Book Review: Home by Rachel Smith

Having wonderful blogging buddies pays off in so many ways. Recently, Beth Ann contacted me excited about a new author she discovered. You know I love finding new books to read, so I contacted Rachel Smith via email and we started chatting. She was kind enough to provide me with a review copy of her novel Home. I didn’t plan on reading it right away, but I was curious about the novel so I read the first couple of pages. Then I read some more. You probably can guess what happened. I devoured the book.

For those of you who haven’t discovered Rachel or her book yet, here’s the blurb:


safe_imageAfter twelve years on top of the charts, country music superstar Lily Rae has decided to hang up the microphone and move home. Becoming Lillian Raftzen again is harder than she anticipated and soon, it seems running home is not enough to escape from her manipulative ex-agent, who not only threatens to end her happiness, but her life.

When the girl of his dreams walks back into his life twelve years later, Justin DeLuca realizes as much as he loves her, she is no longer the girl he remembers. With everything they must overcome, can the two of them make their dreams come true?

Lily’s dream to sing and Justin’s dream for a family are so very far from the same path. But by veering off course they find a new dream on a new path ending up right where it all began…..home.

My Review:

I know many people are hesitant to read an author’s debut novel. Me, I actually prefer reading an author’s first book and reading the rest in order. It’s not always possible, but I love to see the maturation of a writer. Some debut novels shout, “This is my first time!” Others I wouldn’t have guessed, unless I knew beforehand.

Rachel Smith’s Home would have fooled me completely. The only reason I knew that it was her first novel was because Beth Ann told me about Rachel publishing her first book.

Home is a wonderful romantic suspense novel. From the blurb I didn’t expect the suspense and was pleasantly surprised. Lily Rae, or Lillian Raftzen, is a wonderful character. Her success in country music, on the surface, seems like a dream come true, but behind the scenes, all is not well. What actually happened (I won’t go into details) is the heart of Lillian’s story.

When she goes back home, some question why she walked away from everything. It would be a difficult decision to make, but I admired it. Luckily her family is supportive.

And then there is Justin DeLuca. He’s a macho man who is quite good looking. But there’s more. He has supported Lily all of her life and when she walks back into his life he’s determined to tell her how he feels. It’s great to have a male in a romance novel with a nice blend of macho, sex appeal, and compassion.

I enjoyed that the characters aren’t one-dimensional. All of them have flaws. Yet they recognize their flaws and aim to grow. Do they succeed?

I look forward to reading her next book. Hopefully the wait won’t be too long.

About the Author:


Rachel Smith was born and raised in a small town in Iowa. After spending a few years in the ‘big city’ she now lives with her husband and two children in Clear Lake. Working part time from home, she spends the rest of her time exercising, reading, and taking care of her family.

Thanks Beth Ann for the introduction!

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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26 Responses to Book Review: Home by Rachel Smith

  1. Sounds a good read. Truth is, most of us do enjoy a romantic novel. And why not? If the plot is plausible as well, then I can enjoy romantic novels. (For eg of implausible plot see Breaking Dawn :D) And romance or sex in any novel usually brightens it up somewhat. Not sure there will be any in the current book I’m reading though!

    • TBM says:

      I’ve always been a sucker for romance and you’re right, as long as the plot is good and mostly believable, why not.

  2. Great review! This sounds like a fantastic book. I always love it when characters clearly have flaws; makes ’em more compelling and real!

  3. Beth Ann says:

    I loved your review because it was spot on! At least IMHO!!! I think this gal is going somewhere! It was such a well written and well edited book and Rachel is a really fun person in real life, too! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  4. Hilary says:

    I just bought my copy today!

  5. Oh gosh…another book I must read! Great review! I’m with you, I love starting with a writer’s first book and watching them grow.
    Thanks for introducing us to Rachel.

  6. Sounds like you’ve discovered another natural talent. Adding it to my list :).

  7. Fantabulous review as always. Sigh. This book sounds like a wonderful read as well. Adding to list…Home by Rachel Smith. ~(*_~)~~

  8. Wonderful review! Like you, I thoroughly enjoy reading debut novels. Everybody starts somewhere, and I love being on the first part of the journey. When I read a debut novel that is superbly astonishing, I know that it may be the first published novel, but it is probably not ever close to being the author’s first attempt. We learn from doing, and really good books do not spring full-blown from a writer’s mind.

    • TBM says:

      Very good observation. I bet most writers have been writing for as long as they can remember. And I find writers who start off well are also very well-read. Reading and writing are key to becoming a better writer in my opinion.

  9. lexacain says:

    I love the premise of this! So many romances have no real tension or suspense, but this one has inserted the villain in a very clever way. Great review! 🙂

  10. cleemckenzie says:

    Sounds great. Romance. Suspense. What a great book for a summer read.

  11. Lily and Justin sound great. Thanks for sharing this book.

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