at the end.

Joe’s wife Beth dies in a car accident. It has been two years since then and Joe moves their family to Melbourne to start over afresh. On h
So generally I'm not much of a contemporary romance reader. I usually stick to historical romance, urban-fantasy, or paranormal romance, but the reviews were good and I decided to take a chance.

I don't regret it.

This was such a heartwarming and man if I didn't feel my throat clogging up a couple of times.

Joe Lawson is a single dad whose wife, whom he loved very, died two years prior to the book. He's not looking for love, he's not thinking of finding a new love. Not when everywhere he turns he
Elle Fielding
4 - 4.5 stars.

Curse you, Sarah Mayberry! Curse you! This is the third book of yours that has had me bawling like a baby at the end.

I loved this book. A huge fan of Mayberry (this is my 19th? book of hers I've read), I'd actually put off reading this one, thinking I wouldn't enjoy it. Boy was I wrong. I loved it. As always, Mayberry manages to write love stories which have depth. Her characters often need to change or grow in small measure before they get their HEA and I love that I feel like I'
Nov 12, 2013 Roche rated it really liked it
Shelves: mc-biker
This is my first Sarah Mayberry book and it definitely will not be the last. The characters are believable, the dialogues are natural, and the conflicts are realistic.

I must say, though, that what I liked most in Home for the Holidays is its heroine. She is strong, but not annoying. Her issues and concerns are very relatable. Truly someone female readers will be able to identify with. A rarity these days, considering the almost lunatic heroines in many romance novels.

So, thank you, Sarah, for
Mar 19, 2011 Renee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2011
How does Sarah Mayberry pack so much story into a category romance? It just amazes me. Even with the Super Romance's longer length, this story packs a wallop. I don't know why I haven't yet tracked down the rest of her backlist.

LOVED both Joe and Hannah. They each had their baggage coming into the story, but worked through all of it even while the story took time showing their courtship. Great stuff.
Oct 21, 2016 Duzz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it! :D

Jan 20, 2014 Nefise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked it. It's a good kind of Harlequin book.
May 21, 2017 Sahar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars!! I loved Hannah's and Ruby's relationship... it was truly endearing and also the twist at the end caught me by surprise but I loved how supportive Joe and the kids were *sighs*
Jun 22, 2010 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Home for the Holidays isn't a typical romance. There's a deceased wife, two kids - one's a teenager, an ex-fiance and a strained sibling relationship. Add to that the rocky start Joe and Hannah get off to and it certainly doesn't seem like they have any chance at becoming friends much less a couple. But Mayberry works her magic and Joe and Hannah get beyond those bad first impressions and get to know each other.

Joe Lawson is still feeling his way through the rough waters of single parenthood. He
Dec 15, 2010 Jody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just in time for the holidays comes this heartwarming, yet sexy, read about two damaged hearts finding the will to move on through a relationship neither of them expected to find.

Joe's wife died two years ago and until recently he's just been going through the motions of living. Hoping that a change of scenery will help him and his two children move on, Joe moves to be closer to his mother. Along with a new school for the kids and a new job for Joe, comes an attraction to his new neighbor Hanna
2.5 stars.

The format of this series of books seems to limit the number of pages to around 200. That is a problem that Sarah Mayberry has managed to deal with pretty well in the other books I've read by her. In fact I've been very impressed by how well she manages to utilize that space without making the pacing feel off, the characterization lacking or the plot feel unfinished. The fact that she manages to create very real characters definitely helps.

In this case she didn't quite pull it off to m
May 27, 2012 Ami rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
2.5 stars
This is the first time I'm not impressed with Sarah Mayberry's story. Sure, it starts with a good premise. Joe is raising his two children alone after his wife's death two years ago. While Hannah is healing her broken heart after her fiancé called off their wedding in the last minute, since he was falling in love with Hannah's own sister (ouch!). I just don't feel the connection with their story, it just lacks the intensity and thoughtful things I get from her other books.

