Cover Image: The Road Leads Back

The Road Leads Back

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EXCERPT: She stared at him as realization started to weave its way through her oncoming buzz. He hadn't responded to her letters because he hadn't received her letters. And if he hadn't received the letters, he hadn't sent her money. And if he hadn't sent her money, he hadn't known that she needed it. Sighing, she let some of her decades old anger slip. Her head spun, either from the alcohol or the blurry dots she was trying to mentally connect. Leaning into the bar, she exhaled slowly. 'They never told you, did they?'

'Who? Told me what? What are you talking about?'

Kara couldn't speak. Her words wouldn't form.

Someone wrapped an arm around Kara's shoulder, startling her and making her gasp quietly. She turned and blinked several times at the man who had just slid next to her.

'Sorry to interrupt,' he said, 'but I need to get home.' Leaning in, he kissed her head. 'Congratulations on the opening, Mom. It was great.'

'Ummm . . .' She swallowed, desperate to find her voice. 'Thank you, sweetheart.' She flicked her gaze at the man sitting next to her. The longer Harry looked at her son, the wider Harry's eyes became.

Phil cast a disapproving glance at Harry, the way he always did when assessing a man who might distract her from her responsibilities, and then focused on her again. 'Don't forget that Jess is expecting you to make pancakes in the morning. You promised.'

'I haven't forgotten.' Kara returned her attention to Harry. His jaw was slack and his cheeks had grown pale.

Phil nodded at Harry, as if he were satisfied that he'd made his point that his mother didn't need to stay out all night, and walked away. Harry watched him leave while Kara waved down the bartender and pointed at her glass. The tattooed kid hesitated, likely debating the ethics of giving her another shot. She pointed again, cocking a brow for emphasis, and he finally filled her glass.

'Kara ... ' Harry's voice was breathless, like he'd been kicked in the gut. 'Was ... was that my ... son?'

No. His mother definitely hadn't given him the letters Kara had written. She lifted her shot, toasting him. 'Congratulations, Harry. It's a boy.'

ABOUT 'THE ROAD LEADS HOME': 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?

MY THOUGHTS: The Road Leads Back by Marci Bolden is the first ever romance book I have given 5 stars. I picked it up, started reading and by the end of the first chapter I was absolutely smitten. This is not just a romance - it is so much more - family dynamics, second chances, love, and living with disability.

I have read and loved Marci Bolden's books previously, but The Road Leads Back has blown everything else she has ever written way out of the water. The story is one we have all heard before, but Bolden's writing takes it to a new level. Her characters are very real as are their reactions to situations and their emotions. I felt Kara's and Harry's pain. I admired Kara's resourcefulness. I fell in love with Jess, who has Down's syndrome. I understood Phil's resentment at his childhood, but wanted to tell him to wake up to what a wonderful mother he has. And I wanted to strangle both Kara's and Harry's parents.

Speaking of parents, every parent tempted to meddle in their child's life needs to read this. No, we don't always know what is best for them. What we want for our children is not necessarily what they want or need.

I loved this unique, believable and unpredictable book to the point where I ignored all my other reads to focus on this. Marci Bolden, you hit the ball out of the park. And now I can't wait to read the next in this series!


#TheRoadLeadsBack #NetGalley

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T: @BoldenMarci #PinkSandPress

#contemporaryfiction #familydrama #romance #sliceoflife #womensfiction

THE AUTHOR: As a teen, Marci Bolden skipped over young adult books and jumped right into reading women's fiction and romance novels.

Marci lives in the Midwest with her husband, two teenaged kiddos, and numerous rescue pets. If she had an ounce of will power, Marci would embrace healthy living but until cupcakes and wine are no longer available at the local grocery store, she’ll put that ambition on hold and appease her guilt by reading self-help books and promising to join a gym “soon.”

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Pink Sand Press via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Road Leads Home by Marci Bolden for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

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The Road Leads Back by Marci Bolden is the story of a fierce woman, Kara Martinson, turned away by her parents when she discovers she's pregnant at the end of her high school career. When she turns to the father of the child, his parents arrange for her to go to a place to have the baby quietly and over the years she writes letters to him letting him know of the baby's whereabouts as he grows.  Eventually, seeing that the father isn't interested, she gives up...until the day she runs into him and a gallery showing of her artwork and the pain of that time is fresh once again.

