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The Long Way Home (Chesapeake Diaries) by Mariah Stewart (Excerpt)

The Long Way Home (Chesapeake Diaries) by Mariah Stewart (Excerpt)

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Published by Romance At Random

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.

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.

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Publish date: Jan 29, 2013
Added to Scribd: Jan 14, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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lauras67_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Mariah Stewart is a new author for me and 'The Long Way Home' is 6th in the Chesapeake Diaries series. I normally don't read series out of order; but I received this book from librarything for review and didn't have time to go back and read all 5 previous books. 'The Long Way Home' can easily be read as a stand alone book. Ms Stewart was able to balance all the characters perfectly.... just enough focus on the supporting characters to introduce them without overwhelming the reader with too many details or too many characters. I didn't have any trouble keeping the supporting characters straight even though I had not read the other books. The wonderful small town setting and characters make you wish you could escape to a place just like St. Dennis, Maryland! The plot may be a bit predictable; but that didn't bother me at all. I really enjoyed reading Ellie's story.... she was a spunky character that was not spoiled by her privileged upbringing or hardened by her tough life experiences. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and escaping back to St. Dennis to experience life with the other characters!
gincam reviewed this
Rated 4/5
"The Long Way Home" will lead a young woman to a new identity and a change in lifestyle that she never anticipated. Mariah Stewart brings readers back to the cozy community of St. Dennis, MD, with the sixth entry in "The Chesapeake Diaries" series. Ellis Chapman led a life of privilege, traveling abroad in her youth with her father while her mother chose quiet retreats in St. Dennis. When Ellis was old enough, she became a part of the family business, working in public relations to create the ideal image for her father's investment firm. When it becomes apparent that her father was working to create an image of his own, and when his true face is revealed as that of a cheating schemer who fleeced many investors out of their life's savings, then the Chapman name is forever disgraced. Everything that was connected to her father was confiscated by the government, leaving her without money, the home she has known, personal possessions, a car, or a job. She even lost her fiance, who turned out to be her father's partner in deception. What she has left turns out to be what her mother, Lynley, owned outright, bought with the money from Lynley's own career as a successful model. A home in St. Dennis, along with some savings are her mother's legacy to Ellis. Changing her name to Ellie Ryder to escape the judgmental eyes of the world, and borrowing a car from a friend, Ellis begins the next chapter in her life. St. Dennis is lovely, quaint, and welcoming, but all small towns have local intrigue. Ellie must stay in the home for six months, and she is not allowed to sell anything from the home during that time. Handsome "handyman" Cam O'Connor is the contractor who will help Ellie get the house in shape to be sold. Cam has a secret of his own--he has long wanted to own the house he is now bringing back to life. Ellie finds much more than she ever expected in St. Dennis, and when even more of her father's lies come to light, she must make some difficult decisions about not only her future, but the future of the sister she never knew she had. Can "Ellie" reveal herself to be "Ellis" and find happiness with Cam in St. Dennis? Has she found a real home at last? Mariah Stewart offers a touching romance, filled with new beginnings and touching base with old friends from previous entries in the series. Review Copy Gratis Library Thing
gpangel_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
My rating: 3 of 5 starsThe Long Way Home: The Chesapeake Diaries is the 6th in the Chesapeake Diaries series. This book was released in Janurary 2013. This a women's fiction/contemporary romance novel and can be read as a stand alone. Ellie's father and former fiance have been imprisoned for defrauding countless people out of their life savings and retirements. Now Ellie is forced to deal with the fall out. She lived in the lap of luxury all her life, but now the SEC has taken everything she ever owned and all her friends turned their backs on her except for Carly. So, now Ellie has come to claim an old house in St. Dennis that belonged to her great aunt Lilly and Ellie has inherited from her mother. The will states Ellie must live in the house for six months before she can sell the house and it's contents. So, Ellie moves in and starts to work fixing up the house so she can sell it as soon as the six months is up. Cameron has lived in St. Dennis all his life. He had a special bond with Lilly and always planned on owning her house one day. So, for the last