He Belongs To Me Is A Love Story A Tale Of Betrayal And Deception And Of A Young Mother S Determination To Recover What Belongs To HerForced To Leave Her Baby And Tricked Into Relinquishing Her Parental Rights, Four Years Later Catherine Boyd Is Back And She Ll Do Anything To Regain Custody Of Her Son Even Reconcile With The Husband Falsely Accused Of Killing Their Son S TwinAll In The Name Of Love For A Little Boy, Generations Of Pain And Tragedy Are Exposed In A Courtroom Drama This novel evoked so many emotions, I felt wrung out when I was finished It was like watching a train, knowing it was going to leave the tracks, and there is nothing you can do but watch it happen.The story opens introducing us to Catherine Boyd, an extremely happy young woman on her graduation day from Stanford Her graduation is not the only thing bringing her joy, she will be reunited with her son, Andrew, called Drew He has been living with her parents in Chicago, so Catherine could concentrate on her studies full time She has seen Drew as much as she possibly could, and they spoke by phone almost daily Now he would be joining her in California, where she has a growing clientele for her handmade jewelry, sold in a friend s boutique But her life is about to jump the track Catherine s parents have decided that Drew would be better staying with them in Chicago They can provide him with the best of everything Catherine had signed a custody agreement , letting her parents be guardians for Drew till she was graduated and on her own The confrontation with her Mom and Dad and further consultation with an attorney shows that the papers were never drawn up as temporary The only solution was to move to her parents home, which was unthinkable , or find her estranged husband they were never divorced and try to prove she can provide a good home for Drew Thomas Boyd and Catherine fell in love and married very young Her parents disapproved, but agreed to help After a tragic accident, Thomas was falsely accused of a crime, and pushed out of Catherine s life They agreed to each finish school and restart their life together then Somehow the time never came Thomas had graduated from the University of Michigan, and was now an up and coming financial analyst The first time they met to discuss what to do, Catherine had an immediate reaction Just being with Thomas bombarded her with confusing feelings of warmth, security , happiness , misery and betrayal, all dusted with with this crackling electric attraction.This is an amazing novel that has everything It is an emotional roller coaster ride, and you can t put it down So many lies, unexpected suspense and love, all in the name of a sweet little boy I highly recommend this novel, I finished it in a day In my opinion, this novel deserves five very bright stars As much as I liked and enjoy this Contemporary novel, I have a hard time classifying it as Romance For me the romance wasn t the main part of the book, in fact I thought it had very little romance to it Instead this is about a couple who have to deal with an issue of grandparents trying to have custody rights over their child I have secondhand knowledge of what it takes to go through a child custody case in the courts so I was very impressed with how this part of the story was handled and how emotional it made me feel The characters in this book were all flawed which really gave them depth and made them feel very real This has a great plot and there were a few surprises along the way as secrets were revealed that I didn t see coming This book is very much an emotional journey and one you will want to take your time reading. 2.5 stars This is going to be a difficult review to write, because I honestly wanted to love this book I was sure this was going to be a heart wrenching love story about a devoted mother who made difficult decisions to give her son the best life possible I think this was the goal overall, but with characters that seemed far too self absorbed, a plot that was at times infuriating, and a lack of any truly deep emotional responses to the tumultuous events going on, I spent most of this story fuming As a mom, the reasons behind Catherine giving custody of her young son to her parents while she went away to school left me questioning her devotion I mean, I empathized with what was going through her mind at the time, but for me I just kept thinking but this is YOUR child It was just a jagged little pill to swallow, no matter what perspective I tried to approach it from When Thomas came into the picture, I was optimistic that I d see a different side of Catherine and the spark between them would win me over, and I was pleased to see that she did reveal another layer of herself as she faced her old flame after so many years But, then I had trouble with Thomas There really wasn t great chemistry between him and Catherine, and his rather self serving approach at life made it difficult to find redeeming qualities in him He does show improvement as the story goes on, but never to the point where I felt like he was the man he should have been for Catherine all along A shocking reveal late in the story kind of explains some of his actions, but I just wanted from him overall I think what bothered me most out of everything going on here was that Catherine s parents were just despicable people They weren t just wealthy socialites who wanted to control their daughter s life, they were a backstabbing, conniving, self absorbed couple who put their own beliefs and desires above their daughter at every turn It made matters worse for me that Catherine rarely reacted strongly to their behavior, allowing herself to be walked all over by the parents who had essentially blackmailed her into giving away her child Sure, she was angry, but it was such a sedated reaction that it did nothing to convince me she was distraught over her son being kept from her I think I was upset than she was most of the time I was really hoping some twist of fate would find Eric and Sarah experiencing a well deserved what goes around comes around , but in the end I still just wasn t satisfied that they d received the retribution they had coming Suffice it to say, this was a tough read for me, but I m not writing off this author s work for the future I was given a copy of this book for review on behalf of The Autumn Review. 