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A Better Place

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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  637 ratings  ·  115 reviews
I've spent the last two decades putting my dreams on hold to raise my daughter.
But now opportunities arise and a chance meeting with Carly only sweetens the deal.

She says she can only offer me friendship.
That she's not capable of giving anything more than that.

If she thinks it will stop me from pursuing something more, she's underestimated my level of patience when it
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Jennifer Wyk Hi Leonie!!! I'm so sorry it took me so long to get to this! Yes, Jack will have a story as will Grady and Lily (possibly)! Right now the next couple…moreHi Leonie!!! I'm so sorry it took me so long to get to this! Yes, Jack will have a story as will Grady and Lily (possibly)! Right now the next couple is Andy and Christine then I'm switching gears to write the "kids'" stories.
I'm so glad you loved reading about Jack! I am excited to see where he leads me in his story!(less)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  637 ratings  ·  115 reviews


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Joanna
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will be reading more from Jennifer soon because this book is amazing! I loved all the dynamics between the characters, whether they were primary, secondary or even minor characters. All of them impacted the flow of the novel and make it work effortlessly. I really loved how patient James was with Carly and wish I could find someone like that in real life (a girl can dream). Definitely will read the 2nd novel and more to come from this (hopefully) series.
Joy Novel Thoughts
Oh this book had such great potential and for the majority of the book, it was a 5 star read for me! Right up until the 70% mark and then the story got into a bit of a lull and dragged on a bit for me.

That said, HOLY CRAP did I ever love the way that James treated Carly and her son Jack. I'm a single mom with no father in the picture and holy crap did I fall head over freaking heels for James! He was patient and attentive and did everything he could for her while respecting her need to take
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EscapeNBooks
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Better Place by Jennifer Van Wyk is a second-chance-at-love novel.

"The reason I never moved on was because you were my only chance at moving on, and I simply hadn’t met you yet.”

James and Carly have both experienced tragedy in their lives. Each scenario has been different, but the end result the same. Neither are looking for love. They are just living. One day at a time. One more moment alone.

"A man’s heart, when it’s full of malevolence, tends to seep into the outside."

It's true that the
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Stephanie Rose
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Jennifer's debut and she hooked me right away. A Better Place is even better! James Cole is the hottest single father ever written; gorgeous, funny, and huge heart with enough love to heal Carly's wounds. This is a beautifully written second chance story for them both. The family of friends that surround them is also pretty easy to fall for. I hope they all get their own stories (especially Grady and Jack).

I can't wait to see what else she has in store for us!
Ally.Always.Reads
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: single-parent
Seriously. I love Jennifer Van Wyk.
This is my second by her and I loved it!
James... what a sweet, sweet soul.

I have to warn you readers though... these are a little slow to get to the relationship. They’re friends, they stay in a platonic place for a bit. BUT it’s all because of their backstory.
This is real. This isn’t an unrealistic fantasy. Carly was verbally, emotionally, physically abused by her husband. She came out of that situation stronger, wiser, better but that didn’t mean that she
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Debbie
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will start by saying I loved From the Ground Up and couldn't wait for this one. And ... I loved this even more.

Carly ... single mom to Jack and school teacher. And she has a secret that she wants no one to know!

James ... a single dad who is visiting his hometown and staying with his sister's kids while she and her hubby are on a trip.

They meet at school where she "falls" for James. Okay, she actually falls INTO James (his crotch to be specific). Fireworks go off but she is afraid and not
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Julie Guay-de la ronde
I recieved an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

This story was a nice change from the stories that are really popular now. James and Carly are both sweet and funny and meant to be together. James is really caring and doesn't push Carly after her past.
I really enjoyed the surrounding characters and will most likely look up those books. This was my first book by this author and was pleasantly surprised.
Liz
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved A Better Place by Jennifer Van Wyk. It was such a beautiful story of second chances, love, friendships and finding a better place. This is an emotional read and some heartbreaking moments, but overall, just such a beautiful story.

Carly Hanson and her son, Jack, have a secret. A secret they guard closely. They have rebuilt their lives and learned how to count on each other only. With a past that haunts Carly, she is struggling to find her confidence, but what she does not see is how
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Alison Bailey
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I admire JVW books because they're not your normal romance. She writes about older characters with real problems. She shows their struggles but also shows how they work together to overcome whatever obstacles face them. That's the case with A Better Place. This is a spin off of JVW's first novel From The Ground Up. We get a nice mix of characters from book 1 but this novel is focused on James and Carly, two souls floating through life happily. But when they meet, they realize their lives had ...more
AJ
4 stars!