I think proba
TBR Challenge 2011- June Category: Contemporary. This book has been on my TBR list since Dec 2010.

I'll start with the caveat that I don't care for children in romance novels for the most part. It's rare that a child character is well-written or acts/talks in an age appropriate way. (FYI, some of the best children in fiction are found in Juvenile and Young Adult fiction, especially historical fiction.) In part because of my bias, Home for the Holidays was a good-but-not-great read for me.

Home For The Holidays, is a good book.

The Story starts with Joe moving in next door to Hannah. Joe has two children Ben and Ruby. 2 years ago, Joe lost his wife in a car accident, and after two years of being unable to move forward, he decides to Melbourne in order to make it easier for him and his two children to cope up with their loss.

Hannah herself has been betrayed in a terrible manner, and is not ready for any kind of emotional undertaking.

Both Joe and Hannah start off on a wrong foot but
Lord Rose
I liked the beginning. But it went downhill from there. The hero's son, in particular, kind of annoyed me. He's supposed to be thirteen, but he seemed to act younger than that. My sister is twelve and she acts way more mature than he did. (Okay, obviously we don't have his experiences with losing a parent, since y parents are merely divorced. And my sister may have an irrational dislike of our step-mother, but that has more to do with daddy-issues than her. I think. Although I can't say I like o ...more
Jan 05, 2012 Bethan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit this book made me cry with happiness and with sadness. One minute everything is fine and then BAM tears are pouring from my eyes. It was an amazing read and really inspired me with Hannah's (the heroine you could say) strength and utter selflessness. It was beautiful. I loved how the whole story centred around the few main character's which was really different for me, being used to big plots and even bigger social groups. Sarah Mayberry (author) has done a lovely job with the wr ...more
Apr 23, 2011 Sheri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My grade: B+. This was a good book. Joe's wife died in an accident two years ago. When he and Hannah begin feeling attracted to each other, it means Joe and his two kids have a few things to work through. So does Hannah, whose fiance dumped her just prior to their wedding to marry her sister. I like the characters, the love and concern they have for the two kids. Unfortunately, it felt a little too easy. Yes, they had issues. Mostly the kids had issues, but they seemed to get resolved pretty qui ...more
Oct 19, 2010 Kaetrin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
3.5 stars.
Home for the Holidays by Sarah Mayberry - B-. I usually enjoy Ms. Mayberry's books and this one was no exception. Hannah is a mechanic who was dumped by her fiance nearly at the altar for her sister (what!) and is living with her mother when Joe Lawson, widower, and his two children (Ben 13, and Ruby, 10) move next door. You'd think that would be enough wouldn't you? But no! Once they get over all those hurdles, the author hurtles another disaster upon them - one I totally was not expe
T'Lar Jones
I...don't know about this one. On one hand, I read it absolutely compulsively in a way I didn't know I was still capable of, not since I was a teen and could consume dozens of novels per week.

The cancer curveball just was so last minute. It really left me feeling unsettled. And, seriously, what is so "holidays" about this thing? There's some talk about some planned Christmas gifts. That's about it. I mean, I know it's Australia and they can't very well go frolicking in the snow but I expect a LI
Nov 18, 2010 Gemma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won't bother with a big recap, as other reviewers have already done it. I'll just say that this was a much better than usual romance for Harlequin. The characters went out on the real date, and were actually able to talk about their feelings instead of playing stupid mind games with one another. It was a refreshing change from the common petty bickering or stupid misunderstandings you find so often in romance. I also liked that they weren't willing to indulge in a meaningless fling if there wa ...more
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Sarah Mayberry was born in Melbourne, Australia, and is the middle of three children. From the time that she first “stole” paper from kindergarten and stapled it together to make “books,” Sarah has always wanted to be a writer. In line with this ambition, on graduation from high school she completed a bachelor of arts degree majoring in professional writing, then sat down to write a book. When ins ...more
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