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Stealing Home: The Sweet Magnolias    by Sherryl Woods order for
Stealing Home
by Sherryl Woods
Order:  USA  Can
Mira, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Kim Atchue-Cusella

Maddie Townsend seems blissfully happy with her three children and husband in the small town of Serenity, where she grew up. But her world is turned upside down when out of the blue, her husband William tells her he is leaving her for a younger woman, a nurse with whom he worked.

Maddie's sixteen-year-old son Tyler is furious with his father for parading the woman he's having an affair with around town, especially since she is pregnant. Tyler is Serenity's star pitcher and the ordeal is affecting his baseball performance. The team coach, Cal Maddox, decides to have a talk with Maddie to find out what is going on with the boy.

Maddie not only has to deal with Tyler's anger, but she's also worried about her middle son, Kyle. He seems to be taking everything in stride, but she has no idea if he is keeping his feelings to himself. And six-year-old Katy is heartbroken that her daddy does not live at home any longer. Cal takes a shine to the family, and while he helps keep Tyler in line with baseball, Maddie and her other two children find their way to his heart as well. Can the kids deal with a new man in their mom's life especially with his being Tyler's coach?

Maddie's best friends, Dana Sue and Helen, have conjured up a plan to open a spa for the town and have Maddie head up the project. It seems like a crazy idea at first but they pull it together and the residents of Serenity are excited about the new business. But the budding relationship between Cal and Maddie may hinder the new spa's success since Cal is ten years younger than Maddie, and there seems to be a double standard in this small town.

Stealing Home is the emotional drama of a woman who believed she had the perfect marriage but had her dreams shattered. Readers will fall in love with Maddie immediately for her strong family values and the way she deals with her divorce and its fallout. Cal is an extraordinary man whose sensitivity and strength helps the family in their time of trouble. This is a very cozy read you won't want to put down. Be on the lookout for the second installment in this Sweet Magnolias trilogy, A Slice of Heaven, coming soon.

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