Reviewed by Roberta
TITLE: Where I belong
AUTHOR: Jae Moran
PUBLISHER: JMS BOOKS, LLC
LENGTH: 84,640 Words
Bestselling author and erstwhile musician Harper Ellison started running from his troubled past before he graduated high school. When his sister tracks him down ten years later, Harper hesitantly agrees to visit the family and small North Carolina community that rejected him when he needed them most.
Life has taught Harper to avoid relationships, but he can’t seem to ignore his attraction to Lucas Rhodes, the buff, blond social worker living on his grandparents’ farm. Lucas quickly becomes an anchor in the maelstrom created by Harper’s homecoming. Together they wade through the grief and loss Harper buried six-feet deep just a few miles from his childhood home.
Choosing to forgive is the only way Harper will ever find peace, but can he learn that lesson before it’s too late?
Wow, can I just say that this book was filled with so many feels that it’s taken me a couple of weeks to actually sit down and write this review. That’s how much this book really affected me.
Harper Ellison has gone through so much in his life and he has kept himself from commitments after leaving home at 17. Poor Harper…the trials that he survived and yes, he’s a survivor…they just hurt my heart. Harper was outed his senior year of high school and the remainder of the year was pure hell for him. He left before his jackass of a father could kick him out and also to just get away from the horror that his life had become. Harper has become an author as a tribute to his first love, Scott as that is what Scott wanted to be.
Harper’s life over the last ten years has had its highs and lows and sometimes, the lows become so overwhelming that he’s just folds in on himself. Harper is just this guy who life has dealt some horrible hands. Yet, he’s still here. He’s still a survivor. I really appreciated that the author made this character someone who, even though you’ve not lived his life…you can feel for him and want so much for his life to get better.
Harper is going back home and wow…it’s just so damn hard to bear. To hear all of the horrors that he endured…I cried. I actually cried reading this book. To see Harper face his past and the people who hurt him…yeah…be prepared for some tears and have some tissues handy.
I hope that I don’t turn you off this story because you’ll be missing one hell of a story. This really brought out the feels for me and I feel as I’m lucky to have read it. To see Harper face his past and find the strength within himself to allow him to forgive the people who totally should have been there for him when he was younger…yeah…Beautiful!!
I have to say that the cast of characters in this story were just wonderful. I was along on this ride and found that there were some AMAZING people in Harper’s life and I’m so damn glad that he allowed himself to go back and to face his past. Harper’s sister and her fiancé…sweet, warm and so loving and welcoming. Harper’s mom…she had to make some amends and get her own forgiveness…for her part in Harper’s past. Scott’s mother…yeah…she had some stuff to own up to as well…and it was nice to see her make the effort to show Harper that she was indeed sorry for what happened and that she was in the wrong.
The sexy times in this book were really great and I have to say that Jae really made feel the emotional and physical connection between Harper and Lucas.
Now, I know that I’ve not really written about Lucas, but for me…Lucas was the perfect other half of Harper’s soul. For me…he was a great and really supportive partner for Harper and he was a terrific guy. Lucas really made me feel that as wonderful a guy as he was…his life wasn’t complete without having Harper there to be his other half.
I will say that the only part of the story that bothered me was Scott. I knew that he was Harper’s first love/boyfriend and yet, I knew he wasn’t in Harper’s life. I just wasn’t sure why until later in the story. I guess, for me that bothered me…I hate waiting and when it all came out…again…the crying happened…for all the pain and suffering that went on for both Scott and Harper. But, I was also kinda pissed that we didn’t know why they weren’t together, only that they weren’t.
Jae…I have to say as a new to me author…you hit this one out of the park and I’m really glad that I took a chance on this story. You made my heart hurt and you squeezed so much emotion out of me that I didn’t even know I had. Great Job and I truly look forward to any books you do in the future.