Where She Belongs: A Novel

Where She Belongs: A Novel

by Johnnie Alexander

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800726409
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/05/2016
Series: Misty Willow Series , #1
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 522,422
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Johnnie Alexander is the award-winning author of Where Treasure Hides. Johnnie is an accomplished essayist and poet whose work has appeared in the Guideposts anthology A Cup of Christmas Cheer. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with her grandchildren, and taking road trips. She lives near Memphis, Tennessee.

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Where She Belongs 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
SandraAllenLovelace More than 1 year ago
The Misty Willow characters swept me off my feet from page one. Some I wanted to hug. Other's I was prepared to clobber. They had me in tears faster than I want to confess. The main problem with the book is that it's given me a thirst for the next two titles even though it's not a favorite genre. Thanks anyway, Johnnie. :-D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book
Becky6 More than 1 year ago
This is a sweet, fun-paced contemporary romance that will have you flipping through the pages as if it were a suspense novel! Where She Belongs is the first book I have read by Johnnie Alexander and it most definitely will not be my last. Shelby is ready to move on after the death of her husband is determined to purchase and fix up her family's homestead, Misty Willow. She has plans to raise her kids in the only place that she felt that she truly belonged. She has a major grudge against the Sullivans and even extends it over to AJ. Shown this factor early on in the story, makes the reader pause and wonder why this grudge exists and how the Sullivans owned their farm in the first place. In fact, AJ doesn't even want Shelby's homestead in the first place. His grandfather left it to him as punishment for not following his wishes. In a form of rebellion, AJ let the land fall to ruin. He finds a loophole and is more than willing to let Shelby have the land. Even though she holds a major grudge towards him, he can't get her off his mind. As the story unfolds we find out why she has the grudge. In fact, her feelings totally make sense! It's the kind of story, that once you think you understand what is going on, the plot changes entirely. There's a love triangle, past relationships to resolve, family members with ulterior motives, and tons of uncovered family history. I loved AJ and Shelby from the start. I couldn't help but want them to work things out and get together. He's amazing with Shelby's two little daughters and he does a lot for Shelby. He's the kind of man all girls should look for. Oh and Lila, his dog, is the cutest! You'll laugh, cry, get angry, and all of the emotions all within the same book. Both of the characters also grow a lot in their walks with God. Belonging is the main theme of this book. However, it also focuses on the consequences of our choices and how they impact not just yourself, but others. Misty Willow is a beautiful place that is full of rich history. If it's a real place, I long for a visit! Also, I loved all of the Cary Grant references! So cute! Go read Where She Belongs because you won't want to miss this! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
PianoLady831 More than 1 year ago
Where She Belongs is an elegantly crafted, compelling story about coming home, and I was absorbed emotionally from the very first page. As the beautiful cover picturing AJ and Shelby by the engagement tree promises, romance plays a major part – but so much more is hidden within its depths! This is a story of family and of legacy, with characters so real and approachable that I literally wanted to join them. There’s something unusual about this novel, something that elevates it above other comparable stories. And I found it totally unpredictable, for just when I began to feel comfortable with the direction things were going, another twist came from out of nowhere. Feuding families, holding on to anger, unscrupulous family members, a love triangle, and a house that almost feels like a major character are just a few things you will find within these pages. Also present are themes of legacy, a troubled past that casts a long shadow and shapes future generations, consequences of actions, and forgiveness. Family history is woven throughout the narrative in a way that adds a touch of mystery and tension. Shelby and AJ are well-drawn characters that I loved, and we see how they are shaped by their family legacies. While Shelby had loving grandparents and parents who were missionaries, AJ’s grandfather was a shrewd businessman whose “acumen was rooted in vengeful ruthlessness” – and his parents fought and divorced. I also adored Shelby’s children and AJ’s dog, Lila. I find it so easy to form attachments to physical things, so I appreciated the twist on the “coming home” theme that Johnnie incorporates through this favorite verse of Shelby’s grandmother: “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me” (Psalm 18:19). Shelby gradually came to realize her “spacious place” might be much more than a physical place as she reflected on her grandmother’s words . . . “God delights in you, darling girl. He will take away your heartache and bring you into a spacious place where all