Today I am so thrilled to be sharing my review on its publication day for Long Way Home by Nicola Marsh. Happy publication day Nicola.
Long Way Home by Nicola Marsh
Release Date: 24th of September
Format: Kindle Edition
Print Length: 308 pages
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins
From USA Today bestselling Australian author Nicola Marsh comes a warm and winsome rural romance about second chances and belonging.
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 and support her ageing 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…
In following their hearts, will this unlikely trio lose what they’ve craved all along?
As a crime fiction addict, I can’t even tell you the last time I read a romance novel, but if anyone was going to get me to read one again it was Nicola. Having been introduced to her work this year from the domestic suspense genre, I really wanted to see if I could connect with the romance side of her work and I am pleased to say I did. I absolutely loved this book! A rural romance set in the fictional town of Brockenridge in my home state of Victoria is the perfect novel to lose yourself in. I was completely caught up in the story and it’s wonderful characters. Also knowing the places that are mentioned in the story was a great bonus. You will definitely walk away after you finish this book with a warm fuzzy feeling. Oh dear god what have you done to me Nicola!! 😱
Long Way Home, the first book in the Brockenridge series, sees Ruby Ashton returning to her home town of Brockenridge after an 11 year absence. Having left under terrible circumstances, it is also terrible circumstances that prompt her return after the passing of her beloved mother Clara. Wanting to tie up her mother’s affairs as quickly as possible so she can return to Melbourne, she ends up staying longer than expected when she discovers that her mother not only worked at the local roadhouse, but she was also secretly the owner, which comes as a big shock to all who knew her well.
Ruby is torn between wanting to leave and wanting to make sure that her mother’s legacy and her employees are looked after. Her plans are thrown into turmoil when local property tycoon, and one time almost high school sweetheart Connor Delaney, wants to acquire the land the roadhouse is on to tear it down and build a luxurious golf resort. Now the townsfolk, even the ones that ran Ruby out of town all those years ago, rally around her to save the roadhouse. It becomes more personal to Ruby when she discovers just how much of a connection her mother had to the roadhouse which in turn also changes her life.
The characters in this story are all well written, developed, are real and all come to life beautifully throughout the pages. Apart from the mean girls, I loved them all. Ruby Ashton, the story’s main protagonist, tore at the heartstrings. From the ill treatment she received from some her class mates which lead to her departure, to returning and dealing with her grief over the loss of her mother and facing her renewed feelings for Connor, she is a strong caring woman and I really resonated with her. Connor is an all round good guy. Out to prove himself to everyone that he is more than his family name, he needs to make this resort happen, but is also torn over his feelings for Ruby. He is a genuine guy who I just loved and I was rooting for them both throughout.
In a secondary plot to Ruby and Connor’s story we also have Alisha’s and Harry’s. Alisha was a great character that I adored. As Clara’s best friend and confidant you also feel Alisha’s pain of losing her. We are also given a great insight into her life. From India where she was adopted, she has been given the best life from her parents but feels she needs to try and find her birth mother and find out more about her heritage. On top of this, she is also harbouring secret feelings for Harry who is the chef at the roadhouse. Harry is a complex character but under that hard exterior is a man who has been through a lot which has shaped him into a guarded man who has trouble letting people in. I look forward to more of these two in the next story.
This is a beautifully written heart felt story that is emotionally satisfying. There is something about Nicola’s writing that just captivates me, engages me and draws me in no matter what genre. She is able to make you feel part of the story and feel all of the emotions that each of the characters go through. After reading Long Way Home, I can see how Nicola won awards for Romantic Book of the Year and a National Readers’ Choice Award in this genre. She is such a gifted storyteller, that is able to switch between genres so seamlessly. I am so glad that I was introduced to Nicolas work this year. She has definitely become one of my favourite authors and I can’t wait for more books in this series and others from her.
So do I recommend this book? Inspired by the theme of the story, here is my recommendation…..
Roses are red, violets are blue, I really loved this book and I know that you will too! ❤️
Thank-you to NetGalley, Harlequin Australia and Nicola Marsh for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Long Way Home which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
About Nicola Marsh
USA Today bestselling and multi-award winning author Nicola Marsh writes feel-good fiction…with a twist. She has published seventy books and sold over eight million copies worldwide. She currently writes rural romance for HarperCollins Australia’s Mira imprint, emotional domestic suspense for Hachette UK’s Bookouture and contemporary romance for Harlequin Dare.
She’s a Romantic Book of the Year and National Readers’ Choice Award winner. A physiotherapist for thirteen years, she now adores writing full time, raising her two dashing young heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, barracking loudly for her beloved North Melbourne Kangaroos footy team, and curling up with a good book!
To keep up to date on Nicola’s work, you can sign up to the mailing list on her website and follow her on these social media accounts.