Saturday, February 16, 2013

Book review: Where she belongs - by Cindy Procter-King

I always thought I would never in my life buy an e-book reader and surrender to e-books. I've always loved the feel of paper, its smell, the joy of holding a book in my hands and staring at its beautiful cover. But in the end I bought a Kindle, although I still buy my favourite books in the paperback version.

Anyway, since surrendering to the power of the Kindle, I've discovered so many new authors that I would probably never have discovered otherwise, either because they're not available in my country or because being authors I'd never heard of, I probably wouldn't have bought a paperback version of their books (I've had a few bad experiences since discovering Amazon, and now I have books sitting in my bookcase, half finished because I didn't like them). But I will have to thank my Kindle for helping me discover this book, which I downloaded totally by chance.

It seems lately bad guys are quite trendy as the main male characters in a book. Well, for someone like me growing up watching Disney movies and waiting for gorgeous Prince Charming to come trotting on his white horse and take me to his castle, this has been a little hard to accept. Sexy as they may be, all these tattooed rough guys who get a kick out of breaking women's hearts just for the sake of it made me feel quite uneasy to say the least, and made me think that maybe Disney got it all wrong; or perhaps Prince Charming got extinct some time during Ice Age and nobody bothered to inform us about it.

So I'd been convinced by these books that bad boys had become the rule now - it's either them or nothing, and I'd lost all hope of finding a male character who was sweet, mature, didn't do drugs, and didn't enjoy stomping on women's hearts - a family guy with roots and principles had gone out of fashion, simple as that. Then here comes Adam Wright, and I'm swept off my feet. He's everything - and I mean EVERYTHING - a hopeless romantic like me dreams of in a man: He's gorgeous, sweet, romantic and mature; the family guy every woman could wish to be married to - well, at least I do. And so my faith in Prince Charming was restored after the first chapter, and the world didn't seem so gloomy anymore.

It's been a while since I found myself so engrossed in a book that I kept thinking about it (and him!) days and weeks after I've read it, and I have to admit I'd forgotten how good it feels. At unexpected moments of the day, a scene from the book would come back to my mind, and I'd find myself wanting to read it all over again. Weird, but good. Especially since it's coming from an author I didn't know - it's easy to fall in love with a book from your favourite author, because you know what you can expect, but it's not so easy with a new author you've never read anything by. And I was definitely pleasantly surprised by this author.

What made me love this book so much? Apart from Adam, I mean? It's the wonderful ability of the author to describe places, people, feelings in such a realistic and perfect way that I felt as if I'd somehow been sucked inside the book and was living every single moment Jess and Adam were living.

Where she belongs is a beautiful, romantic and emotional love story, but it's also about the inner struggle of the main female character, Jessie, who finds herself torn between wanting to belong in the place she grew up in, and needing to be away from it and live her own successful life in Toronto.

When her stepfather dies of a sudden heart-attack, Jess takes some days off her crazy work schedule as a shoe buyer in Toronto, to spend some time with her grieving mother. As she goes back to her childhood home, and meets people from her past, memories start crawling back and she suddenly finds herself wondering whether her life is really that happy. She's successful, has a good job and a thriving career, but after spending time in Destiny Falls with her mother, and getting closer to Adam Wright, her teenage crush, she starts reconsidering her priorities, although it's not as easy as it seems.

Where she belongs is an absolute must-read if you belong to the old-fashioned category of women (like me) who love a Disney Happily-Ever-After kind of story, with a "Disneyish" Prince Charming and a strong, independent heroine. If you like a good romance book, go grab a copy. You'll love it.

Have you read “Where she belongs” already? Leave a comment and let me know what you thought of it.

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