will be well.” AJ’s cousins are real characters – and not in a good way throughout most of the story. I found myself asking if it was possible for Brett and Amy to change, only to realize that if not, then there’s not much hope for any of us. Brett still has a long way to go, but I loved how Johnnie brings in the theme of transformation and eagerly anticipate his story next in When Love Arrives. Johnnie’s previous novel is a World War II story entitled Where Treasure Hides that I also enjoyed, although I am glad she has turned to contemporary with this series. When contemporary romance/women’s fiction is done well, it is one of my favorite genres, and Johnnie’s writing sparkles. Where She Belongs is excellent in every way and goes on my “best of the best” list. Highly recommended. Thank you to Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Johnnie Alexander in her new book “Where She Belongs” Book One in the Misty Willow series published by Revell Books takes us into the lives of Shelby Kincaid and A.J. Sullivan. From the back cover: Can love redeem a broken past? 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, he can’t get her off his mind. With writing that evokes a strong sense of place and family history, Johnnie Alexander deftly explores the ties that bind us to home–and the irresistible forces that draw us to each other. Johnnie Alexander is in top form. From the very beginning this is an exciting read and it gets more interesting as you go on. Misty Hollow belonged to Shelby’s family and that is where she grew up. Now she is a widow and wants to go home and raise her daughters there. A. J.’s grandfather gave Misty Hollow to him. Now these two go head to head. And as they both deal with Misty Hollow they learn they have a lot of back story and that what is undealt with from their respective past is affecting their present and futures. I like Shelby and A.J. and their budding romance. This is a fun read, it is a fast read, however I do not recommend starting this book late at night because it will cost you sleep as you will not want to put it down. Ms. Alexander is an excellent writer and knows how to engross you as she tightens the mystery. I recommend this book and I am so looking forward to the next book in this series. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Where She Belongs is a fabulous read! This is the first book I have read by Johnnie Alexander and I look forward to more by her and the rest of the series. 5 plus stars.
BookReviewerNicole More than 1 year ago
*My Thoughts* This was my first "Johnnie experience" so I wasn't really sure to expect. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised and this one is definitely worth the time spent reading it. The first thing I would say about it though, is that it is not just where "she" belongs, it's where they belong because two adorable little girls are involved in this beautiful story! The mix of conflict and attraction between Aj & Shelby intrigued me from the beginning. Shelby was hurt in the past and I wanted her to "grow up" and understand that it wasn't Aj's fault. Fortunately, I quickly grew up as I read the story and understood the pain she was feeling and why. I wanted them so badly to overcome their obstacles that I was engrossed from cover to cover! This was so much more then a contemporary romance novel, the story of healing, hope, and God's plan made it so much more then that! I loved the setting of Misty Willow. It was such a peaceful setting and when mixed with the well- developed characters, I fell in love with Johnnie's writing and her characters. I can't wait for book two! ____________________________________________________ *My overall thoughts* A completely beautiful contemporary romance that is so much more! Woven with faith, healing, forgiveness, and love, Where She Belongs is a much welcomed addition to my shelves! _______________________________________________________ *My Rating* I give Where She Belongs by Johnnie Alexander... 4 stars!! _______________________________________________ *Audience* Romance lovers? If you love these authors, you'll love Johnnie too: Amanda Cabot (contemporary novels), Beth K. Vogt, and Cathleen Armstrong! *I received this book from the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have given. All thoughts were my own and I was not compensated in any other way. http://bookreviewsforchristians.blogspot.com/2016/01/revell-review-where-she-belongs-by.html
tmurrell2 More than 1 year ago
Shelby and her grandparents lost their ancestors home when Shelby was young. She was forced to move across the world to live with her missionary parents. She has never forgiven the Sullivans for taking her family home. Now she's a widow with two small children and the opportunity to own the home comes up. Shelby can't pass up the opportunity, even if the deal isn't what she imagined. And even if the grandson of the evil Mr. Sullivan keeps popping up. Shelby has to find out that where she belongs doesn't have to be a place. As long as she has God, friends, and family, her heart can belong anywhere. This was a complicated love story that was about so much more than the relationship of the two main characters. It was about love for family, for home, for community, and for God. The story was well written with several complicated twists. There was lots of drama, but also sweet relationships. I enjoyed the two main characters and felt that they had depth. The "villian" was aptly portrayed and made the reader dislike them very much. The author also did a great job of describing the places so that I felt immersed in the story, yet the book wasn't over logged with details. Overall, it was a great introduction to a "new to me" author. And I look forward to reading her next book. I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
