Where the Heart Lies
Michelle Garren Flye
Published by Carina Press
Available on Amazon.com
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview.
3 / 5 cupcakes
When someone asks me who I respect, I always answer, “Military spouses.” There are some things in this world that I know I cannot do, and saying goodbye to my husband as he heads off to war is one of them. I just can’t. And Michelle Garren Flye’s Where the Heart Lies only cements that sentiment.
Alicia Galloway promised her Marine husband Troy that they could move back to his North Carolina hometown. It isn’t a burden, really, because her parents are dead, and the couple have a daughter about to start kindergarten. Being near Troy’s parents will help, especially considering Alicia is expecting their second child.
But Troy doesn’t come home from Afghanistan, and with his death, Alicia first must deliver their son, Jason, by herself, and then keeps her promise to her husband.
Before Alicia has a chance to get settled, she meets Penny, a neighbor who briefly dated Troy in high school and has an eighteen-year-old daughter of her own. The second person Alicia meets is Liam, Troy’s best friend from high school, who shows up with a bag of groceries and says that he’s keeping his own promise to Troy; he will watch over Alicia and the kids.
Alicia is impressed, not to mention immediately attracted to him. But wait. Her husband just died. Why does she have the steamin’ undies for another man? Penny tries to warn her, as do various townspeople. Liam is trouble, they say. He will break your heart. But Liam is interested in her, and she him.
Alicia knows exactly what she wants, but she is paralyzed with fear when it comes to going after it. What will people say? What will her in-laws say? Can she and Liam even have a relationship? Can this work out? Whether it does or not really is due to no help from Alicia herself, because she causes more problems for her own darn self than any other character. Some family secrets emerge, some of which we see coming pages before Flye confirms our suspicions.
As for rocking the headboard, while it happens, it is not terribly detailed. For the most part, we get kissing and caressing, which is written well enough that we feel the attraction between Liam and Alicia.
The problem with this book is that there is no mystery here. We know how it will end, and, like I said, the big shocking bombshell is so obvious that you keep wondering why no one else seems to know about it. Alicia is sweet, and we want her to be happy. Liam seems fantastic, so all of the whisperings and warnings about how awful he is and how he will break her heart don’t make a lot of sense.
This is one of those books that won’t make a huge impression on you, but is pleasant to read. If nothing else, you’ll want to follow Alicia to make sure she doesn’t screw up anything beyond repair.