This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak

March 20th, 2015 kimbacaffeinate Giveaway, Review 69 Comments

20th Mar
This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak
This Heart of Mine
by Brenda Novak
Series: Whiskey Creek #8
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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—if they can forgive the mistakes in their past…

This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak is the eighth book in her Whiskey Creek series. I love small-town romances and I have always wanted to try one her novels. I was delighted that this worked as a standalone and was even more excited to meet Phoenix Fuller. An unusual heroine and a second chance romance gave me all the feels.

Phoenix was not a popular kid in high school, in fact most thought her an oddball. She lived in a trailer on the outskirts of town with her mother but Riley noticed her and the two fell in love. Family pressures led to their break-up and Phoenix found herself alone, heartbroken and pregnant but a tragic car ride sealed their fate. Phoenix was accused and found guilty of running down a classmate and sentenced to jail.

The story picks up seventeen years later when Phoenix is released and returns to Whiskey Creek hoping to establish a connection with her young son. Novak did a wonderful job of fleshing out the characters and making me connect. It is a story of forgiveness, truth and most of all love.

The romance was sweet, tender and made my heart skip a beat. I adore second chance romances and this one was fragile and filled with heartache. I was so glad to see Riley and Phoenix get their chance. Phoenix is such a strong character and her story will have you swallowing a lump in your throat. I would have imagined she would be bitter, but her journey has been remarkable and the scars she carries are a testament to her strength. Yet, beneath it all she is still that hurt young woman with a tender heart. Her son, and townsfolk made the tale feel genuine allowing us to feel the impact her return has made. We see the stigma of living on the wrong side of the tracks in a small-town and the helping hand of neighbors.

Novak stated that Phoenix’s story just flowed from her and you can feel it in the writing. The characters are genuine and their interacts realistic. If you have not tried Novak, yet I encourage you to try This Heart of Mine. Low angst, realistic characters and low-heat make this a perfect Sunday afternoon read. Go, go visit Whiskey Creek, I promise you will want to stay awhile.

Tour Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Review linked to CBB Book Promotions

About Brenda Novak

New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak is the author of more than fifty books. A four-time RITA™ nominee, she has won many awards, including the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Daphne, and the Holt Medallion. She also runs an annual on-line auction for diabetes research every May. (her youngest son has this disease). To date, she has raised nearly $2.5 million.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads everything fiction in YA, NA, and Adult. She's a self-professed Whovian, Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Stay Caffeinated!

Never miss a post by adding Caffeinated to your Inbox

Your email address will not be shared with anyone

69 Responses to “This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak”

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have wanted to for a long time, I do have book one in my tbr pile now.

  1. Christy

    Okay, I’ll be honest … When I first saw the cover I thought it would just be another romance, but then the blurb had me totally intrigued. So I’m glad to see you loved this and that it can be a standalone.
    Christy recently posted…Dark Alchemy by Laura BickleMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was wonderful Linda, and I was surprised how much I connect to her

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Quinn, we don’t spend anytime in prison and in fact meet her after..but Novak made me respect and appreciate her.

  2. Jenny

    “I adore second chance romances and this one was fragile and filled with heartache.”

    YES KIM!!!! I just finished this one and absolutely LOVED it, it’s the first contemporary romance I’ve read that made me tear up again and again. I just felt for Phoenix so much, the way she expected nothing from anyone. I wanted to hug her the whole way through. This was my first Brenda Novak romance, and I’m definitely going to be devouring her entire backlist now:)
    Jenny recently posted…Friday Flourish: Love in a Time of MonstersMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was surprised by how much I connected and felt for her. Such a good story

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I could see you really liking this Brandi..the depth she brings to the heroine is one I think you would appreciate given the books you favor.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This one touched me, I like when an author can do that

  3. Nick

    Kim, I saw you posted your review for this last night and had rated it highly, so I started it at 12 am (bad bad bad decision) and I read half way through. I’m so in love with Phoenix’ character. I actually might enjoy her a lot more than Riley. She is so fantastic and I love her so much. And OMG the feels, Kim! The book has already managed to squeeze my heart a few times. I can’t wait to read some more today!
    Lovely review! 🙂
    Nick recently posted…Mini-Reviews : Chase Me by Tessa Bailey and Jinn and Juice by Nicole PeelerMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy your weekend too Ali. I have my granddaughter spending the night tonight. She is so stinking cute.

  4. Debbie Haupt

    Kim, great review and wow thanks for the chance to win a copy. I LOVE Brenda not only does she write some of the best romances but she’s also devoted to her fight against childhood Diabetes too!!
    Thanks
    Debbie Haupt recently posted…April Line UpMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hadn’t either. I ended up picking up book one and look forward to it as well.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was stood out for me. So glad I jumped in 🙂

  5. Ann Noser

    I’m not huge on romance novels, but this blurb has me intrigued.
    Plus it shares the title with a favorite song of mine. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am a genre whore..I read just about every dang thing 🙂

  6. Kay

    This one sounds unique! Way more than the cute over implies. I think I’m going to have to read it. 🙂 I am glad this works as a standalone because I don’t really have an urge to read all the other books, especially before this one.
    Kay recently posted…Review: Salt & Stone by Victoria ScottMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agree the cover doesn’t capture the depth..but the bike really ties into the story

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Grab it, you can totally step in and feel at home ..

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I loved that it had a real feel to it Melissa, it had a bigger impact on the my “feels”

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Don’t let it stop you at all..each works totally as a standalone and I haven’t read any of the others.

  7. Lorna

    As usual with your reviews, you make me want to read this one. I do have one question-does a lot of it take place in prison? I am not a fan of books that take place in prison, so I am wondering. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Lorna recently posted…Review: Shadow Sight by E.J. StevensMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Not one minute take place in prison Lorna..it is after her release and picking up the pieces..no worries there and you will love this woman

  8. Sarah

    I think I may have read one of her historical romances a long, long time ago. I’ve been wanting to read more of her works and this one sounds delightful. I’m curious to see how Phoenix turned out after living with a hoarding mother. Always been curious to understand what makes a person start hoarding! Thanks for sharing 😀
    Sarah recently posted…No Proper Lady by Isabel CooperMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It is one of my favorite tropes in romance, well that and arrangements.

  9. Tressa

    I’ve been meaning to read one of her books for some time. This definitely sounds like one I would like, especially the small town setting and low heat. Great review!
    Tressa recently posted…Weekly Update #107My Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope you try it, I am glad these are like companion novels

  10. Diane Sallans

    I’ve been wanting to read this series – I love series set in small towns!

  11. Tika

    My two close blogger friends, Blessie and Sarah spend alot of time on your blog finding amazing books, so I thought, “Why haven’t I been to her blog?!” so here I am ready to stalk some posts! First of all, this book is so up my alley. I love that the main character is strong despite being in jail, and probably labeled as a killer or murderer in her town. I’m so intrigued to see how the relationship between Phoenix and her son goes, so I will definitely be adding this to my TBR!
    Tika recently posted…Readers Choice: April BOTM – All Things Crazy!My Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was such a great story Tika, I can see why the author felt it was a personal favorite. I am so glad you are stalking some posts..Welcome! Blessie and Sarah are here and like to blame me for their growing TBR piles. You will find I read a little of every genre.