Cover Image: The Wild Road Home

The Wild Road Home

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Member Reviews

Thank you @getredprbooks #partner for putting Ms. Payne’s books on my radar. This is the second book by this author I’ve read courtesy of Melissa and #getredprbooks and I have loved them both! I don’t see her books often on booksta and this author is one I would say needs more attention! She definitely deserves it! I want to scream it from the rooftops that both of her books have been written so well, with overflowing emotion, connection, and the cherry on top is the found family as the end result.

This book follows to unsuspecting people whose paths have crossed unexpectedly and ultimately form an unbreakable bond. A man named Mack whose wife is dying of Alzheimer’s and he is madly and deeply in love with her. He will do everything for her…including faking his own death so she can reap the financial reward from insurance to get the care she really needs. We also meet Brandi, a determined, steadfast, sassy teenager who comes from a rocky past and will fight to keep her brother safe no matter what the cost. Don’t you want to know how their lives intersect?! You DO! Trust me! If you love a feel good story that may make you tear up, may make you smile, may get you mad at the world for them then you NEED to grab a copy of this one! It was SO WONDERFUL!

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The Wild Road Home is a story about love, friendship and the sacrifices someone is willing to make for the people they love.

Mack will do absolutely anything for his wife, Daisy, who is struggling with Alzheimer’s. He even fakes his own death so that the insurance money can ensure Daisy the best care possible. He moves to a remote cabin in the Wyoming wilderness to live out the rest of his days secluded from the world.
Brandi is 18 years old and has just been released from juvie with one goal. She is determined to save her much younger brother, Sy, from the neglect of her drug addicted mother. Brandi and Sy go on the run and head to their aunt’s house in Casper. A flat tire strands them in the Wyoming wilderness and they meet Mack. Can they save each other?

This is a beautiful, emotional story of unlikely friendship and found family. You can’t help but to fall in love with these characters and root for them every step of the way! This book will tug at your heart strings!

**Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read this ARC copy of The Wild Road Home in exchange for my honest review.

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This is the first book from this author that I've read..

It was a little slow in the beginning but picked up somewhat half way in.

Seemed like the story timeline just dragged on,
when in fact, it was only a few days.
The the story had some unbelievable scenarios, but all in all a good read.

I would recommend it and I give it 3.5 stars.


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This is my first book by Melissa Payne and I was impressed with the writing style and flow. I realized that I have another of her books in my kindle that I will be reading soon! I enjoyed most of everything about this book. The setting location, the storyline, the characters, how it made me feel like I wanted to jump into the story and shake the mother, the final outcome. It was all pretty darn good. There were just a few parts that I skipped over because it was repeated to frequently but nothing that I would complain about.

Thanks so much to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for giving me the opportunity to discover a new to me author!

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Melissa Payne has become one of the authors whose new books I request, sight unseen. When I saw “The Wild Road Home” was available, I downloaded it immediately.

I will admit I was a little hesitant to read this book due to Mack Anders’s faking his own death, but I’m glad I took the chance. How Melissa Payne dealt with the subject matter did not disappoint. I came to enjoy the familial relationship, as well as the trust, that developed between Mack and Brandi. I found the way the storylines were wrapped up, though, to be well done and realistic.

Overall, I recommend this book. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my ARC.

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This is a read that will tug at your heartstrings, a page turner to find answers, and yet savoring each page.
Loved how the author meshed everything together, and it brings unlikely people together, and soon they feel like and act like family. You feel the injustice, and want to change and help, but how?
We touch on Alzheimer’s, tragic loss of love ones, and sadly child neglect due to drug abuse, and the hardships and helplessness caused by these problems.
As we travel with Mack, Brandi and adorable Sy, you will be wondering how this will all work out, and with guns involved, will they all be alive at the end.
Now I'm looking for more by Melissa Payne!
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Lake Union Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.

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3.5 stars, rounded up

The Wild Road Home is a beautiful tale about the power of friends, family, and love.  I liked the characters a lot!  Mack is a taciturn old cowboy and being a hero is the last thing he wants.  Brandi is a huge-hearted girl who defines the word feisty!  Sy (AKA Syborg, haha) is Brandi's little brother - and he has experienced far too much in his short life.  From there the book is quite the emotional ride. 
I must say that this type of book is a giant step away from my usual genre and I was surprised by how much I liked it, even though it stretched into being a wee bit too sappy for me at times.

Many thanks to both #LakeUnionPublishing and #NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an early copy of #TheWildRoad Home.  It has an expected publication date of June 8, 2024.

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This is a story of how unimaginable friendships can take root and blossom between unlikely people in extraordinary circumstances. Mack Anders is in the twilight of his life as he’s watching his wife slip away from Alzheimer’s while still grieving the loss of his son many years ago. Brandi Harris is on the precipice of womanhood as she struggles from the many traumas of her childhood and hopes to save her little brother from suffering the same fate. How and why the lives of these characters intersect one another provides the plot of this story.

Be prepared for very heavy and intense themes throughout the book. Love, friendship and the toll that abuse and heartache can take on the human spirit are central themes.

Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing me with an advanced digital copy in exchange for my honest review.

