I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the way Johnnie Alexander writes. She uses every emotion known to make her stories so hard to put down and her characters more real.
Where She Belongs is a story of restoration, love, and reconciliation. Shelby Kincaid is moving back to Misty Willow, the farm that has been in her family for many generation, with the exception of when Sully Sullivan took it away from her grandfather. She wants to provide the sweet memories she has for her daughters who are only five and three. The only relative Shelby has living in the States is her great-uncle Richard, whose hands are actually in the pockets of her "enemy," the Sullivans. Her first day at Misty Willow she meets AJ Sullivan and takes an immediate dislike to him, simply because his name is Sullivan. She's trying to bring her home back into usable condition, and he's just a distraction to getting her work done. The only redeeming value AJ seems to have is his dog, Lila, who falls in love with Shelby's girls and they with her.
AJ's cousin Brett Somers shows up at a dinner with Shelby and Uncle Richard and then inserts himself in Shelby's life as much as he can. Brett is a womanizer, a ruthless business man used to getting what he wants, and a man who escapes responsibility at every turn. His sister Amy is a lawyer who is driven to close her deals in any way she can. AJ is treated as the red-headed step-child by Brett and Amy, and was treated that way before Sully passed away, simply because he didn't go to law school but became a teacher instead.
Johnnie has pulled together quite a number of sub-plots to bring this story to a satisfying conclusion with room for a sequel. The way she brings about changes in her characters is seamless and refreshing. She works the past into the current story to make enough tension to keep the story exciting. One of the key components of the tale includes a couple of verses from the Psalms: Psalm 31:8 and Psalm 18:19 which speaks of the Lord's rescue and setting his people down in a broad place. It is the kind of comfort that any reader can take away from the story and be built up, which to me is the whole point of Christian fiction.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a Broad Place to meet with God.
My thanks to Revell for allowing me to read and review this book