Title: He Belongs With Me
Author: Sarah Darlington
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: March 2014
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
Two girls. One Leo.
Identical twins, Maggie and Clara Ryder, both grew up with Leo Maddox, billionaire playboy, apparent alcoholic, and heir to his grandfather’s world-famous Maddox hotel empire. Their roles were cemented long ago: Maggie, as his best friend and Clara as his childhood nemesis.
But when a simple twist of fate changes everything and both girls start to fall for the lean, mean, ridiculously sexy and seemingly spoiled Leo… which girl will win his heart?
Throw in a little mischief, drama, and one smoking-hot bartender and lines are sure to blur. But one thing’s for certain, neither good-girl Maggie nor rebellious Clara will be satisfied until they each figure out where they belong.
New Adult Romance. Standalone. Recommended for readers 17+
So I have to admit to be really dubious about this book before I read it. The idea of a love triangle featuring twin sisters was seriously off putting from the start. I have to say I was more than a little pleasantly surprised. The way Sarah portrays her characters and allowing the reader insight into their thoughts and actions made it possible for me to put all of my assumptions and fears aside. Plus I kinda fell in love with Leo Although the whole friend/girlfriend thing is still a bit weird for me
The dual narrative alternates the perspective between the twins, Maggie and Clara. They really are like chalk and cheese, however, I felt from the very beginning that Clara was greatly misunderstood. She has huge barriers in place due to always being compared to her perfect sister and trying to be forced into a role she didn’t fit. If I’m honest I resented Maggie for always making Clara feel as if it was a competition between the two of them. Although Maggie’s outward persona is that of uncaring rebel it is really a shield she wears to protect herself. She feels things deeply and is a complete romantic. Maggie just wants to be accepted for who she is, instead she feels suffocated by family expectations and the comparisons made between her and Clara.
I didn’t really like Clara for most of the book, I felt that she found it necessary to have whatever Maggie was interested in; maybe on a subconscious level but none-the-less it annoyed me. However, I did find myself softening at the end of the book having witnessed Clara’s caring side and understood that she also has barriers in place due to events in the past. I know I’m being vague but these points are pivotal to the plot and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone
As the story progressed it was obvious which man suited which sister (revelations and past history not withstanding). At times it made me want to literally climb inside the book to hit the sisters over the head with the truth That can be attributed to good writing leading to a deep connection with the characters; so much so that you take a personal involvement with the outcome of their lives.
I have to say I loved the way in which tis book wrapped all the loose ends together and I’m really excited that Sarah has written a companion novel from Leo’s point of view. OH LEO ♥