Debut author Tari Faris is going to be a name to watch for in next year’s awards season! You Belong with Me and P.S. Goodbye, book 1 and prequel novella of the Restoring Heritage series, are wonderful small-town romance stories with heart!
about the book
You Belong with Me by Tari Faris (Restoring Heritage 1)
Realtor Hannah Thornton has many talents. Unfortunately, selling houses in the town where her family name is practically poison isn’t one of them. When a business tycoon determines to raze historic homes in the small town of Heritage, Michigan, and replace them with a strip mall, Hannah resolves to stop him. She sets about helping Heritage win a restoration grant that will put the town back on the map—and hopefully finally repay the financial debt Hannah’s mother caused the town. But at first no one supports her efforts—not even her best friend, Luke.
Luke Johnson may have grown up in Heritage, but as a foster kid he never truly felt as if he belonged. Now he has a chance to score a job as assistant fire chief and earn his place in the town. But when the interview process and Hannah’s restoration project start unearthing things from his past, Luke must decide if belonging is worth the pain of being honest about who he is—and who he was.
The following review will in no way, shape, or form do this story justice. Words to express how wonderful these characters are, how perfect the setting, or how great the plot is… elude me.
Small-town folks are my people. Faris nails the good, bad, and quirky elements of living in an intimately connected community. Like Heritage, small towns everywhere struggle through tough economic times but I believe this is the first time I’ve seen this reality portrayed so authentically and lovingly within a story.
Without getting into all the complexities of the relationships found in Heritage (because these characters are just too good to risk spoiling with my bumbling words), take that rule of seven degrees of separation and cut it in half then tie it in a bow. Typical small-town businesses, farms, and organizations are well represented. The generations of citizens who dedicate themselves to work and service walk hand-in-hand year after year, some shining in the golden glow of their ancestors and some desperately scrambling from the shadows of the past.
There’s no question that people leave small towns (otherwise they wouldn’t be small) but take a moment to experience the draw of an intimate community and you might find yourself wooed to a sparsely populated village near you! I love these characters and this setting and I can’t wait to find out what will happen next!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
about the author
Tari Faris has been writing fiction for more than 10 years. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy, she works for My Book Therapy, manages learnhowtowriteanovel.com, and is a 2017 Genesis Award winner. She has an MDiv from Asbury Theological Seminary and lives in the Phoenix, Arizona, area with her husband and their three children. Although she lives in the Southwest now, she lived in a small town in Michigan for 25 years.
Do you love small towns too? Are you adding You Belong with Me by Tari Faris to your tbr?