Desert Isle Keeper
The Long Way Home
The Long Way Home is the sequel to Desert Isle Keeper Little Darlin’, and while The Long Way Home does stand alone, I highly recommend that you find Little Darlin’ first and read it too.
Rita Warren has made a lot of really big mistakes in her life. She bore a child out of wedlock whom she gave up for adoption. She cut her losses, left her hometown, and headed for the bright lights of Las Vegas. Rita makes a name for herself there, a much better name than “Ready Rita” as the military men in her home town knew her by. Time and loneliness take their toll and Rita decides that she doesn’t want to be a Vegas show girl for the rest of her life. She scrimps, she saves, and in time, puts aside enough money to go back home, go back to school and try to make something of herself. She’s determined this time to become an upstanding member of the community. She may have burned her bridges behind her but that doesn’t mean she can’t rebuild them.
Lieutenant Mac MacGraw is a fly jockey who is more ornery than a bear with a thorn in its paw. He’s also a man in great pain, both physically and mentally. He’s lost most of his crew in a flight accident, he and one other man being the only survivors. Mac has been burned in the accident and is still scarred inside and out. He’s feeling sorry for himself and he just wants the world to go away and leave him alone. The last thing he wants is ‘little Miss Goody Two-Shoes’ spreading her cheer around him. But he soon finds that he needs Rita as much as she needs him.
This was a great story and gave me full closure to Little Darlin’, where we first meet Rita as a minor character. Cheryl Reavis was able to bring her to life and to show us how “Ready Rita” changes from a rather unsavory character in that book into a woman seeking and finding redemption in The Long Way Home. We see Rita as a woman who’s found a way to honestly turn her life around, a woman who loves her child so much that she’s willing to allow that child to stay in the home where she’s been since Rita abandoned her.
As for Mac, he’s a warrior in pain. Much as he tries to ignore Rita, he realizes that she needs him. She’s the only woman in his life that honestly seems to need him and he steps into her life offering a supporting shoulder. Mac is a rich man’s son with a blue collar mentality. He’s willing to fight for his love, even when his mother tells him that he’s ruining his life to love Rita. Mac’s mother is a character in her own right. She’s the manipulator in this story who makes Mac realize how much he needs Rita in his life.
This wasn’t a run of the mill romance. I loved every word of this book and its story of love and ultimate redemption. I also highly recommend this story for anyone who, like me, loves a good military oriented book.