Where the Heart Is

Where the Heart Is

4.0 28
by Darcy Burke

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Home is more than a place . . .

Breaking free from her structured life, Chloe English quits her high-powered job and moves across the country to work as an art teacher. The simple life is all she hoped it would be until her house burns down, leaving her homeless. When a handsome firefighter swoops in to save the day, she can't believe her luck. He's laid-back and

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Home is more than a place . . .

Breaking free from her structured life, Chloe English quits her high-powered job and moves across the country to work as an art teacher. The simple life is all she hoped it would be until her house burns down, leaving her homeless. When a handsome firefighter swoops in to save the day, she can't believe her luck. He's laid-back and unassuming, everything she's looking for in a man-or so he seems. It turns out he's as ambitious as her ex, comes with a family who could be more stifling than hers, and harbors dark secrets he may never be able to share.

Orphaned as a teenager, Derek Sumner has found a place in his best friend's family. However, the love and support of his surrogate parents and siblings can't erase the grief and loss he struggles every Christmas to banish. But this year he meets the fun and sexy Chloe, whose optimism and sense of joy are incredibly contagious. Can she help him face his bleak past so they can forge a happy future?

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Editorial Reviews

Love Rocks - Elisabeth Naughton
Clever writing, relatable characters and a place anyone would like to call home make this a "don't miss read."

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Intrepid Reads
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5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.41(d)

