Review: A Piece of My Heart by Kemberlee Shortland

A Piece of My Heart

#1 in the Irish Pride Series
Author – Kemberlee Shortland
Rating – D; Finished but would not recommend/3 – Minimal Love Scenes
Reading Level – Adult
Pages – E-Book
Publisher – Highland Press
Release Date – January 2010
Source – Author in exchange for an honest review

First Sentence:

Solicitor’s Office, Galway City
“What are you doing here?”
Mick and Kate thought they were falling in love. Kate hadn’t been just the girl next door. She’d been Mick’s life, and he hers. When an unforeseen force draws 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 that Mick and Kate work together to save his family’s farm. Mick doesn’t count on his new manager being accused of murder, and Kate doesn’t expect a dangerously seductive woman from Dublin to claim Mick is the father of her child. Kate thought she was falling in love with Mick all over again; however this newest revelation is too much for her. She is determined to finally say goodbye to her childhood sweetheart forever, but Mick has other plans for Kate’s future. And none of them involve goodbye. (via
Super Brief Review:
A good read if you can fully suspend reality
Favorite Quotes:
“She was just upset over Donal,” her mother said. Deirdre shot Kate a glance and a wink. This was a new side to her mother she hadn’t seen before, a conspirator in a frilly floral apron.
Slightly Longer Review:
WARNING: This review contains major plot spoilers. I cannot give an honest review without containing some them as examples.
Mick and Kate have a troubled past but an addendum to Mick’s father’s will means they’ll have to work together. Mick inherits the land and the farm but will lose it to Kate if he tries to sell. Kate has taken care of his terminally ill parents without pay for the past five years. The first real issue that I had with this novel is that Mick, our hero is a colossal ass to Kate during the first 50 or so pages. This behavior continues until he has an epiphany later in the book. As the reader you’re supposed to believe this sprouts from grief and guilt but it comes across as ungrateful and selfish.
Kate should be up for sainthood. Seriously. At the age of 15 Mick broke her heart and she’s never loved another since. She’s never been in another relationship, she’s never had sex and she cared for his dying parents full time without pay and no income otherwise for 5 years. I’m not saying this isn’t noble or honorable just unrealistic. It would have worked in an historical setting where other people would be more scarce but not so much in a contemporary setting. Kate always considers everyone, everyone’s, wishes before she considers her own. This can be considered sweet and caring but in this extreme it comes across as doormat behavior. I can say this with some authority, I’m 26 myself and caring for two dying close friends of the family starting at the age of 20 (and it goes on for 5 years) is a lot to ask of anyone. Not to mention in you early twenties you are learning to establish yourself as a person and a lot of time is spent on you and what you enjoy.
I think I’ve nailed down the characters so now we have a 25 year old who has spent the past ten years pining for a boy who won’t speak to her and a selfish man who doesn’t want to lose the only thing he has left of his family but doesn’t want to come home to take care of it. In They take Kate’s father’s advice and decide to hire a manager. The night before they are to meet the solution, Mick decides to hire some drifter from a bar that even the bartender wouldn’t serve. Kate isn’t happy about this and makes her thoughts known. But Mick is Mick and didn’t ask for your opinion. The hired manager then does a few things that really stress out Kate and Mick ignores her desperate calls to him. It literally takes the baddie drowning puppies before he decides that maybe he didn’t make the best decision and comes home. And wouldn’t you know it, the guy he hired is the very boy who told him that Kate was his and beat the crap out of him to drive home the point ten years ago! This is where the book really started to take a dive for me. I can understand not remembering what that quiet kid in calculus look
ed like after ten years, but the guy who took your girl and then kicked your ass? You bet I’m gonna remember what he looked like!
So after Mick realizes he’s been a colossal ass and he can’t live with Kate, they decide to give it a go. Wouldn’t you know, crazy stalker girl from Dublin follows him (her accent was maddening) him and declares herself knocked up. This is another point at which the book dropped. Later in the book we find out that this stalking and pregnancy is all a joke engineered by his friends. These friends are real jerks too. They started this prank on the night of his father’s death, conned a nurse to falsify an pregnancy test (which I’m pretty sure is against the law) AND had her follow him four hours away and demand marriage. Really?! At 26, this is appropriate behavior? I understand that there are some people that would find this hilarious but once again I struggle with the reality of it.
Once Mick finds out that this is all a sick joke he rushes back to Kate only to discover she’s trying to bury his memory at their special place. Some truly heartfelt sentiments are exchanged and the first love scene happens. Kate is still a virgin so this love scene doesn’t rock her socks. (Finally! A realistic point!) Sometime during this scene it starts snowing though neither notice until after. Do you think they get dressed at this point and go cuddle in bed? You’d be wrong. They have a naked snowball fight. *sigh* There is nothing fun about a naked snowball fight (I can’t be 100% sure of this as I’ve never participated.) I do live in IL and I can tell you that the last thing on your mind when you are cold and wet is gettin’ your freak on with your man (newly found or no). Not only do they have sex once, then they have sex again against a stone in the snow. Oh and this time the earth moves…literally, it moves.
After all this, life moves into a blissfulness that surpasses even your imagination. They get married after waiting three months for the license. Kate gets pregnant with twins, you guessed it one boy and one girl. The children are named after both sets of parents. Not only that but before Kate went into labor they found out that both of their fathers had one a million euro in the lottery and no one ever found out! Of course, Mick gets it in his inheritance. To round it all out, Mick’s dying father concocted all of this to get the two back together. This was a very sweet part of the book. Had Mick and Kate not gotten back together, Mick wouldn’t have inherited and the money would go to various charities.
Overall, if you as a reader can completely suspend reality, this is a great, light-hearted read that will satisfy you. I have no doubt about that. Shortland writes great dialogue and you know without a doubt that her characters are expressing themselves honestly. She also carries of the Irish brogue remarkably well and you find yourself sitting in Ireland watching these two characters when in reality you’re sitting in the breakroom at work. My biggest problem was not with the writing itself but just the perfectness of the world was too much for me. I won’t hesitate to give this author another try. Reading is a very personal activity. I write my reviews based on my personal experience and as the reader, I just could not let my grasp of reality go long enough to properly enjoy this book. Perhaps in a different frame of mind I could have enjoyed it but I’m sorry to say it just didn’t work out this time.

2 stars

3 flames


2 responses to “Review: A Piece of My Heart by Kemberlee Shortland”

  1. Thank you for a well-articulated review. I'm sorry you didn't like the book as much as I'd hoped, but I honestly DO thank you for your honesty. If you would like to discuss any of your misgivings, I would be happy to talk to you.All the best to you, and I hope you'll agree to review the next book in the series.


  2. Thank you for a well-articulated review. I'm sorry you didn't like the book as much as I'd hoped, but I honestly DO thank you for your honesty. If you would like to discuss any of your misgivings, I would be happy to talk to you.All the best to you, and I hope you'll agree to review the next book in the series.


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