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Hearts of Haines #3

This Is Where We Begin

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In this continuation in the Hearts of Haines Series, Katie McDaniels is unemployed, pregnant, and relying on Evie and Finch for a place to live. She is trying to survive. Nothing seems to be going right for her until Preston Dobbins steps into her life and an unexpected gift comes her way, finally giving her a chance at happiness.

Preston Dobbins is fighting his strong feelings for Katie McDaniels. He guards a well-kept secret, one that consumes him with guilt.

As an old foe threatens Katie's happiness, Preston risks everything to save her from tragedy.

First published May 14, 2015

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About the author

Shannon McCrimmon

12 books150 followers
Shannon McCrimmon is the author of several novels, including The Summer I Learned To Dive and Kiss Me Hard Before You Go. She currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband and toy poodle. She'd love to hear from you. Connect with her at shannonmccrimmon.com

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews
Profile Image for books are love.
3,131 reviews26 followers
August 2, 2015
received by author in exchange for a honest review.

Although this is a continuation of the Hearts of Haines series, Evie and Finch are not the main characters. We see them but in a minor role as supporting characters for Katie.

this is the sweet heartbreaking story of Preston and Katie. How they freed themselves of guilt, how they became stronger for each other and how they came together. This is the story of how Katie’s mom freed herself and started to get a relationship back with her mother. The story of Preston and him coming to terms and being able to free himself to love again.

What makes this story stand out from the others is the characters and their pasts. What they have gone through to get where they are today. For Preston he stepped out on his own, found love, heartbreak and is now struggling to let love back in. For Katie she had to find independence and belief in herself. She had to start at the beginning financially and emotionally so she can rebuild herself. Two characters that are strong on their own but together buoy each other to see the good in each other and help each other to have light and wonder in their days.

Katie’s son does this for her as well and in the end it is her and her son that truly lightens Preston’s heart and have him heal and become whole again. What they go through in this book is nothing less than sad and inspirational. As we watch Preston struggle with feelings for Katie and his past you just reach out to him. When he frees himself with the act of the bedroom to help him on his journey to Katie it is beautiful and sad. Sad because of what happens for him to get there. You see how far he will go to protect Katie and this is something that resonants with her.

Katie who hasn’t felt like someone is there for her other than Evie and that gang gets this from Preston. She feels safe and protected with him. Love and kindness radiates from him and she feels it. She feels his love, loyalty and devotion. Watching him protect her at one point is nerve wracking for her. But she stands strong and helps him through some tough times as he does for her. These two complete each other and this is their beautiful story.

I have to say I loved watching Katie’s dad and the sheriff get what was coming to them in the end but seeing these two evolve into strong independent people who grew and became whole when the other was in their life was just wonderful.
Profile Image for Candace.
108 reviews17 followers
June 27, 2015
This is Where We Begin is the third novel in Shannon McCrimmon's Hearts of Haines series. The first two novels in the series, Kiss Me Hard Before You Go (my review) and Like All Things Beautiful (my review) centered around Evie, Finch and their love story. We met Katie, Evie's best friend, in the first two books as a supporting character. However, in This is Where We Begin Katie, who is towards the end of her pregnancy, takes center stage as she struggles to build a new life for herself and her unborn child.

Katie left her family home after her father, a shady man who basically runs the town, was extremely unsupportive regarding her pregnancy. After the father of her baby abandoned her, Katie knew that being a single mother would not be easy but she was determined to prove everyone in the little town of Haines that she could do it. She leaned a lot on Evie during the first two books, but in This is Where We Begin Katie has a couple of good things happen to her. Excited at the chance to give her baby the best life possible, Katie embraces her luck and moves into her own house. Fortunately for her, ex-carny Doris also moves in with her in order to both be more independent and to help Katie.

This is Where We Begin is told from the viewpoint of both Katie and Preston. Preston is a hometown farm boy who moved away and became a Federal Drug Enforcement Administrative Agent. In the first two books it seems that Preston and Katie have a connection. He does not visit much, but when he does there is a visible spark. In This is Where We Begin we learn much more about Preston. While he is a bit older than Katie, Preston enjoys being around Katie and feels very protective of her. When he is in town on work business or just visiting his parents, Preston finds ways to see her. Soon it is evident that their relationship has progressed into something more than friendship. While Katie is ready to embrace what they share, Preston fights it every step of the way. It is not until later in the novel that we discover why Preston is so skittish.

This is Where We Begin has many surprising twists and turns. From reading the first two novels in the Hearts of Haines series we know that Katie’s dad, Nate, is not a nice man. However, it is not until this novel that we learn just how devious and evil he truly is. Nate hates that his daughter is doing well without him. He controls every aspect of his family’s life and knowing that Katie is prospering sends him over the edge. Nate takes things past the point of forgiveness and truly becomes immoral.

Shannon McCrimmon’s This is Where We Begin wraps up the Hearts of Haines series perfectly. We get some nice glimpses of Evie and Finch’s Happily Ever After, and we are able to fall for a new couple. If you haven’t picked up this series you really are missing out. It is unique and well written, with very relatable characters. Definitely one to put on your ‘To Be Read’ list- it is well worth it!!!

