Title: Mangled Hearts
Author: Felicia Tatum
Series: Scarred Hearts #1
Release Date: July 10, 2013
Can two loves find their way back to each other despite an addiction and a hardened heart? Will their love overcome it all?
Francesca Taymon is young, successful, and broken. A tragic accident years ago haunts her to this day, and she blames only one person–the one that holds her heart. When she finally gets her first case, will she be able to handle seeing him again? Can she do her job and keep her heart intact?
Cade Kelling doesn’t take life seriously. He’s reckless and irresponsible, drinking all his problems away. When his parents bail him out for the last time, will he be able to handle seeing Francesca after all of these years? Will he be able to tell her what really happened that night five years ago or will he lose her forever?
And the most important question….
Can these mangled hearts be mended?
Mangled Hearts will take you on an emotional journey. Francesca and Cade have a history dating back to high school. A shared tragedy cuts their ties and they go years without seeing one another. Despite their feelings for one another, Francesca blames Cade for what happened and has closed herself off to love. Cade’s legal troubles and Francesca’s law degree throw them together once again and force them to face the feelings for each other they buried long ago.
The book is written in dual POV and includes flashbacks to their younger days. It would have been easy to just explain their past relationship and focus on their current lives, but seeing pieces of their past really completed the characters. The glimpse into their youth and the relationship they shared was essential to understanding the emotions that begin to boil to the surface when they meet again as adults.
Francesca and Cade really captured my heart as characters. They are both beautifully imperfect and struggling to live their lives, giving them the patience and emotional understanding to accept each other. They are both hurting from the tragic event that altered their lives forever, but they have gone in completely opposite directions with their suffering. Cade copes by attempting to completely obliterate his grief with alcohol. He pushes away his family and friends and attempts to maintain a constant state of numbness. He is unapologetic about the choices he makes and consequences be damned. Francesca, on the other hand, attempts to maintain complete and total control. She graduates from law school and works tirelessly for a firm that doesn’t appreciate her. She stays close to her family and her best friend from childhood, doesn’t drink, and keeps her heart closed off, refusing to risk relinquishing emotional control to anyone.
The contrast between these two characters and how they try to deal with life is what makes this book so captivating. Their shared history and feelings for one another drive them together, but it is the different choices they’ve made that fuel this journey of healing and finding forgiveness. The emotional turmoil plaguing their relationship is palpable throughout the entire story, tugging on my heartstrings from the first page to the last. I can’t wait to see what happens next with Francesca and Cade and the rest of their loveable crew.
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Don’t miss the rest of the Scarred Hearts series:
Entangled Souls (Scarred Hearts #1.5)
Anxious Hearts (Scarred Hearts #2)
Bound Souls (Scarred Hearts #2.5)
SCARRED HEARTS BOX SET (#1, 1.5, 2 & 2.5)
Heated Hearts (a Scarred Hearts Short Story)