He Belongs to Me

He Belongs to Me

by Theresa Rizzo


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780989045018
Publisher: Theresa Rizzo
Publication date: 06/01/2013
Pages: 394
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.88(d)

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He Belongs to Me 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite He Belongs to Me by Theresa Rizzo is a powerful story of love, honor and betrayal. Following the death of one of her twin boys, Catherine’s husband Thomas is accused of murdering him. They part company after he is acquitted, in search of education and as a way to put some space between them and events. In order to attend college, Catherine hands her son over to her parents to look after, but is shocked to find that she gave them full custody without realising it. She goes in search of her husband, Thomas, and they agree to live together again, to present a united front in their bid to get their son back. They both agree that, once the battle is won, they will divorce and she will retain custody of Drew, although Thomas will continue to support them and have a hand in his son’s life. Things don’t always go according to plan though, and what follows is a roller-coaster ride, full of unexpected twists and turns that heads full speed towards the surprising finale. Theresa Rizzo has captured the essence of life with He Belongs to Me. This is a real page-turner, full of surprises that kept me hooked right to the last word. It is a skilfully woven tale of lies, love, betrayal and honor. I found myself laughing at parts and gasping in surprise at others as yet another skeleton flew out of the closet of the lives of the rich and successful. I want to read more books from Theresa Rizzo, especially if they are as good as this one.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
He Belongs to Meby Theresa Rizzo is a story of a young child caught up in a gut-wrenching custody battle between his grandparents and his natural parents, but its the journey to the resolution of that bitter fight that is the story. In a twisted plot filled with deceit, betrayals of the worst kind, and the perceived power of the almighty dollar a dysfunctional family unravels their darkest moments and shocking revelations all in the name of love. Was that love real? Was it healthy? Or was it the love of absolute control that drove young Drew’s grandparents to attempt to destroy their own daughter in order to keep their grandson? Will it be necessary for the judge to use the Wisdom of Solomon to determine where the child belongs? I’m going to say right off, Theresa Rizzo has truly created a maze of plot twists and perfectly timed revelations that had my emotions bouncing off the walls. I did not like the two main characters in the beginning, and felt neither of them had the maturity to have custody of their son, in particular, the mother. All I could wonder was what kind of mother would leave her child for a few YEARS, with only brief visits to pursue her college education across the country and give up custody to her parents, without checking what type of custody it was? The father also disappeared, the whys were uncovered, but, still, he never forced contact, never even divorced his wife. As Ms. Rizzo peeled away each painful layer, there was so much more to this heartbreaking tale that my sympathies were most definitely with young Drew’s parents, flaws and all, although I could empathize with the grandparents and their twisted idea of love, as it seemed to be a way of atonement for old sins, a “do-over” if you will. Did Theresa Rizzo pen an incredible read? Yes! Definitely! Her characters are not almost human; they were brutally and realistically very human. Very flawed, filled with past mistakes, poor judgment calls and all the warts of being human, some more than others, some were their own worst enemy. Is there redemption? Yes, with the possibility of more healing in the future. Was there love? Yes, some healthy, some strangely shown, but it’s in there! So, any author that can evoke all of this turmoil in me is, in my opinion doing an awesome job! The story moved quickly from one scene to the next and there was no time to breathe in between as it raced to the final pounding of the gavel. I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review. If you're looking for a romance with some jagged edges, this would be a good choice!
