What a debut! After absolutely loving Funny Feelings, I couldn’t resist checking out DeWitt’s debut novel, and it exceeded expectations. Quieter and more introspective, Rootbound is the story of a woman who (accidentally) reconnects with her estranged family, finding all kinds of love in the process. It’s got the same kind of layered feel as Funny Feelings, deftly shifting between playful, chemistry-filled moments and angstier, emotional ones. The heroine is strong and resilient, pairing perfectly with a semi-grumpy sweetheart of a hero. It was easy to see the attraction between them, and I loved that the story took its time building up the relationship before making the plunge – though there were some VERY sexy, deliciously tense moments along the way. Sure, the story has a decent number of typos and the rougher feel that you often get with indie debuts, but DeWitt’s talent shines through in a big way. I loved it!
The story follows Tait, a photographer who hasn’t quite been the same since her divorce a few years ago. The end of that relationship exposed some things that Tait hasn’t been ready to acknowledge, and she’s been stuck in limbo ever since. So when she accidentally accepts a 6-week photography assignment at her estranged father’s ranch, Tait is not looking forward to coming face-to-face with the family who abandoned her years ago. When she meets Henry, a man who has found family in her actual family, neither one is sure what to think. But as Tait and Henry get to know each other better, it’s impossible to deny that they have a connection. Henry is a selfless, loving man, and ignoring their attraction seems like just as bad of an idea as starting up something when Tait has no plans to set down roots on the family ranch.
Though Funny Feelings and Rootbound follow completely different paths, it’s interesting to see the similarities between them. Both feature compelling heroines and heroes who are SUPER swoony, loving and steady in all of the best ways. I adored Henry, and the more we got to know him, the better he got. I loved the sparks that flew between them. And I loved how the story – like Funny Feelings – seamlessly shifts between light, fun scenes and rawer, deeper interactions. The family aspect added plenty of depth, though Henry and Tait’s romance shone as well. The sexual tension was fantastic, and the slow build in intimacy felt so rich. I really don’t have any major complaints about this – I definitely noticed some technical writing issues, but they did nothing to hinder my reading experience. I devoured this as quickly as I could, and now I’m left wanting more from the author. As debuts go, this one was pretty great.
You really can’t go home again.
Tait Logan is proud of the life she’s built for herself. Despite her world-shattering divorce, the absence of a pet, not having any genuine connections with other humans (apart from her sister Ava), and the fact that the remainder of her family is estranged from her life, she’s happy…Happy-adjacent, at least. She’s rebuilt herself through her photography; her dream career, the one thing she does still have.
So, when that career contracts her to do an assignment on her estranged family’s home, Logan Range – a now famous ranch functioning as the setting for a popular show – she’s left with no choice but to agree.
Thus, Tait is bound, on a reluctant course back to her roots, and to the family she feels abandoned by… to the family that, seemingly, has had no interest in a relationship with her since her parents’ divorce, when she was seven.
Henry Marcum has dedicated his life to the Logan family and to their ranch. He owes them for raising him, rescuing him, and for his life’s purpose and opportunities… He also owes them for every hardship he’s inadvertently brought their way. So, when Tait Logan shows up after 20 years of near total silence, he takes it upon himself to protect the people he knows and loves.
It’s a rocky start when Tait and Henry first collide; he is naturally wary of her intentions, and she is more than perturbed by their literal collision – which results in her broken camera, during her first night on location, no less.
There’s no shortage of shaky ground here in the mountains and valleys of Idaho. They’re thrown off balance time and time again by their growing feelings for one another, and by the story of the Logan family as it becomes increasingly less clear from their perspectives. As they confront the past, theirs naturally get brought to the foray. They’ll have to weigh their feelings against their experiences of heartbreak, and decide if the potential for disaster is worth the risk that accompanies love.
Have you read Funny Feelings yet?
The two stories are not related, but it’s one of my favorite books of the year!
When falling in love is the punchline…
Farley Jones is being forced to date Meyer Harrigan, the man she has come to love, in order to make all of her stand-up dreams come true.
It’s agony— a tragedy, even. In lieu of flowers, please send cash…
Meyer and his daughter Hazel have been everything to her since they came into her life three years ago. So, all joking aside, the stakes are especially high when it’s not only her career, but both of those relationships on the line.
A former stand-up star himself, Meyer has been vital to the trajectory of her career since he began managing her… Since he became her closest and most treasured friend, in the process.
This friendship is the only reason why, when the biggest opportunity of Farley’s career includes thrusting him back into the spotlight to stir up publicity, he agrees— in spite of his grumpiness, his protectiveness over Hazel, and his disdain for public attention.
It doesn’t take long for their act to bring all those other funny feelings out into the open, and, like most matters of the heart, it quickly begins to feel like anything but a joke.
Funny Feelings is a swoony story about friendship, love, and looking for the laugh in life. It touches on the creative spirit and all that comes with sharing that gift, and how oftentimes the comedians in our lives are the most sensitive, or struggling. It features two friends, one incredible little girl, and a kaleidoscope of feelings along the way.
Read the review here
About the Author:
Tarah DeWitt is an author, wife, and mama. When she felt like she devoured every romcom available in 2020, she indulged herself in writing bits and pieces of her own. Eventually, those ramblings from the Notes app on her phone turned into her debut novel.
Tarah loves stories centered around perfectly imperfect characters. Ones who may have just enough trauma to keep them funny, without being forcefully cavalier. She believes laughter is an essential part of romance, friendship, parenting, and life.
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