*I was provided a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of an honest review.*
Profile Image for Dalene.
859 reviews26 followers
April 13, 2015
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Evie, Finch, Katie, Doris, Mouse, and of course Preston is back in the 3rd novel of the series, This Is Where We Begin. This Is Where We Begin is unlike the first two novels in the series. The other novels are focused on love and drama. This novel has both aspects but it adds a touch of mystery to it.

This novel picks up where the previous one leaves off. Preston is working for the DEA on a case in his hometown of Haines. Preston is also hiding a secret that leaves the reader guessing the whole way through the novel. Katie is pregnant and about to give birth to her baby, but she is also unemployed and living with Evie. When some unexpected news comes to Katie her life starts to change. Preston though is fighting his feelings towards Katie because of the secret that he has. As they grow closer an old enemy comes back into the picture and threatens to ruin everything that Katie has built for herself.

Filled with suspense, romance, and drama, this novel has it all. I love these characters and their stories. My only lingering concern is, where is my Preston and small town of Haines?

Such a great novel!! Congrats on another amazing one Shannon!!
Some of my favorite quotes:
-Summers in Columbia, the hottest place on the planet if you ask some South Carolinians, were as brutal as stepping into the entrance of Hell.

-Take what I've given you and depend on yourself.

-I'm in a house full of women. I think I know when to keep my trap shut.

-Sides, once you get a taste, you might want to finish that meal. Ain't no sense in licking the icing without eating the cake.

-Both damaged goods, but together they were one hell of a package.
Profile Image for Mandy Reads Indie.
1,646 reviews98 followers
August 14, 2015
I could not wait to start this book. I was so excited to see if Katie would get her happy ending after all the crud she had to put up with dealing with her ex and her father. This girl definitely deserved some joy for once. And I am happy to say that McCrimmon did not disappoint. Expect the sweetness that comes along with first loves. Expect some butterflies. Expect the feels.

I am always happy when finishing one of McCrimmon's books. She knows how to write the romance and give us a wonderful storyline to enjoy all at once. And this one was no exception. I absolutely adored Preston. He is just as endearing as Finch was in the first 2 books of the series. Only this time it is Katie's turn to get the affection of a good man.

If you have been keeping up with the series, you know there is trouble afoot in Haines. And it all points to Katie's daddy. Well, it is going to be Preston's job to come in and clean up the filth that has taken over. And hopefully be able to nab Nate in the crosshairs. The man is a vile person and deserves to be locked away, if only for the way he has treated Katie.

Another beautifully written story with an equally beautiful romance…THIS IS WHERE WE BEGIN is a wonderful read. I give it 5 Stars all the way! Pick it up today and immerse yourself in the goodness of this book!
Profile Image for Cora.
328 reviews5 followers
May 7, 2015
The third book in the Hearts of Haines series is my favorite. While the first two books covered the hardships of Evie and Finch coming together, this one goes into the world of Evie's best friend Katie. She ends up being giving a head start at life after she had been knocked down by every man in her life up to this point. The old saying what doesn't kill you makes you stronger comes to mind as this poor girl is now working on becoming a good woman after so many blows. And every good woman needs a strong man beside her so we have a character from the second book coming back to show us how two broken people can be given another chance at happiness. Preston Dobbins is the main reason I love this book. He is a hard worker who thinks little of himself and has a broken heart that he doesn't think will ever heal. Love will always find a way when it is meant to be. This Is Where We Begin is a gripping story of how two people begin to find themselves after life has knocked them down.
Profile Image for Wendy.
58 reviews5 followers
May 14, 2015
Finally we get to know more about Katie! She has always been fascinating to me, but until this point has only held a supporting role in the lives of Finch, Evie and the crew. Oh Katie.....she has been through so much at such a young age. It seems every time she turns the corner there is someone there to knock her down. Katie continues to get up and her life slowly starts to take the proverbial one step forward. Only occasionally is she forced to take a couple steps back. Until Preston steps in and can't fight his own feeling for her!

The characters are so rich in this book. You are taken to Haines, SC and you are immersed as a reader in the lives of these people like you are there with them. Ahhh....the 70's in rural America! So many struggles, so much hard work......so much pride!
Profile Image for Nancy.
612 reviews1 follower
May 13, 2016
Had held off on reading this for a while since it was the last in the series. Loved Preston and Katie as characters - both with their own flaws and problems, but they worked through all that. Love the "local" setting - I always feel like I know just where they are when reading these stories!
Profile Image for Michael Burhans.
587 reviews44 followers
October 1, 2015
Very typical McCrimmon, powerful and heartfelt story of very real characters. As always many of her people are slightly left of normal, but all believably so, and will remind you of people you know. She has become one of my, "Buy on sight," authors.
Profile Image for Shannon McCrimmon.
Author 12 books150 followers
May 14, 2015
To me, the series wouldn't be complete without telling Katie's story.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
785 reviews
August 16, 2019
Probably my favorite in the series. I think I like Katie better than Evie as a main character and Preston is a little more crush-worthy for me (probably because he's a full grown man with a career and his life sort of together). This combines romance with a little mystery, which is right up my alley, and I liked the plot. The romance is also a little steamier, which makes this feel a little more grown up and more relatable (age-wise). This was a nice conclusion to the series and definitely tied up all the loose ends from the other books in the series.
Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews

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