Where the Heart Is (Ribbon Ridge #0.5) by Darcy Burke

Available on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads


Home is more than a place . . .

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. He’s laid-back and unassuming, everything she’s looking for in a man—or so he seems. It turns out he’s as ambitious as her ex, comes with a family who could be more stifling than hers, and harbors dark secrets he may never be able to share.

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? 


Where the Heart Is is a quick, fun holiday read. It has all the markings of my favorite holiday reads - two people who meet under unusual circumstances and fall in love quickly, might have some issues, but the Christmas magic makes everything work out in the end. Oh I just love reads like this. 

Chloe has a bit of an overbearing family who is really into status and wealth. She has never care about her place in society and left them to take a part time job as an art teacher. She doesn't have a lot, but she is happy. She loves living in this small town and everything is going great until her house burns down. Luckily one of the firefighters, Derek, steps up and helps her. 

Derek was orphaned as a teenager, and he has a great second family, but he has never gotten over losing his parents. He has a lot of issues regarding the death of his mom in particular and he really should have gotten some help for that long ago. When Chloe needs a place to stay his family suggest his mom's old house which is sitting empty. He agrees even though he doesn't really want to. He hasn't been able to go in the house since his mom was alive, hasn't really done anything with it, but he also can't bear to part with it. 

Chloe and Derek were really sweet together. They just get along great from the get go, only Derek won't talk to Chloe about his problems. He won't open up to her and as long as the house doesn't come up things are fine. Chloe tries to just be there for him, but Derek does keep hurting her because of his issues. She is just what he needs to be able to start moving on and creating a new, better life. Chloe is such a sweetheart, so kind and patient and caring. This was a really great read. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2


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