The Long Way Home by Mariah Stewart

The Long Way Home: The Chesapeake DiariesThe Long Way Home by Mariah Stewart

  • ISBN-13: 9780345538413
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/29/2013
  • Source: Netgalley


New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart presents a captivating contemporary romance novel in the tradition of Robyn Carr, Susan Mallery, and Barbara Freethy.

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.

My Thoughts:

The Long Way Home was one of those books that I was drawn to and could not place my finger on why for quite a while.  It took some sitting back and reflecting to collect my thoughts into something that I found to be somewhat valuable.  I find Mariah Stewart great at weaving multiple story lines together in a way that sucks me in and makes me wonder why I did not see how the different story lines were overlapping and creating new one altogether.  Her simple yet emotion filled writing rivals so many of my favorite romance writers.  

Ellie Chapman, has moved to a small town far from the big city she is used to, she was forced to flee after her father and the man she loved  are jailed after taking the money of many people in a scam.  Ellie, who is used to living a life that includes anything and everything she needs, is left with nothing but a name she is ashamed of and a home in St. Dennis, Maryland that her mother left her years ago.  Ellie has decided to keep her real name hidden and pretend that she is just an investor looking to flip the old house that needs so many repairs.  She has to stay in the home for 6 months by the will or she will lose it just like the rest of her life.  Luckily, there is a fund set up to take care of the home.  Ellie soon realizes that a local contractor, Cameron O’Conner, has he eye on the house and was really hoping to purchase it.  She can’t admit the truth of who she is but realize that there is more to Cameron and his reason for wanting to purchase the house.  All Ellie wants is to restart her life but St. Dennis and it’s people seem to have something else in mind altogether.  This little town and her new life surprise her time and time again.

I really enjoyed that there were numerous story lines going on in The Long Way Home there is Ellie’s story, Cameron’s story, the town’s story and how all of these meet together and there there is a huge surprise that I never saw coming towards the end of the story.  Every time I thought I had a good grasp on the story something would change up and I would end up being wrong.  This doesn’t happen very often with romance books so it was a welcome change.  

My Rating:

4 Penguin


A 4 penguin read

Return to Sender by Fern Michaels

Return to SenderReturn to Sender by Fern Michaels

  • ISBN-13: 9780821779583
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 12/24/2012
  • Pages: 384
  • Source: Netgalley


Return To Sender

At seventeen, Rosalind “Lin” Townsend found herself pregnant and alone. Her deeply religious father threw her out of the house, and Nick Pemberton, her baby’s father, refused to marry her. Yet even at the lowest point in her life, Lin vowed to succeed on her own terms, and to give her son, Will, all the love and happiness she’d been denied.

Nineteen years later, Lin has made good on her promises, and Will is about to start his freshman year at NYU. But when Lin visits New York with Will, she crosses paths with the one man she thought she’d never see again—Nick Pemberton, now a millionaire CEO, and the man who sent back all her letters unopened. Seeing him fills Lin with anger, and she resolves to right the wrong he did to Will. If she succeeds, like she has with everything else, the cost of revenge may be the loss of a bright new future. . .

My Thoughts:

This is going to be a pretty quick review because I do not have a lot of positive things to say about this story.  I am sure that it is a good fit for some readers but it just was not for me. I would rather let the reader make their own decision but I will leave you with some general observations.  Return To Sender was a book that while I enjoyed the overall story idea felt very frustrated with all of the characters throughout the entire story.  I just felt that all of the characters were selfish and well just pretty horrible at different points of the story.  The story is pretty disjoined and well there are a lot of parts that just don’t add up right to me.  There are story lines that just appear to be unrelated and make the story a flop for me.  Don’t get me wrong Fern Michaels had good writing skills and that is demonstrate but this story was a flop for me.

My Rating:

2 Penguin


2 Penguin Review

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time Series #14)A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

  • ISBN-13: 9780765325952
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 1/8/2013
  • Pages: 912
  • Source: From Publisher For Review


Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World,readers have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over forty million copies in over thirty-two languages.

When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork. With The Gathering Storm (Book 12) and Towers of Midnight (Book 13) behind him, both of which were # 1 New York Times hardcover bestsellers, Sanderson now re-creates the vision that Robert Jordan left behind.

Edited by Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s books, A Memory of Light will delight, enthrall, and deeply satisfy all of Jordan’s legions of readers.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass.

What was, what will be, and what is,

May yet fall under the Shadow.

Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

My Thoughts:

The Wheel of Time turns and the Age is coming to an end.  The Last Battle is approaching, as the Dark One strives to break free of his prison and conquer humanity.  Only three more seals remain unbroken.  Rand al’Thor, farmboy from the Two Rivers, is the Dragon Reborn, destined to fight the Dark One and break the world.  But has the taint on saidin and the presence of Lews Therin in his mind driven him to madness?  The rulers of the nations have gathered to meet with Rand before the Last Battle, to decide whether to follow his plan or to stop him before he gets them all killed.  Can the Dragon convince his friends and allies before he leaves for Shayol Ghul to confront the Dark One?  The Last Battle is coming.

There are 10,038 pages in the 14 hardcover versions of the Wheel of Time Series.  This book makes every single one worth reading.  At times the reading can be slow, or it can be confusing trying to keep track of all the characters and countries and all the various plot lines.  Those plot lines start to come together towards the end of the series and finally converge in this last volume.  All the various threads get wrapped up and tied off.  The overall tapestry they create is an intricate work of art.

Brandon Sanderson has done a masterful job of finishing the story left behind by Robert Jordan after his passing.  The last three books in the series were written from the notes and scenes Jordan made when he realized he would be unable to finish the novels himself, so the vision is Jordan’s, but it was Sanderson who breathed life into it for the fans to read.

I had A Memory of Light finished the day after it came in the mail, with only a short pause for a few brief hours of sleep.  The reactions of Leigh Butler in the review posted over on, mirror many of my own while reading.  Ranging from “OMG” to “but…but…but…” to “saw that one coming” to “well, interesting”, this book is sure to put any fan through the emotional gamut.  Some books leave you wondering at the end, or feeling like maybe you missed something somewhere back in book 2, or wondering if there’s going to be another book after this that no one told you about.   A Memory of Light left me feeling satisfied with a story well told and eager to start on rereading the whole series straight through now that I have them all.

If you’re a fan of the series, this book in an obvious must read.  If you haven’t read any of the Wheel of Time books, you’re missing out on an epic masterpiece and I urge you to get started here.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend.

My Rating:

 5 Penguin

I didn’t expect any less than a 5 penguin review.