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Where the Heart Is 4 out of 5 based on 7 ratings. 28 reviews.
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for a honest review.  This was my first experience with this authors work and I have to admit that it left a very good first impression. It was so refreshing for me to read a novella that was so well written that it left me feeling satisfied and like I had just read a full length novel.  The story line was very engaging,  and I think the author did a excellent job at using this story as a segue way into the Ribbon Ridge series. The story line had a nice flow to it and I felt as though the main story about Chloe and Derek was blended seamlessly with the families back story. I am excited to see what she has in store for the other characters in the series, and can't wait to make a return visit to Ribbon Ridge.  This was truly a enjoyable first read for me, and a great introduction to a new author. Highly recommended you aquaint yourself with the Archer family of Ribbon Ridge, you'll will not be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Ribbon Ridge Series by Darcy Burke has started out amazing in book one. Chloe is starting a new life in Oregon, leaving her exfiance and controlling mom. When she doesn't have the best luck, her rental house catches on fire and she loses everything. Derek steps into her life as the sexy gorgeous firefighter. They have there ups and downs with emotions and feeling, butvwhat a beautiful story...I cried, laughted and totally enjoyed the book. I am do excited for the second book in the series. You must read this series you will love it.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
WHERE THE HEART IS is the first installment (novella) in Darcy Burke’s Ribbon Ridge romance series focusing on the Archer sextuplets (Evan, Sara, Alex, Tori, Kyle & Liam) of Ribbon Ridge and their younger brother Hayden. This is the Archer family best friend and Archer Industries CFO Derek Sumner, and art teacher Chloe English’s storyline. The timeline follows a few weeks prior to the Christmas holidays wherein Chloe finds herself homeless and dependent upon the charity of friends. Told from alternating third person perspectives WHERE THE HEART IS introduces the reader to the well-to-do and successful Archer family of Ribbon Ridge including the infamous sextuplets who, as children and tweens, were featured in a reality television series Seven is Enough. The Archer family own a series of microbreweries and pubs, and in this Archer Industries has been established. The focus of the storyline follows the Archer family’s ‘foster son’ Derek Sumner-a volunteer firefighter, amongst other noteworthy professions- as he embarks on a relationship with the woman whose burned out apartment finds her in desperate need of housing and friends. Derek will introduce Chloe English to the Archer family who welcome the young woman like one of their own. When the Archer family patriarch Robert, reminds Derek that his own family home is currently available for the now homeless Chloe, Derek’s own horrific memories of the past begin to overwhelm and take control. The relationship between Chloe and Derek is very quick to develop-one of instant attraction, lust and love that is tempered by Derek’s constant need to run when memories of the past haunt his thoughts. Offering Chloe his family home sets into motion a series of misunderstandings and heartbreak as Derek runs when the going gets tough. The $ex scenes are intimate and provocative but I did take issue with the lack of condoms. The Archer family of Ribbon Ridge is not perfect. They are a close knit family but due to the inherent and potential issues with multiple births-and in this case 6 babies at once-the now adult sextuplets are not without some emotional, mental and physical problems including OCD, Asperger’s syndrome, SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), chronic lung disease and depression. Each storyline will end with a happily ever after but getting there will be heartbreaking and emotional. WHERE THE HEART IS is a quick read; a novella length storyline that introduces the Archer family with all of their quirks and problems, issues and struggles, and the never ending stream of people who come and go in their lives. Darcy Burke does a fantastic job building a world where the potential for future storylines is but a heartbreak away. A passionate, intelligent and intriguing look at an extraordinary family trying to maintain an ordinary life.
Anonymous 2 days ago
First of her bks I've read. Absolutely loved it! Sex was not trashy, very loving. Already got first bk in series.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Anonymous 14 days ago
This is a great book this sounds like a grear book for young audlts to read only not for little children to be reading
KimHeniadis 21 days ago
Welcome to Ribbon Ridge! This novella is the first story in the Ribbon Ridge series, and it’s a great introduction. Although it’s a shorter story, Darcy Burke was able to fit enough storyline, character development and sex scenes into this novella so I didn’t feel as if I was short changed. Although, of course, I wanted the story to go on longer. The story begins with Chloe moving across the country after having split with her finance. She’s looking for a new life, far from her ex and her controlling mother. Her move does not begin well when the place she has rented burns down. Chloe does get a kitten because of the fire, so I think that’s a huge plus. I thought this was cool, in the endnotes, Burke thanks a firefighter that she had talked to in regards to research. And the firefighter told her a story about two kittens she had rescued in a similar manner in real life. It just goes to show that authors are constantly studying and talking to people, and do incorporate them into their stories. Chloe meets the firefighter, Derek while her house is burning down. Since she now has no place to stay, Derek, who is kind, offers her a place to stay with his “adopted” family, the Archers. She accepts, and the Archers instantly welcome her into the family. We then witness them realize that they have a burning passion for each other. But, of course, there has to be some obstacles along the way. Derek has to overcome his issues with his own house (that he offers to Chloe, even though he doesn’t really want to), and the loss of his parents. Chloe has to realize that Derek is not her ex, with a few other problems thrown in to keep the story interesting. The story does take place in about two weeks, and while some might find the events that transpire a bit too unrealistic, I didn’t. When I read romance I often throw my expectations out the window. People are going to have sex and/or fall in love quickly. That’s why I read romance, to get away from real life, and to get a magical, happy ending. There are seven children (sextuplets and a single child) in the Archer family, so I am happy to know that I will be able read each of their stories in a full length book. And perhaps Burke will come back to Chloe and Derek’s story at the end, and give them a full length book as well. But no matter what she decides to do with the Ribbon Ridge series, I’m looking forward to the next book, “Only in My Dreams”.
Anonymous 22 days ago
jr347 22 days ago
Nicely written and characters are likable. The story line was clearly stated throughout the book. This is a good read.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Got it as a free book, but after I read it I couldn't wait to get the other books in the series. I just wish it was longer!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novella is a Ribbon Ridge prequel by Darcy Burke. Derek has found his place in this small community of Ribbon Ridge Oregon working as a CFO, volunteer firefighter and wait staff at Arch and Vines. He has considered the Archer family his own for many years now, but still misses his parents.  Chloe is new to the town and loving every bit of it. She needed a whole life change and found it here on the west coast. The furthest possible place she could get from her old life that she left back in Pittsburgh. She knew her family meant well, but their judgmental and controlling lifestyle wasn't something that Chloe wanted to deal with any longer. She didn't strive to do anything different or marry the person that they thought best. She wanted to teach and spend time doing her art.  Derek immediately took notice of Chloe, but getting close to her wasn't an option. He always kept people at arms length. It was safer that way. Chloe couldn't help but fall for Derek almost immediately, but he sure was keeping her at arms length. She loved the Archers and hoped that Derek would let her in.  I'm looking forward to reading more stories in this series and getting to know more about the people in this small community town.  I was given an ARC for an honest review. All conclusions are mine and mine alone.   Lori P
