February 12, 2016 7 Comments


Though I’ve seen her historical debut around the blogosphere, I’ve never read a novel by Johnnie Alexander. Thinking her contemporary (and publisher) debut sounded like a charmer of a story, taking the opportunity to read her novel, Where She Belongs didn’t require second thought.  


STORY: Single mother Shelby Kincaid is determined to buy back her family’s former home and land. Doing this will involve a lot of time, effort and a move from the big-city of Chicago to a the simple living of small-town in the south, but she believes it’s the only place for she and her young daughters. That is until the Sullivan family – her grandparent’s enemies, attempt to take her home away from her all except AJ Sullivan. AJ is the one Sullivan who hasn’t tried to take anything from Shelby, not to mention the man willing to sell Shelby back her ancestral home. But with his cousins planning a land development deal – one that involves her land, Shelby’s dreams are just one court ruling away from shattering. 

Where She Belongs, by Johnnie Alexander | Book Review

Contemporary romance is my happy place reading. With any new book that catches my fancy set in this genre, I get excited to become lost inside its pages; to uncover the what and why it might find itself a spot among my favorite reads shelf. It’s all the more anticipatory when the book is by a new author. All of this and more applies to this novel. Charming is inadequate a word. There is something distinctly different about the novel though it’s not because it’s a story variation. Instead it’s the depth of the characters and the proud family history that leaves the reader sighing in enjoyment as we turn each page.   

Within the pages of Where She Belongs was a story I didn’t want to put down. I was loathe to put the book aside to carry out with ordinary interruptions or things that demand our daily attention (such rude distractions!). The reasons being were the characters. Though Shelby’s attraction to Brett baffles me, each of the primary players are complex with great potential to enjoy an interesting story of their own. These characters have to undergo a greater sense of redemption, which may present a challenge or two. 

If you like contemporary fiction, this novel is gorgeous. The lyrical writing, tender romance and sense of family is elegant. The relationships leave us wanting more, and Shelby’s daughters are as darling as can be. As I read the story I could tell the author took great care in crafting and in the telling of it. Because of this, this is one novel that may make you eager to journey more through Misty Willow, asking “what’s next?”

About the Book:

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Author: Johnnie Alexander
Publisher: Revell
Source: Publisher Provided
Publication Date: 2016
Find the Review elsewhere: Amazon ǀ Goodreads
Shop the Book: Bookshop.org ǀ Goodreads
Series: Misty Willow, Book One
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance, Inspirational
Rating: 5 out of 5 

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Carole Jarvis February 12, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    I absolutely loved this book, Rissi, and it will go on my "best of the best" list as soon as I can find time to write my review! As much as I love historical fiction, contemporary is right up there also – especially stories that fall into the women's fiction category. Can't wait to see how she redeems Brett and his sister!

    • Rissi February 16, 2016 at 3:48 AM

      Contemporary reads are my happy place, Carole. For me, this is odd because I am a BIG fan of costume drama (BBC or ITV namely). However in reading, I tend to gravitate more towards contemporary – if I had to guess, I'd say it has something to do with the fact of preferring the visualization of historical stories (on film).

      Looking forward to reading your review! And yes, seeing the redemption of Brett and whoever book three may be about (my guess is the sister too!). :)

  • Deanne Patterson March 3, 2019 at 7:11 PM

    I love historical fiction the best but have recently been enjoying reading contemporary as well. Have not read this author yet but I do have her The Erie Canal Brides Collection book and eagerly look forward to reading it. I’d love for you to visit my blog at

    • Rissi JC March 5, 2019 at 10:15 PM

      I hope you enjoy this one when you have a chance to read it, Deanne. :) Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland and introducing yourself.

  • Caryl Kane August 1, 2020 at 8:54 PM

    Wonderful review! Thank you for sharing.

  • Eva Millien January 1, 2022 at 5:58 PM

    Sounds like a great book, thanks for sharing your review! Have a happy & successful New Year~

    • Rissi JC January 1, 2022 at 10:20 PM

      Thanks for reading, Eva. And you too! All the best in the New Year. :)

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