“A Long Way Back” by Barbara Elsborg


A serious accident may have left Tay’s body broken, but he’s determined to live an independent life at any cost. Except he’s barely coping. Alone and isolated in London, his only solace comes from the pain numbing drugs he’s become addicted to.

Ink’s on the run. He keeps his head low, but London streets don’t feel safe. The only way to stay under the radar is to keep moving and not let anyone or anything get close. But the stray mutt that’s latched onto Ink has other ideas.

A chance encounter and Ink’s bungled attempt to free himself from his four-legged companion leads to the offer of a job as a live-in helper. Tay’s moody and difficult, but he’s also scared and vulnerable, and Ink finds himself saying yes when he should be saying no.

Can Tay and Ink find a clear path on the road towards true love? Or will their broken lives prove to be one roadblock too many?


Sometimes opportunity knocks and sometimes it barrels through the door and obliterates obstacles and any personal space. A random act of kindness from a stranger is that first tentative knock here. But when Tay refuses to open, Ink finds another way. He doesn’t know why exactly he’s drawn to the man but he can’t deny the pull. It’s obvious Tay is in a bad way and if there’s anything Ink can relate to, it’s devastation. Tay is blinded by frustration, anger, and a bit of misery (depending on the day) though he’s far from giving up (again, depending on the day). When his parents convince him they will cancel their highly anticipated trip of a lifetime to give him the assistance he clearly needs, he folds. His parents not only need this trip, but they deserve it. Which is the only reason he concedes to having a live-in helper for the next few months. Ink needs a place to stay. This leads us to opportunities increased efforts and eventually, busting down that blasted door. Once inside, Ink discovers what Tay’s prickly exterior was hiding. Pain. Not just physical agony, although that is evident but a battered soul. Which is another thing Ink knows far too well. As they venture down their treacherous paths, now together, they experience numerous ‘firsts’. For me, this is is the perfect package; remarkable writing, courageous characters, and a riveting tale as they embark on sexy self-discovery and redemption. Absolutely stunning!

I’m going to keep this short for a few reasons.
First and foremost is the confidential matter of Ink’s past. Yes, you want to know. No, I’m not going to tell you. Of course, you could find out. But I can tell you this…there are secrets and then secrets within the secrets. There is much that cannot be shared. If you’ve met Jonty then you are aware of the particulars that spun Tay’s life out of control. If you haven’t had the grand pleasure of the sassy tornado knowns as Mr. Jonty Bloom (what are you waiting for?!?!) you could start here as the timelines do run parallel. But if I was you, I’d start with Jonty and then jump into Tay’s world. I loved hanging out in London but especially loved returning to Northumberland.
What I can tell you is how this story made me feel…I’ve never surfed before (ha, no shocker there) but I stumbled across a surfer’s description of hitting the perfect wave and thought, bingo, that’s it! She talks about waiting for the right set, spotting it, and deeming it mellow and inviting. However, once she’s confidently paddled out, the back of her board begins to rise and suddenly she is staring down a horrifying vertical wall of water with a wicked wipeout written all over it. Not wanting to get hammered, she claimed it and soared with incredible speed, battling a mess of feelings. Once it ended, she found herself bursting with exhausted excitement. This is exactly how I felt. And if I might be so bold, I assume Ink and Tay felt the same. I was curious, distressed, hopeful, frightened, delighted, anxious, furious, proud, and excitedly exhausted. Talk about the full monty of feels! What more can you ask for? Well, I could ask for more. Book 3, please!!

bewareTake heed of the author’s advice….”This story has dark elements and possible triggers for some—bullying, death of a minor, violence, terrorism and drug addiction.” But I’d like to add, prepare for a complex story with profound depth, cautious trust, and an abundance of hope and love. Oh, and a dog named Dog that is guaranteed to steal your heart!



If you like ’em angsty and bold this is for you. A challenger becomes a friend…a friend turns into a lover…a lover proves to be a soulmate, all whilst yearning to simply live a quiet life. If you don’t mind battling the dark, I can promise you the sun does come out…eventually.



TITLE: A Long Way Back (Unfinished Business #2)
AUTHOR: Barbara Elsborg
PUBLISHER: self-pub
LENGTH: 304 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 29, 2020
BUY LINKS: Amazon, AmazonUK

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