twelve years he has taken care of the property. Now he finds out the house had been purchased and he's furious. But, when he learns of the circumstances he visits Ellie and works out a deal that when she gets ready to sell, it will be to him. In the meantime, Cameron has agreed to help Ellie fix the place up. Ellie keeps her identity secret from the people in St. Dennis for fear of being judged for her father's crimes. But, Cameron knows that something isn't right about Ellie. The facts just don't add up. So, he sets out to discover what secrets she keeps. As Cameron and Ellie work on the house, Ellie begins to feel a bond with her great aunt and her mother that she had never had the chance to feel before. She also starts to feel a bond with Cameron. This is a story about fresh starts, growing up emotionally , healing and forgiveness. Cameron has had a very hard time himself and understands that Ellie needs time to deal with her pain. The kind folks in St. Dennis embrace Ellie despite her father's sins and her lack of faith in humanity. There is a slight paranormal story going on in the background. The story is slow moving and and it drags in some places. There just wasn't all that much happening. There was a big plot twist that took place toward the last part of the book, but that still didn't get the story rolling along any faster. The romance was about a 2.5 on the steam level and pretty slow moving. I did like the ultimate conclusion. Family, love, healing, and the peace the characters finally get leaves us with a postive feeling. I would recommend this book for those that like women's fiction with a mature romance and a fair amount of drama. Overall I would grade this one with a C. Thanks Netgalley for the ARC
milibrarian reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Ellie's father's and fiance's convictions of swindling thousands of dollars in an investment scheme have left Elllie with little to call her own. She has lost her job, apartment, car, and jewelry, but she has inherited her late mother's house in Maryland. Unfortunately, it needs a lot of work which she cannot afford. As Ellie begins a new life in St. Dennis, she also learns to allow others into her life again. Cameron O'Connor, a local contractor, lends her a hand, and their friendship begins to grow. Their biggest obstacle as their feeling deepen is that Ellie plans to sell the house as soon as she is able to begin a new life without the stigma of her father's conviction hanging over her. I enjoyed this fun,easy, and somewhat predictable read even though I have not read the earlier series entries.
punxsygal reviewed this
Rated 4/5
When her father is convicted for swindling billions of dollars in a large Ponzi scheme, Ellie Chapman finds she too has lost everything including her job. However, Ellie learns that she has inherited a house left by her mother's estate which was in her mother's family before the swindle. So Ellie goes to St. Dennis, MD to prepare the house for sale after the six months she is required to live in it. She goes under an assumed name desperately wanting to separate herself from the cloud of her father's crimes. And while there she seeks the advice from a contractor, Cameron O'Connor. And Ellie begins to feel she has found a home.This was the 6th book in The Chesapeake Diaries series. And I was as charmed with it as with the 5th volume which I have read previously. I enjoy the friendliness of the town's residents and feel like I'm visiting old friends. And the budding romance has a sweetness about it that is endearing. After finishing this book, I went to the library to look up the first in the series and will continue my stay in St. Dennis.
bwightman_3 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
I received this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer's program. It's a quick read, but I found it to be extremely predictable...I basically had the ending figured out less than 1/4 way into the book. That being said, it was enjoyable even if there wasn't much substance to it. What I didn't realize is that it's part of a series, which now that I know that makes much more sense as I had trouble with keeping track of all the minor characters.
sdbookhound reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I was excited to get a copy of Mariah Stewart's new book The Long Way Home through the Early Reviewers program. I have read all the books in this series and enjoyed the newest installment. You would not have to have read the previous books to enjoy The Long Way Home, although it is nice to know the back stories of the other characters revisited in the book. The romance moves a little fast, but I enjoyed the chemistry between the two main characters. I will recommend this book to others who enjoy romance stories such as this one. I will also look forward to future titles by Mariah Stewart.
