Thursday, February 16, 2012

Belonging by Robin Lee Hatcher

Belonging
by Robin Lee Hatcher
Where the Heart Lives, Book 1
Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance
Published September 2011

Zondervan
277 pages



About the Book
Can two bitter pasts make one sweet future?

In the high desert town of Frenchman’s Bluff, Idaho, Felicia Kristoffersen has set out to create a future for herself that is better than her painful past. Alone in the world with only her faith to sustain her, she must prove herself as this tiny community’s new school teacher. She cannot, must not, fail. But there are those who never wanted her there to begin with.

Five years after the death of his wife, local merchant Colin Murphy cares about just one thing: raising his daughter, Charity. Colin wants to give her the educational advantages he never had. The new schoolmarm’s inexperience doesn’t sit well with him, and if this teacher up and marries like the last one did, Charity’s heart will be broken once again.

A woman who hasn’t known love. A man who lost the love he had.

In the midst of the wide, sage-covered plains, each is about to discover that life’s bitterest circumstances truly can work together for good.

My Thoughts
After recently discovering Robin Lee Hatcher, I was eager to dive into another of her historical fiction novels. Belonging, the first in the Where the Heart Lives series, is a sweet story of friendship, community, and love.

While this is a "romance" novel, I really felt that the best and deepest relationship in the book was between Felicia and Kathleen, a woman who befriends Felicia when she first comes to town. They were true friends to one another, and I loved seeing that relationship grow stronger throughout the book. As far as romance, once Colin and Felicia finally (!) started talking to each other, their relationship progressed along rapidly and was so sweet!

At times the plot seemed like it either lagged or rushed ahead. For instance, I would have loved to see the relationship between Kathleen and her love interest develop at a more realistic pace rather than just happen over two days.

Overall, this was a really sweet story and I look forward to learning more about Felicia's family and hopefully meeting her brother and sister in future books. [3.5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. She discovered her vocation after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Idahope Writer of the Year, the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 60 novels. Her historical romance Catching Katie was named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying plays under the stars. Her main hobby (when time allows) is knitting, and she has a special love for making prayer shawls. Robin and her husband make their home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with Poppet, the high-maintenance Papillon, and Princess Pinky, the DC (demon cat).

Robin Lee Hatcher Online
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