ARC Review: The Place I Belong by Inez Kelley

Format: E-booktheplaceibelong
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Country Roads, #2
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Jonah Alcott
Heroine: Zureyden Castellano
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: February 24, 2014
Started On: February 21, 2014
Finished On: February 22, 2014

The Place I Belong is the wonderful second installment of Inez Kelley’s Country Roads series. While I enjoyed the first book in the series, i.e. Take Me Home, I flat-out loved what the second book in this series had to offer.

Jonah Alcott is the man responsible for the PR at Hawkins Hardwood, a lumbar company in West Virginia. Jonah is charming, persuasive and confident in his abilities and believes in the good that Hawkins Hardwood does in the industry. His latest foe turns out to be as vivacious as she is stubborn, a woman who drives him to distraction in every single way possible.

Zureyden Castellano (Zury) hates seeing the beloved land that she calls home castrated in the name of profits. Her fight to keep the wild beauty of the land intact is a personal one, one borne out of knowing early on in her childhood where exactly in this world she belonged. Butting heads with the altogether too sexy for his own good Jonah was supposed to be just that, proving her point and walking away with the rights of the Black Cherry Canyon taken from Hawkins Hardwood which would guarantee the land wouldn’t be despoiled by those who seem to see nothing but big fat wads of cash in profits that would be reaped from the land.

But as Jonah and Zury spends time together, both of them realize that under all the frustration that they both harbor in making the other see the light, lies a simmering attraction that surpasses anything they have ever felt before. While Jonah prefers his dalliances with the opposite sex commitment free, Zury is the type who would never be completely happy with a casual romp and someone who would always seek more from her relationships. But even with their different outlooks, Zury and Jonah find that turning away from the wild sexual energy and the connection forged between them is something neither is capable of doing.

As these two gravitate more and more towards each other, Hawkins Hardwood falls under the target of an Eco-terrorist group that believes no boundaries exist when it comes to ensuring that nature thrive, at any cost. Whether Jonah would be able to convince Zury of who the real bad guys are in time and salvage the connection that grows between them is the question as the man behind the group, who has got practically nothing to lose, closes in on his intended target, all in the name of saving Zury’s beloved land.

What made The Place I Belong stand out for me were the different threads in the story interwoven cleverly together to give a highly readable tale of undeniable passion, love and the sizzle of danger. Jonah is a hero that I adored from his altogether gorgeous frame, either suited up or in casuals; that one scene during which Zury practically inhales Jonah in all his suited up glory one that is etched on my mind even now. What you see is not what you get when you take in Jonah’s character. The darkness in his past is one that boils to the surface proving to Zury just how wrong she had been in assuming Jonah to be just another pretty face when they had first made acquaintance.

While Jonah deserves endless drooling sessions with his lethal frame reminding me of none other than Gabriel Aubrey, Zury turned out to be a swell heroine who earned my wholehearted love and approval. Zury is the type of woman who is passionate about what she believes in and works actively to protect what she is passionate about. The fact that she was woman enough to admit to her faulty thinking made me love her even more, and Zury standing up in defense of the man she loves was one of those moments that I could have hugged her myself.

The bit that I loved most when it came to Zury and Jonah turns out to be the fact that even with all their differences and the countless arguments that they get into with each other, they never seem to hurt each other with their words. That is admirable to me on so many levels, not many people can pull that off with such vast differences in thinking without ending up bitter about one thing or the other. Cannot wait for Webb’s story to come out later this year!

I would urge readers to take a look at The Place I Belong not because its just a fabulous romance, but because the story is so very much more than that and offers quite the fascinating character in Jonah. Definitely recommended.

Final Verdict:  Inez Kelley whips a tornado through your emotions with The Place I Belong, leaving no part of your heart untouched.

Favorite Quotes

It was over ninety degrees in the sun but his hands were far hotter as they skimmed over her stomach, up her rib cage, over the cups of her bra to palm one aching mound. A nip to her neck caused her to gasp his name, to draw his scent mingled with summer wind into her lungs. He licked under her jaw and dragged his mouth along her skin to her ear. “Tell me you want this.”
She wanted it. She wanted it so badly her heartbeat surged and the juncture between her thighs went hot and soft. It was wrong, complicated and potentially stupid, but she didn’t want him to stop.

