Review, Interview, Excerpt, & Giveaway: HE BELONGS WITH ME by Sarah Darlington

he belongs with me

*Sarah is hosting a Giveaway for five (5) eBook copies of He Belongs With Me. Check out the Rafflecopter below. 

Book Info:

Title: He Belongs With Me
Author: Sarah Darlington
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 27, 2014

Book Blurb:

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. Recommended for 17+ due to sexual situations and adult language.


Buy Links:

Amazon  |  Amazon UK  |  Barnes & Noble  


My Review:

He Belongs With Me was such a satisfying and emotional read. I was watching out for the pitfalls of a love triangle but I am so happy that the author was able to present a refreshing take on this trope.

Maggie and Clara are identical twins but they could not have been more different. If one would go by stereotypes, Maggie would be the good twin, the one who helps their Dad, the one who does the responsible things, while Clara would be labeled as the bad twin, the one who does all the wrong things, the one who does not want to follow the rules.

But then I will have to tell you that stereotypes don’t cover these two unique personalities. They have their own unique vibes and who they are as a person are not split into the dichotomy of black and white. And I love all the greys that were spread throughout this book. Not just for Maggie and Clara but also for the other characters as well, like Leo, or like Robby/Dean.

There would be a lot of comparisons from readers, I think, between Maggie and Clara. You might like one better than the other. But I think Sarah Darlington was able to weave this well-rounded plot, wherein we see all of these sides to the story. And for this, I felt like I understood both of these women’s minds and hearts. And I really, really appreciate that about the book.

I would have wanted more interactions between Maggie and Clara because they clearly had issues that needed resolving with regard to their relationship as sisters. Don’t get me wrong, there were resolutions by the end of the story and they were enough to tie the bow on a wonderful book. I just wished there could have been more on this aspect.

The love stories and romance in there has more than satisfied the romantic in me. There were a lot of swoon-worthy and ‘aww’-inducing gems of lines in there and the author did such an amazing job drawing out the emotions not just out of such words but from the actual scenes and events in the story as well.

And I cannot not talk about Leo Maddox. He is such a great character and an even better hero. I totally swooned at some of his scenes and then got a bit teary-eyed in others. You’ve got to read the book to understand what I’m trying to talk about.

Leo teaser 4

This book was engrossing, endearing, and absolutely engaging. You cannot help but turn those pages and see where the story takes these characters. It talks of the freedom that being true to yourself brings, of looking beyond a facade and seeing the reality of another human being, of the steadfastness of a family’s love, and of the great rewards that you get when you take that leap of faith in love.

I can’t wait to read more from Sarah Darlington!

My Rating: 4 lovely stars!

4 stars

*This eARC was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.



Interview with Sarah Darlington:

Q: What made you want to become a writer?

Twilight.  Something about Twilight inspired me.  It got me into reading again and it made me want to try to write.  I know there are a lot of Twilight haters out there, but the simple romance of Bella and Edward had a big impact on me.


Q: What is your favorite/least favorite part about writing?

Favorite part: when the words are flowing!

Least favorite part: when I get stuck.  It happens from time to time, when I can’t decide which direction to take my story.  I’ll stress and write/rewrite, having the hardest time getting past a certain scene.  I always make it past those parts, I just hate the time I waste getting through them.


Q: On average, how long does it take to write a book?

1 year!  I write really slow and have a problem editing/re-editing as I go.


Q: Can you describe the basics to your writing process?

First, I come up with a basic concept.  Then I come up with the characters.  From there I just start writing.  I’ll always have a general idea of how a book will end and some key scenes playing in my mind, but other than that I don’t plan ahead.  It’s better (for me) to let my characters surprise me and drive the story.


Q: Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Leo Maddox.  Originally Leo was only going to be a supporting character.  However, after writing a chapter or two, I quickly realized how special Leo was.  He’s dark, complex, and moody, while surprisingly sweet at his core, and–hands-down–my favorite character I’ve ever written.


Q: What is your favorite scene from HE BELONGS WITH ME?

Clara’s embarrassing ‘ass-gazing’ scene.


Q: Give us an interesting fact (or a few) about your novel.

The Alligator Lounge in Brooklyn, NY is a real place!  Where as, Blue Creek is a fictional town.


Q: Tell us about your cover art.  Who designed it?  Where did the image come from?

designed the cover.  🙂  The image is a stock image from ShutterStock.  I chose it because of the blonde on the cover.  Is she Maggie or Clara?  I figured I’d let readers try to decide the answer to that question.


Q: Excluding the characters from your own novel, who is your favorite book boyfriend?

In the NA genre: Logan Reed.  (From Tammy Falkner’s Tall, Tatted, and Tempting.)
YA: Jace Wayland
Adult: Eric Northman
(Wow, didn’t realize how much I liked blonds until just now.)


Q: How can we contact you to find out more about your books?

Or email me:


Q: What can we expect from you in the future?

Currently, I’m working on a novel titled KILL DEVIL HILLS. It’s about a girl who tries to commit suicide and the guy who saves her from herself. I’m hoping to release it by the end of the year.

If I have success with HE BELONGS WITH ME, and enough people demand it, I’d like to write Stephany Mallory (Clara’s BFF) her own story. Her love interest would be Leo’s long-lost older brother, John Asher.


Q: Do you have any tips or advice for other writers?

Write everyday! HE BELONGS WITH ME certainly wasn’t my first book. Only the first book I deemed good enough to share with the world. If I can write a book, anyone can. All it takes in practice, more practice, and a slightly obsessive personality.


“Clara?” His eyes searched my face, screaming with unexpected vulnerability and fear. He seemed genuinely worried about me. “What’s going on? Say something, please. Are you okay?”

I nearly lost my nerve. How easy it would have been to kiss him and fall into his arms all over again? A big piece of me wanted to do just that, but one moment of weakness was all I was going to allow myself for the day. “Am I okay?” I asked him, trying to sound indifferent and not angry. “What’s that annoying code word you and Maggie used to say all the time? The two of you probably thought I was too dumb to crack that little language you created to use against me. Oh yeah, I remember now. Peaches. I’m just totally peaches.”

Standing tall, I reached my arm above his head and slowly poured the remaining contents of my beer on top of him. A shocked breath left his lips, but he didn’t budge and took the beer shower like a man. “Real mature, Clara,” he grunted, glaring a shitload of hate-fire my way as the liquid coated his hair, face, and clothes. Angry as hell and soaking wet was a good look on him.

“That’s for making me care,” I told him, setting my empty glass back down on the table. Then my hand swung hard and made stinging contact with his wet face. “That’s for being a jerk to me since we were kids. And this…” I stood up on my tiptoes, grabbed hold of his handsome, shocked face, and planted one firm kiss on his wet lips. “That’s so you know I’m not fucking around.” I held onto him for another moment. “Prove it to me,” I whispered. “Prove to me you aren’t an ass and I’m all yours.”

Then I pulled away, turned on my heel, and left Leo standing there, soaking wet and stunned.

About the Author:

sarah darlington author picSarah Darlington lives in the DC metro area, is married to her high school sweetheart, and currently spends her time chasing around a very active toddler. As a former flight attendant, she misses the days of pantyhose, galley gossip with good friends, and traveling to new places. In the future she’d like to return to that career, but, just as flying gets into your bones, so does writing. Whenever she gets a free moment these days, she writes.

Connect with Sarah Darlington:

Blog I Facebook I Goodreads I Twitter


*Sarah is hosting a Giveaway for five (5) eBook copies of He Belongs With Me. Check out the Rafflecopter below. 

If the Rafflecopter does not appear, you can go HERE instead.

Tour Organizer:

blog tour pic



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