Dusty Road Home

Fiction - LGBTQ
212 Pages
Reviewed on 08/17/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Dusty Road Home is a work of fiction in the LGBTQ romance subgenre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Isabella. The book follows Melanie Crenshaw, a successful author who has fled the limelight following a particularly public breakup and sought refuge in her quiet hometown to find the peace she needs to finish her next book. But that quiet is threatened as journalist Pilar Stein sets Melanie in her sights as the subject for her next profile, though she’ll need to dig deep to find the angle she needs. As the two women battle over the past that Melanie wishes to keep buried, a growing attraction adds a new complication.

I adore this brand of romance novel that pushes two dynamic protagonists with an undeniable spark into an adversarial relationship that forces them to grow and develop as people to have any hope of a happy ending. Author Isabella takes a premise that seems deceptively simple and turns it into an emotional and intellectual game of cat and mouse as Pilar dives deeper and deeper into Melanie’s life despite strong resistance. Their chemistry quickly becomes palpable as their desire is set beautifully at odds with their professional ambitions, creating an opportunity for organic growth in the pair as they look inwards to decide what they want most. Overall, Dusty Road Home portrays the development of a relationship as an elaborate dance that readers won’t be able to take their eyes off, set against a stunning backdrop that springs to life on each page.

Sheena Monnin

Dusty Road Home by Isabella tells the touching story of two women who overcome the shadows from their past and the biases of their present to connect, fall in love, and start a new chapter of life together. Talented author Melanie Crenshaw has retreated to her small hometown to escape the rumors that she had an affair with a married woman. She avoids the spotlight, and her estranged father who lives locally, successfully until reporter Pilar Stein arrives in town. Pilar needs a big story and her assignment is clear: get the story of Melanie Crenshaw or start looking for a new job. Melanie needs to complete her latest book but is struggling to find inspiration and get over her breakup. When the two meet, it is fireworks of dislike at first, followed by explosions of desire.

Dusty Road Home by Isabella is a well-written story that has elements of mystery, adventure, psychology, and love. She touches upon delicate subjects with care and with authenticity. The estranged relationship Melanie has with her father is unpacked for the reader when Pilar visits the man and puts the pieces of his past together to make sense of his abrupt decision to stop publishing his award-winning books. The author does a brilliant job of showing the reality of difficult relationships with family. Well done! The initial distrust between the two lovers is also relatable and their rocky start shows how far two people can come toward loving each other if they give each other a chance. I enjoyed this book! It is a great story!

Pikasho Deka

Dusty Road Home is a romance drama novel by Isabella. Desperate to avoid a public scandal after a tumultuous affair with a married woman, popular mystery novelist Melanie Crenshaw finds her way back to her rural childhood hometown in search of some quiet and peace to work on her next project. Little did she know that a Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist would be on her heels looking for her next big scoop. Pilar Stein is still recovering from the scars she suffered during her last assignment. Initially eager to get her job done as soon as possible, Pilar stumbles upon some secrets about Melanie's past and her family that hint at a bigger story, making her pause. However, neither Pilar nor Melanie accounted for the undeniable mutual attraction between the two that may result in an unexpected outcome.

Author Isabella spins a captivating romantic yarn about two career-driven women who risk professional suicide by being vulnerable around each other. Dusty Road Home is a character-driven story full of heart, humor, drama, and romance. Melanie and Pilar are two strong and independent women with contrasting personalities yet an irresistible attraction toward each other. Their chemistry is palpable, and every scene involving the two of them together is drenched in tension and intrigue. Although this is LGBTQ fiction, people outside the community will also find plenty to enjoy about the book. Dusty Road Home is primarily about human relationships and choices and how they can shape a person's life. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to all romance lovers out there.

Essien Asian

Melanie Crenshaw leaves the big city life behind purportedly in a bid to recover from the blowback of a failed relationship. She retires to her hometown and takes up a hermit's lifestyle. Just when she is getting used to her new way of living, she finds out about a news reporter who appears in the town, asking a lot of questions whose answers she would prefer to stay buried. Her relationship with her father remains tenuous and she knows she needs to use any means at her disposal to get rid of this meddlesome reporter if she wants to prevent disaster. Unfortunately for her, Pilar Stein is one tough cookie who will stop at nothing to get her story, especially with her job and reputation on the line. Betrayal, secrets, and a long overdue moment of reckoning are all on the cards in Isabella's Dusty Road Home.

Dusty Road Home is a romance genre novel by Isabella. It is LGBTQ oriented therefore it may not appeal to everyone. The rural American background is a nice touch as Isabella goes out of her way to describe the workings of a rural community without making it obvious. The storyline is simple and direct in the sense that it is centered on the complexities of love but the subplots are more intricate and will take an astute reader to figure out. The principal characters in the story are fleshed out reasonably well with thorough origin stories. Isabella's writing style is easy on the eye and was comfortable to read as it maintained my interest levels right up to the end. An impressive piece of work.

Bernadette Longu

In Dusty Road Home by Isabella, the author has written a delightful romance. The main characters are Melanie Crenshaw, an author, and Pilar Stein, a reporter, with other minor characters such as Laurence Crenshaw – Mel’s father; Jill Steele who caused the problems, Max her dog, Beth her mother, and Magdalena, the editor of Literary Times. The way the book is written is riveting and the reader will be drawn in.

Isabella has written a wonderful book in a time when everyone is over-sensitive to people and race, culture, feelings, gender, and religion. The author has written with such delicacy and compassion that it could be anyone in the story. I feel that it could be for anyone to read, not just for the LGBTQ group. The reader’s imagination will take over and the love story could be between any two people of any gender. It is a funny world we live in when in days gone past people were accepted as you found them and respected them as they respect you, but nowadays that is not the case.

Isabella showcases everyday life and how people adapted and even moved through life without rocking the boat but still being true to themselves in a certain sense. But there is always a place in this world you can call home and you have to read the book to find out if the main character finds hers. The book catches your attention from the first page to the last and the ending of the book is surprising but, in a way, expected. I enjoyed reading this book very much. Thank you, Isabella, for a lovely read.