Where She Belongs

Jess Morgan hasn’t been back to her hometown in 4 years, not since the argument with her step-father. But now her step-father has died and her mother needs her. But things aren’t as simple as a daughter returning to her mother. Things haven’t been the same between Jess and her mother since Jess’ father passed away 9 years ago. After her father’s death Jess was devastated and her mother’s quick remarriage to her step-father Pete didn’t sit well with Jess. As soon as Jess graduated she moved out of the small town of Destiny Falls. She went to college and got a job working as a buying consultant in Toronto. She and her mother have a lot to work through and deal with, most of it from the years after her father’s death. But Jess has committed to spend the next six weeks with her mother helping her get through.

Adam Wright spent much of his childhood moving place to place with an alcoholic father. But now he’s found himself and his business as a forestry consultant settled in the little town of Destiny Falls. He loves the little town and its people, including his cousin Molly. Molly happens to be Jess’s best friend and Adam wants more from Jess than she’s ready to give at the moment. But he’s not a man to take no for answer, sometimes to his own detriment. He tends not to really hear what others are telling him in his aim to get what he wants.

This was an ok read for me. The reasons for that are below.

The first is the author’s extreme bias toward small town life. As a military wife and a child who moved around a bit as a kid, I’ve lived in towns as small as 1,200 people to cities as large as Los Angeles and San Francisco. With that said I can say that the big city isn’t evil and getting to know your neighbor isn’t as difficult as this writer would like you to believe. Small towns have their good points and their bad points. Big cities have their good points and their bad points. And all the sizes of town and city in between have their good points and bad points. Small towns are NOT the end all be all of places to live and raise a family. It’s all about finding the place that works for EVERYONE in the family.

The second is the fact the word compromise NEVER entered either Jess or Adam vocabulary. They both gave an ultimatum, either live in the big city with me, or live in the small town with me. They never considered a compromise between the two, so BOTH people could have the life and careers they wanted. Someone had to give up everything. And of course it ended up being Jess.

The third thing I found a bit annoying, Adam and Jess. Neither one of these two learned from their past. They simply set their minds to a certain way and that was it. Adam especially annoyed me. Had he refused to leave when I asked him to, I wouldn’t have just backed down and let him walk over me, there would have been a call to the police. It’s not caring to bully your way into someone’s life. It’s not attraction to refuse to take no for an answer. It’s disturbing and wrong.

Now having said all that, by the end Jess and Adam had made some small steps toward being people I didn’t want to slap the crap out of. They certainly weren’t people I would spend any extended time with, just because I don’t think I could stop myself from giving then at the very least a verbal smacking, maybe even a literal one. The plot moved along at a steady pace so was an easy read.

Book Blurb for Where She Belongs

She never wants to go home again.

For Jess Morgan, Destiny Falls holds too many painful memories. Nine years ago, a logging accident near the remote timber town killed her dad and her high school sweetheart. Despite Jess's broken heart, her mother immediately sought comfort with another man. That choice tore Jess apart and drove her to seek a life far away. But now fate steps in, and family obligations force her return home. Before long, she’s convinced that persuading her mom to live with her in Toronto will repair their bond and Jess’s own sense of belonging. However, she doesn’t count on a long-ago friend re-entering her life and challenging those same convictions.

Rugged forester Adam Wright believes in family, roots, and not running from heartache. Now, all he wants is to help Jess break down the walls of the lonely sanctuary she's built for herself and heal her past hurts. But it’s not until she rejects his proposal that Adam realizes his dogged persistence has pushed her even further away­not at all what he intended. Has he lost his chance? Or can he convince Jess that where she truly belongs is with him...forever?

Set amidst British Columbia's lush forests, WHERE SHE BELONGS delivers an engaging romance with complex characters, honest emotion, and heart.

Night Owl Reviews Mar, 2012 3.00