What a fabulous book. This is the first book I have read by Johnnie and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. I was super excited to see this is a series, although the male protagonist in the 2nd book isn’t overly likable at first in this book but Johnnie was very smart and started to give him redeeming qualities in this book so it makes we want to see what will happen to him in the 2nd. Shelby is a strong heroine, a young mother who wants to do what is best for her daughters. She tries to resist falling for any man but quickly discovers that might not be so easy and then becomes confused because she is draw to two men. AJ is a great guy but he has a past to overcome as well and then it slams in the face in a big way. I just wanted Shelby to give her heart to him. Although this is romance there is a lot of family history mystery in this book. I loved the scripture references in this book, they encouraged me to look them up and highlight them in my own Bible. A great book about not letting the past define you or hold you back. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Where She Belongs is the first book I have read by new to me author Johnnie Alexander. This one was quite a tale. This is a romance story but so much more as we have some major family drama being played out as well. Recently widowed Shelby Kincaid has purchased her family’s ancestral home from AJ Sullivan so that she can raise her two little girls in the only place she ever felt like was home. AJ has never wanted the home but as he meets Shelby and her two little girls, he realizes what a home could really look like besides his messed up childhood. Shelby wants nothing to do with AJ or the rest of his family as it was his family that drove her grandparents to ruin. As we go through the story, the history of both families is being revealed in bits and pieces at a time. However, this story has so much going on, in a good way, besides the romance of AJ and Shelby and the mystery of their family. We also get to meet AJ’s cousins, Brett and Amy, who both have their own agendas. Wow. I really enjoyed this book and all the twists and turns it took. The next book looks to focus more on Brett, who at first was not very likable but maybe he could become the reformed bad boy. I am looking forward to continuing in the Misty Willow series. I received a copy of this book for an honest review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
Where She Belongs is a complex contemporary romance with elements of intrigue and mystery woven through its pages. It’s a heartfelt story of friends and family, love and loss. Vivid details and descriptions bring the setting and characters to life and beckon the reader into the story. Shelby Kincaid is determined to reclaim her family’s homestead, and AJ Sullivan is more than happy to be rid of the property. Can they overcome their pasts in order to build a future? I really enjoyed visiting Misty Willow, its residents, and the memories it holds. “A treasured memory. There’s no greater gift.” Where She Belongs was my first Johnnie Alexander book, and I look forward to reading more! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
When you are a book nerd your biggest thrill is to find a new author that tells a great story. I think I've found that in Johnnie Alexander. She's not a new author but rather a new to me author and I look forward to reading more of her work. Where She Belongs is considered a contemporary romance . . . and it is. But it also has a dash of mystery and intrigue thrown into the mix. What I liked about the book is that there were several layers of story going on. Shelby Kincaid is a recent widow and is interested in reclaiming her family home to give her girls the childhood she had. AJ Sullivan wants to bury the past and get on with the life he's chosen. The problem for AJ is that his family has other plans. When you add to the mix a Hatfield vs. McCoy situation there are sure to be a few dust-ups. There is underhanded schemeing going on that threatens Shelby's new life. When the whole situation unravels and you get to see what is behind it all you'll be surprised. It is such a good read and I can't wait to see where the story goes from here. If you like a tension filled romance with some mystery thrown in I think you'll like this one too. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
ECowgill More than 1 year ago
Hatfields vs. McKoys Sullivans vs. Lassiters Feuding families. Anger carried from generation to generation. In Johnnie Alexander's latest book, Where She Belongs, she tells the story of the Sullivan/Lassiter feud through the lives of the grandchildren, AJ Sullivan and Shelby Lassiter Kincaid. Where She Belongs is a descriptive story and one that is hard to put down. It takes the readers back to their own childhood memories, good ones and perhaps not so good. It is rich in drama, intrigue, surprises, and of course, love. Just as you think you have the story figured out, Ms. Alexander throws in a curveball and then another one. This book is the first in the Misty Willow series and I am already eagerly waiting the release of Book Two.
