Disclaimer: Where She Belongs, by Johnnie Alexander, was provided by Revell in exchange for an honest review.
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, je can’t get her off his mind.
My main problem with Where She Belongs is that it suffers from a bad case of “takes too long to get to the point.” I had to wait through around ten chapters for one character to find out something I had figured out the moment two other characters appeared on screen; then I had to sit through several more as more characters plodded along in their ignorance until, finally, they caught up to where I was and found out what I already knew.
So, yes, the plot was slow as molasses, but parts of it were interesting. I liked the tension between the two families at the beginning of the novel, though it fell flat for me by the end when I was sick of waiting for the characters to catch up to me. I thought the romance was more original than some, though the hot-and-cold, “She’s so beautiful when she’s angry” stuff is annoying. And I am very tired of all the similar-sounding, similar-acting female protagonists that have been in the review copies I’ve read. I’d like to read something beyond the spirited, witty-comebacks-always-at-hand, super put-together female who the handsome, usually in almost every way perfect man falls for.
I will say, though, that I thought Brett’s character was the best part of Where She Belongs. It’s almost too much of a “This woman changed me forever” type-plot, but it works well, and it makes Brett even more interesting than AJ. He also goes through much more change and development than AJ, who seems even more one-note after Brett’s schemes, apologies, and then overall turn-around. He’s piqued my curiosity—maybe even enough to read the sequel.
My rating: 2/5
Genre: Realistic, Christian
You can buy this here: Where She Belongs