Review: Mangled Hearts by Felicia Tatum

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Francesca and Cade

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?

Available at Amazon

Review copy provided via Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

Not your typical romance

MANGLED HEARTS is no light, entertaining read. It deals with weighty topics like alcoholism and loving an alcoholic with realism and sensitivity.

The story was a mix of the present with flashbacks to Cade’s and Francesca’s past, and told in alternating first person points of view. In the present, Francesca was hired by Cade’s father to help Cade out of some jam, and while it’s her first case, she’s suddenly unsure, because she has never forgotten Cade, and she doesn’t know how to face him. As for Cade, the past years have been a blur of alcohol and more alcohol, but one thing is sure… he’s never forgotten Francesca, the only girl he has ever loved…

Francesca is a strong woman, as evidenced by her decision toward the end with regards to the firm, but her heart is too soft where Cade is concerned. Whereas Cade is like a lost boy where he drowns his sorrows in alcohol, but the two of them make the other want to be a better person. Cade, especially, shows this growth, and he shows promise to be the man that is deserving of Francesca.

Now, I’m not an alcoholic nor is anyone in my family, so I’m not sure if what Cade went through was accurate or not, but I appreciate knowing and seeing through his eyes how difficult it was to give it up. That it takes strength of will and the loving support of family and friends, and even then, it is a lifelong battle.

Speaking of, the cast of secondary characters in this story is noteworthy and deserving of mention, proving that our hero and heroine don’t live in a vacuum. I especially like Daphne and Cason, for the awesome friendship and support they lend to Francesca and Cade respectively. That Cade could have a turnaround is also partly due to his brother, Cason, who dragged him to the therapist and wouldn’t give up on him.

The story also ends on a realistic note, wherein not everything is tied up neatly in a bow. Case in point is Cade’s relationship with his father. Perhaps we will see this resolved in later books?

Certainly, MANGLED HEARTS is not your typical, fun romance. While romance is there between Cade and Francesca, it is tempered by serious topics. We aren’t told, but instead are shown clearly how alcoholism could destroy lives, and the long, uphill battle that an alcoholic goes through to recovery. I have certainly never read anything like this, and I appreciate the eye-opener.

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