parmilespages More than 1 year ago
After her husband dies, Shelby Kincaid moves to back to her grandparent’s homestead, Misty Willow, in hopes of raising her two young girls in the place she treasured as a young girl. She plans to restore the neglected house back to how she remembered it. When she encounters AJ Sullivan, she tries to have as little contact with him as possible, because it is his family’s fault that her grandparents were forced to move from their beloved home. AJ has absolutely no sentimental attachment to Misty Willow and is more than willing to relinquish his ownership of the house to this rather attractive woman. This story has multiple layers and plots to it. The main story is in current day but there is a hidden story that takes place two generations ago that weaves itself into the modern day. And then there is the sub plot of AJ’s cousins who are trying to purchase the homestead of Misty Willow, for their own gain. As the story unfolds, the reader is drawn into the romance budding between AJ and Shelby and the mystery of what happened to their grandparents. The complexity of the narrative creates numerous characters to keep track of, causing confusion to the reader. It took me awhile to finally figure out who was who and who married whom. Yet, it was this complexity that keep the story interesting and unexpected. I thought the author could have explained and developed AJ and Shelby’s past sooner in the novel. It was difficult for me to understand her initially strong negative reaction toward AJ. Overall I thought the story was entertaining to read. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review.
Smw30 More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book about 3 or 4 hours ago. It was amazing. It has a historical feel along with romance, heartache and redemption all in one. That makes a awesome type of story. It left me wanting more. I would recommend to all.
TamaraTilley More than 1 year ago
WHERE SHE BELONGS is a heart-warming story about love, loss, family ties, and a tragedy that transcends generations. After the death of her husband, Shelby Kincaid longs to give her girls what she had as a child. So, she goes about buying back her family homestead, Misty Willow. The house is in disrepair but her plans are not detoured. Shelby sets out to rebuild the home while making life-long memories with her girls. Her only obstacle is A.J. Sullivan, the current owner of Misty Willow. The Sullivan’s have been at war with Shelby’s family for decades. Though Shelby doesn’t understand much about the family feud, she does understand A.J. is a Sullivan, so she plans to keep her distance. But that becomes more difficult when their paths continue to cross. A.J. Sullivan never wanted to own Misty Willow. It was willed to him by his rancorous grandfather as a source of punishment. So, when Shelby Kincaid approaches him about Misty Willow, he finds a loophole in his grandfather’s will and allows Shelby to lease the property. A.J.’s very aware of the bad blood between their families, but in his heart, A.J. feels a connection with Shelby that he wants to explore. WHERE SHE BELONGS had many layers to the story. Shelby trying to give her daughters stability after the loss of their father, Shelby immersing herself in her childhood memories, A.J. battling his cousins regarding the rights to Misty Willow, and flashbacks to A.J.’s and Shelby’s grandparents where we learn how the feud between the families began. There is more to the story than meets the eye, which I really enjoyed. The unknown definitely kept me interested through a few areas where the pacing was slow. There were a lot of characters to keep straight, especially since the story dealt with both the past and the present, but overall, I really enjoyed WHERE SHE BELONGS. Book provided for review purposes.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Where She Belongs Misty Willow Book 1 by Johnnie Alexander Shelby Kincaid dreams of recapturing the happiness of her childhood, the happiness that was lost when her grandfather died. But her grandparent's home is owned by AJ Sullivan the grandson of the man Shelby blames for her unhappiness. AJ more than willing to sell to Shelby but they will have to work around a provision in his grandfather's will. And then there are AJ's cousins who have plans of their own for AJ's inheritance. Misty Willow is AJ's punishment while it is Shelby's cherished dream. Painful secrets and broken hearts have shaped who these two have become. And one man's manipulation has had far reaching results that are only now coming to light. But is it too late to save those that have come after him and to reset the path they have been following? Can one ever truly return home? Shelby is about to find out when she moves her daughters into the home that held such wonderful memories for her. As she makes a place for herself she wins over the hearts of those around her. Has she truly found where she belongs? This is a touching story as the various characters deal with the legacy they have been left. This is the first book in the Misty Willow series and I'm looking forward to seeing how everything works out. AJ and Shelby are both likable and one can empathize with both their situations. While AJ's cousins Amy and Brett are unlikable, manipulative, and scheming but when one learns their background it is hardly surprising. This is a truly intriguing book and one I would recommend to any fan of contemporary fiction. I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher Revell in exchange for my honest review.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
