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This Heart of Mine

(Whiskey Creek #8)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  3,232 ratings  ·  553 reviews
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 br ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 31st 2015 by Mira Books
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Brenda Novak Yes, definitely. Feel free to check out some of the reviews. They've all been consistent in saying that you don't need to read the rest of the series …moreYes, definitely. Feel free to check out some of the reviews. They've all been consistent in saying that you don't need to read the rest of the series (so you have more than my word alone ). Are you going to give it a shot?(less)

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Carol [Goodreads Addict]
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This Heart of Mine is book #8 in the Whiskey Creek series by Brenda Novak. I have not read any of the previous books in this series and it did not take away in the least from being able to understand and enjoy this book. It did make me want to go back and get to know some of the other residents of Whiskey Creek, though!

Phoenix Fuller is NOT who Riley Stinson’s parents want him to date! They are seventeen years old and seniors in high school. Phoenix is not in what you might consider the “in”
Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog
*****4.5 STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author in Exchange for an Honest Review}

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I am officially a fan of Brenda Novak, after having finished this book. I'm so very happy that she graciously offered me this ARC. I have to say when I get messages from authors that I am not familiar with, offering me their arc, I am very hesitant to accept them because there have been quite a few that were huge disappointments. Well I promise you, that I am being completely honest when I say, I really di
Geri Reads
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
5 stars!

I haven't read any of the previous books in the series before but I've read enough reviews to know that a lot of readers weren't happy with some of the sub-plots running through the last two books. I had no expectations regarding this book. I loved the blurb and I thought it was going to be an emotional read.

I was right.

Phoenix Fuller has spent the better part of her life in jail for a crime she didn't commit. She came from the wrong side of the tracks, with a hoarder of a mother, when
Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾
5 Stars

She'd wanted him so badly seventeen years ago. And now that he wanted her, regardless of what anyone said, she wouldn't come near him.

This book. This wonderfully written, poignant, emotional and beautiful book. This Heart Of Mine reminded me exactly what made me fall in love with contemporary romance in the first place. I cannot believe that I am just not discovering this fantastic author and 8 books into a series no less. And I'm sure some of my OCD friends are twitching righ
Lady Vigilante (Feifei)
DNF at 25%

As much as I wanted to read this book because of its amazing second chance romance premise, I also knew to go in with some reservation. I had previously read two books from this author - one that was so-so for me and another that was a DNF - so I knew that I might struggle with her writing style.

And I did.

What was sorely missing in this first quarter of the book I read were details. It was all meat, no bones supporting the story so while it was fast-paced, there was no sense of flow.
5 tender mercies stars
"I seem to have the most stubborn heart in history, because I can’t stop loving him.”

This Heart of Mine is such a beautiful-heartwarming story about second chances in love and in life. Every one deserves a second chance, especially Phoenix. She has had nothing but disappointment, judgment and herself to rely on. There has only been two good things that happened in her life, the day she fell in love with Riley and the day she met her son. For seventeen years she
Rachel Reads Ravenously
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rachel Reads Ravenously by: Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾
4.5 stars!

So I found this book when perusing an angst list on Lana's blog. It's a great list and if you enjoy angst it's very helpful. Having never read this author before I checked out the book from my local library. When I picked this book up I couldn't put it down!!!

This Heart of Mine is the story of Phoenix and Riley. When Phoenix was seventeen she and Riley were in love until he unexpectedly broke up with her, leaving her pregnant and confused. After a series of immature pranks, Phoenix i
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this one. Phoenix, away for 17 years, returns to Whiskey Creek. I'm afraid the marching bands are not out to meet her.

She moves into a trailer next door to her mother, who is a bit of a hoarder, to say the least.

She wants to form a relationship with her son Jacob, the son she's never even met.

I really liked Jacob.
Liked Riley also. He had issues he had to overcome but his attraction to Phoenix is very real.

I really felt for Phoenix. She just wanted to live her life and get to know her
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jill by: Geri Reads

...this heart of mine has been shattered in a million pieces...

Phoenix Fuller is out of prison after being put away for sixteen years. Despite her pleas of innocence, at eighteen she'd been tried and convicted, not only in a court but by the community, and by her ex-boyfriend, Riley Stinson. Now out and back in Whiskey Creek, Phoenix is about to see her son, Jacob for the first time since the day of his birth, and to meet his father again.

