You Belong With Me – Tari Faris – Restoring Heritage #1 – Revell – Published 3 September 2019
Small-town realtor Hannah Thornton has many talents–unfortunately, selling houses isn’t one of them. When a developer sets his sights on the historic homes in Heritage, Hannah turns to her best friend Luke for help. Will Luke risk his future and confront his past to help her succeed?
Two romances in one, a story about second chances at a love once thought missed and a compassionate reflection of learning to accept your path in life even when faced with challenges and disappointments. You Belong With Me is the first book in a new series by Tari Faris that explores love, family and belonging, set against the charming backdrop of a small town.
Hannah loves her home town of Heritage. Sure, a lot of businesses have closed down and the building have seen better days, but she believes with the right attention it could be so much more. When an opportunity arises to enter a competition to win prize money for the town’s redevelopment, Hannah jumps at it and volunteers her best friend Luke to help out. But with the return of her best friend, the engagement of her brother to a women who is all wrong for him, simmering unfinished tension between her and Luke and a series of disasters, Hannah despairs of ever being able to make Heritage the town she knows it could be.
I very much enjoyed You Belong With Me. While Hannah initially seems headstrong and a little blind and she certainly has a lot to learn, she undergoes some serious character growth and learns from her mistakes.
Luke’s story of a childhood raised in care and his fears of never belonging overlap with Hannah’s experience of abandonment after her mother left town. Both have a serious fear of being left unwanted and this complicates their relationship. With the help and guidance from close friends, family members (some blood and others by choice), an understanding pastor and God’s gift of grace, they are given a second chance at love – but with the complications of a series of accidents, well-intentioned but mislead actions and a lot of secrets they just might need and third chance to get it right.
While the plot is driven by Hannah’s plans for the town, the story is pretty equally focused on the relationship between Hannah’s brother, Thomas, and her best friend, Janie. Theirs is the second love story captured within these pages. While they too have a lot of past hurts to work through and challenges to overcome, there is no denying their continued connection and depth of feeling. The novel is written in third person and the chapters alternate between focusing on Thomas, Hannah, Luke and Janie.
You Belong With Me is a well-written and sweet romantic Christian contemporary novel. It is sure to please fans of Becky Wade, Courtney Walsh and other similar writers. I look forward to reading the second book in the series which is set to feature a secondary character from this novel.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Adult fiction
Genre: Christian – Contemporary
Themes: Small towns, historic buildings, family, adoption, romance, friendship, belonging, faith.
Published: 3 September 2019 by Revell.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook. 368 pages.