LisaPotocar More than 1 year ago
Move over Cramer vs. Cramer! There’s much more substance to this story with its elements of romance and suspense wrapped around the drama of a courtroom battle between parents and grandparents for the custody of a young boy. Through the eyes of her emotionally well-developed characters, Ms. Rizzo moves her plot along at a fast pace—especially the actual courtroom action. Therein, secrets and lies kept by each family member are exposed to show great misunderstandings and fallacies. I was left with a satisfying feeling that this family can and will overcome the longstanding harm that created its schism, but it might be fun to see how they do it—if the author should consider writing that drama. However, I’m ready to move on to a whole new cast of characters with this author, and I’m thrilled to learn that Ms. Rizzo’s planning just that and its release soon!
jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
He Belongs To Me By Theresa Rizzo Book starts out with Catherine graduating and she can't wait to be reunited with her young son, Drew. The temporary custody she gave her parents years ago they have now turned into legal guardians for the boy. She'd have to move back to Chicago to get her son and give up her whole life and reunite with her husband who's she not seen nor legally separated from. As the book goes back in time to when Catherine and Thomas had brought the twin newborns home we find out other details...Court trials...returned letters...death. This is a painful journey for me as my son was not returned after his father had weekend visits. Shame you have to not only get the police involved but the court system. She and Tom come up with a plan to get Drew back but Tom won't leave this time, if it works.. So many things come out in the trial that not many knew of and it helps explain everything. I enjoyed reading all about the depositions and other legal things as I didn't go through any of that, interesting to find out the process and the paramedic training that comes up. Like the romantic sex scenes...Catherine and Tom both have friends that help support them through the difficult time. The family is so damaged I don't think they can ever recover from the harm done..but they are a forgiving group.. I received this book from Library Thing via the author in exchange for my honest opinion
Sandy1206 More than 1 year ago
This was an awesome read! I couldn't stop reading; there were many twists and turns in the plot to hold the reader's interest. The author would mention something that happened, making me very curious, and then it would be further talked about later on in the story. The characters are VERY believable and most of them are likable, especially when the reader learns more background information about the character. This was well worth my time and I may even read it again sometime. Don't miss it!
THouchin1 More than 1 year ago
A Review of He Belongs To Me by Theresa Rizzo Talk about a page turner. I did not want to put this book down, but my eyes would not cooperate and sleep overcame me. I did finish it the second day. This book was an emotional roller coaster ride. Catherine Boyd has a five year old son, Drew. He lives in Chicago with his grandparents. Catherine lives in California where she just graduated from Stanford University. She decides now that she has graduated and has a good job she wants her son to come live with her.Logical, right? When she goes to get her son from her parents and bring him back to California with her, they won't let her have him. Come to find out what she thought she signed giving them temporary custody of Drew so they could legally take care of him and get him medical attention was actually permanent guardianship. Of course you can tell that there is going to be a battle for custody of little Drew. What you don't know, (but I will tell you) is she is still married to Drew's father. She hasn't seen him in four years but thinks that if she and him set up house in Chicago a court will give her and her husband custody of Drew. They are his natural, biological parents after all. Oh, there are way more twists and turns to this plot, let me tell you. I am not going to ruin this one for you, but I am going to tell you that you NEED to read this book. I think I would classify this book as a romantic suspense. The characters are wonderfully done. I fell in love with them. Theresa Rizzo has done a wonderful job of writting ariveting story full of surprises. I was enthralled to the very last page. I highly recommend you put this book on your To Be Read List.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a great read this author knows how to pull you in to the story it's about Love Trust betrayal and a romance this is a must read
RoxyKade More than 1 year ago
This was an emotionally charged story that ripped into my chest and gripped my heart from start to finish. I connected with both Catherine and Thomas in a way that I haven’t before and I could feel their pain and anguish as they steered the course of one emotional beating after the next. Both characters had suffered such heart ache, and as the story unfolded they were forced to face the feelings they’d had bottled up for many years while accepting, and giving, forgiveness so that they could both heal and move forward. Although their fight to save their family started off as a charade, the love that these two shared, and kept hidden, was undeniable. They’re both determined to ignore it though, perhaps due to past hurts, a lack of trust and bruised egos, but as they both discovered, they’d grown up since the last time they had shared a