Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Long Way Home by Mariah Stewart

Readers who think of Mariah Stewart as "just" writing romance novels are so wrong, Her Chesapeake Diaries do have romances, and her latest, The Long Way Home, is no exception. But, the books are so much more. They're the story of a small resort town, St. Dennis, Maryland, and the people who live there. Stewart's books are about relationships, friendships, and the history of a community. They're about the long-standing relationships that make a community, and the newcomers who add to the life of the town. Oh, yes, and there's always a romance.

Ellis Chapman changed her name to Ellie Ryder when she moved to St. Dennis to renovate the house her mother left her. Her father had plastered the family name across national headlines when he was arrested for swindling investors out of billions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme. Ellie was an innocent victim, caught up in it just as much as anyone else, but most of her friends turned their back on her. With only her mother's house, she's desperate to renovate it, and, once she's lived there for the required six months, to sell it for a profit, money she needed to live. Despite the curiosity of the townspeople, Ellie was afraid to tell the truth about her family.

Cameron O'Connor, a local contractor, is one of the people curious about the house's new owner. He would have loved to have bought the house because he has a memorable past with Ellie's great-aunt and uncle, the people who owned the house before Ellie's mother. And, he might not know about her past, but he has stories he isn't telling either.

As Ellie works on the house, she uncovers family stories and secrets that she never knew, and learns about the mother she thought she knew. Mariah Stewart always brings out her characters' past secrets as their lives unfold and the people change once they find a home in St. Dennis. The Long Way Home is the sixth book in the series, and the title reveals as much about the series itself as it does about the book. Each of these novels involve characters who find themselves and a home, a shelter from the life they led. At the same time, these books are about looking to the future with hope, and anticipation of new life and love.

Although the female character, in this case, Ellie, is the main protagonist, readers always see the story from the male character's viewpoint as well. However, the characters and the town of St. Dennis are held together by Grace Sinclair, the owner of the town newspaper. Grace begins the books with her diary entry, comments in the course of the story, and wraps it up. She ties together the life and history of St. Dennis, bringing the books' characters, and the series back together.

Once again, Mariah Stewart brings us a story of St. Dennis, a story with a couple twists, wonderful characters, and a town that welcomes readers as well as characters. Oh, and, of course The Long Way Home has a romance as well.

One lucky reader can win a copy of The Long Way Home. Email me at Your email should read, "Win The Long Way Home." Please include your name and mailing address in the email. This contest will only run until noon Central Time on Saturday, Feb. 16. The publicist for TLC Book Tours will send the winner a copy of the book.

Note - The winner of the giveaway was Judith L. of Claremont, CA. She'll receive her book shortly from the publicist.

Mariah Stewart's website is, and she can be found on Facebook at

The Long Way Home by Mariah Stewart. Ballantine Books. 2013. ISBN 9780345538413 (paperback), 426p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book in order to participate in the TLC Book Tour.


Karen C said...

I am a long time fan of Mariah Stewart and loved her romantic suspense thrillers. I wanted to cry when she announced she was no longer going to write them. At the time, I didn't read a lot of romance. But as you so aptly pointed out, The Chesapeake Diary series is so much more. And, yes. I want to live in St. Dennis.

Ingrid King said...

I just downloaded this to my Kindle and I'm looking forward to reading it. I love this series. Thanks for the review, Lesa!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!