momgee_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I love this series! All the characters feel like old friends at this point. In each new book, Stewart introduces a new character who has just arrived in the little town of St. Dennis on the Chesapeake and becomes integrated with the wonderful folks who already call St. Dennis home.In The Long Way Home, Ellie Ryder has come to St. Dennis to sell her mother's house. Sounds simple? Not quite. Ellie is only using part of her name and does not want to get too involved with anyone, just put in her 6 months living in the house (as her mother's will decreed) sell it and be gone. . . . but life interferes and Ellie finds herself longing to just put down roots and accept all that she finds in St. Dennis.A delightful love story along with family issues makes for great reading. If you haven't read any of the preceding books, I would recommend you start with the first in the series.
booksintheburbs reviewed this
Rated 3/5
“The Chesapeake Diaries”, is a series that fans will love reading. Mariah Stewart’s latest book, “The Long Way Home” is her latest book that can be read as a stand alone. I loved reading about this small quaint town!! Mariah Stewart created a gorgeous town, where everyone knows your name and loves you as family. This book focuses on Ellie and her renovations on a home left to her by her deceased aunt. With the renovations, Ellie finds out family secrets and learns more about her own mother with whom she had a distant relationship with.There is a sweet love story, of course, which I loved did not include anything too raunchy or inappropriate. If the reader has followed the series, there will be lots of great updates from certain people in St. Dennis that appeared in other books. It’s a slow read because there are a lot of characters to get acclimated too, however the plot does move along well. Overall, it was a good read and is a fantastic series to immerse oneself in!
readyourwrites reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Mariah Stewart is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read all of her books in The Chesapeake Diaries series. I can tell you that if you’ve never read her before, you’re missing out. You don’t have to read the first book or any of the other books in the series to understand the characters in this book. In addition to being a contemporary romance author, Ms. Stewart is also a romantic suspense novelist. She manages to add a little unexpected shock to the backgrounds of her characters. This statement is no less true for the main characters in The Long Way Home.The Long Way Home focuses on Cameron O’Connor, a local boy turned construction company owner and Ellis (Ellie) Ryder Chapman, a woman who has lost everything and has a heritage she doesn't know about.Cameron has lived in St. Dennis pretty much his entire life. His life’s dream is to one day purchase and own the house at 1 Bay View Road. For Cameron, this house holds precious memories of good times he had as a child, when everything else around him was dark and chaotic. Ellis has come to St. Dennis, the last place she ever thought she’d go, because she has no choice. Ellis’s one and only job has been heading the public relations department for her father’s company. The same company which no longer exists, since her father, Clifford Chapman, and ex-fiance, Henry stole money from the people who invested with the company and were sent to prison. Since everything Ellis owned was obtained with money from the investment company, the Feds have taken EVERYTHING. Ellis has lost her father, fiance, home, car, jewelry and money.Because of her father's scheme, Ellis has also lost the people she thought were her friends, all except for one, Carly Summit. When Ellis arrives in St. Dennis, she decides to say her name is Ellie Ryder and that she purchased the house from the Lynley Sebastian estate. Lynley Sebastian was actually her mother, who grew up in St. Dennis and left Ellis the house and it's contents in her will. The catch being that Ellis has to live in the house and can not sell the house or its contents for six months.Cameron is sent to make sure Ellie is okay and help her see what repairs she needs to do to the old and long vacant house. As part of their repair agreement, Ellie offers to let Cameron have first dibs on the house when she's ready to sell it. As time goes by, Cameron becomes torn as to what is more important to him. The house with it's cherished memories or the woman he realizes he's falling for.The Long Way Home is full of surprises. When Ellie first arrived in St. Dennis, she had no desire to meet and get to know the people there. However, with St. Dennis being the small, friendly town it is, she didn't really have a choice. It seems some of the elders in town knew exactly who Ellie really was, the minute they laid eyes on her. Cameron himself figured out who she was. It isn't until a new arrival comes to town that Ellie has the strength and courage to own up to who she really is.I like to call Mariah's books sweet romances, because the language is clean and intimate moments are mentioned but the details are left out. As always with the books in this series, you get a happy ending, with a little drama and discovery thrown it. The Long Way Home is about discovering your past and the legacy you come from. It's about forgiving yourself and knowing that you aren't responsible for the actions of others. It's about discovering that if you just give people a chance, you will allow yourself to finally find your true home.Source: EdelweissReviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews

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