life. They’re both successful and driven adults. Catherine’s parents were hideous. I was appalled at the way they acted. They may have disapproved of some of Catherine’s choices in life, but to betray their own daughter the way they did was atrocious. They may have given the impression that all they did was for Drew’s sake however their actions were purely selfish. Between keeping up appearances within their community and their desperation to replace Andrew, Drew was merely a pawn in their game. Yes, they truly loved him and they seemed to have a genuine concern for him, but their actions towards their daughter told another story. It was almost as if they were trying to punish her for bringing so much scandal into their perfect lives. As for their feelings toward Thomas, they were just hell-bent on making him out to be a monster who beats and kills children. I was shocked that they’d harbor such feelings for him, even after so many years, and why couldn’t they see how successful he’d become? But again, it came down to their own selfish need to control everything that happened in their lives. I was happy to see Thomas and Catherine’s relationship grow and strengthen; even when his mistress re-entered the picture. Thomas’s feelings were genuine and at times when Catherine started doubting him, I wanted to give her a good shaking. The man had uprooted his entire life to be with her, to help her, and at a time when he could have easily left, he stuck it out and went the whole way regardless of what it would mean for him. My heart broke for Thomas as his fears of what had happened with Bobby, morphed into a paranoia to be around Elissa. But the moment after she was rushed to hospital was so moving and emotional, and my heart filled with so much warmth and love for this poor man. How could anyone have ever accused him of the dreadful things the Whittemore’s had? It just made me hate them even more. That hatred grew with every second the trial took place. Their lawyer was ruthless, painting both Catherine and Thomas to be horrible people and bad parents. When the bombshell hit and the final skeleton leapt from the closet, I sat in stunned silence trying to digest what I was reading. Was Sarah Whittemore really such a hateful woman? Did she really dislike her daughter that much? Or was she too cowardice to even question what she’d witnessed that fateful night? My gosh! How could a mother not want to reach out to her daughter, speculation aside, just to make sure she was okay and that no harm had been done? This story had it all; family drama, intrigue, turmoil, heart ache, romance, bliss and joy. It showed a strange family dynamic that was a little too overbearing to the point of ripping a family apart at the seams, while another was rebuilt, stronger than ever. Although this story was emotionally draining it left me with a warm fuzzy feeling and I think anyone looking for a strong storyline with the perfect balance of highs and lows should read He Belongs To Me.
dmrobinson More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars He Belongs to Me marks Theresa Rizzo’s debut novel and it is definitely a drama-filled one! Catherine and her husband, Thomas, married young, had twins, and when one died, their lives fell apart. They lived separate lives for almost five years, during which time, Catherine’s parents cared for their remaining child while Catherine left for college. Catherine was ready to resume her life after graduation and provide a home for her son. What ensues is a custody battle for her child because her parents don’t want to let him go. Add back in Thomas who has returned to help get Drew, their son, back and the drama level went up even further! I was definitely caught up in the trial and the build up to it. So many secrets and hidden agendas were unveiled throughout the story that I never felt like I knew how it would finish. Catherine’s parents could be cruel and didn’t have a clue about raising their own children but they seemed exceptional with their grandson. I could see where they could have the upper hand in the situation which scared me for Drew! And there were some very sweet moments between Catherine and Thomas - she got him and his worries as a parent. I thought his fears were addressed really well. They were both still very young but had a maturity level much higher than their age. Well-written story that was a not a quick one sitting read for me but it was certainly one that kept me wondering what bomb was going to drop next and how this tenuous situation could resolve itself for all involved.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
He Belongs To Me is an intriguing story about family secrets, deception and betrayal ...  a couple's love story  ... and a young mother's determination to get her son back at any cost. Author Theresa Rizzo weaves a riveting story set in Chicago and written in the third person narrative, that engages the reader to follow the emotional journey of Catherine Boyd as she battles her parents with the help of her estranged husband Thomas to regain custody of their young son Drew. The story opens with Catherine Boyd graduating from Stanford University. While Catherine attended college in California, she gave temporary custody of her son Drew to her parents in Chicago ... or so she thought. Now with degree in hand, Catherine is eager to reunite with Drew and begin the next phase of their lives in California. But Catherine's plans are turned upside down when she learns that the temporary custody of her son that she had signed four years earlier was in fact a permanent custody ... she has given her child away. Catherine's