Summary

The Road to Me had more intensity and depth to the characters and the stories, and I'd love to read another story in this vein penned by Ms. Drake. If you like emotional reads where families reconnect, this might be a story you'd enjoy.

4.5-STAR REVIEW: THE ROAD TO ME by Laura Drake

The Description

Publication Date: April 1, 2022

Jacqueline Oliver is an indie perfumer, trying to bury her ravaged childhood by shoveling ground under her own feet. Then she gets a call she dreads—the hippie grandmother she bitterly resents was apprehended when police busted a charlatan shaman’s sweat lodge. Others scattered, but Nellie was slowed by her walker, and the fact that she was wearing nothing but a few Mardi-Gras beads. Jacqueline is her only kin, so, like it or not, she’s responsible. Despite being late developing next year’s scent, Jacqueline drops everything to travel to Arizona and pick up her free-range grandma. But the Universe conspires to set them on a Route 66 road trip together. What Jacqueline discovers out there could not only heal the scars of her childhood but open her to a brighter future.

The Review

The Road to Me by Laura Drake grabbed me from the first page and didn’t let go until the last. There was depth both to the story and the characters. 

When Jacqueline, aka Jack to her G’ma, has to fly from Seattle to Arizona to bail her eighty-four-year-old hippie grandmother out of jail, life doesn’t go as either expects. The two never see each other since Jack feels her grandmother bailed on her as a young child when she needed her most. 

Jack’s mother was an alcoholic, so Jack took on the role of parent at a young age. Not an easy way to grow up, and she has a lot of resentment. They are each other’s only living relatives, so that has to count for something, or does it?

As Jack and G’ma reconnect and let their guard down, they get to know each other better, even if it is just a little at a time. They take a road trip on Route 66 on their way to Vegas, where Jack has a presentation to make for her small business before dropping G’ma back home. G’ma gets to relive some of her memories, Jack gets to loosen up, and Jack realizes why her grandmother acts the way she does. 

The book had some serious topics and undertones as well as a few lighter ones. Through it all, we get to know the characters as they get to know each other.

As they begin to share memories and feelings and reconnect over plants since Jack owns her own perfume business, the story took off for me. There were vivid descriptions of the towns, the desert, Vegas, the plants, and where they were found. There were twists and turns in telling the tale and a myriad of emotions. Many threads are woven together, and we get to see Jack relax, rethink some of her life choices and reconnect through phone calls with her boyfriend, whom she had just broken up with. 

Jack needs to learn to trust but to trust the right people. There was closure and a happily ever after for Jack, especially with the afterword that took place three months and eight months after the story ends.

Ms. Drake is an author whose contemporary romances I’ve read before. The Road to Me had more intensity and depth to the characters and the stories, and I’d love to read another story in this vein penned by Ms. Drake. If you like emotional reads where families reconnect, this might be a story you’d enjoy.Buy Links

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About The Author

Laura Drake’s first novel, The Sweet Spot, was a double-finalist and then won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award. She’s since published 11 more novels. She is a founding member of Women’s Fiction Writers Assn, Writers in the Storm blog, as well as a member of Western Writers of America and Women Writing the West.

Laura is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways or serious cowboy crush. She gave up a corporate CFO gig to write full-time. She realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She’s a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

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REVIEW AUTHOR

JoAnne Weiss
JoAnne Weiss
JoAnne Weiss, nee Montalbano, was born and raised in NYC until moving to CT with her family when she was 16 and she's never left. Married for 39 years with one grown son, she works in an elementary school office where she's been since it opened in 2003. Prior to that, she was an accountant in several corporations before becoming a stay at home mom for 12 years. JoAnne enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her family, and extended family as well as with friends. She enjoys cooking and rarely uses a recipe the way it was intended but instead uses them and cooking shows to give her new ideas and suggestions. JoAnne has a huge bucket list of places she'd like to visit but has been lucky enough to travel to England, Italy, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, and many states in the U.S. including Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Maine among others. Some of JoAnne's favorite genres include contemporary romance, chick-lit, romantic suspense, and historical romances including regency and those set in the west. JoAnne is on several author's street teams and enjoys interacting with many of them on Facebook as well as reading their newsletters. She has been lucky enough to meet some of her favorite authors among them Susan Mallery, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Meg Tilly, Beatriz Williams, and Marie Bostwick. JoAnne took a road trip with her sister last fall and visited Nora Roberts' bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland for an authors' signing. She hopes to do more of this in the future. JoAnne leaves reviews for all books she reads on Goodreads and her reviews can be found at https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/5001736?ref=nav_mybooks JoAnne currently reviews for two sites - NovelsAlive.com and RomanceJunkies.com Previously she reviewed for Romancing-the-Book.com which has since closed. Payment is in the form of receiving free books to read and review. Her mantra is too many books and not enough time!

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4.5-STAR REVIEW: THE ROAD TO ME by Laura DrakeThe Road to Me had more intensity and depth to the characters and the stories, and I'd love to read another story in this vein penned by Ms. Drake. If you like emotional reads where families reconnect, this might be a story you'd enjoy.