Title: Far from Home (Belladonna Ink #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Lorelie Brown (Riptide Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: August 1, 2016 – 208 pgs
My name is Rachel. I’m straight . . . I think. I also have a mountain of student loans and a smart mouth. I wasn’t serious when I told Pari Sadashiv I’d marry her. It was only party banter! Except Pari needs a green card, and she’s willing to give me a breather from drowning in debt.
My off-the-cuff idea might not be so terrible. We get along as friends. She’s really romantically cautious, which I find heartbreaking. She deserves someone to laugh with. She’s kind. And calm. And gorgeous. A couple of years with her actually sounds pretty good. If some of Pari’s kindness and calmness rubs off on me, that’d be a bonus, because I’m a mess — anorexia is not a pretty word — and my little ways of keeping control of myself, of the world, aren’t working anymore.
And, if I slip up, Pari will see my cracks. Then I’ll crack. Which means I gotta get out, quick, before I fall in love with my wife.
When Rachel offers to marry Pari to let her stay in the country and eventually become a citizen she could never imagine just how
much it would change her life. It starts off as a practical arrangement but becomes so much more. Rachel’s struggles with anorexia and Pari’s difficulty trusting after a heartbreak make the book all the more interesting. The attraction was obvious from the start but seeing it grow into something beautiful and strong was wonderful. We see it all from Rachel’s point of view but the author managed to encompass the emotions of both women so well. The love scenes were extremely sexy and the love between them was so true. This was a really great read and I found myself wallowing in the romance of it all. Five stars!
This book kept me thinking about it long after I finished the last page. Rachel, our pov, is anorexic, and that is a big part of this story. I found it extremely interesting to get a look at the way Rachel looks at herself, and how different it is from how she views others. In fact, there were many things that caught my attention in this book and drew me in further. After straight Rachel figures out that she’s very much in lust with her fiance, and quite possible in love, I loved the conversation with Nikki and her girlfriend in the tattoo shop. A lot of that conversation resonated for me. I really liked the relationship between Pari and Rachel, and how it slowly changed. Pari made me fall a little in love with her and her mother as well. I’m glad Brown included so much of Pari’s culture in the story, but I would have loved a bit more explanation of some of the parts of the ceremony Pari wanted to cut out. And again, I loved how Pari’s parents were slowly won over by Rachel, but we still got such a real reaction from some of Pari’s other relatives. In all, there was a lot in this story that I loved. A couple of things kept me from giving it a full five stars. First, Rachel’s collapse came as a total surprise to me. I feel like I didn’t get enough of a lead up of her slipping back into her unhealthy habits. I get that she was spending an excessive amount of time at the gym, but I don’t know how long her workouts were before the stress of the wedding hit, so I didn’t get that it was becoming worse. Also, I saw all the habits and rituals she had surrounding food and how she ate it, but again, I didn’t get the sense that she’d stopped eating before she had her break down. Unless she was lying to herself as well, which could be possible, then I would have expected more signs that she was slipping back into her sickness. I loved that final scene before the epilogue though. And the epilogue itself, which holds another surprise simply in how long it took to get back to where they’d been, was a perfect way to end the story. I definitely recommend this book.
Rachel and Pari devise a plan that will keep Pari in the US and help Rachel pay off some of her college debt. What could go wrong? Well, how about Rachel believing she is straight, Pari’s mother showing up, and both women falling in love with one another.
Far from Home is a lovely read and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I was worried this would be another of the same in a long line of didn’t-realize-I-liked-girls-until-you books. There is nothing wrong with many of those books; however, they are very cliched and don’t really stand out. That was no the case with this book. It put its own spin on the classic tale and we get to meet some great people along the way. I also enjoyed getting to meet Pari’s mother; she was well developed and in general, a lovely woman.
I loved getting to know both ladies; it was enjoyable to watch their love story unfold. I am glad that Rachel has Pari to love and support her through her recovery. Well done!
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