- Title: This Heart of Mine
- Series: Whiskey Creek #8
- Author: Brenda Novak
- Genre: Contemporary Romance
- Published: March 31, 2015 – Mira
- Source: Publisher
My take: Phoenix Fuller grew up in the small town of Whiskey Creek, CA. Raised by a mother who was a hoarder, abandoned by her father and older brothers, she was an outcast at school. When she was befriended by Riley Stinson, her math tutor and classmate, she started to have hope for a normal life. They fell in love and were soon expecting a baby. As happens to many first loves, the two broke up. Riley started dating another girl while Phoenix felt her life going back to the way it was before Riley. Phoenix was involved in a car accident that resulted in the death of another classmate (Riley’s new girlfriend). Phoenix’s life changed at that moment and she went to prison for 17 years. Now released after serving her sentence she’s back in Whiskey Creek and hopes to form a relationship with her teen-aged son.
The family and friends of the girl who was killed are determined to make Phoenix’s life miserable. If their daughter and sister can’t be alive, her alleged killer should not live a happy life, much less in the town where they live.
Over the course of the Whiskey Creek series we’ve met several members of a tight-knit group of friends who’ve faced challenges of their own. They show a willingness to support their friend Riley in the way he’s always supported them. That was gratifying for me as a reader. I enjoyed THIS HEART OF MINE. I’d wondered about Phoenix each time she was mentioned in previous books. I wasn’t sure how Brenda Novak would present her when she figured into the series as a major character. I thought she wrote a wonderful portrayal of a character I hadn’t expected to like.
If you’re a fan of Brenda Novak and the Whiskey Creek series I think you’ll enjoy the newest addition to the series as much as I did.