Heart-warming contemporary romance: "Where She Belongs" by Johnnie Alexander

Cover Art

about the book....

Can love redeem a broken past?
Shelby Kincaid is ready to move forward after the death of her husband left her devastated. With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family's homestead, Misty Willow, so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged. She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home of her memories. But she has her work cut out for her.

AJ Sullivan never wanted Shelby's family homestead in the first place. His grandfather left it to him as punishment for not following his wishes, and he's let it fall into ruin. AJ's more than happy to unload it to this spitfire of a woman. But even after angry exchanges over the state of the house, he can't get her off his mind.

With writing that evokes a strong sense of place and family history, Johnnie Alexander deftly explores the ties that bind us to home--and the irresistible forces that draw us to each other.

my review...

Johnnie Alexander has crafted a well-paced novel brimming with romance, hints of humour, and plenty of unexpected surprises that will keep you turning through the pages. While I am not typically attracted to romance novels (see what I did there?), I quite enjoyed the characters of Shelby and AJ as they work through a complicated past and an uncertain future together. The bitterness that grips Shelby's heart towards AJ due to the actions of his grandfather adds a definite tension to the story, and the author does a great job at working the characters feelings towards a place of reconciliation. The romance that ignites between them is nothing over the top, and even male readers will enjoy watching their relationship blossom. Probably my least favourite character was AJ's cousin Brett, as he is an utter cad and I'm not sure I totally bought the beginnings of transformation that we see in this story. But his actions make AJ all the more likeable, and certainly a character to look up to. What most pleasantly surprised me about this story were the mysteries revealed over the course of the novel, especially surrounding AJ and Brett. Consequently, although I had planned to meander my way through the pages, I instead found myself unable to put down the book as I wanted to see how things would resolve between the different characters, and whether the truth would emerge.

"Where She Belongs" offers up a solid beginning to the Misty Willow series, and the author has done a fine job of setting the stage for the second book in the series, which appears to be focused on AJ's cousin Brett. I have no doubt that readers will not only enjoy this novel, but eagerly anticipate what is to come! I award this novel a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

about the author....

Johnnie AlexanderJohnnie Alexander is the award-winning author of Where Treasure Hides and Where She Belongs. Johnnie is an accomplished essayist and poet whose work has appeared in the Guideposts anthology A Cup of Christmas Cheer. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with her grandchildren, and taking road trips. She lives near Memphis, Tennessee.

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