Thursday, August 24, 2023

The Belonger by Mary Kathleen Mehuron ~ My Thoughts and an Excerpt #TheBelonger @MKMehuron25 @GoSparkPress

The Belonger by Mary Kathleen Mehuron
Marriage & Divorce Fiction, 272 pages
June 13, 2023 by SparkPress

Caribbean-island innkeeper Holly Walker is hunkering down against a monster hurricane. Unfortunately, so is player Lord Anthony Bascombe, a man who excuses his bad behavior by saying he is descended from pirates. 

Then her grown son, Byron, and his father, Montez—the man she’s never stopped wanting—go missing. Will she ever see them again? What about the many others hurt and dying? And will help ever arrive? With each passing day, Holly’s tumultuous past and the epic storm send her hurtling toward a shattering climax that will change the island—and Holly’s life—forever.

My thoughts about The Belonger ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First lines—"Holly put both her hands flat on the deep sill of the hinged window of her bedroom and leaned out to see the morning light. Then she pulled on shorts and a T-shirt over her head."

What's not to love about a story set in the Caribbean islands? It's like taking a vacation without leaving the comfort of  your favorite reading chair.  Lots of beautiful scenery and appetizing food, with a little romance thrown in. 

But then the author throws in a hurricane, and a lost love from the past, and the story becomes anything but a vacation. Holly worries about her son, and their inn, when the hurricane threatens. Along with the physical turmoil she's going through, she also finds herself emotionally torn, wanting her past love but also curious about her future possibilities. 

I loved The Belonger, not only for the amazing setting but also for the memorable characters. I struggled and fretted right along with them as their world seemed to collapse. This is a story that will stay with me because of the interesting storyline but also because of the beautiful location that the author took me to. 

I received an ARC of The Belonger from the publisher and this is my honest opinion.



Sameera practically threw herself into Anthony’s arms and he tossed an amused smile over his shoulder to his friend. Like a character from an old Hollywood movie, he bent her backward for a kiss. Although he pulled off a dramatic vignette, which he seemed to thoroughly enjoy, he only planted a loud smooch on her forehead instead of her lips.  

“You gorgeous girl. What are you cooking up for us tonight? I’m famished. When we are ready perhaps you can give us one of everything. You decide— a chef’s tasting.” With that, he pulled her back up and gave her a playful push toward the kitchen. “But wait till later in the evening. Cocktails first. Priorities, you know. Then we are off on a walkabout.”  

Sameera seemed a bit baffled and, certainly, furious as she slunk back through the kitchen door. 

Anthony’s attention now turned toward the bar as he exclaimed, “Fabienne, my lovely! You are a shining example of the beauty of the women of Haiti. What shall I drink tonight my darling?” She cast her eyes down, presumably embarrassed by the intimacy in his statement, though Holly couldn’t help noticing Fabienne was smiling. It was a shy one, but a smile, nonetheless. 


About the author

Mary Kathleen Mehuron is a career educator who made a splash with her first book, Fading Past, an autobiographical novel whose protagonist, like Mary Kathleen, grew up Irish-Catholic in New Jersey. The Opposite of Never was Mary Kathleen’s second book, and to finish it, she traveled alone to Havana in January of 2015 during President Obama's opening of Cuba. Her goal was to experience the city before it became Americanized and write the ending of her book. Though the integration of Americans never really happened, the launch of The Opposite of Never was the catalyst that made her a full time writer.

The Belonger is her third novel, its basis was the loss of her family home to a Category Five hurricane and two of her three sons being caught in a Category Four storm on Grand Turk Island. As the island had no communication with the outside world, she didn’t know if her children or friends were alive or dead. The stories told afterward inspired The Belonger.

Her fourth novel, S. Beach Drag, revisits the New Jersey of her youth. Set in 1972, her Irish Catholic protagonist, Maeve O’Conner dives into the decayed pandemonium of carnival life on the boardwalk of Asbury Park, New Jersey. Grifters, side show entertainers and characters of every ilk abide there. Many, like Bruce Springsteen, are undiscovered artists. Looking for these arresting subjects, Maeve is desperate to win a photography contest that will get her a scholarship to art school in Manhattan. 

Mary Kathleen lives and teaches in a ski town in Vermont where she and her husband raised three sons, she is a weekly columnist in her local newspaper, The Valley Reporter. Her Take Me Back articles have become a non-profit 510(c)(3) that raise money for organizations that want to showcase local history. The first fundraising product was her non-fiction book Take Me Back: An Anecdotal History of the Mad River Valley. She also takes extended time to work on her novels on Grand Turk Island, in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and Savannah, Georgia.

Connect with Mary Kathleen


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