A Piece of My Heart by Kemberlee Shortland
Publisher: Highland Press
Length: Full (268 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Review by: Camellia
Kate hadn't been just the girl next door. She'd been Mick's life, and he hers. When an unforeseen force drives them apart they're left with wounds that refuse to heal.
Now, ten years on, Mick's father's will should have been straightforward, except his addendum was like ice water in Mick's face. It's essential Mick and Kate work together to save his family's farm. He doesn't count on his new manager being accused of murder, and she doesn't expect a dangerously seductive woman from Dublin claiming Mick is the father of her child.
Kate thought she was falling in love with Mick all over again, but this newest revelation is too much for her. She is determined to say goodbye to her childhood sweetheart forever, but Mick has other plans for her future. And none of them involve goodbye.
First love, true love, forever love refuses to be denied. It may hide but it abides. It fights for fulfillment, bearing all the bruises, aches, hurts and pain it must as it steadfastly holds its place in the hearts of Kate Conneely and Mick Spillane, soul mates since childhood.
Ten years ago, at age fifteen, Kate felt she could see Mick’s soul in his eyes. She knew she loved him. Then, one day she saw something else, like resentment or hate in his eyes. He shut her out and drifted away. She never knew why. He went away to the university then to a job in Dublin, rarely returning to the farm that had been in his family for six generation, even when his parents were terminally ill. Polite, but unyielding to Kate’s pleas for him to come home and take care of his folks, Mick, the only best friend she ever had, broke Kate’s heart again and again.
After ten years, terms of Mick’s father’s will make it necessary for Kate and Mick to communicate. The emotional struggles and internal conflicts each of them suffered in the last years have stymied both of them from truly getting on with their lives.
Kate became a palliative care nurse in Galway City hospital but for the past five years tended Mick’s parents. Even though she is compassionate, her Irish temper rises at Mick’s inexplicable attitude toward his inheritance and her. She sees his brooding, moody ways but does not see the pain and guilt he carries deep inside.
A Piece of My Heart has a sprinkling of Irish magic, a three thousand-year-old stone circle ( Kate and Mick’s secret place), a touch of old customs and traditions, as well as a hint of the diversity of the people, their speech, and moral codes. It also shows strong emotions credited to the Irish and, what Mick himself calls, his “pathetic pride”.
The antagonist in the story plays a huge role in the enfolding of the plot. He stirs up a whole new set of emotions. He creates tensions that make the heart race with fear and loathing. His crudeness, cruelty, and bullying ways stand out. They are like a dark thread woven in a tapestry that has a few garish threads of big city pub scenes, but otherwise is woven with gentle, muted colors of family love, support of friends, and love of animals. This dark thread is a sharp contrast to the ever-present golden thread of love that is barely noticeable in part of the tapestry’s design and the focal point in other parts.
Kemberlee Shortland’s thorough character development and the world-rocking love scenes make A Piece of My Heart captivating, but most of all it is the long-suffering love that hides but abides, cries but never dies that makes this beautiful tapestry of a tale memorable.