Title: Where the Heart Is
Author: Darcy Burke
Publisher: Intrepid Reads
Release Date: November 29, 2013
Book Source: eBook
Breaking free from her structured life, Chloe English quits her high-powered job and moves across the country to work as an art teacher. The simple life is all she hoped it would be until her house burns down, leaving her homeless. When a handsome firefighter swoops in to save the day, she can’t believe her luck.
Orphaned as a teenager, Derek Sumner has found a place in his best friend’s family. However, the love and support of his surrogate parents and siblings can’t erase the grief and loss he struggles every Christmas to banish. But this year he meets the fun and sexy Chloe, whose optimism and sense of joy are incredibly contagious. Can she help him face his bleak past so they can forge a happy future?
Welcome to Ribbon Ridge!
This novella is the first story in the Ribbon Ridge series, and it’s a great introduction. Although it’s a shorter story, Darcy Burke was able to fit enough storyline, character development and sex scenes into this novella so I didn’t feel as if I was short changed.
Although, of course, I wanted the story to go on longer.
The story begins with Chloe moving across the country after having split with her finance. She’s looking for a new life, far from her ex and her controlling mother. Her move does not begin well when the place she has rented burns down. Chloe does get a kitten because of the fire, so I think that’s a huge plus.
I thought this was cool, in the endnotes, Burke thanks a firefighter that she had talked to in regards to research. And the firefighter told her a story about two kittens she had rescued in a similar manner in real life. It just goes to show that authors are constantly studying and talking to people, and do incorporate them into their stories.
Chloe meets the firefighter, Derek while her house is burning down. Since she now has no place to stay, Derek, who is kind, offers her a place to stay with his “adopted” family, the Archers. She accepts, and the Archers instantly welcome her into the family.
We then witness them realize that they have a burning passion for each other. But, of course, there has to be some obstacles along the way.
Derek has to overcome his issues with his own house (that he offers to Chloe, even though he doesn’t really want to), and the loss of his parents. Chloe has to realize that Derek is not her ex, with a few other problems thrown in to keep the story interesting.
The story does take place in about two weeks, and while some might find the events that transpire a bit too unrealistic, I didn’t. When I read romance I often throw my expectations out the window. People are going to have sex and/or fall in love quickly. That’s why I read romance, to get away from real life, and to get a magical, happy ending.
There are seven children (sextuplets and a single child) in the Archer family, so I am happy to know that I will be able read each of their stories in a full length book. And perhaps Burke will come back to Chloe and Derek’s story at the end, and give them a full length book as well.
But no matter what she decides to do with the Ribbon Ridge series, I’m looking forward to the next book, “Only in My Dreams”.
*I was given an eBook copy by the publicity team. All thoughts and opinions are mine, and I was not given any money or material incentives for an honest review of this book.