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Far From Home

Belladonna Ink Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Jill Smith
Length: 5 hrs and 43 mins
5 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)
Regular price: $19.95
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Publisher's Summary

My name is Rachel. I’m straight... I think. I also have a mountain of student loans and a smart mouth. I wasn’t serious when I told Pari Sadashiv I’d marry her. It was only party banter! Except Pari needs a green card, and she’s willing to give me a breather from drowning in debt. 

My off-the-cuff idea might not be so terrible. We get along as friends. She’s really romantically cautious, which I find heartbreaking. She deserves someone to laugh with. She’s kind. And calm. And gorgeous. A couple of years with her actually sounds pretty good. If some of Pari’s kindness and calm rubs off on me, that’d be a bonus, because I’m a mess - anorexia is not a pretty word - and my little ways of keeping control of myself, of the world, aren’t working anymore. 

And if I slip up, Pari will see my cracks. Then I’ll crack. Which means I gotta get out, quick, before I fall in love with my wife. 

©2016 Lorelie Brown (P)2019 Riptide Publishing

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect narrator for a beautiful book

It’s rare to find a narrator so obviously perfect for a story. Jill Smith took an already beautiful story and shaped it into something absolutely stunning with her almost ethereal voice. I’ve heard narrators butcher accents so badly, it felt offensive to continue listening but Jill’s accents are lovely and effortless. The story itself is deeply touching on so many levels, I very nearly cried. This was well worth my time. Lorelie Brown and Jill Smith are a sublime pairing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The series title doesn't do it justice

The series title Belladonna Ink, in my opinion, has no place here. Neither Pari or Rachel are connected to Belladonna Ink, Rachel's friends are and they are barely mentioned as is Belladonna Ink. If I hadn't read the blurb I would never have chosen this book, but I was intrigued by the anorexia. I am glad I took a chance on this book. There are two covers. I prefer this one as the other is misleading and like Rachel, the blonde is far from home.
I loved all of the characters, right down to Pari's mom. I was happy to see that through a different nationality and culture she was accepting of her daughter's sexuality. the story had a very realistic feel, the anorexia disorder was handled well and the sexual tension was hot.
This is a very good, well written, thought-provoking story.
This is my first narration by Jill Smith. I enjoyed it a lot. Her voice is clear, her inflection and pacing is good. It never felt like she was just reading the story. Her voice for Pari and her mom had just enough dialect to give them a unique accent. I loved it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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at long last

i've read this book so many times and I love it so much! I'm so glad that it's finally come to audible. this is one of those books that I was both scared and excited to see in audio because a good narrator can really bring it to life but a bad one could ruin it. there are a lot of challenges for a narrator any time that cultures intersect and I think Jill Smith did an absolutely wonderful job with it. she has really good emotional range and she pulled off the Indian accents believably. thank you so much Lorelie Brown for writing this book and thank you Jill Smith for bringing a favorite to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow a total gem and the best read. Funniest ever

I usually hate first person but every word Lorelie wrote on behalf of her characters was so exact and felt so natural. The humor, the drama, the internal debate, and especially the romance was spot on fucking fantastic. I love reading a plot that has two likable characters, women that bring out the best and worst in each other. This story has a feeling of realistic truth to it.

What made this incredible on a second level even higher was the audio performed by Jill Smith. I should stop dropping f-bomb but holy f-cow jill nailed it. Not so much the Indian accent and switching between which was excellent but the emotion and timing. It was spot on perfect 5-5-5

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WOW!!!

I finished this audiobook in 2 days. it was a great listen! the narrator did an excellent job with the voices/accents. I love romance novels where the two women have a fake romance and fall in love for real. This book is one of those, but more. They started as friends (they didnt know each other that much in beginning), became better friends, one struggled with an eating disorder, they worked together and had a happy ending (although near chapter 18 I was starting to wonder if it would end on a happy note)... my thoughts are scattered but I really enjoyed this book. Hope to read/listen to more from this author.

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amazing

loved the story line, and Jill Smith is one of my favorite narrators. Loved it, looking forward to more from this author

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Far from home ..... MY NEW FAVORITE BOOK

Lorelie Brown thank you for this book, Sincerely. I laughed, cryed, & felt my brain melt from the shear hotness. From start to finish I couldn't stop listening. With the celebration of culture & struggle with self-image this book is at the top of my LGBTQ list. Jill Smith has one of the best voices I've heard. She reads seamlessly & even when she pauses between sentences it's perfect. She makes it seem effortless to bounce back and forth between cultured accents reading through romantic scenes like she's in them. I've been a longtime fan! So Thanks again & great job ladies you have a fan for life.

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Green Card Romance Is Ever So Much More!

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.

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One Great Book!

This is one well written book with characters who are likable, yet flawed. The theme is familiar, a marriage of convenience. For Pari the marriage is a pathway to getting a green card in order to remain in the US. For Rachel, the marriage agreement is a way to reduce her student loan debt. Pari is gay and Rachel is straight. Pari is warm, sophisticated, from an affluent background, whose parents and family adore her. Rachel is on her own, pretty much cast aside by her mother for no apparent reason. Their journey to marriage has ups and downs with the difficult problem of dealing with a serious condition. Jill Smith is superb as narrator. Get the book, you won’t be disappointed.

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A great listen

This book is the 1st book in months that I've listened to from beginning to end. It deals with tough topics and negativity and the struggles to overcome them. This book is well written and will make you year up at the end.

The narrator did a good job - her voice didn't out me to sleep and kept me engaged.