3.5 s ARC provided in exchange for an honest review See this and other reviews www.theromancecover.comOk so I ll start at the beginning This is a book about a young couple going through a custody battle for their young son but it is also It covers a lot of big issues and it covers them really well I m gonna cover the characters individually Catherine Just graduated and wants to get her son Drew back from her parents Horrible horrible people but i ll get to them in a bit They had temporary custody of Drew while she did her degree in California Catherine wants to stay there rather than go back home to live with him there But her parent have other plans, they won t let Drew live with her Did i say they were horrible already Well they are And the is where Catherine get a shock and the story begins She has to reconcile her marriage to her estranged husband Thomas Drew s dad in order to get him back That s how simple she thinks it is bit boy is she wrong Catherine s character was a hard one, she was tough but we got to see her in her past where she wasn t tough and I m glad I didn t know her then cause I don t think I would have liked her I did feel she could have showed emotion and spoken about her feelings to Thomas a bit throughout the book Thomas This poor guy He has been dealt a poor hand in life and he is a lovely guy He and Catherine got married when they were young and she was pregnant much to her parents disgust But they loved each other so much they didn t care They had the twins then one night tragedy struck and one of the twins died Thomas is accused wrongly of killing him but is later acquitted When he get out of jail Catherine break of their relationship and he goes off to college leaving his wife and son behind Then 4 years later Catherine comes back into his life saying they need to reconcile their t get their son back from her parents This is a shock to him he thought she had Drew A lot of painful memories surround their relationship, and Thomas and Catherine have been a part ever since he was let out of jail but he agrees to it I think he could have done with some therapy as he has a whole bundle of issues he needs to get over.I found him a little hard to connect with as he was so withdrawn and didn t show a whole lot of emotion Drew I felt we could have got to know him a bit what we did see he was a god wee character and I feel if we got to know him better it would have added much emotion to the book He a cute little boy and sadly used as a pawn by his grandparents The Grandparents Sarah Eric OMG They are horrible, rich, selfish, controlling, manipulative, nasty, unloving and I hated them instantly They have wronged Catherine on so many things I wouldn t even know where to begin without giving away to much As a mum I just couldn t understand how parents could act this way During the court case so much was uncovered I really couldn t believe how 2 people could be so nasty to their own child Towards the end Sarah made my blood boil for something she did and I ended up feeling sorry for Eric but I didn t forgive him for what he d put his own children through but felt he had completely different a possibly justified reason where as sarah was just a nasty jealous woman As i said his book dealt with a few hard topics that should have had me in tears as I watched the family suffer but I felt something was missing that didn t get me connected enough to them to feel the emotion The court room had me on the edge of my seat the whole time and some of the things that were uncovered made me say OMG out loud then flick the pages as quick as I could read them to find out about them The court room also made me hate her mum even she made me feel sick as a mum at one point I would want this woman looking after my dog let alone my child It s hard to round up this book without giving it ways It was a great story but I felt it slightly lacked emotion and communication from Catherine and Thomas and as a romance I felt it focused on the issues and court battle than the relationship but still an really enjoyable read I also would have liked a bit at the end of the book I felt it just kind of ended An epilogue a few years down the line would have been really nice. Review to come but I will say this this is a must read review requested by author He Belongs To Me is an intriguing story about family secrets, deception and betrayal a couple s love story and a young mother s determination to get her son back at any cost.Author Theresa Rizzo weaves a riveting story set in Chicago and written in the third person narrative, that engages the reader to follow the emotional journey of Catherine Boyd as she battles her parents with the help of her estranged husband Thomas to regain custody of their young son Drew.The story opens with Catherine Boyd graduating