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You just have to love a book that starts with a fire, a gorgeous firefighters, and a kitten. Seriously, what could be better. Chloe comes home from a successful job interview at a small town pub to find her rental house in flames. A firefighter approaches her and hands her a little ball of gray fluff and asks her if it is her kitten he found just outside the fire. It isn't, but she's going to keep it now. Trouble is, she has nowhere to go. He volunteers to hold onto the kitten until she can get a place. This is a short book and an easy read. The characters are not perfect, especially Derek, the volunteer firefighter/volunteer bartender/full-time CFO, who Chloe quickly falls for. His (adopted) family takes her in and they are lovely (rich) people. I read this story in just a couple of hours, while knitting a hat for my great niece. It does not take your complete attention, but I think I would like to read more by this author.
DaleDL More than 1 year ago
good book but too short
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
WHERE THE HEART IS by Darcy Burke is an interesting,quick Contemporary Romance. #0.5 in her "Ribbon Ridge" series. A quick, sweet Holiday read. A debut into the new and exciting Contemporary Romance genre. What a debut. I love her historical series, and gotta say I was a bit concerned about agreeing to read this new Contemporary Romance, but with this said, I must say, I did not regret agreeing to read this one. While, a bit slow to begin with it picks up rather nicely. The characters are interesting, realistic, and believable. The storyline is intriguing, with a tortured soul, and a feisty, smart heroine. Well written, with an impact on the reader. I needed tissues. An enjoyable, quick read. While, I will always love Historical genre, I do enjoy a great Contemporary Romance as well. Well done! *Received for an honest review from the author* RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: MILD REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
Where The Heart is begins Darcy Burke's Ribbon Ridge Series. This is Derek Sumner and Chloe English's story. Derek is a tortured soul that hides his pain from those who love him most. Chloe is looking to take her life in a different direction. She decides to leave her past behind and move on in a new environment. Chloe meets Derek when her home burns down leaving her with no where to stay. Derek is the firefighter on the scene that offers her a helping hand. The connection is there from the start. However, Derek is still dealing with the personal tragedy that left him an orphan and made him the man he is. Chloe wants to be the one to help him out of the darkness. Will her love and understanding be the light Derek needs to find his way home? Received an ARC of Where The Heart is for my honest review. THIS SERIES IS A MUST READ.
allromancereader More than 1 year ago
Where the Heart Is is an introductory novella to the Ribbon Ridge series. While each book in the series can be read separately, and in any order, I wish I had read this novella prior to reading Only In My Dreams (the first book in the series).  While called a novella, this book was a good length and the story was as deep and full as many books deemed a "novel".  It provided a wonderful introduction to the Archer family - one that probably would have helped me relate to and understand the family better when reading the first book.  Derek is an honorary member of the Archer family and what we learn in this book is that the Archer family has room for everyone.  Derek loves the Archers as his own but has real trouble believing that there is a woman - a family - out there waiting for him.  Chloe has a family but has moved across the country to gain her independence from them.  Their diverging emotions regarding family present an interesting dynamic in the development of their relationship, but the one family they have in common is the Archers.  Derek introduces Chloe to the Archers and she is immediately part of the family! Derek presents so many "images" to Chloe, it's no surprise that she finds it hard to believe he's an executive in the Archer organization - and her reaction solidifies that.  I was thankful it didn't take her long to overcome her concern for Derek's profession and to know that she was wrong to compare him to her past relationship.  However, Derek's inability to overcome his feelings regarding his house almost ended his relationship with Chloe and I really appreciated how the Archer's helped Derek work through his emotions regarding the loss of his father and his mother, and what his house symbolized about those relationships.  I thought the author did a great job of depicting Derek's conclusion about the house.  It was a realistic interpretation of what many people feel about childhood homes, or any nostalgic items they have that tie them to loved ones lost. I really enjoyed the development of Derek and Chloe's relationship and how it developed throughout the story.  The story establishes a good foundation of Derek and the entire Archer family, which is important as these relationships are woven into each book of the Ribbon Ridge story.  While each story can be read alone, I strongly recommend the reader start with Where the Heart Is as it sets the stage for the future books and introduces us to the Archer family.  Disclosure: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
RomanticReadsandSuch More than 1 year ago
At a little over 100 pages, Where the Heart Is is a fast-read but it is also satisfyingly real-life. I’ve read one of Darcy Burke’s books before, Never Love a Scoundrel, and loved it so I shouldn’t be surprised that her contemporary stories are just as good. With believable and fun characters, an interesting and heartwarming story, and the promise of some great books coming soon, Where the Heart Is is a must read. Full review available at Romantic Reads and Such on wordpress. (Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review.)
BooksnKisses More than 1 year ago
NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4 1/4 REVIEW:  Chloe has finally gotten out from under the finger of her family. While she loves them she just can handle not living up to the expectation they put on her. Finally happy in the small down of Ribbon Ridge Chloe sees the future is going to be bright. Except that brightness seems to be coming from the fact that her house is on fire.  Derek has for a long time felt like a lone wolf. Oh he has a family that loves him, even if they are his adopted family. But something is missing in his life and he has yet to figure out what it is. But that is all going to change with a sad twist of fate. It is hard to believe that a fire could ever end in something so good, but only if Derek is willing to take that leap of faith.  This was a great novella. I really loved Derek & Chloe. Both have some baggage that they wish the didn’t, but that just made them more real. I will say that Chloe is beyond patience, more patience than I would have been. But in the end I think it was her patience that was able to finally break down the walls that surround Derek. Okay that is all you get from me. If you want to know more about what happens you will just have to pick up a copy of Where The Heart Is. I am very much looking forward to the next book in this series.  Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley & Intrepid Reads in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.