“THE ROAD LEADS BACK” (STONEHILL ROMANCE),
BY MARCI BOUDREAUX
PUBLISHED: APRIL 3, 2015
Synopsis: Kara Martinson and Harry Canton weren’t exactly high school sweethearts, but they did share one night neither will ever forget. Twenty-seven years later, Harry surprises Kara at an art gallery opening and discovers he left her with more than just memories when he went away to college. Desperate to connect with the family he never knew existed, Harry convinces his son to move to Stonehill—and pleads with Kara to come, too.
Kara hasn’t stepped foot in their hometown since the day she was sent away to a home for unwed mothers. Now Harry’s back in her life and as they put together the pieces of his parents’ betrayal, old heartaches start to feel anew. She wants to be near her family, but returning to Iowa means facing some things…and some people…she isn’t quite ready to. Can Harry convince her to forgive those who betrayed her so they can embrace the future they were robbed of so long ago? Or will the pain of the past be too much for Kara to overcome?
This was my first time reading Marci Boudreaux, and I really enjoyed “The Road Leads Back.” There was action in this story from the first page and the story maintained a fast pace the entire time. As soon as Harry and Kara reconnect, their focus is on each other, their family, and dealing with the pain that they have endured. I loved Harry, almost to the point where he seemed too good to be true. His character was very kind, loving, humble, and patient. Unfortunately, you don’t really learn much about Harry except for how he has always felt about Kara, that he was previously married, went to college, and started a business. There were several times that I wished his character was more developed and that we got to see how he felt about things, rather than always trying to accommodate Kara. I was not a big fan of Kara. Granted, her character had been incredibly mistreated, deceived, and disappointed by her and Harry’s parents, but she just wasn’t likable. I felt that it had to be her way or the highway throughout the majority of the novel and as Harry said to her at some point, she was living her whole life as a pity party. Kara’s need and desire to run anytime things get bad was another thing that drove me crazy. It just seemed ridiculous for a married woman in her 40’s with a son and a granddaughter, to continue to just up and skip town during difficult times.
With that being said, I did love this story and the pace of it. I was completely pulled in from the beginning, despite not being able to relate to Kara, and loved that romance, relationships/issues with family, boundaries, forgiveness, and trust were all woven into the plot and storyline. Boudreaux’s writing flows easily and is that “just right” writing where it’s not too simple but not too complicated. “The Road Leads Back” addresses intense and painful circumstances while maintaining hopefulness and peace. It demonstrates how lies and secrets can destroy people, but also what we are capable of when we have no one but ourselves.
*I received a free copy of this book from Juniper Grove Book Solutions in exchange for an honest review.