Long Way Home – Nicola Marsh

Synopsis

A prodigal daughter returns to Brockenridge…

Eleven years ago Ruby Aston left Brockenridge – and its small-town gossip – for the anonymity of the big city. Now, a grieving Ruby is forced to come home to the place she loathes. But it also means returning to someone she’s always regretted leaving behind…

Connor Delaney is determined to prove himself and not get by on his family name alone. To do this he needs to acquire the local roadhouse. He never anticipated the owner would be the same ‘bad girl’ who ditched him at the high school ball and was never heard from again.

For Alisha Nathieson, the grief of suddenly losing her dear friend and employer Clara Aston has forced her to examine her choice to stay to support her aging parents. As she battles a growing need to explore her past, temptation wars with duty. And then there are her feelings for handsome chef Harry, who has secrets of his own…

If Ruby follows her heart and saves her mother’s legacy, will she lose the one man she’s longed for all along?

My review

#book-review #book-reviewer

Thank you @harlequinaus @romanceanz for sending me a copy of Long Way Home by Nicola Marsh in exchange for my honest review.

Thank you Nicola Marsh for writing this beautiful story. I truly feel that this book was sent to me for a reason. It spoke to me on number of levels.

Nicola Marsh’s writing flows beautifully and her characterisation allowed me, as a reader, to immediately connect with the characters. From the first page, I was intrigued and didn’t want to put the book down. It is an emotional story that is realistic in its ability to lift the characters from the page, drawing the reader into their world.

Ruby lives in Melbourne, having escaped the small town of Brokenridge as a teenager. When her mother passes unexpectedly she returns to Brockenridge, where she reconnects with those closest to her and where her memories are most vibrant.

Connor, also having escaped Brockenridge, returns to help his father who is struggling to run his business, due to illness.

This novel is a heartfelt rural romance. It is also much more. Ruby feels her grief and her regrets very strongly after the passing of her mum. She attempts to find ways to honour her mum and their relationship. The Roadhouse her mum ran in Brockenridge has great significance in the town. Ruby must come to realise her mum’s connection between the roadhouse and her own life. I fell in love with Brockenridge and the roadhouse. I can see myself dancing with the locals.

Ruby’s loss and determination to keep her mum’s memory and life ambitions alive is admirable. Having recently lost my mum in the same tragic and sudden way, this novel gave me hope. It gave me hope that there will one day be rays of sunshine beaming through the grief felt. One day, I may feel like I can truly honour my mum by living my days in her footsteps and feeling that she is a part of me always. Ruby questions how we can ever ‘repay’ our mums for their love? My original thoughts were that we do in love, yet also as my mum aged, I would be able to care for her. I didn’t realise we had so little time. As Ruby, I hope to repay my mum in my own way. Just as Ruby felt, my mum was ‘the best mum ever’.

Another intriguing character for me, is Alisha. Alisha cares for her parents and has had a beautiful upbringing. She was born in India and begins to realise that she should search for her birth mother and return to her country of birth for the answers she seeks. It was lovely to read about her life. This is also another aspect that spoke to me, as my husband and I are going through an adoption process and hope to grow our family via adoption. Stories from adoptees are important, particularly due to realising how our future child may feel in relation to loss, abandonment, family and love.

The romance in this novel was what romance should be; tender, genuine, playful and loving. Ruby and Connor’s feelings for oneanother stem from a bond in their teenage years. As their relationship grows, they come to question what is truly important in life. Alisha and Harry’s relationship is complicated in the secrets they must learn to share with each other.

Long Way Home is an enjoyable, tender hearted read that I would highly recommend. The novel overall aligns with my opinion as to what romance is. It is tender, genuine, playful and loving. Nicola Marsh is an author who can write and connect with a reader in ways that allow them to enjoy the novel, whilst considering their own world around them. Nicola’s words helped me in many ways. Thank you.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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