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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Flickering Heart is Tricia LaRochelle’s debut offering in her Sara Browne Series. Eighteen-year-old Sara Brown is a survivor, but she is not living. PTSD grips her so tightly that she separates herself from the people around her. Sorrow is her ever-loyal companion, yet she tries to exhaust all means to rebuild after the only family she has ever known is gone forever. She tries to break down the walls she has built around her as she enters college life. Scott Williams comes along—a distraction that she doesn’t need while getting rid of her dark days. Scott, however, will add something new to her life. It is something new that feels therapeutic but turns into a nightmare when Scott’s own past begins its unlawful entry into Sara’s life.
Flickering Heart does have some of the tropes commonly associated with the romance genre, but I strongly recommend that you give this book a try. Tricia LaRochelle understands what makes an effective romance story work. She doesn’t just offer a girl-meets-boy setup. What she assembles is an interesting pair of characters with flaws that make them distinct, relatable, and utterly human. She handles Sara’s traumatic past with sensitivity and keen attention to its emotional and psychological components, which makes Sara a convincing and fascinating case study in PTSD. Whatever reservations Sara feels about Scott is something that you understand and not to be dismissed as a girl’s typical fickle-mindedness. Scott, on the other hand, may appear like your typical poster boy, but the dynamics of his relationship with Sara in comparison to the past he has built makes him intricate and someone whose true intentions you want to truly know. It’s a romantic relationship filled with complications and it's these complications that will make you want to find out what happens to Sara and Scott in the end.