This was such an enjoyable book! I had not read any other books by Johnnie Alexander, but I can already say that it will be hard to wait until book two of this Misty Willow series releases. I really liked the two main characters, AJ and Shelby. For the first part of the story, I originally felt that Shelby hung on to her grudge against the Sullivans for too long. She extended that grudge to AJ, part of the Sullivan family. I wanted her to “get over it” and realize that he was not his grandfather. But, as the story progressed and I learned more about what tore her family apart, I understood her feelings and I decided that the way she reacted made perfect sense. It also provided the opportunity for this character to really grow a lot spiritually through the novel. I absolutely loved the difference in the way Shelby viewed life at the beginning of the story with the peace she found at the end. The attraction between Shelby and AJ was palpable and the longing I felt for things to work out between them made for such an engrossing read. There was a love triangle complication, past relationship issues to be resolved, family members with ulterior motives, and two precious little girls. I was also pleasantly surprised when I began reading this book and discovered that there were hints at some kind of trouble from the past that could impact everything. I loved watching that information unfold. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Butterflyblogger More than 1 year ago
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, he can't get her off his mind. With writing that evokes a strong sense of place and family history, Johnnie Alexander deftly explores the ties that bind us to home--and the irresistible forces that draw us to each other. This is the first book I have read by Johnnie Alexander. It will not be the last. I’m not sure what I was really expecting but I was delighted with what I found. Shelby’s character was that of a widowed mother with two young daughters. She was trying to bring back past memories of where she was the happiest. At the home of her grandparents whit had been abandoned and left to fall down. AJ Sullivan is just happy to get rid of the property his grandfather saddled him with. There are family secrets on both sides that have been hidden for way too long. Shelby had to learn that happiness wasn’t a place and AJ had to learn to forgive himself and his grandfather for what had happened in the past. The ending had a twist I never saw coming. The secrets that were revealed made the entire story. I highly recommend this book to everyone. I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way.
AnnE42 More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author has written a story that is a combination of intriguing characters that aren't always what they seem to be, family secrets, past hurts, conflict, faith and romance that certainly kept me reading. I definitely will be looking forward to the next book in the series. This is another book from this author that I certainly recommend.
Madison-s_Library More than 1 year ago
This is by no means a simple romance. Instead it is complicated, has many different facets and is as messy as real life. The characters deal with a multitude of troubles, everything from past grievances, grief, family upheaval and conflict, sins of the past and new surprising revelations that rock their very foundations. Where She Belongs brings together romance, family drama and just a touch of mystery. Shelby has always dreamed of returning to her family home, Misty Willows, which was taken from her family many years ago. Now she has managed to lease the homestead from AJ Sullivan, grandson of the man responsible for her losing the farm in the first place and someone she is determined to avoid and dislike. When Shelby returns to Misty Willows with her two young daughters after the death of her husband, she knows it will take hard work to restore the house to its former glory. She doesn't expect to catch the eye of two men, one she is determined to hate and another who seems charming, gorgeous and maybe too good to be true. The reader is privy to details and knows that one man is all wrong for Shelby for a variety of reasons, so it is slightly agonising watching her fall into his trap. The other guy is far more suitable, but Shelby shies away from his interest due to their families' shared and muddy past. The chemistry between them is pretty potent, despite how many times Shelby asserts that she doesn't like him. Fortunately, the 'wrong' guy is uncovered about a third of the way into the book. It's a heartbreaking reveal for Shelby, but at least she is not longer being misled. Further, this guy seems to have quite a change in heart and is to be the hero in the second book in the Misty Willows series. But all is not settled for Shelby. Just when it seems Shelby might have a chance to work things out with AJ, life throws up more complications. As Shelby restores the old homestead, settles into town and sorts out her love life, she slowly uncovers the truth about what happened between her grandparents and the Sullivans all those years ago and what lead to them losing Misty Willows. It is this complicated history that creates the intrigue at the end of the book. There is a lot going on in this book. The characters all have to deal with a lot of serious troubles. But despite this, the tone of the book remains upbeat, surprisingly so. Shelby interacts with old friends, new neighbours and the Sullivan descendants as she resettles into Misty Willows, giving the book strong ties to the past and setting the scene for an ongoing series. Shelby gets her happy ending, so I'm guessing the next book will be a companion, with crossover characters but a new set of problems and a new romance story. Where She Belongs is a nice contemporary. Faith is a constant undertone as the characters discuss their faith and God's leading in their lives. This book fits right in with other contemporaries, including the books by Becky Wade and Melissa Tag. The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not contemporary romance. This series is chrisrian romance.