Recently widowed, Shelby Kincaid wants to bring her daughters, ages 3 and 5, up in the house that was the only place she ever really felt was home. What she finds is a neglected 150 year old house in need of complete renovation. Who she blames is the owner, the grandson of the man she has spent her life blaming for her family’s unhappiness.
She sighed in contentment she hadn’t felt in years soothed her spirit. This was why she had pleaded with AJ to sell her the land, why she had uprooted her children from the only home they had known. To create memories in this place where their ancestors had created memories. To add their laughter to the merriment of those who had been there before them. Perhaps even to find romance. (p74)
AJ Sullivan just wants to get rid of the house his grandfather left him as a punishment for choosing to become a high school teacher instead of a lawyer. What he doesn’t expect is to start falling for the pretty young widow who hates him as soon as she learns his name
Why did life have to be so hard? Where was his spacious place? (p205)
Where She Belongs is a solidly written, well paced contemporary romance. It is the story of two people who are meant for each other, but have obstacles to overcome before they can find the “spacious place” of God’s promise that they are each seeking.
Abiding love was the legacy she most desired, and he was the constant she yearned to hold in her heart. (p320)
It is also a story of the sins of the fathers being visited on the generations. This was my favorite aspect of the story and provided most of the interesting plot developments as Shelby and AJ slowly learn of the source of the hatred between their families, a legacy of their grandparents’ actions from the era of the Korean War.
4/5 stars. If you enjoy a story with a slow burning mystery and a slow burning, clean romance in a contemporary setting, then this is a book I would recommend. Along for the journey are two adorable girls, AJ’s dog, small town neighbors, and a small assortment of relatives. Among them, AJ’s cousins who want to acquire the Misty Willow property for their own purposes, at any cost.
I’m avoiding reading the excerpt of the untitled Misty Willow Book #2, due out Fall 2016, included in the back of the book. AJ’s cousin Brett, who in a historical romance would be termed a cad and a rake (this feels nicer than the modern terms I would use for a moral degenerate), will be the main character. If you love a good reformed rake story, in a contemporary setting, I suggest you read the first book in preparation for the second.
Where She Belongs by Johnnie Alexander | Revell, January 2016 | paperback 351pgs (plus a 9 page excerpt of book 2)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”