All intelligent thought evaporated as his fingers rolled her stiffened nipple through the cup of her bra. “More.”
“Oh, thank fuck.” A shudder worked up his spine and he took her mouth with a frantic strength. Long firm fingers dug into her ass as he rocked her hips into his, into the hardness behind his zipper. Pure feminine power filled her. She traced her short nails down his back, delighting in his low groan. Rolling her hips pressed her center against his growing erection, and his groan turned to a hungry growl. Her body flushed, softening and growing damp.

“Is that all you needed?”
He’d spoken into the phone but his attention was firmly locked on her as she strolled toward him, swinging her hips with a deliberate rhythm. He froze, standing perfectly still as she worked the knot out of his tie. The silk whispered against his shirt as she tugged it free, looping it around her own neck. His chest rose more quickly, his warm breath feathering over her brow as she started slipping open the buttons of his vest. Tongue touching her lip, she raised her chin to look into his eyes. Another button slid free.

The flavor of his skin burst onto her tongue as she licked. The unique scent of him filled her nose and she nuzzled, drawing in more of that heady fragrance. Recognition clicked. Summer wind, he smelled of summer wind racing through the trees. It was so erotic, she let the tip of her nose circle just below his ear. A soft growl rumbled in his chest.

Beneath the broadcloth, she found the real man, the man she’d discovered in the cabin, all rigid muscle and harnessed passion. His chest hair prickled her cheek and nose but she couldn’t stop from nuzzling just above his solar plexus. Strong hands curled around her shoulders, pulling her closer, inviting more touch, more taste. Her nipples hardened and her breasts grew achy. An emptiness pulsed between her legs.

Her hands slid up his arms, clinging to his shoulders. One hand gripped the back of his hair, fisting it and forcing his kiss to deepen. Powerful arms wrapped around her, fitting her to his body. One huge palm skimmed down her back, over her hips, and palmed her ass. It forced her hips tighter to his and she wantonly rocked into him. His soft moan flavored the kiss. The tall grasses bent, cushioning them as he lowered her to the ground.

She wasn’t very busty but his look of pure reverence made her feel beautiful. One long lean finger stroked along the bottom curve then moved higher, circling the budded nipple. He repeated the motion with his tongue, flicking out with just the tip. A noise broke from her lips, hunger surging, and he sealed his sucking mouth around the crest.
White lights popped behind her eyelids as she melted into his caress. The crisp hair on his chest tickled against her belly as he moved to the other breast, kissing, nibbling, sucking, drawing her deeper into a haze of lust.

“That’s it. Open for me. Let me touch you.”
He didn’t know how open she was. More than her body lay exposed beneath him. Her heart and soul were bare and his for the taking. Words whispered from her mouth, every wrenching expression of love, every flowery vow and every hopeful longing spilled out. Just not in a language he understood. But it was enough for now. She had said them, unfettered and without fear.

“Oh God, Zury, you take me so good.”
One rough palm slid down her thigh to grip behind her knee. He raised her leg, bringing it along his hip. The slight change seated him deeper and she went wild. She raked his back and clutched at his shoulders, wanting, needing him closer, deeper. Jonah answered, ramming into her, retreating, returning with as much force. No civility softened his strokes. He was pure and raw and hungry and she loved it.

He moaned her name as his rhythm reached a frenetic tempo. A single chant circled her brain. Te amo. Te amo. Te amo. I love you. I love you. I love you.
An animalistic roar powered from him as he sank deeper than before and let go. He surged inside her, swelling and throbbing, and her body responded, shuddering in release. Together, they hung in the misty middle ground for ages, then drifted down as one.

She basked in a woman’s power to enthrall. “Right now, who do you belong to?”
His wet hair was mussed, framing his eyes with jagged edges. A wild, feral hunger carved his face into sharp lines and his fingertips bit deliciously into her hips. “You. I belong to you.”
She took no mercy, sinking downward in one swift lunge. His mouth fell open, his fingertips digging hard into her skin as his belly clenched.

Prickly chest hairs chafed her back as he brought his mouth to her nape. He tugged her hips up then sank inside, the force driving her into the mattress. “Now, you belong to me. Say my name.”
“Yes. Yours, Jonah. Harder.” She spread her legs and arched her hips, opening her body to him, pushing back into his every thrust. His hips slapped the flesh of her ass with a punishing rhythm. Sliding his hands down her arms, he laced their fingers and rocked.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Carina | ARe

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