from Stanford University While Catherine attended college in California, she gave temporary custody of her son Drew to her parents in Chicago or so she thought Now with degree in hand, Catherine is eager to reunite with Drew and begin the next phase of their lives in California But Catherine s plans are turned upside down when she learns that the temporary custody of her son that she had signed four years earlier was in fact a permanent custody she has given her child away Catherine s parents won t give up custody of their grandson, they believe that they can provide a better life for him Faced with two options, Catherine has to decide whether to live with her parents and Drew in Chicago, or reconcile with her estranged husband Thomas and prove that they can provide a good life for their son.Flashback to Catherine and Thomas past they fell in love, Catherine became pregnant, and they married very young After a tragic accident that took the life of Bobby, one of their twin sons, Thomas was falsely accused of causing the death of their baby boy, and is forced out of Catherine and Drew s life Catherine and Thomas separate but vow to reunite after they finish college, but they did not stay in contact with each other over the past four years Thomas graduated from the University of Michigan and is now a rising financial analyst.After being estranged for four years, can Catherine and Thomas reconcile and convince the social workers and judge that they are a loving married couple capable of providing their young son a good life He Belongs To Me is a heart wrenching story that captivated me from the beginning, and took me on an emotional roller coaster ride that left me completely spent This story is filled with enough family secrets, lies, deception and betrayal mixed in with riveting courtroom drama and suspenseful twists and turns and a passionate love story that keeps the reader thoroughly engaged and turning the pages You can t help but get drawn into Catherine and Thomas story, the emotions are palpable and raw, you feel their loss, grief, anger, love and determination as their journey to regain custody of their son is fraught with heartbreaking trials and tribulations And if the fight for their son isn t enough to keep the reader enthralled, their passionate love story will reel you in, their relationship is filled with so much emotion and intensity, they have been through so much, but their sexual chemistry and love for each other is undeniable.With a cast of characters who are realistic and flawed raw and emotional dialogue intense and dramatic interactions and a gut wrenching storyline that mixes the complexities of a dysfunctional family dynamic with a couple s love story He Belongs To Me is an amazing story that will pull at your heartstrings, and prove that love can overcome the most traumatic situations in life This is a must read story that will resonate with you for a very long time.Disclaimer I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by JKSCommunications.http jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot He Belongs to Meby Theresa Rizzo is a story of a young child caught up in a gut wrenching custody battle between his grandparents and his natural parents, but its the journey to the resolution of that bitter fight that is the story In a twisted plot filled with deceit, betrayals of the worst kind, and the perceived power of the almighty dollar a dysfunctional family unravels their darkest moments and shocking revelations all in the name of love Was that love real Was it healthy Or was it the love of absolute control that drove young Drew s grandparents to attempt to destroy their own daughter in order to keep their grandson Will it be necessary for the judge to use the Wisdom of Solomon to determine where the child belongs I m going to say right off, Theresa Rizzo has truly created a maze of plot twists and perfectly timed revelations that had my emotions bouncing off the walls I did not like the two main characters in the beginning, and felt neither of them had the maturity to have custody of their son, in particular, the mother All I could wonder was what kind of mother would leave her child for a few YEARS, with only brief visits to pursue her college education across the country and give up custody to her parents, without checking what type of custody it was The father also disappeared, the whys were uncovered, but, still, he never forced contact, never even divorced his wife As Ms Rizzo peeled away each painful layer, there was so much to this heartbreaking tale that my sympathies were most definitely with young Drew s parents, flaws and all, although I could empathize with the grandparents and their twisted idea of love, as it seemed to be a way of atonement for old sins, a do over if you will.Did Theresa Rizzo pen an incredible read Yes Definitely Her characters are not almost human they were brutally and realistically very human Very flawed, filled with past mistakes, poor judgment calls and all the warts of being human, some than others, some were their own worst enemy Is there redemption Yes, with the possibility of healing in the future Was there love Yes, some healthy, some strangely shown, but it s in there So, any author that can evoke all of this turmoil in me is, in my opinion doing an awesome job The story moved quickly from one scene to the next and there was no time to breathe in between as it raced to the final pounding of the gavel.I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review If you re looking for a romance with some jagged