This Heart of Mine

This Heart of Mine

by Brenda Novak

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Original)

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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!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778316725
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 03/31/2015
Series: Whiskey Creek Series , #8
Edition description: Original
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 187,381
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak has written over 60 novels. An eight-time Rita nominee, she's won The National Reader's Choice, The Bookseller's Best and other awards. She runs Brenda Novak for the Cure, a charity that has raised more than $2.5 million for diabetes research (her youngest son has this disease). She considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life.

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This Heart of Mine 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 88 reviews.
gdsnv More than 1 year ago
Brenda Novak has said that she felt very connected to this story and as far as I’m concerned, it shows. This Heart of Mine grabbed me from the first pages and held me until the very end. I will say that this is my very favorite of the Whiskey Creek series. It will grab your heart and never let it go. Phoenix Fuller comes back to Whiskey Creek after spending 17 years in jail for a crime committed when she was just a teenager. It is a very tough thing to do as the entire town has very strong feelings about having her back. She has had a troubled family background and absolutely no support growing up. She was pregnant with Jacob Stinson when she entered prison and Jacob was raised by his dad, Riley Stinson. The story centers around Phoenix trying to get to know her son, who is now 16 years old, and just keeping her head down. Of course, things do not run smoothly and is the very heart of this story. What fabulous growth and depth in the relationship between these three people. It is at times touching, heartwarming, and frustrating all at the same time. Ms. Novak had me sniffling before I finished the first chapter and fully invested in these three. I truly loved this story. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
ganderson523 More than 1 year ago
I was given an ARC e-book by the author in exchange for an honest review. I was given an ARC e-book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This is the story of Phoenix Fuller, Riley Stinson and their 16 year old son, Jacob. Phoenix has just been released from serving a 17 year prison sentence for running down and killing Lori Mansfield during their senior year of high school. Phoenix and Riley had dated for several weeks and then Riley up with her because of pressure from his parents. After the breakup Riley started dating Lori, whose mom and Riley's mom was best friends. Phoenix was very upset over the breakup and tried to get back together with Riley, calling him over and over. Phoenix is driving her mom's car along with her friend, Penny, when they come upon Lori walking. Lori is killed when the car strikes her. Phoenix is accused and convicted of Lori's death but she has always said that she didn't kill Lori. Her story is that in joking manner Penny jerked the steering wheel out of Phoenix's hands to frighten Lori but unfortunately the car hit Lori resulting in her death. Penny denied Phoenix's story. Phoenix was convicted and sent to prison. The story begins with Phoenix coming back to Whiskey Creek where she just wants to get to know Jacob and carry on with her life as best she can. She has very little money and no real family support. Her mom lives in a trailer, overweight and unable to leave her home. Phoenix lives in another trailer on the property and has to walk everywhere. She manages to expand a business that she started in prison and helps out her mother and helps Riley support Jacob. Yet with all of that she has gone through and is going through, she is a humble, unassuming and amazingly non bitter but yet very strong person. She puts her son and even Riley above herself. She worries that her past and outcast state will have a negative affect on them so she tries to not put them in a situation that would do this. Ms. Novak always does a great job developing her characters. Phoenix is a character that captured my heart right away. I have to admit that I have never put much thought into how one returns to society after serving a prison sentence, guilty or not. Great job, Ms. Novak! This is probably my favorite Whiskey Creek book yet and I highly recommend it.
Wendylu4 More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is why I love Whiskey Creek. I wasn't sure how I would feel about Phoenix but I absolutely loved her. This was a touching second chance love story. I loved seeing the old group together and supporting Riley. Having Jacob get such a big part of the story was great too. Seeing Riley and Phoenix reconnect and deal with the issues past and present was refreshing. I gave this a BIG 5 stars. This story was reminiscent of the early Whiskey Creek books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Incredible Story! Eighteen year old Phoenix went to prison for a crime she didn’t commit. She was only guilty of being gullible, heart-broken, pregnant and poor. While in prison, she gives birth to Jacob, son of Riley, her former high school boyfriend. Seventeen years later Phoenix has been released from prison, returns to her hometown and her only goal is to have her first chance to know her son, Jacob. Riley who has