Monday, May 3, 2021

Book Review: Long Walk Home

By Sara Steven

Lola was struck by just how quickly she recognized him. It had been ten long years since she’d seen him; ten years of thinking that maybe she hadn't really loved him. But there he was. And he still took her breath away.

Lola has turned her life around since her wild teenage years, but one thing hasn’t changed: how her sister sees her. Her sister Carmen only remembers the mistakes she’s made and can’t see the potential of Lola’s plans to expand the family vineyard business at Blue Hills. But Lola is determined to win Carmen round—and gain her respect once and for all.

Then Lola’s high school sweetheart Gus arrives back in town, and everything changes. He was her first love, the bad boy she used to climb out of windows to see. But he’d broken her heart when he left town suddenly, without so much as a goodbye. And after that, she’d never seen him again. Until now.

Gus isn’t that same rebel anymore. It’s taken everything he has to come back to this town full of bittersweet memories, but he owes it to himself, and to Lola, to make amends. But she’s not that lovesick girl anymore and she knows she can’t let him turn her head again. So why can’t she stop thinking about how his strong arms would feel wrapped around her?

Then fate intervenes, and they’re forced to work together on Lola’s biggest project—and the sparks begin to fly once more…

As the sun sets over the mountains and meadows of Blue Hills, can two people who’d thought they could never be together find their way home to each other?

An utterly romantic feel-good read about being true to yourself and becoming the person you were always meant to be, Long Walk Home will make you laugh, make you cry and show you that true love always finds a way. For fans of Robyn Carr, Carolyn Brown and Mary Ellen Taylor.

Long Walk Home had many intense moments, and not only where Gus is concerned. While I very much appreciated the angle between Lola and Gus, the bigger areas that concern Lola’s family, particularly her sister, Carmen, held my attention and denied any chance of allowing me a break from reading. I couldn’t put their story down!

As the synopsis indicates, Lola has had a tough past. There are a lot of reasons for her family to question her motives, yet they can’t seem to see her for who she is, now. The word commonly used within this story is, “pigeon-holed,” and I really felt that for Lola.  She has amazing ideas and wants to contribute to the winery, but no one wants to give her a chance, or any of her ideas a chance. I could feel her desperation in trying to get her sister and father to see reason, particularly with the vacation cabin idea, so even though I knew that fraudulently going about building the cabins wasn’t the best choice, it’s obvious that Lola has no other option. She can’t be seen unless she does something to be seen.

I felt frustrated for her, during her conversations with Carmen. And then there’s the contention she has with the head chef in the restaurant kitchen, a man who makes Gordon Ramsey look like an angel. All of it boils down into many explosive scenes, and when Lola takes steps towards independence, I cheered her on! 

The true star of Long Walk Home is Lola’s dog, Daisy. It was sweet to read about the temperament and expectation the dog has, not to mention how the dog’s personality is an extension of Lola’s. Like owner, like dog. Gus is a wonderful addition, and I enjoyed his backstory and the underdog fight in him, but it was the familial relationships that really drew me in, a well-deserved five-star experience!

Thanks to Bookouture for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Ellyn Oaksmith is the USA Today and Kindle bestselling author of addictively fun love stories. She has never run a winery, been attacked by drones or nearly drowned someone but she loves putting her characters in challenging situations. Ellyn also enjoys chatting with readers on social media. Especially when she should be writing.

Ellyn began her writing life as a screenwriter in Los Angeles which, outside of writing hours, is exactly as crazy as it seems in the movies. After hightailing it back to her native Seattle, Ellyn began writing comedic romances and never looked back.

Ellyn lives in Seattle with her husband. She's part of a competitive rowing team. You can often find her on Lake Sammamish rowing in the dark.

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