parents won't give up custody of their grandson, they believe that they can provide a better life for him. Faced with two options, Catherine has to decide whether to live with her parents and Drew in Chicago, or reconcile with her estranged husband Thomas and prove that they can provide a good life for their son. Flashback to Catherine and Thomas' past ... they fell in love, Catherine became pregnant, and they married very young. After a tragic accident that took the life of Bobby, one of their twin sons, Thomas was falsely accused of causing the death of their baby boy, and is forced out of Catherine and Drew's life. Catherine and Thomas separate but vow to reunite after they finish college, but they did not stay in contact with each other over the past four years. Thomas graduated from the University of Michigan and is now a rising financial analyst. After being estranged for four years, can Catherine and Thomas reconcile and convince the social workers and judge that they are a loving married couple capable of providing their young son a good life? He Belongs To Me is a heart wrenching story that captivated me from the beginning, and took me on an emotional roller coaster ride that left me completely spent. This story is filled with enough family secrets, lies, deception and betrayal; mixed in with riveting courtroom drama and suspenseful twists and turns; and a passionate love story that keeps the reader thoroughly engaged and turning the pages. You can't help but get drawn into Catherine and Thomas' story, the emotions are palpable and raw, you feel their loss, grief, anger, love and determination as their journey to regain custody of their son is fraught with heartbreaking trials and tribulations. And if the fight for their son isn't enough to keep the reader enthralled, their passionate love story will reel you in, their relationship is filled with so much emotion and intensity, they have been through so much, but their sexual chemistry and love for each other is undeniable. With a cast of characters who are realistic and flawed; raw and emotional dialogue; intense and dramatic interactions; and a gut wrenching storyline that mixes the complexities of a dysfunctional family dynamic with a couple's love story; He Belongs To Me is an amazing story that will pull at your heartstrings, and prove that love can overcome the most traumatic situations in life. This is a must read story that will resonate with you for a very long time.
Maggie-Meandering More than 1 year ago
Family Dysfunction and Triumph At Its Most Messy Honestly, I had no idea what to expect of this book. I always have a little trepedation when reading a book by a debut author. As anyone who follows my reviews, you know I'm pretty darn picky. Anyone who knows me, knows I love good issues, building and trusting relationships, and definitely forgiveness of all kinds. However, writing that kind of book is VERY difficult and I often find myself disappointed. Not so in this case. In HE BELONGS TO ME I found issues, relationships, tragedy and triumph in spades, and none of it was won easily--none of it was tied up in a neat little bow. I was sucked in during the first chapter watching the setup play out between Catherine, her son Drew, and her parents. I was crying by the time the chapter was over. Then the involvement of her estranged husband, Thomas, and watching the ups and downs of that relationship kept me turning the pages and hoping against hope that these two young people would find a way to survive their past and move forward. Adept strokes with characterization, description, a little humor at just the right times all conspired to make me fall in love with this book. By a third of the way through, nothing could stop me from continuing to read. This is not a light-hearted book, but it is a book with amazing heart. Ms. Rizzo slowly tears away the skin of masks, self-deception, and guilt as she takes the reader layer by layer into the families of Catherine, Thomas, and their own tragic beginning with marriage at a very young age. It is indeed a tearing of skin as each person faces up to his or her past and has to try again and again to find a way to move forward in spite of it. This book is not a romance in the traditional sense, but the romance between Catherine and Thomas is one for the ages. Not an easy romance, but one that is so hard fought and so realistic that you truly believe they will make it for the rest of their lives. Even the dysfunctional romance of Catherine's parents is one to carefully evaluate and understand. Though I hated so many of the parents' choices, I still found myself rooting for them to recover from their own mistakes, to forgive themselves so they could move forward. Much of the latter part of this book revolves around Catherine's court case to regain custody of her son. It is through that venue that the author chooses to reveal all of the family relationships and their myriads of interconnections, pain and tragedy--but also to provide healing. Just as in therapy one needs a third party to help see the truth, sometimes in dysfunctional families it is the court that provides that third party and allows the truth to come out. Unfortunately, learning the truth in court is one of the most difficult ways for a family to recover--many never do. I heartily recommend HE BELONGS TO ME anyone who has the heart to cheer for three families, in all their brokenness and tragedy, to survive their pasts and somehow find a future together. As a psychological character study and a romance that becomes stronger, because of survival and forgiveness, this book is a triumph. A Very Strong 5 Stars!!!
