Ten years ago I fell in love with a married woman. I walked away so she could be happy, moving across the country to make sure I put space between us. We severed ties, and I promised myself I wouldn’t look back.
Since then I committed to someone else, and we have a child and a life many would wish for. Except, it’s never been enough for me. There’s always been something missing; something I never wanted to admit.
With my own marriage failing, I’m forced to go back to my hometown to bury the man who raised me. I never expected to see her there, and nothing could prepare me for what would happen the moment my arms wrapped around hers again.
“You have every right to assume this can’t be anything more than a temporary affair. I don’t blame you for being cautious, but there is something I want you to know.”
She turned around, finally looking right at me with those hesitant eyes. “What?”
“I still love you.” I swallowed the lump in my throat as the words came out, silently praying she wouldn’t force me to leave. It wasn’t every day that I told someone other than my wife I loved them, but in this instance it was the truest statement I’d ever made. “I feel like I’ve loved you for a lifetime. It’s true. I have loved my wife, but it’s not the same. It’s always been you, Rach. You’re the only woman I know I’ll never be able to let go of. Staying away was my only option. I did it to protect both of our lives, but there’s nothing standing in the way anymore. Please don’t deny us a second chance.” I paused one more time. “I need you, just as much as I think you need me.”
Her shoulders relaxed, and I watched her purse fall from her grip and hit the concrete ground. She shrugged while staring into my eyes. Her lips were trembling, allowing me to almost sense the connection between us. “I’m not strong enough to be with you again. I can’t handle anymore heartache. Being close to you scares me, because I’m tired of the pain and suffering.”
I took two steps forward, breaking the distance between us. “I’m not capable of hurting you again, Rach. If you give me this chance I promise I won’t let you down. Let me be your friend again, and whatever comes with it will be determined by both of us.”
When I saw that Jennifer Foor was releasing another Seven Year Itch novel I knew I wanted to make sure that I got my hands on it. I have been captivated by this series of stand alone novels all featuring marriages that are in trouble and I was sure that Belong would be no different.
I know you are thinking WTF is wrong with you that you are dying to get your hands on a book and series that feature people that are struggling, failing and in trouble. Do you just like to see people suffer? Don’t you use books to escape? Well the answer is I have NEVER claimed to be normal… and YES I use books to escape, but I also love when authors use their books to reflect real life issues. When they showcase characters that have flaws and issues and lives that just sometimes suck as much as everyone else’s, yet they find a way out of it and find their happily ever after. (See the escape DOES come in 😉 )
So here we meet up with Chad and Rachel… TEN YEARS LATER. A lot can happen in ten years time, and they do not really know what is going on in one another’s lives right now. Ten years ago Chad walked away from Rachel and everything that he loved so that she could live a life of happiness. Since then both of their businesses have flourished. Chad has married and he has a beautiful daughter. But life isn’t always the pretty picture it looks like on the outside. Chad’s marriage is crumbling right before his very eyes. And to top it all off, just as he finds out his marriage isn’t what he thought it was, he gets a call with dire news about his beloved grandfather. The man who raised him. His last connection to Rachel, the woman he gave up… It is time for Chad to fly back East and face his past. What will happen when Chad and Rachel meet up again?
Confession time, sometimes I do live in a bubble and I read the blurb for Belong and was like OOOH Juicy and somehow missed the little sentence at the bottom that read: Stand Alone read, but also follows the characters featured in book two, BEREFT. So I was totally and completely caught off guard when I started reading Belong! All of a sudden I saw Chad and was like OMG! This is going to be about Chad & Rachel!! For those of you wondering if you NEED to read Bereft in order to enjoy BELONG, the answer is NO. You can enjoy Belong, on its own. It is a second-chance romance, with a bit of a spin and a whole bunch of hiccups along the way. If you are someone who likes to know ALL of the backstory, then read Bereft and see where their connection first started.
There were twists and turns and then you thought ok I can breathe now… HA! just kidding here comes another twist! each time you thought they may have a chance o just live their lives there was something else put in their way another hiccup in their life. while this could have been frustrating as a reader, isn’t this really what life is all about. It isn’t some journey with smooth sailing ahead. t is a series of obstacles that you are willing to navigate together once you find that one person you BELONG with. No matter how hard it is, no matter how long it takes and no matter what stands in your way. And THAT is what this book was about. And the ending. The ending. Oh my. It was just beautifully done. Beautifully handled. And it just melted my heart. Took a character I just didn’t know about and flipped her on her head and… *sigh*
I definitely recommend this book! While I realize this book won’t be for everyone as it covers some hot button issues for people – infidelity, a marriage that is failing – I urge you to give it a try. It isn’t done in a sleazy manner, and Chad is a wonderful, father, husband and just man in general. And the woman are all strong women trying to figure the lives out. This is not a book with “villains’ who did something wrong. This is a book dealing with real life issues and depicts the story of how they all coped.
I received a complimentary copy of Belong in exchange for my honest review.
Jennifer Foor is an award winning Contemporary Romance Author. She’s best known for the Mitchell Family Series, which includes ten books.
She is married with two children and spends most of her time behind a keyboard, writing stories that come from her heart.