It's not often I read a romance and the romance itself is
2.5 Stars

Overall Opinion: This is a tough one to rate. The first 25ish% = definitely at least a 4 star read. I was sucked into the uniqueness of the story and the feelings it provoked in me. I felt for this woman and the struggles she was going through, and I was deeply curious as to what had and was going to happen with the H. The rest of the book? Meh. It just fizzled out for me. It seemed kind of redundant for the most part. Yes, we get it. She is poor because she has been in prison for 17
This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak is a 2015 MIRA publication.

This is a powerful story of love, forgiveness, second chances, and redemption. After reading the first chapter, my heart was already breaking for Phoenix, a woman who has endured so much in her life and must now start all over again with little or nothing in a very hostile environment. But, Phoenix is more than willing to face the hostility if it means she might be able to forge a relationship with her son, Jake.

When Phoenix was eig
Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞
4 ★'s

Another book that I've had on my "angsty" list for a while and my first book by Brenda Novak. I haven't read the other Whiskey Creek books but I could definitely tell the other couples stories would be quite interesting.

I never have the right term when I'm describing this book to friends. I always say "old timey" - that doesn't really fit but let me explain. The romances are more old fashion and it's definitely not erotica. In fact, the sex scenes (if you can call them that) are basically
Natasha is a Book Junkie

“Not many people could offer you less than I could.”

Everyone knows that second chance romances are my ultimate weakness, but very few such stories are capable of bulldozing my heart to a point where it becomes a physical ache. Well, this book gave my poor heart the equivalent of a back-alley beating. I was stunned by how quickly I connected with the characters, how invested I had become in their story in a matter of seconds, but what shocked me the most were the silent tears that jus
This was good, had me tearing up in parts, smiling in others. To be honest, it wasn't as awesome as I expected, though. Why? Not quite sure, but there were a couple things. It was touching, sweet and had a nice second chance vibe going on, but it also lacked 'oomph' if that makes sense. I felt awful for Phoenix. She went thorough so much crap and wasted so many years over a crime she never committed. The strength of this plot, lay in that aspect in my opinion. I felt the turmoil going through Ph ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
It's not like I don't already have a boatload of books on my TBR list. Plus a couple of bookshelves worth of books I own that are still waiting to be read, PLUS several unread library books that have due dates. But I received this book as an ARC (was it only yesterday? *checks email* Yes, it was yesterday) and there's just something so alluring and seductive about a shiny new ARC. Also I'd just finished reading a couple of heavier books so, based on my handy-dandy Theory of Literary Palate Clean ...more
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

4.5 Stars

I just fell in love with this story. I am always looking for a story that is a little different than anything else that I have read and this book delivered. The set up of this story was completely unlike any other book that I have picked up and I really liked the characters. I really want to smack myself because when I was first approached by Brenda Novak with the offer of her book, I almost ignored her message. I decided to go ahead
Apr 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
Riley was a coward. His parents were also assholes.

She was better off without any of these vindictive nasty prejudiced people.

She should've told them all to go fuck themselves taken her son and left for a better life than stay with the loser that allowed her to rot in prison for 17 years. The fact he finally helped her after living HIS life freely for 17 years was a joke. It's the very least he could do, and what overnight he loves her.

Oh yeah, he dumped his pregnant girlfriend who was only 18 f
Bindi Boo
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

What an amazing second chance romance. Probably one of my favourite second chance romances now.
An intense, grip- you- hard, made-my-gut-twist, angsty read. LOVED the emotions! Really tugged at my heartstrings and my heart broke so many times over. I got super invested in this book just after reading the blurb.

Pheonix Fuller, an unpopular, lone 18 year old whose family lives in a trailer park meets rich, handsome Riley Stinson and when he chooses her, she feels like the luckiest girl on ea
Originally posted on The Book Nympho

Quick summary
It's been 17 years and Phoenix Fuller is now released from prison after serving time for vehicular manslaughter. She was 16, pregnant and alone at the time so Riley Stinson, the baby's father, raised their son with his parents' assistance. Phoenix wants a chance to have a relationship with Jacob now that she's free.

