Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review: This Heart of Mine

This Heart of Mine (Whiskey Creek - Book 8) by Brenda Novak

Publication Date: 03/31/2015
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Harlequin MIRA
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400

(Received for an honest review from Harlequin MIRA)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Brenda Novak on the WEB: websitetwitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the Series:

Whiskey Creek

1. When Lightening Strikes
2. When Snow Falls
3. When Summer Comes
4. Home to Whiskey Creek
5. Take Me Home for Christmas
6. Come Home to Me
7. The Heart of Christmas
8. This Heart of Mine

Coverart: Click on the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series

Excerpt from This Heart of Mine, courtesy of the author's website


First love. Second chance?  

As the daughter of a hoarder, Phoenix Fuller had a tough childhood. So when the handsome, popular Riley Stinson became her boyfriend in high school, she finally felt as though she had something to be proud of. Phoenix was desperate not to lose him—especially once she found out she was pregnant. Yes, she might have acted a bit obsessive when he broke up with her. But she did not run down the girl he started dating next. 

Unfortunately, there was no way to prove her innocence. Now, after serving her time in prison, Phoenix has been released. All she wants to do is return to Whiskey Creek and get to know her son. But Jacob's father isn't exactly welcoming. 

Riley doesn't trust Phoenix, doesn't want her in Jacob's life. He is, however, ready to find someone to love. And he wants a good mother for his son. He has no idea that he's about to find both!


Brenda Novak brings readers the next book in her Whiskey Creek series, This Hear of Mine. This is a poignant, heart warming story about a young woman who has faced just about the worst life can throw at her and survived. Novak always knows just how much realism to add to her stories to draw the reader in and hold them in her grip. This story was a little deeper and a little more dark than some of Novak's work but it all works in an amazing way.

I have read so many good books lately. And every time I read a Brenda Novak book, I get all warm and fuzzy inside. This one however was a little different, that's not to say that I didn't like it, because I did. I loved it. It was just not what I was expecting. It was a story that had many different layers and nuances. It was complex and full of surprises. Phoenix, the heroine was not your typical leading lady. I think Novak wanted to stir things up with this book and she succeeded with flying colors.

Not only does Phoenix get a second chance at love, but essentially she is getting a second chance at life. Her childhood was rough to say the least. She was unpopular, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, who actually gets a chance with a perfect guy. But he doesn't turn out to be quite so perfect. He breaks her heart and leaves her lonely and pregnant. And then to add insult to injury she gets accused of running down his new girlfriend. Talk about a past. This chick has one. I loved the fact that Novak introduced me to this character. She is strong and resilient and truly brave. I loved her. Now she has a second chance with Riley and her son, Jacob.

I loved all of her interactions with Jacob and with Riley. Developing a relationship with a son you haven't really met is quite the challenge. Getting over the heartbreak of the love or your life is another one. Riley's family didn't make it the first time or the second time, but love prevails and readers are treated to a real second chance love story, not only between the woman and the man, but between the mom and son as well. What a great story!

Riley was sexy and confident. But he made some mistakes the first time around with Phoenix that nearly cost him any kind of chance at a happy ever after with her. I liked the fact that he owned his mistakes and learned from them. He is obviously a good dad. Jacob is a wonderful young man and now Phoenix has to decide if taking a chance on Riley is worth the price she may ultimately pay. I loved this couple and the hero, was real life hero. He wasn't a lot of put on and bravado, he was simply a real man.

Bottom Line:

You can't really go wrong with a Brenda Novak book. She is at the top of her field. She writes romances that are realistic and heart felt. Her characters are multi-layered and complex. This isn't just your average boy meets girl and falls in love story. This Heart of Mine will really tug on those heartstrings and it won't be easy to put down. With amazing characters and great attention to detail, Novak puts out another stunner. A great book!

This Heart of Mine is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak has penned over 45 novels. A two-time Rita nominee, she's won The National Reader's Choice, The Bookseller's Best, The Bookbuyer's Best and many other awards. She runs an annual online auction for diabetes research every May at www.brendanovak.com. To date, she’s raised over $2 million. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life.