You Belong to Me by Edward Kendrick


Corey Byrne loves his family—as long as he only has to see them once a year. Since he’s not out to them, it makes things… tense. Returning to his job at a homeless shelter after Christmas, he finds someone has left him a very  expensive present. Soon, he begins to get messages from the anonymous gift giver. Then Corey’s friend Brad is murdered in Corey’s apartment and undercover detective Scott Reed is assigned to protect Corey. As they work
together to find the killer, they realize they’re starting to care about each other. However Scott is unwilling to act on his feelings unless Corey comes out to his family and coworkers. As the threats from the stalker intensify, Corey is forced to admit that love is too precious to hide from. Perhaps now is the time to be honest about who he is and accept the possibility of love in return—before it’s too late.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23547287-you-belong-to-me?ac=1
This 103 page story has two main characters, Corey and Scott. And a slew of secondary ones, we start the story by meeting most of the secondary one in the first few pages. But don’t worry, they really aren’t important.
Corey is a young club hoping by night, social worker by day gay guy that has managed to pick up a stalker. At first he decides the police can’t do anything about it so just blows it off. Until he finds that the stalker has broken in and stolen something. Scott is an undercover detective that has been assigned to work with Corey to catch the stalker.
This was probably one of the hardest stories I’ve had to grade. If it’s based on the first 50 pages than a 2 for sure, but then the story took off and the last 50 are pretty good. But of course we grade the overall book. At first I found Corey to be the club hoping, slut (can I write that?) that the stalker accuses him of. Not that I’m condoning stalker
behavior! But then in the second half you find out that he is only 23, and well at that age, for any sexual orientation it kind a fits.  The immaturity of dealing with the situation even though his older brother is a detective. But then Scott enters the picture and I love the book. The twist of not knowing who the stalker is the getting to know each other. Is it the job or real life?
And the end, were the family pulls together. All predictably but well written, except the stalker. That I didn’t see coming! I’ll be sure to look up more from this author.
I would call this a simple romance. While not having a lot of depth, it was a nice read. Corey is somewhat in the closet, though he does spend his weekends at clubs dancing and being picked up by men. When a very expensive present appears out of the blue from an anonymous gifter, he is unsettled. When the gifter begins sending him notes, he
begins to worry. When the gift – and only the gift – is stolen, he finally calls the cops.
There were several places in the story where I wanted to shake some sense into Corey – like when he received threatening notes from what was definitely a stalker and threw them away rather than called the cops. But mostly, I really enjoyed the story.
While I did enjoy the story, the reason it received only 3 stars is because of the following. (Technically, in my head, the story has 3.5 stars, but since we can’t measure that way, this story gets 3.) First, as I mentioned, there isn’t a lot of depth to the characters. Second, there are too many points of view. However, unlike with so many multi-POV stories, these different points of view work because they all have to do with the main storyline – instead of gearing up the reader for a sequel which always annoys me – so in this context it did work. One particular point of view did not work for me – the story starts out from Corey’s brother’s POV and to be honest, I didn’t think that was needed and completely threw me off as well.
The stalker was a unique twist, though I will always wonder how that individual afforded a thousand dollar watch.
There are no erotic elements. Everything is fade to black, which lately I’ve come to enjoy more and more as so many erotic scenes are the same. As one person said, “There’s only so many ways to describe anal sex.”
All-in-all, an enjoyable read. If you’re looking for a simple romance where you don’t particularly want to get into the heads of the characters and understand their every nuance (and let’s face it, escapist lit is needed from time to time), I suggest you check out You Belong to Me. If for no other reason than to see the reactions from Corey’s family when he finally comes out to them.