Audiobook Review: Far From Home by Lorelie Brown

Posted March 20, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Audio Delight, Reviews / 14 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review: Far From Home by Lorelie Brown
Far From Home
Narrated by Jill Smith

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Belladonna Ink #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance, F/F Romance
Published by Riptide
Released on February 27, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

Far from Home is a Green Card romance that hits the reader like a sleeper wave when it reveals it’s true depth and feeling.  The blurb caught my attention as did the promise of revisiting an author through a later series and trying a narrator for the first time.


Far From Home is the first in the Belladonna Ink series that all take place in a Southern California coastal town and loosely tie together around a women’s tattoo parlor that produces inked artistry.  This book introduces Rachel, a hard on her luck assistant director in a small movie company, and Pari, a workaholic businesswoman, at a party when a slightly tipsy Rachel tells a near stranger that she’d marry her to help her get her green card.  It turns out that Pari took her at her word and offered to help with Rachel’s school loans in exchange for a marriage.

But soon after the arrangements are in the works, Rachel realizes that she’s in over her head after making one big, impulsive decision.  Her recovering from anorexia, never addressed issues with her mother, her near asexuality because of the body image issues tied in with the anorexia and then there are Pari’s rebound from a relationship break up and a whirlwind mother who wants the family’s Indian traditions present in a marriage she doesn’t realize is as fake as Rachel.  Yep, a lot for Rachel to sift through and that was before she realized that she’s caught feelings and attraction for Pari.  Can her life get any more complicated?

Far From Home is told from Rachel’s first person point of view.  As such, it felt more like Rachel’s story of healing and discovery with a strong romance element.  I didn’t mind, but I did have to adjust my expectations.  In truth, Rachel has so many things going on in her life on a very private level that are either still unhealthy or only starting to heal that there is no way she can even be in a place to have a relationship and be in love.  She hates herself, through and through.  She can’t let people see or touch her skin, she believes any shaming, name-calling thing anyone has tossed at her in the past, and her mother’s coldness and distance, she takes that on, too.  Pari, even with a recent break up of a pattern where she keeps falling for straight women , is still in a healthier place.  She gives stability, acceptance, and genuine admiration to Rachel.

I have to say that I was ready to give Rachel a boot up the butt for holding things up as long as she did.  If it had been for any reason other than she considers herself straight and is in denial, I would have not cared.  But, I was stuck right there in her head from the get go when she is all over attracted to Pari from their first meeting.  Rachel has a best friend who is lesbian and her uncle is gay while her mom doesn’t care.  I suppose its different when its yourself.

The book did hit me with one more big surprise when one of the sex scenes got hot in the bedroom with a D/s vibe going on.  Wasn’t expecting that.  Not that I minded, but it took me by surprise especially when Rachel is new to sex and struggles with intimacy (not that it was forced or non-consensual).  The gals were definitely sizzling together.

This was an interracial romance and I thought Indian characters like Pari and her mother, culture, and traditions were handled respectfully and seemed authentic to my very limited understanding.  I have friends from Tamil Nadu and this seemed on par with my visits with them.

So, Jill Smith.  She was a first time narrator for me.  I really liked her voice.  It had a soothing and calm quality that made it a great match for Rachel’s introspection that took place a lot throughout this book.  She let the story tell itself with more a pure narrator style rather than acting the story.  She also did good with the Indian accent.

All in all, this one had a depth I wasn’t expecting while offering a blend of heartwarming friendship and spicy F/F contemporary romance that I can definitely recommend.

My thanks to Riptide for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #31
Literary Pickers #66 French Food
Audio #40
Books N Tunes #16 Leona Lewis’ Better in Time


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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3 years ago

You, I’m kinda loving complicated love relationship read now…lols. Great review as always Sophia! Glad you enjoyed this one 😉

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Sharonda

Oh you said it, Sharonda. It’s great to pick up a book and get a surprise when it digs deeper than expected.

Mary Kirkland
3 years ago

That sounds like a sweet and spicy read.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

It had a lot of feels, Mary. I wasn’t expecting all that, but loved it.

3 years ago

I haven’t read a lot of f/f… maybe ony one in fact but maybe I should try more

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

I don’t read them very often. I definitely want to read more.

Carole rae
3 years ago

Green card romances are rough!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Carole rae

They sure can be built in conflict right there.

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

Wow, this book has a lot going on. Rachel sounds like a very deep character that is dealing with so many big things. Sounds like it was worth picking up.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

She really was. I thought this was going to be a light strangers find romance over the green card arranged marriage and it turned out to be so much more.

3 years ago

You know I’d fall asleep with the audioread(lol), but this is a book I definitely plan to pick up. Definitely sounds unique and thought provoking. Hugs and Happy Friday! RO

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  ROP

No worries. I have a feeling its pretty good in print only, too.

Have a great weekend, Ro!

herding cats
3 years ago

The just straight narration can really work for me sometimes. Scott Brick does that and I love it. I’ll have to check her out 🙂

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  herding cats

Yes, I like his work, too. I don’t mind the dramatic voice acting sometimes, but generally, I prefer when they just tell the story with moderate inflection to their voice.