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This book led me to discover a new author!

This story is narrated from the POV of Mack and Brandi. Both of them are trying to save their loved on from a devil of sorts.

The story tugs at your emotions a lot, what with the multiple crises each of the character goes through and we feel the pain through the characters.

This is a story of surivival and living. Moving from the darkness that life throws our way to finding hope and beleiving that a better day would come.

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Set in the back country of Wyoming, Brandi struggles to care for her brother and get him away from their drug addicted mother. Mack has his own troubles as the love of his life has been diagnosed with cancer.

Though they are of different generations they see in each other the desire to help the ones they love.

A richly told tale of love and loss.

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Another one that many will love but wasn’t for me. The book just didn’t hold my interest. It was a bit too sappy for my liking.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an early release in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Special thanks to NetGalley for the advanced reader copy of this book. 'The Wild Road Home" was a beautiful story about family, heartache, life lessons and finding faith in strangers. This book is and emotional story that pulls at the heartstrings.

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This book gutted me In so many ways. It was an emotional rollercoaster mixed with action mixed with a love story. I'm not even sure what to say about it other than you need to read it and make sure you have a ton of tissues because I cried at multiple parts. Macky and Daisy. Oh my heart.And Sy!

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I absolutely adored the characters in this book!! What a heartbreaking but precious story. Both of my grandmothers suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s, so this was a tough and emotional read for me, but I’m glad I read it anyway. I’m also drawn to stories of people living off-grid, I find it fascinating. Would highly recommend this book!

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I loved this book. Wonderful characters and a immersive emotional storyline that had me gripped from beginning to end.

A teenage girl on the run with her younger brother and an older man hiding out in the wilderness. Mack and Brandi are from different generations, they live totally different lives and face totally different challenges but when their paths cross in the Wyoming wilderness an unlikely bond is formed.

Great writing, great characters and beautiful scene setting, this novel had them all. I was totally caught up in it from start to finish. A wonderful story or survival, friendship and sacrifice. Totally recommended. My thanks to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the early review copy.

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I loved this book! This is the first book I have read by Melissa Payne, but it won’t be my last! I loved the characters, little Sy, I could picture him. And Brandi, such love for her little brother, she was forced to grow up so quickly and make tough decisions to care for him. Mack and Daisy’s love story and the brutal decisions he made because of it. There was nothing that I didn’t like about this story. Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy. I will be recommending this one!

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The Wild Road Home is a beautifully written book. I loved the plot and the characters are so true to life. I recommend this book. I received an advance ebook from the publisher and Netgalley. This is my unbiased review..

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What a beautiful story of overcoming hardships through unexpected friends you meet.

Mack fakes his own death for the love of his life Daisy. She has cancer and Alzheimer’s. And Mack wants his insurance money to help with her cancer treatments. Mack heads to his cabin to live off-grid when he has a chance encounter with Brandi, 18 years old. She was just released from juvenile detention when she took her brother Sy away from their drug addicted mother. They have a flat tire in the middle of the wilderness. Mack decides to help them. Brandi is trying to get to Casper so her 5 year old brother can live in a stable home with their aunt.

This is a story about bonds and friendships you can form with strangers and what a family is through good and hard times. What an emotional, pull at your heart strings story. I will definitely be reading more of Melissa Payne’s books.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the arc copy.

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This book 📖....!!! I loved it! It was so suspenseful from the beginning to the end. It starts with Mack visiting the love 💕 of his life, Daisy 🌼, in a care home because she has Alzheimers. Mack dreams of taking Daisy to a cabin he built in the depth of the woods to take care of her; live just the two of them.
Instead, Mack decides to fake his death so that Daisy can use the insurance money 💰to treat her cancer. Mack then lives in their remote cabin and comes across an 18 yr old girl, Brandi, and her young brother, Sy, after their truck🛻 has a flat tire near his home 🏠
Their lives become intertwined, as Mack becomes more enmeshed in the kids' lives, discovering they come from a sordid home environment and need saving. Brandi nobly bears the responsibility for her brother's well-being and finally gains Mack's trust to help them find a stable, safe life. Along the way, Mack must tell the truth, that he is not dead, in order to save them and, also, be with his beautiful lovely wife in her final days.
When I finished this emotional and sensational read, I felt let down that it was over! The feeling was like when I broke up with a boyfriend 💔!
The characters were endearing, the storyline thrilling, the ending left me gratified.
#netgalley #netgalleyreads #netgalleyreview

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My rating:

Plot: 4. out of 5 stars
Writing: 4 out of 5 stars
Character development: 4 out of 5 stars
Overall: 4.5out of 5 stars

Recommended for readers of:

General Fiction


This is a beautiful well written story, emotional and heart breaking at times. The characters are well developed and their actions are explained in great detail. This made them appear realistic but also lovable. Life hasn’t been each for neither of them, and has dealt each of them with their own traumas and heart breaks. Despite all this they stay hopeful and resilient and are willing to help a stranger. .
Overall this is a captivating story full of love, friendship, trauma with a sprinkle of humor and laughter. I liked it a lot.

Review copy provided through Netgalley at no cost to me.

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