edges, this would be a good choice Publication Date May 15, 2013Publisher Theresa RizzoISBN 9780989045001Genre Adult Contemporary Romance DramaPage Count 392Available from Barnes Noble For reviews check out Tome Tender s Book Blog or find us on Facebook. Okay, I ve been meaning to read this book in a long time but for some darn reason I kept putting it off Now I feel kinda stupid, because this book is pretty amazing I have so many emotions running through me NOW He Belongs to Me is a powerful novel that spoke to me on so many different levels I was mad, frustrated, cried then laughed aroused and cried again lol I tried putting the book down as I needed sleep, but every time I closed my eyes all I can think of is Catherine and Thomas So I gave up and just finished the damn book around 4 am Catherine and Thomas made a lot of mistakes when they were young At first I hated Catherine for being stupid and I couldn t believe she just gave up on her son who does that and Thomas grr for a person who loved his family, I was pissed that he gave up easily on them Why did he just walked away I don t want to give any spoilers but their situation was so complicated to the point that I was questioning myself on how will they fix the mess they made Then I felt sorry for the tragedies, mistakes, hurt and was rooting for their son, family and love.I honestly didn t have any high expectation on this book, but damn I was surprised as how the book just captivate me from the beginning til the end I love when a book can make me feel the emotions, not just register them but ACTUALLY feel them too.He Belongs to Me is emotional journey This is not just about second chance love but also that people make mistakes maybe some mistakes can t be fix but no one is perfect and the key is to learned from it.This is a must read book Thank you Ms Theresa Rizzo for writing this great story and I will remember this for a very long time. posted at www.shhmomsreading.comThis was a great debut novel by Theresa Rizzo and she is definitely an author to be on the lookout for The book was well written and I enjoyed it very much Catherine Boyd just graduated college and will do anything to get her son Drew back from her parents Her parents had temporary custody of him while she finished her degree in California Much to my surprise, because Catherine wants to stay in CA rather than move back home, her parents will not allow her son to live with her they are controlling and manipulative and I could already sense how much I will hate them As a result of this, Catherine must contact her husband Thomas who she has not spoken to in 4 years The reason for their separation is heartbreaking you see when Drew was born, he was a twin His brother Robert stopped breathing one night in his sleep A lot of painful memories surround this tragedy, and Thomas and Catherine have been a part ever since Catherine and Thomas first interaction after so many years is awkward I feel bad for them and hope that this couple will be able to rekindle their love Catherine and Thomas come up with a plan to get Drew back which involves them pretending to be a happily married couple so that the courts will give them custody again Will they be able to put aside all the hurt and pain from the past to get their son back I have to admit that it was painful to watch Catherine s attempts at being a wife because Thomas kept her at such a distance And while I understand why he did it, I am hoping and wishing that these two broken people will be able to find a 2nd chance at love and be able to be a family again.I will also insert here that the apple scene in the grocery store had me LOL Will this couple be able to come together after all of these years Will they see the importance of family and fight for their love and for their only child You will have to read this book to find out This book dealt with a couple of hard topics that had me near tears as I watched this family suffer The court scenes had me on edge the entire time because I was hoping with all my might that the judge would be on their side There are some ugly things that come up from Catherine s past that have me HATING her parents while in my heart I also hope that they are able to overcome this together and be a family again There are some heartwarming parts too that allowed me to see the hope for their future together.I don t want to give anything away in this book only to say that it touched a part of me, being a mother and watching this woman want to be with her child so badly Children are your future and without them something is missing I understood that and I felt that pain for Catherine and Thomas I also understood from her parents side why they would think that they are doing what s best for Catherine and Drew though I did feel that some of what they were thinking was because they were trying to make up for the type of parents they were to Catherine growing up This is a great debut novel and I highly recommend it to people who are interested in reading about second chances in love and family Theresa did a great job writing all the emotions in this book and I look forward to seeing what has for us next.ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Theresa Rizzo is an award winning author who writes emotional stories that explore the complexity of relationships and families through real life trials Born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she now lives outside of Boulder, Colorado with her husband of thirty two years.
- 392 pages
- He Belongs to Me
- Theresa Rizzo
- 24 March 2018 Theresa Rizzo