I love this book! A single parent romance with mature characters (both in their 40s) that is beautifully sweet and packed with emotion.

Quick disclaimer: Jennifer Van Wyk’s first novels are publicised as standalones, but be aware that they all tie in together. You could read this one on its own, but there is a lot of character crossover, and I recommend reading them in publication order in order to fully follow the dynamics:
1. From the Ground Up
2. A Better Place
3. Feels Like Home
4.
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Dana
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first read from Ms. Van Wyk. I was blown away from the start, the prologue was just like BAM! This is happening, my heart was racing and didn’t stop for quite some time.

There’s always that unknown when you start a book by a new author that you have never read. Am I going to like it? Are they going to be able to catch my attention? Well, I can say, Ms. Van Wyk accomplished all of that and more.

The strength that Carly and her son, Jack, possess is amazing. Yes, they are only characters
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Susan
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first discovered Jennifer Van Wyk a few months ago (after reading From the Ground Up- if you haven't read it, then get to it!), she has become a one-click author for me. Her books have serious and realistic plots that many can relate with. A Better Place hit the mark!

A Better Place tells the story of James and Carly, who meet when James drops off his niece at school. Both of them are single parents who haven't been out there trying to find love, but are suddenly overcome with feelings
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A.BookNerd.Bookseller&Bibliophile.Blog
This was my first read from Ms. Van Wyk. I was blown away from the start, the prologue was just like BAM! This is happening, my heart was racing and didn’t stop for quite some time.

There’s always that unknown when you start a book by a new author that you have never read. Am I going to like it? Are they going to be able to catch my attention? Well, I can say, Ms. Van Wyk accomplished all of that and more.

The strength that Carly and her son, Jack, possess is amazing. Yes, they are only characters
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Heidi Dickinson
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
AMAZING read!! Carly has been to hell and back because of her ex. She and her son Jack left Vince, the "man" she was married to, and built new lives for themselves far, far away. Carly built walls, no, towers,
around herself so she would never be hurt again. And then she meets James. James seems to have the power to dismantle the tower.
I hate that Jack had to grow up too fast because of
his "dad", but I absolutely LOVE how he was able to help his mom become stronger. He helped her see that she
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Carrie
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
10+++++ stars! Y'all, this story is AMAZING! Absolutely a favorite! A page-turner from the very first page, Carly's strength is awesome. The meet-cute w/ "Captain" James is hilarious. And there are MANY, MANY Laugh Out LOUD moments!

The friendship to romance is so well-written, the relationships nuanced and heartfelt. And there's no unnecessary relationship angst! These characters are in their 40's, and they act it. They are mature w/o being "mature" - and the struggles that ARE there feel REAL,
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FunUndertheCovers
After reading Jennifer Van Wyk's debut, From the Ground Up, I couldn't wait to read more by her. This book has some of the same characters which I loved because I became rather attached to them!

Wow, what a start...the Prologue had my heart pounding and my palms sweating! Carly and James' first meeting was very entertaining and amusing, which was just what I needed after that beginning. And the hilarity doesn't stop there...I loved the realness of these scenes. Carly is broken, ruined for any
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Charlene
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading Jennifer Van Wyk's debut, From the Ground Up, I couldn't wait to read more by her. This book has some of the same characters which I loved because I became rather attached to them!

Wow, what a start...the Prologue had my heart pounding and my palms sweating! Carly and James' first meeting was very entertaining and amusing, which was just what I needed after that beginning. And the hilarity doesn't stop there...I loved the realness of these scenes. Carly is broken, ruined for any
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Paula Genereau
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my!!! James's story will have you reading this book really slow to just savor the book. It's so amazing
Jen
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I loved this story! It was such an emotional journey. This story is about second chances, finding ones strength, family,and Love. It was sad,funny, heartwarming,and beautiful. I loved it!
Alison Maxwell
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gave me all the feels!!!! I loved it from the very first page!
Monica Graves (nightreads)
4.5/5 review coming soon!
Tracy- OMGReads
Carly and James are single parents who get a redo in the love department. A Better Place has moments of humor, moments of angst, it is very balanced.