shannschoice More than 1 year ago
He Belongs to Me by Theresa Rizzo has all the makings of a good soap opera.  After attending college Catherine Boyd believes she will be given back custody of the six year old son she allowed her parents to raise while away.  Her parents are clearly enamored with their grandson and refuse to give Catherine back her son.  With no other options left the young mother must obtain assistance from the estranged husband accused of killing Drew’s twin to fight for custody.  What follows is a custody trial where secrets long kept in the dark come barreling to light and old wounds are brought back to the surface. Although the book was a good read, I had a big issue the characters.  Catherine is eighteen and Thomas, her husband, is twenty when Drew and his twin Bobby are born.  When Bobby dies as a newborn the young couple is torn apart from the emotional strain that follows, leaving Drew in the care of his grandparents for almost five years.  Although Catherine and Thomas may now be able to care for their son, they are really young to have to deal with such emotional issues from both their separation as well as the custody trial.  This was an emotional read exploring the complex relationships among families with an ending that you didn’t see coming. Reviewed by Lucy for Cocktails and Books
b_ls More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough that the author reached out to me with an ARC to review. I can tell you that I LOVED this book! I'm afraid my review won't do it justice! This books shows the fierceness of a mother trying to get her son back. She will go to any length to get him back. Catherine has had a rough life. After the death of her son's twin brother (Bobby) her life was turned upside down. Her husband was arrested for murdering Bobby. Clearly he was falsely accused when the situation is explained. That alone is enough to make someone lose it. There are other things that happened around that time to contribute to Catherine and Thomas's relationship trouble.  Her family for one. Her parents were just awful. I think they thought they were doing the right thing for their kids when in fact they were slowly destroying them. After Bobby's death Thomas leaves his wife and family to give them some time to recover. Around this time Catherine signs temporary custody to her parents so she can attend college. Or is that really what happened??? Her family is built on secrets and lies. Many of these things come to light when Catherine is in court with against her parents to try to get her son back. Her parents were to worried about what everyone would think of them that they tried to keep things out of the public eye. Trust me, after that trial none of them will be the same. Secrets leave scars that run deep and her parents don't know the whole truth. Some seriously shocking things!!! I was like OMG no way!! Thomas and Catherine were in love. They were married very young and after the death of Bobby they ended up apart. They have both finished college and when Catherine finds out her parents will not give her son Drew back to her she confides in her lawyer. Her lawyer thinks it would be best if her and Thomas tried to work things out and jointly seek custody. This leads to Catherine contacting Thomas and a whirlwind of a "fake" relationship. To me it was a second chance for them. They still loved each other, even after the crap in their past. It was hard in the beginning. Thomas had a lot of reservations. Time doesn't heal all wounds.  I was really hoping things would work out for them. They deserve it. They were so cute together too. Their love is special. They shared secrets and pain with each other. You only find out at the end how true that is. I really loved them!! I would highly recommend this book. It is full of great characters and a great story. Mothers will go to any length for their children. Will Catherine get Drew back? Will her life ever be the same? You'll have to read to find out!