been a great father raising Jacob is leery when Phoenix asks if they can all meet for breakfast. Upon seeing Phoenix again, Riley begins the slow evolving process of looking deep inside his heart and seeking redemption for his actions as a teen and a way to help the mother of his son. Within three pages I was totally hooked and found it difficult to put the book down. Brenda Novak has once again written an outstanding book with a cast of impressive main characters and a poignant plot. If possible, I would have given This Heart of Mine – ten stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stripped of all confidences in herself, Phoenix returns to Whiskey Creek to become acquainted and hopefully to establish a relationship with her 16-year-old son, Jacob. After being released from a 17-year sentence for a crime she claims she didn’t commit, she is determined to establish and rectify the many years’ missed with her son, Jacob. Her mother is a recluse and needs to be taken care of, too. With the will to earn her place back in Whiskey Creek, she puts her brave face on and is determined to prove her innocence, not necessarily to the whole town, who has shunned her, but to her own son and his father, Riley. She wants them to believe that she was unrightfully committed to serve time for the death of Riley’s parents’ best friends’ daughter, Lori. Lori’s brother, Buddy, is out to get revenge on her and strives to physically get even with her. I loved this book. Brenda keeps the action going and there is never a dull moment. Her characters are portrayed in a way that has you yearning to jump in and either help them or to knock some sense into their thick heads. And with Phoenix, you are right there with her, encouraging her to gain some confidence back and in moving on with life after so many years away. [This was provided to me as an ARC by the author]
lhill82125 More than 1 year ago
There are not enough wonderful things out there that can be said about Brenda’s book that can describe them adiquitly. I so love her books, not just one or two of them but every single one of them! Thank you for all your wonderful work Brenda!
Betul90 More than 1 year ago
This Heart of Mine is the 17th book I read by Brenda Novak. Most of them were romantic suspenses, but Brenda knows how to write a great contemporary romance as well. I had this book on my bookshelf for a while and when I couldn't find anything to read, I decided to read this book. I was hooked from the start, and I couldn't wait to read what would happen to the characters. My favorite tropes are second-chance romances and single parents, these two together feels like a perfect combination for a romance book. My heart broke for Phoenix, she had been through so much and even though she served her time in jail she was still being punished for it. The first couple of chapters I read with tears in my eyes, and I was kind of surprised of how emotional the book was. I was expecting a very light and funny romance, but this book was about a second-chance in love and life in general. Phoenix was an amazing character, and I understood why she acted the way she did. She really kept her distance from everyone because she was afraid of stepping on any toes. I also loved Riley, and was happy that he wasn't nasty or rude towards Phoenix. My favorite was Jake, Riley and Phoenix's son, he was wonderful from the start and so protective of the mother he didn't know. The story had a great pacing, the only thing that was missing in my opinion was a look into the future. I am dying to know more about this family. I hope they will make an appearance in the next books in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Touching, heartbreaking story of phoenix, who was unjustly imprisoned at seventeen. Released after 16 years, she is determined to bond with her teenaged son that she was never allowed to see or contact from the time he was born when phoenix was seventeen. She must face the hate of many of the townspeople of whiskey creek but most of all riley, her son's father who she deeply loved those long years ago.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
brandihowell1 More than 1 year ago
I am new to the Whiskey River series. This book didn't seem like my cup of tea but it ended up with me not being able to put it down. Phoenix is returning to town after a 17 year absence due to a prison sentence for something she didn't do. She wants to connect with her 16 year old son who was raised by his father, Riley. Riley doesn't know what to do when Phoenix comes back to town. He doesn't want to stand in her way of a relationship with their son. The book has ups and downs as Phoenix and Riley re-establish sometype of relationship for the sake of their son. Phoenix deals with the obstacles that being in prison have raised in her and Riley deals with the idea that she might not have been guilty after all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book like all Brenda Novak books. It's great for contemporary romance readers!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So many emotions in this book. It was a great very sad story. Beautiful ending. First time reading this author. I recommend and will read from her again.
cntrygirlzroc More than 1 year ago
