J. Daniels is an author I will read anything by and my love of her books started with the Alabama Summer series. I actually read these books in May 2017, so just a few months before starting this blog. This week I decided to do a re-read of the first book in this series, Where I Belong. I had the audiobook and loved every minute of this book again, so I decided it was time to share that love for this series. Keep on reading to find out more about the book and what I thought of this book!
A New York Times bestselling enemies to lovers STANDALONE
When Mia Corelli returns to Alabama for a summer of fun with her childhood best friend, Tessa, there’s only one thing keeping her on edge. One person that she’d do anything to avoid.
Benjamin Kelly. World’s biggest dickhead.
Mia hates him with a fury and has no desire to ever see him again. When she decides to start her summer off with a bang and finally give away her v-card, she unknowingly hands it over to the one guy that excelled at making her life miserable, learning a valuable lesson in the process.
Always get the name of the guy you’re going home with.
Ben can’t get the girl he spent one night with out of his head. When she leaves him the next morning, he thinks he’ll never see her again. Until he sees her lounging by the pool with his sister.
Mia is determined to hate Ben, even though she can’t forget him.
Ben is determined to prove he’s not the same guy he used to be.
What happens when the one person you wish never existed becomes the one person you can’t imagine being without?
“The girl I once couldn’t get far enough away from had become the woman I couldn’t get close enough to.”
I have to say I had the perfect timing with my re-read, because when I started this book the sun was shining and it was beautiful out. It definitely fit well with the fact that Where I Belong takes place in the summer. The great thing about re-reads is that you see certain details sooner, but also get to relive all of your favorite moments all over again.
To start this review I have to say that I loved the audiobook and the narrators. They really made Ben and Mia come to life and they did such a great job getting the humor and other emotions feel real. Because Where I Belong is definitely a book that hits you in all the feels. I didn’t remember it being that steamy though, haha.
“I’ll earn her friendship before offering her my life. It’s hers anyway. She just needs to take it.”
Mia is in Alabama for the summer, because she’s taking some time to get away after a lot of things going on at home. So what a better way to spend the summer than at your best friend’s house. At the beginning of the summer she decides it’s time to lose her virginity with some stranger at the bar who just happens to be her best friend’s brother and someone she’s hated since she was a teenager. We definitely get the whole enemies to lovers vibe and that delivers a lot of awkward moments that also make you laugh out loud. There relationship moves quickly, but I have to say I love their connection and how it seems to be more than just sex.
Mia is such a sweet person and definitely gives her all for the ones she loves. She much rather spend the summer doing things for others than relaxing and taking time for herself. I loved how caring she was and accepting she was of Ben’s son. Mia can be sassy and stubborn, but has a heart of gold.
“I can’t imagine loving her any more than I do right now. But I know I will. Because every second I’m with her, I fall harder.”
Ben is definitely one that lands high on the book boyfriend list. He’s a cop and a very devoted father to his three year old son Nolan. I loved how he was with his little boy. Nolan was definitely his whole world and then some. That’s something that will make a lot of us swoon. He’s stubborn, but also very caring and protective of those he loves. Ben isn’t afraid to let Mia know how he feels and what he wants either. We don’t always see this in romances.
Okay, I gave this book five stars even though the ending felt just a bit rushed to me. Some things seemed a bit much to happen all at once and their relationship skipped like ten steps, haha. That being said this is fiction and the ending made me happy, haha. There is also an amazing cast of side characters that I know I will come to love as the books continue. Luke, Tessa and Reed were a lot of fun to read about and there stories are going to be just as fun to read again.
“The boy I once wished never existed was now the man I wanted to spend every second with.”
All in all, Where I Belong is a fast and steamy read with amazing characters. If I’m honest, Ben’s son Nolan really steals the show. That little boy is so cute while slaying his invisible dragons. Just like many other readers I really hope the author gives us a book about him when he’s all grown up!
It was great being back in this world again with all of these amazing characters. I really hope to re-read the rest of the series this year and will do so with the audiobooks. Have you ever read anything by J. Daniels? If you have, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!