"A young woman finds love and overcomes painful relationships to find where her heart truly lies."
Reviewed by Kay Quintin
Posted November 27, 2011
Twenty-eight year old Jess Morgan, a merchandise executive,
takes a leave of absence to travel to Destiny Falls to be
with her mother, Nora. Jess has been living in Toronto and
traveling extensively throughout the world as a shoe buyer
for a retail store. Fourteen years has passed
since Jess has called Destiny Falls her home. Riddled with
sadness and painful memories of losing her father and
fiancée, while lacking the support from her mother, they
have become somewhat estranged. Now her step father, and
object of the estrangement, has passed and Jess is needed by
her mother for support and to try to repair their own
Jess is surprised when she is met at the airport by the
gorgeous and rugged Adam Wright, the object of a long ago
crush in high school. Adam is her best friend Molly's
cousin which makes it difficult avoiding constant contact
with him. Becoming physically attracted to each other
develops into an obstacle with Jess facing the day she must
return to Toronto and to her life. As they fall desperately
in love with each other, Adam's secret tragic loss only
draws Jess closer. Overcoming her feelings of desertion and
previous uneasiness with her mother gives Jess the peace she
has desired. But when asked to marry Adam and again make
Destiny Falls her home, Jess is torn and feels backed into a
WHERE SHE BELONGS is a very emotional and heartfelt story of
broken relationships and painful memories. Finding where
she truly belongs is a heartwarming lesson for Jess in
revealing the true meaning of love and the ability to
forgive. The story is very well written and the passion as
well as pain the characters feel is clearly felt by the
reader. I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful story of love
and finding oneself in the process.
She never wants to go home again. For Jess Morgan, Destiny
Falls holds too many painful memories. Nine years ago, a
logging accident near the remote timber town killed her dad
and her high school sweetheart. Despite Jess's broken heart,
her mother immediately sought comfort with another man.
ExcerptTwenty minutes later, Jess left her room with her hair wet
from her shower and the bunny slippers slapping the floor.
Her suitcase with her favorite PJs remained downstairs. She
hadn't been about to risk bumping into Adam wearing nothing
but her robe to get it. However, a rummage through the
dresser had produced a granny nightgown, which she wore
beneath the old robe. She'd scrubbed her face free of
makeup and vanquished her headache with the aspirin. If not
for the chance that Molly's cousin hung around, she'd be
ready for bed.
She checked on her sleeping mother, then went downstairs.
The living room was empty and the fire dead, but the
lights, though dimmed, still glowed. A tantalizing scent
teased her nostrils. Pancakes? Her stomach growled.
She entered the kitchen. Pancake mix dusted the orange
countertop, several cupboards stood open, and a batter-
clumped whisk lay beside a glass measuring cup. At the
stove with his back to her, Adam blithely flipped pancakes.
His jean jacket sprawled on the chair by the phone, one
sleeve brushing the floor.
Not only was he here, he'd ransacked the place! "What are
He faced her. His gaze lowered to the bunny slippers, and
his mouth twitched. "Molly said to feed you."
Molly said. "I thought you'd left." Jess tightened the
bathrobe's frayed belt. "Didn't the door slam?"
"Yeah, sorry. I didn't expect it to swing shut so fast."
She didn't want him apologizing. It made her feel mean. "So
you were leaving?"
"I didn't say that." Amusement flickered in his light blue
I sound like a witch. And probably looked ridiculous. She
refused to squirm beneath his penetrating gaze, though. She
belonged here—he didn't.
Yet Adam Wright looked more at home in her mother's kitchen
than Jess had felt in years.
"I went to get my dog. That's why the door slammed," he
said in a deep, mellow voice. "She's on the back porch.
Hope that's okay. The truck drives her stir-crazy after
"Oh." Heat climbed her neck. First her mom, now the dog,
even Jess—didn't he treat anyone like trash? It would be a
lot easier to follow through on her plan of kicking him out
if he did. "You shouldn't leave her on the porch. Mom
leases the pasture to the neighbors. The horses wander up
to the fence sometimes, even at night."
"Sheba doesn't chase horses. An irate mare nipped her in
the rear when she was a puppy. She learned her lesson." His
gaze drifted over Jess, cheeky and bold. "Nice housecoat."
The heat exploded, splashing her face and shooting sparks
to her nerve-endings. So much for putting him off-guard.
The man couldn't be swayed.
