Title: Where the Heart Lies by Michelle Garren Flye
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 87,000 words
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
All widowed Alicia Galloway has left of her war-hero husband are the flag that draped his coffin and his final wishes: to move to his hometown, take over the family bookstore and enjoy a simple, quiet life with their two small children. When she arrives, her husband’s best friend makes that new life anything but simple. How can she be so drawn to Liam Addison?
Liam only intended to help Alicia get settled. But one unexpected kiss awakens his long-held forbidden feelings. Soon, the town busybodies swoop in to warn Alicia away from him. Because no matter the man he’s become, he’ll never live down his reputation as town troublemaker and wolfish womanizer.
No one wants the war hero’s sweet widow and the supposedly former bad boy together. But the more everyone tries to keep them apart, the closer he and Alicia get. And the more determined Liam is to prove he’s a changed man. Will it be enough to convince Alicia to let a new love in her life?
Where the Heart Lies by Michelle Garren Flye is a beautiful and heartwarming novel that is quite compelling. Following her husband Ty’s death, Alicia Galloway’s transition to life in her husband’s hometown is hindered by the interference she encounters from concerned friends, neighbors and well meaning yet nosy people from her husband’s past. But the biggest complication for Alicia proves to be her growing feelings for the town’s resident bad boy and Ty’s best friend, Liam Addison.
Alicia Galloway is an incredibly well-grounded character that is impossible not to like. Strong in the face of all of the adversity facing her, she never feels sorry for herself. Alicia mourns the husband she has lost, feels regret for things said in the heat of anger yet she does not dwell on past mistakes. She has an amazing capacity for love and forgiveness. Her reactions to everything going on in her life are believable and I found it very easy to relate to her and everything she was experiencing.
Liam Addison is a fabulous but flawed protagonist. I like how laidback and easy going he is despite the town’s inability to let go of long ago events. Liam easily handles whatever life throws his way and never lets the negativity bring him down. He is matter of fact about his struggle with alcoholism and I thought that this part of the storyline was very realistic. Charming and affable, he is very easy to like and I was definitely in his corner throughout the book.
A couple of secondary cast members play a key role in how the storyline plays out. Penny Turner is one of both Ty and Liam’s ex-girlfriends and she is quick to befriend Alicia. She is firmly against Alicia becoming romantically involved with Liam and her motives for keeping them apart are unclear for much of Where the Heart Lies. I definitely had a love/hate relationship with her character. On the other hand, I absolutely adored Lulu Banks. Supportive and caring, she is fairly unbiased when it comes to Liam and she is a terrific friend for Alicia.
A lovely contemporary romance with a few unexpected twists and turns,Where the Heart Lies by Michelle Garren Flye is an engaging novel with charming and likable characters. I enjoyed watching Alicia and Liam give their love the chance to blossom despite the odds against them. I highly recommend this fast paced and engrossing romance.