This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak
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 is convicted for killing the next girl Riley dated even though she’s innocent. But her past actions cause the community to not believe her and she spends the next seventeen years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit.
Now she’s out and she wants to get to know her son. Riley is opposed at first, but time and time again Phoenix proves she is worthy of her son’s time and affection. Now it’s up to the Riley and others to believe her claims of being an innocent person.
Picking this book up I fell in love with it almost right away. I love misunderstood heroines and second chance romance and this was a mix of both. I felt Phoenix was a great complex character and I loved reading how her mind and logic worked. I read the first 200+ pages in a matter of a few hours and when I wasn’t reading, I wanted to get back to it so badly.
Being a “paperback romance” I am surprised I loved it as much as I did, but it just goes to show yet again not to judge a book by its cover. This is a powerful story that many kinds of readers will enjoy and I hope others will give this a chance like I did.
What made this not a full 5 stars was fade to black sex, a very rapid resolution and I wish Riley had been stronger in his convictions when it came to his parents. But those could easily be overlooked, I am just a very picky reader (you should all know this by now).