She focused on an invisible spot above his left
shoulder. "It's cold out. You should bring her in."
"It's nearly April. Not cold for a German shepherd who
sleeps outdoors eight months of the year."
"It doesn't matter. She can come in." She forced herself to
meet his gaze. With the ivory shirt setting off his wide
shoulders and his hips encased in the low-riding jeans, he
dominated the country kitchen. Hopefully, he would seem
less imposing with his dog around, less likely to cause her
to combust again. She couldn't kick him out now that he'd
fixed the pancakes. She did have some manners.
"We'll put her in the mudroom," she said. "If she barks,
there's less chance Mom will hear her."
"You'll eat with me, then?" Half-turning, he transferred
the browned pancakes to a platter. He ladled three more
dollops of batter onto the hot pan, and the thick mixture
"I guess." Her grumbling stomach seconded the motion.
"You guess? That's your invite?"
Her face warmed. "I'm asking."
"For you to stay." She smiled stiffly.
"Stay and eat. Okay, great. I will. Thanks." He lowered the
element beneath the gurgling coffeepot. "Like pulling
teeth," he murmured.
A smile played around his mouth as he winked, and images of
the seventeen-year-old guy who'd once teased her and Molly
filled her mind.
Her tummy fluttered. For a second, she almost
felt "thirteen going on fourteen" again. Adam had shot her
that same killer wink when she'd caught him staring at her
over the triple-patty Load 'Em Up Special he'd inhaled
during her and Molly's double fourteenth birthday party at
a long-defunct burger joint.
However, back then, coerced by his aunt to join the family
outing, he'd winked at Jess to torment her—no different
than tormenting his cousin. Now, he probably got his
jollies by keeping the rude city girl off-balance.
The trick was not to let him know how well it worked.
He strolled to the back door and let in his dog.
"Hi, girl," Jess said when Sheba nosed past her. The German
shepherd's tail wagged, and her brown eyes glittered.
"She likes you."
Sheba's winking master sounded surprised. Score one for
Rude City Girl. How gratifying to up-end him for once.
Jess tore a bit of warm pancake from the stack on the
platter and fed the piece to the dog. Sheba gobbled the
tidbit, then woofed softly. Jess rewarded her with another
chunk of pancake.
"Of course she likes me." She wiped her hands on a tea
towel, then flipped the remaining pancakes on the
stove. "When I was a kid, I had a German shepherd who could
have been her twin. She loved pancakes, too."
Adam gazed at her with a new light in his eyes. Respect or
bafflement? Hard to tell.
"What did you call her?"
He flashed a devastating grin. "Great minds."
Jess smiled back at him before she could stop herself.
Something subtle had changed between them. Because they
liked the same breed of dog?
Whatever, she'd take it over the unease stretching between
She closed the cupboards while he settled Sheba in the
mudroom with a bowl of fresh water and a promise for an
entire pancake if she didn't bark again.
"By the way," Jess said while he was out of view. "Thanks
again for getting me from the airport so Molly could stay
here with Mom. She liked the toast. You were right, she was
hungry. She loved the flower. I left the glass on her
See? She could do this. Humor the man to placate Molly,
then send him on his way.
He emerged from the mudroom, wiping his hands on his
butt. "It was no big deal."
"Sure it was." Jess stacked pancakes on the platter. "You
said Mom wouldn't mind if you stayed, and you were right
about that, too. She said you knew Pete from some group
that mentors teenagers?"
He nodded. "Destiny Falls Young Achievers."
"Well, I'm sure you could have found a better way to spend
your Friday night. I appreciate everything you've done. I
really do. I'm sorry if I've come off a little, um, rude."
"You haven't been rude."
"I wasn't the height of graciousness when you offered to
"When I wouldn't leave, you mean?"
"Something like that."
"Don't worry about it. I didn't get you from the airport to
score points in the good guy department, Jess. I went
because Molly asked me to and because I respect your mom.
As for staying, that's turning out to my benefit, I think.
It's not every day I have a chance to make pancakes at
midnight. Now I get to share a nice meal with you and a
couple of damn cute purple bunnies."
His smile, slow and incredibly sexy, warmed her from her
soon-to-frizz curls down to her rabbit-eared toes. "You're
okay, Adam Wright, you know that?"
"How about you taste my pancakes and then you can judge my
She smiled back. Darn it, but it was difficult not to.
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