Seventeen years ago Phoenix is convicted of killing a girl with her car. While in prison she gives birth to her son. Riley is the father and has raised him for sixteen years. Now Phoenix is out and wants a relationship with her son. Riley realizes the girl he loved is a woman he still loves. But first he has to get her to trust him. This a very emotional story. You want to cry for Phoenix for what she's been thru. Cheer for her because she's not let it make her bitter and angry. The story will keep you turning the page until the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She can always create a perfect story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mary8808 More than 1 year ago
Whiskey Creek is a small town that you just might want to live in. Not if the towns people think you committed murder. Phoenix is finally out of prison after 17 years and all she wants is to get to know her son. He is now 16 and she will do what she can and whatever Riley suggests her to do so she can see Jacob. She was sent to prison for killing Lori, Riley's then girlfriend. While Riley was dating Phoenix before Lori, he was pressured by his family to end things with her even before he knew she was pregnant. While she has been away, Riley has raised Jacob by his self except for a little help from his family. He has never stopped thinking about Phoenix, wondering how things would have been if that day would have never happened. While Phoenix just wants to get to know Jacob, she tries to stay away from Riley. With all the small-town talk about her, she doesn't want to cause anyone, especially Riley, any problems. But when Lori's brother Buddy tries to hurt her, she doesn't know what to do. She doesn't want anyone to fight her battles but sometimes you just need help. When the possibility of the witness coming back to town and telling the truth, Phoenix knows she will not tell the truth after all this time. Can Riley and Phoenix make the people of Whiskey Creek see the truth? Will Phoenix let Riley back in to her life? Will she be able to stay in town and get to know Jacob? I have only read a few in this series and I think this one is my favorite so far, I loved it. **Copy provided by the author in exchange for my honest review**
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another beautiful Brenda Novak masterpiece! I am anxiously asking and wanting to know, "What happened next?". I loved the story. Is there a continuation to Eve and Rex's story, Virgil in New York, or other friends in Whiskey Creek? LA-TXN
Mommysuz8 More than 1 year ago
I must admit i have cried and got mad for Phoenix. To have lost 17 year, and not be a bitter person. Well she's better then me.  Phoenix won in the end. Again Brenda wrote an amazing story. I hated it to end. 
NookBooksForever More than 1 year ago
The author provided my an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Phoenix is not your typical heroine.  She is newly released from jail after she was convicted of running down her rival for Riley's affections.  She has a strong backbone because she returned to her hometown despite her notoriety in order to get to know her son Jacob.  Jacob is being raised by his dad, Riley.   Riley comes to get to know the mother of his son and slowly realizes that he misjudged her.  He also becomes her biggest advocate and supporter.  Phoenix, Riley and Jacob start to form a bond as a family while battling others who are still condemning Phoenix for her past.  This book will turn you inside out and also make you believe in the power of love and forgiveness.
BethET More than 1 year ago
By far, the best book in the series! Finally, the story of Riley, a single-father to a teenager boy, whose mother was once his high school girlfriend. Newly released from 17 years in prison, Phoenix wants nothing more then to return to her hometown and get to know the son she gave birth to, and start a new life. But will Riley allow her to get to know their son and will the small town of Whiskey Creek allow her to forget the past after paying for a crime she swears she did not commit? One of the things I loved best about this book is both of the main characters. After getting to know Riley a little bit in previous novels, I never imagined that he would be so open to learning to forgive Phoenix and to help her move forward. But he truly became a loveable man with a great deal of integrity, and it didn't take half the book for it to shine through. As for Phoenix, despite her troubled upbringing by a mother that suffers from hoarding, and her time in prison, she truly had become an amazing woman, full of grace and forgiveness and so earnest in her goal to become a good mother to her son. I couldn't put this book down and finished it in a day because I wanted to know how it ended! A truly gem in the Whiskey Creek series!
cjr1 More than 1 year ago
Whenever I start to read a Brenda Novak book, I always know it's going to be a warm, lovely, wrap me in a blanket and give me some hot tea kind of romance. This book was no different. It's about Phoenix who, after being gone from home for 17 years, has finally returned. She has come back to get to know her 16 year old son whom she last saw the day she gave birth to him. The only problem is his father, Riley and, her mother Lizzie, a morbidly obese agoraphobic hoarder. Oh, and, everyone else in Whiskey Creek. This is the story about a mother finally getting the chance to know her son, a town unwilling to forgive or forget the past, a man who never actually believed the stories about his first and only love and the love they both know never died. It is a wonderful love story about the power of faith and forgiveness and the importance of family and you will love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So I was skeptical at first but this is my favorite since Cheyenne and Dylan! I am so glad we got to know Phoenix and that Riley while leary, didn't let the past effect his future!