March 14, 2016

Book Review (XLIX) The Long Way Home

The Long Way Home, Book 3 in The Southwark Saga by historical romance author, Jessica Cale is a magical, adult fairy tale that will keep you entertained from start to finish. Find out what happens when a paranoid king, a poison plot, and hideous shoes prove…it’s not easy being Cinderella!
After saving the life of the glamorous Marquise de Harfleur, painfully shy barmaid Alice Henshawe is employed as the lady’s companion and whisked away to Versailles. There, she catches King Louis’ eye and quickly becomes a court favorite as the muse for Charles Perrault’s Cinderella. The palace appears to be heaven itself, but there is danger hidden beneath the fa├žade and Alice soon finds herself thrust into a world of intrigue, murder, and Satanism at the heart of the French court.
Having left his apprenticeship to serve King Charles as a spy, Jack Sharpe is given a mission that may just kill him. In the midst of the Franco-Dutch war, he is to investigate rumors of a poison plot by posing as a courtier, but he has a mission of his own. His childhood friend Alice Henshawe is missing and he will stop at nothing to see her safe. When he finds her in the company of the very people he is meant to be investigating, Jack begins to wonder if the sweet girl he grew up with has a dark side.
When a careless lie finds them accidentally married, Alice and Jack must rely on one another to survive the intrigues of the court. As old affection gives way to new passion, suspicion lingers. Can they trust each other, or is the real danger closer than they suspect?

My Review
In The Long Way Home, Jessica Cale does it again and delivers a gem. Exciting, romantic and written with great flair.
What an awesome way to learn History! One of the great things about The Long Way Home was the way it showed life and intrigue at the French court of King Louis, around 1677.
The author’s well researched endeavor added to her writing  that pulls its readers into the story as they, if the mood is right, begin to fantasize they’re in Alice’s shoes, due to the descriptions which are provided, especially that of court life. (I was so amused by the way people announced they want to enter a room. Not by knocking at the door!)
Reading this book was like watching a movie. All the historical details enhanced the intriguing plot, while the relationship between our hero and heroine kept the story moving at a fast pace. While the story is very detailed, it never detracts from the story line, but rather adds to it and makes it more real.
A few words about the main characters  - Alice  one of the Henshawe girls and Jack Sharpe, Mark Virtue’s apprentice, now a soldier.
How they see each other.
Alice, “Jack, on the other hand, looked like every wonderful dream she’d had since she was a little girl. Everything around them seemed to fall away as he walked up to her with love in his eyes and handed her a pale pink, late blooming rose. “
Jack, “ She turned those hazy eyes to him and her gaze warmed him to his toes. ”  
Go with them on their journey of discovering the love they share, in a place “where love lasts as long as it needs to, to further people’s  ambitions. It does not endure.” A court where as one of the characters says:  “No one has friends here. They have rivals.”
Alice becomes a Cinderella /“Cendrillon,” at the king’s court. But what starts as a joke, a farce soon takes another turn. Unexpected for many of the participants in this game of intrigue, betrayal, deceit and murder. 
Ysabeau Oullette-Martell, with her black magic interests and her unscrupulous behavior, is an interesting character, too.

The Long Way Home is a charming book, a very unique historical romance/adventure  which is very refreshing and hard to find these days. It is very much a love story as it is a historical mystery.  It had all the perfect elements in all the right places. With fantastic characters and intriguing drama, this is a story you don't want to miss. Read this is all I can say.
 I love Jessica Cale 's books. They have everything that draws me. Some humor, some darkness, and most of all , for me, complete involvement with the story and the characters.
Knowledge of the previous  two books of the series adds to the beauty of The Long Way Home, but it certainly is not necessary to have read them to completely enjoy this book. I love Cale 's attention to historical detail, you can tell her books are meticulously researched without ever descending into tedious recitation of facts.
It would make a captivating cloak and dagger movie, trust me. Thank You Jessica Cale for enjoyable books to read!


  1. I have a passion for historical novels, especially those that take the time to get the details right. This sounds like a series I would love. Adding to my TBR! Thanks for showcasing it and sharing your review, Carmen!

    1. It was a set of books that offered delightful stories, trust me.
      Thank you for checking the review, Mae!

  2. The characters and intrigue they experience sound delectable. I'm pleased to learn of it:)

    1. I think I liked it best of all three books. Thank you for reading the post, Flossie!

  3. I enjoyed your review, Carmen, and I know I will enjoy this book in the Southwark Saga.

    1. You will, I am sure. Thank you for checking the review, Daisy!