Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Long Way Home, Mariah Stewart (4.5 stars) Review & Giveaway

About The Long Way Home 

Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages 
Publisher: Ballantine Books (Jan 29, 2013)

As the only child of a wealthy investment manager, Ellie Chapman has never known anything besides a life of perfect privilege. But her years of good fortune come to an abrupt end when her father is exposed for swindling billions of dollars from innocent investors in a massive Ponzi scheme. And just like that, Ellie loses everything: money, job, home—even her fiancé, who’s jailed as her father’s partner in crime. With no job prospects on the horizon, no cash, and her family name in tatters, Ellie has only one place to go.

Sleepy St. Dennis, Maryland, is hardly where Ellie intends to stay, however. Keeping her identity a secret, she plans to sell the house her late mother left her in the small town and use the proceeds to move on with her life. Unfortunately, her ticket to a new beginning is in dire need of a laundry list of pricey improvements, many of which she’ll have to do herself. And until the house on Bay View Road is fit to be sold, the sole place Ellie will be traveling is the hardware store. But as the many charms of St. Dennis–not to mention Cameron O’Connor, the handsome local contractor who has secrets of his own–begin to work their magic, what begins as a lesson in do-it-yourself renovations might just end up as Ellie’s very own rejuvenation.

Review

It's hard enough to live in the public eye when you are a media darling, much less when a family member does something horrific and is being vilified all over the news. Thus is the case for Ellis Chapman. Everything has been taken from her, all because of the sins of her father and fiance. She is penniless and beaten down.

Her mother used to escape to a lovely home in St. Dennis, a beach town. Ellis inherits this house, but with one stipulation: she has to live in it for six months before she can sell it. With no other options, she moves there and assumes a new identity to avoid any further scrutiny, Ellie Ryder. But secrets can only stay buried for so long.

Cameron has devastating secrets of his own, and the one place he considers a safe harbor is now Ellie's residence. He needs to convince her he's the best person to sell to, so he offers to help her fix up the place. The time spent together brings them closer, but the secrets are the elephant in the room. Can they learn to trust each other? 

The charming town of St. Dennis is the perfect backdrop for a character like Ellie, one who is damaged and raw, to find her strength again. And to find love. There are several twists and turns in her journey, especially when she seeks answers about her mom and when another secret from her dad's past affects her.

I'm always on the lookout for authors who can bring charming characters and good stories into my life, and I will now consider Mariah Stewart a go-to for those things. I highly recommend this to readers who want to open a book and be transported to a town full of engaging characters with secrets and desires. The Long Way Home is a heartwarming treat.

Rating: 4.5 stars
(Worthy of rounding up to a 5 on GoodReads & Amazon)

About Mariah Stewart

Mariah Stewart is the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. 

A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband and their dogs amid the rolling hills and Amish farms of southern Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she gardens, reads, and enjoys country life.

Please visit Mariah Stewart's website or join her on Facebook.
Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.

Please visit other stops on the The Long Way Home blog tour page.


*****

Note: I will be reviewing more Mariah Stewart books soon--I am addicted. Just yesterday, I reviewed the first book in this series, Coming Home here

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Giveaway
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I'm thrilled to be giving away a copy of The Long Way Home to one lucky reader (open to US/Canada mailing addresses only).

To enter to win, please leave your name and email address in the comments below. The contest will close at 5:00pm EST on Monday, March 4.

I will put each name in a hat and have my trusty assistant (my lovely 12-year-old daughter) pick one. The winner will be announced here.


Good luck!

2 comments:

heathertlc said...

So many bloggers have mentioned how endearing these characters are - I can't wait to get to know them myself!

Thanks for being on the tour.

Tia Bach said...

Heather, I loved the characters and the story!