About Phoenix
She's nothing like the impression I formed from the books leading up to this one. It never occurred to me that she might
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Another anti-feminist romance from Booklist's Top 10 Romances of 2015. Wrong-side-of-the-tracks Phoenix Fuller has spent the past decade in a half in prison, serving time for running down the girl for whom her former boyfriend, town golden boy Riley Stinson, dumped her when they were teens. Oh, and she was also pregnant with his baby at the time. The novel opens with Phoenix's return to Whiskey Creek, when she's going to meet her son, Jacob, for the first time since giving birth to him. Phoenix ...more
Jacqueline J
Second review: Just as nice the second time around!

I've been waiting a long time for Riley and Phoenix's story. I'm happy to say it was worth the wait. Phoenix was a wonderful character, well written as a woman who didn't let the massive adversity in her life make her bitter. She is just getting out of prison for a crime she didn't commit. Throughout the series we have met Riley but never Phoenix. So we thought all along that she was guilty. She was well written as a woman who would do anything
Rachel K
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This Heart of Mine is a poignant story about a strong, determined woman looking to put her sad past behind and work hard and hope for a better future.

Phoenix Fuller spent the past seventeen years behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit but without support or resources was unable to prove otherwise. She spent those years unable to know her son, much less raise him and be there for him like she would have liked.

But now that she’s out, she’ll brave the town that was harsh and unforgiving for
After serving 17 years in prison for murder, all Phoenix wants is to have a relationship with the son she hasn't seen since he was born. With that hope she returns to Whiskey Creek, the scene of the crime where the parents of the victim and her ex-boyfriend and father of her child still live. She knows there is no happy ending for someone like her –– all she wants is to be left alone, to get her life together and maybe spend a little time with her son.

When Phoenix was tried for murder, Riley wa
Given all the other reviews, I wonder why I bother, but

This book made me cry or close to it. The h is railroaded into a 17, SEVENTEEN, year prison sentence over a crime she did not commit. She doesn't try and excuse herself, explain etc. Let's face it, who would believe her?

Betrayal on every level from an unsupportive mother, nonexistent brothers, a contemptous small town, this heroine endures it all.
Irene Sim
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all who love contemporary romance
For Readathon 2017: 46/52
In the category "A book with a transport on the cover"

Yep, still a favorite the second time around.

"This heart of mine" is the first book of Brenda Novak's I've read and it totally hooked me on the author. It is also the only book I've ever read that has me tearing up from the first pages (not an easy task my friends). Phoenix is a unique heroine. Her heart is so big, so forgiving, so loving that must be the size of the sun.

I can't say much about the story because I f
Lisa Filipe
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Netgalley rocks when it comes to making me a happy happy lady! Thank you for the ARC!

Brenda has taken me on such a journey with this cast of Whiskey Creek characters, each book with a new couple but still shining on the bonds of friendship that is still strong among this group. I think I had been hoping that Riley would end up with Phoenix from the moment I read about their High School romance gone wrong, and I guess I wasn't prepared for how much I would truly Love THIS HEART OF MINE...yes...I
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book kind of took me by surprise. I mean, I read the synopsis and after seeing some raving reviews from other readers, instantly added it to my TBR. But I was so much more invested in these characters and the story than what I expected to be. Yeah, the dialogue felt somewhat stiff at times, but that plot more than made up for any faults I found. There aren't really any worth mentioning. It was that addictive.

“The day he came into her life everything had changed; it'd been like
Ella **Booking it to the library** Roberts
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Veronica WordsAreMyDrinkOfChoice
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career.

“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”

However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a

Other books in the series

Whiskey Creek (10 books)
  • When Lightning Strikes (Whiskey Creek, #1)
  • When Snow Falls (Whiskey Creek, #2)
  • When Summer Comes (Whiskey Creek, #3)
  • Home to Whiskey Creek (Whiskey Creek, #4)
  • Take Me Home for Christmas (Whiskey Creek, #5)
  • Come Home to Me (Whiskey Creek, #6)
  • The Heart of Christmas (Whiskey Creek, #7)
  • A Winter Wedding (Whiskey Creek, #9)
  • Discovering You (Whiskey Creek, #10)

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“a reprieve like that “a tender mercy,” 0 likes
“This feels like Groundhog Day,” Phoenix said as Riley parked at the curb outside his parents’ house. “Groundhog Day?” “Haven’t you seen that movie? My mother has a copy. We watched it the night I got home. Bill Murray’s in it. I wasn’t interested enough to pay a whole lot of attention. I was mostly indulging her. But he lives the same day over and over again.” 0 likes
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