Where She Belongs by Johnnie Alexander

Thursday, February 11, 2016

About the Book:
Publisher: Revell
Source: Publisher Provided
Publication Date: 2016
Find the Review elsewhere:
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Series: Misty Willow, Book One
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance, Inspirational
Rating: 5 out of 5 
Though I’ve seen her historical debut around the blogosphere and have spied it during (online) window shopping sprees, I’ve never read a novel by Johnnie Alexander. Thinking her contemporary (and publisher) debut sounded like a charmer of a story, taking the opportunity to read her novel, Where She Belongs didn’t require second thought.  

Single mother Shelby Kincaid is determined to buy back her family’s former home and land. Doing this will involve a lot of time, effort and a move from the big-city of Chicago to a the simple living of small-town in the south, but she believes it’s the only place for she and her young daughters. That is until the Sullivan family – her grandparent’s enemies, attempt to take her home away from her… all except AJ Sullivan. AJ is the one Sullivan who hasn’t tried to take anything from Shelby, not to mention the man willing to sell Shelby back her ancestral home. But with his cousins determined to land a development deal – one that involves her land, Shelby’s dreams are just one court ruling away from shattering. 

Contemporary romance is my happy place reading. With any new book that catches my fancy set in this genre, I get excited to become lost inside its pages; to uncover the what and why it might find itself a spot among my favorite reads shelf. It’s all the more anticipatory when the book is by a new author. All of this and more applies to this novel. Charming is inadequate a word. There is something distinctly different about the novel though it’s not because it’s a variation of a story that’s not been told before. Instead it’s the depth of the characters and the co-mingling of proud family history (without actually revisiting the past) that leaves the reader sighing in enjoyment as each page is turned.   

Within the pages of Where She Belongs was a story I didn’t want to put down. I was loathe to put the book aside to carry out with ordinary interruptions or things that demand our daily attention (such rude distractions!). The reasons being were the characters. Though I was baffled by Shelby’s attraction to Brett (she does have to be given the benefit of the doubt considering she didn’t get inside his head as we do), each of the primary players are complex with great potential to enjoy an interesting story of their own. This being said, these characters will have to undergo a greater sense of redemption, which may present a challenge or two. 

If you like contemporary fiction, this novel is gorgeous. The lyrical writing, tender romance and sense of family are each elegantly crafted. The relationships are fleshed out well yet leave us wanting more, and Shelby's daughters are as darling as can be. As I read the story I could tell the author took great care in crafting and in the telling of it. Because of this, this is one novel that certainly belongs on my bookshelf, and left me eager to continue through this Misty Willow journey, asking "what's next?"

Synopsis: Shelby Kincaid is ready to move on from her grief. With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family's ancestral homestead 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'll have her work cut out for her.

AJ Sullivan never wanted the homestead. Inherited as a punishment from his grandfather, it has sat empty for fifteen years and fallen into ruin. He's glad to finally unload it. But a clean break isn't possible when he can't get the young widow Shelby off his mind.

Welcome to Misty Willow, a place that will have as great a hold over the reader as it does over its inhabitants. With writing that evokes a strong sense of place and personal history, Johnnie Alexander deftly explores the ties that bind us to home--and the irresistible forces that draw us to each other. - Goodreads

Coming Next from Johnnie Alexander, When Love Arrives: Dani Prescott came to the children's hospital to spy on Brett Somers--so how did she end up on a date with him? Weeks earlier she'd seen an interview in which he blamed her mother for the plane crash that had killed his parents. But the crash had killed her mother as well, so Dani can't believe the story Brett's trying to sell to the media.

Vowing to find a way to discredit the privileged--and maddeningly handsome--Brett, Dani has been following him and taking photos, hoping to find something she can use against him. But when she catches his eye instead, she quickly finds herself offering up a fake name and agreeing to a date. Brett knows this mystery girl is hiding something--but he's got his own secrets to keep. What will happen when he discovers who she really is? Will Dani and Brett look beyond their own heartaches to discover a love that could heal their deepest pain?

Fresh, flirty, and fast-paced, "When Love Arrives" is an engaging story that will have readers falling in love with the characters as they navigate the tricky waters between romance and revenge. – Goodreads, September 2016

Amazon | Goodreads 

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.


  1. I absolutely loved this book, Rissi, and it will go on my "best of the best" list as soon as I can find time to write my review! As much as I love historical fiction, contemporary is right up there also - especially stories that fall into the women's fiction category. Can't wait to see how she redeems Brett and his sister!

    1. Contemporary reads are my happy place, Carole. For me, this is odd because I am a BIG fan of costume drama (BBC or ITV namely). However in reading, I tend to gravitate more towards contemporary - if I had to guess, I'd say it has something to do with the fact of preferring the visualization of historical stories (on film).

      Looking forward to reading your review! And yes, seeing the redemption of Brett and whoever book three may be about (my guess is the sister too!). :)


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