Harry Canton meets Kara and is just as attracted to her now as he was in high school, but he can't understand why she is so angry with him after all these years.  As her story comes out and secrets are revealed, Harry realizes that he has a family he never knew about, that he wants to be a part of.  But can Kara let him in after almost 30 years? Is he finally ready to be a father and grandfather? And can Kara actually have the relationship she dreamed of all those years ago? Another good read from Marci Bolden.  Thank you to the author, Pink Sands Press and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
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I really like this book it was pretty good easy read definitely recommend
 The book grabbed me from the the beginning to the end
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I was not able to get into this book, so I will not be reviewing at this time, since I have not finished it. If I end up reading it at a later date, I will review at that time. Thank you!
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Heartbreaking story of two people who were torn apart because of their family.  
One night stand for Kara and Harry after high school graduation changed their lives forever.  
Kara needed her family when she found out she was pregnant from her one night stand but her parents threw her  out.  She had dream of becoming an artist and going to college.  Everything crashed down when she found out she was pregnant.  She was young, scared and no one to turn to so she went to Harry's house thinking they will take care of her since she is pregnant with her son's baby.  
After 27 years, Harry goes to Kara's gallery in Seattle. Harry finds out he has a son and it will change everything for both. He never knew he had a son and Kara can't believe his mother kept them apart.  Harry always wanted to have a family of his own and now he has his own but it won't be easy for all of them.  
Harry is back in Kara's home town and invites her back.  Is she ready to face her past and forgive everyone who changed her life?
It is very emotional read from beginning to end.  Kara's struggle throughout seems real and not sugar coated.   It was not a light read but it kept you until the end.  
Thanks to Netgalley and Pink sand press for ARC in exchange for honest review.
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Marci Bolden is one of my favorite authors.   Do yourself a favor and grab everything she has ever written.   You will thank yourself and me— for doing so.
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This is a well written book that is full of emotions. It's an emotional story about second chance romance and moving on from hurts in the past. Thank you Pink Sand Press via NetGalley for the copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Kara raised her son Phil by herself, after her family kicked her out and her boyfriend's mother sent her to a place for unwed mothers. After 27 years, Harry meets her  at a gallery exhibit, and they discover they had  both been lied to. He didn't know she was pregnant, and never got her letters. A lot of hurt and anger to get past, but the story was well written and kept my attention. Would highly recommend this book and author.
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The Road leads back by Marci Bolden was very engaging.  The storyline was easy to follow and enjoyable, characters were perfect and easy to relate to.  Overall fantastic read!

ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Cute story. Really enjoyed it. Thought it was well written and enjoyable to read. Would recommend that you read this if you have the opportunity to
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I love the writing style of The Road Leads Back, but the storyline was agonizing. I just couldn't get past the whole 27 years thing. It was too much for me.
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I was amazed, I actually enjoyed reading this story! I am a who done it kinda reader but this story of Kara  and Harry grabbed me. Almost brought tears at times. Karas struggle of being a single mother trying to find her way back to a forever kind of love. The grief of parents that denied her and a deceitful  boyfriend’s mother! A great story!

I read and reviewed this advanced complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley
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Cute story. Really enjoyed it. Thought it was well written and enjoyable to read. Would recommend. Not my favorite of the year but good still.
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There really wasn't any second chance in this romance, because the "come back," really didn't involve any forgiveness and more just anger that was brushed aside. Was not feeling this one, unfortunately.
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Can second chances work out in every ones favor? This is a great story about betrayal, being lost, second chances, forgiveness and hope.
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This is a wonderful, emotionally charged story about Kara and Harry.  High School acquaintances who spend one night together before Harry leaves for school.  As a result, Kara's life changes forever.  Pregnant and homeless she learns to survive and thrive.
Fast forward 27 years, Harry goes into an Art Gallery only to come face-to-face with his past and all he's missed.  Together they all learn how to move forward towards a new future.  I highly recommend this book to all my fellow readers. 
Thank you Marci Bolden, Pink Sand Press and NetGalley for allowing me an advance copy for my honest feedback.
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Really enjoyable read.  Imagine finding out how different life could of been. Liked the characters and would definitely recommend
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The first book in the Stonehill series by Marci Bolden. Kara and Harry had a thing but Harry left without a word and Kara was pregnant. Kara's father kicks her out of her home and Kara has no where to go. So Kara tried to contact Harry but his mother took over and sent Kara away to have her baby with promises that Harry would be told. Now twenty-seven years later Harry shows up at a art showing and discovers he has been a dad and now a grandpa.

The story was good and I liked the style it was written. I didn't care for some of the little things like how Kara kept saying she was over it but wasn't. It seemed like the author felt she had to add the extra drama for effect or something. Phil confused me too with his obvious resentment of his mother yet he stayed with her. The adorable granddaughter made the story worth reading. Will I read more by this author? I think I will. While I did have minor issues, it was a good and entertaining story and I did like it.
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I am a big fan of Marci Bolden. While this was a good book it is not my favorite of hers. This is the first book in the Stonehills series. It can be a stand alone novel or as part of the series.

Kara and Harry liked each other when they were in school together, but were both too shy to approach or tell one another. They spent one night together that irrevocably changed Kara's life. Instead of college, she was homeless and sent to a community for unwed mothers. She learned to survive and raise her son, Phil. Twenty-seven years later, Harry reunites with Kara and is floored by the news he missed his son's life. Harry wants to reconnect and convinces Kara and Phil to return to her hometown. The hometown she never returned to after being forced away and hurt by those adults in whom she should have had support.

This was a good book with good characters. The story dragged a little in places but it was well written.
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I received a copy of The Road Leads Back by Marci Bolden from Pink Sand Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! 
I give this book 4 stars! It provokes so many emotions, so be prepared. Chock full of family drama, romance, regret and forgiveness. I recommend this engaging read!
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