A Better Place starts out exciting and kept my attention. I was just enthralled with watching James and Carly both evolve throughout the book. James was just perfect for Carly and vice versa. They evened each other out while helping one another heal.

Overall, A Better Place was a 4.5 star read. The writing was witty and catchy. The characters were
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Kara Hildebrand (Two Book Pushers)
A Better Place is my first book my Jennifer Van Wyk and she's made me a forever fan! It's one of my favorites of the year! It's so refreshing to read a new author and just love their words. Her writing is fresh and witty and I was laughing out loud and smiling most of the time. These characters are well developed, intelligent, funny and have strong chemistry. James has been living his life, raising his daughter by himself. It's time for him to do something for himself now. He hasn't met a woman ...more
Lisa
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Must Read!!
Wow, right from the start this book had me hooked. The opening was a bit intense but definitely got my attention. Carly Hanson and her son Jack needed a fresh start, and end up moving to Michigan. Things are going great until the day she meets one of her student's uncles, Uncle James. James is a kind and very handsome man, who is amazing with his niece and all her classmates. He is also instantly attracted to Ms. Carly Hanson the beautiful teacher. The immediate chemistry between
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HeatherP
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
This isn't a book I would normally gravitate towards, that being said, I really did enjoy this one. I have been reading a lot of my normal darker stuff and this was a nice breath of the lighter side to break that up.

I swoon, I laughed, I cried, I felt it all in this book. The whole thing was a win in my book. The last 20 ish percent did drag more and kinda ruined the flow of the book but other than that it was all good. That is the only reason for my 4 stars on A Better Place. Carly and James
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Ang -PNR Book Lover Reviews
A Better Place by Jennifer Van Wyk

Hey bookish friends, I absolutely LOVED this story, this was EVERYTHING! Words can’t describe how much I really loved this book, it’s so good!
Without giving the whole story away, I’m going to write about how it made me feel and what I thought about the story.

When I started this story, I had a real like OMG moment (!!!) because I didn’t realize it was the brother from the first story from the ground up. I literally stopped, and fist-punched the air, I was super
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Michelle Abascal Monroy
Carly and James FOREVER!!

ARC Generously Provided by the Author

A Better Place is a beautiful story about two characters who are single parents and they have in common that their ex are TERRIBLE persons. James was left by his wife when his daughter was only 2 years old, so he was the only in charged of take care of his daughter Lilly and he did an amazing job, because Lilly is amazing woman in the present. Then we have Carly who has a teenager boy (Jake) and she always will do whatever is need
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Kaitlyn
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me start off by saying that this book deserves way more than 5 stars. It deserves about 20! I didn't have a lot of time earlier this week to read but I knew in my day off I was going to devour it. And devour it I did!!!

James, he's perfect. There is no other word for him. He's sexy, he's sweet, he's patient, kind, loving, protective, and a single dad? Do I have your attention? Because I'm pretty sure that grabbed me and hooked me from the beginning. And his daughter Lily? Let's just say
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Claire
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
There was so much to love about this story!

First, James Cole is the man you want to take home to your mom, and later do naughty things with (several times!). He is the Maserati of men: kind, strong commitment to his family, patient, full of integrity and charm, who patiently, lovingly woos Carly. James Cole is the book boyfriend for discerning women.

Carly is reserved, for very good reasons, and she is an endearing klutz who does the necessary to protect her son from the one man she should
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Tanya Turner/ Sugar Shack Book Blog
I'm in the biggest book coma right now! Geez I had a feeling I was going to love me some James, but oh my word he just hit the top of the Book Boyfriend list. So you know that hubby or boyfriend that's just amazing in every way, and the woman who has him you kinda secretly hate her guts??? Ummm yeah that was me! Haha I mean who wouldn't love an amazing, patient, and loving man who not only makes you the center of his world but your son as well? I think that has to be one of the best parts of ...more
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“Love isn’t going to go quietly into the night. Love is going to kick and scream and fight and demand it is given over to. Love is the most powerful of emotions. More powerful than anger, if allowed. Because love is the only thing that can help someone overcome. Love is hope and giving grace, and receiving it is the most precious gift anyone can give.” 4 likes
“She’s it for me. She’s everything. No doubt about it. And I’ll protect her with every last breath I have in me if I have to.” 1 likes
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