Flickering Heart

Sara Browne Series Book 1

Romance - Contemporary
374 Pages
Reviewed on 07/19/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Since she was a little girl, Tricia T. LaRochelle has been obsessed with tragic love stories. No beach reads for her. Bring on the grit with a double side of turmoil. She likes to feel the character’s anguish as they fight to overcome obstacles to be together.

Growing up in central Vermont, she has seen her share of tragedy but remains a hopeful romantic. She now lives in central Virginia, where she continues to foster the possibilities of how love can conquer all.

FLICKERING HEART is the first book of three in the SARA BROWNE SERIES. Stay tuned for updates and announcements on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Threads, or sign up for her newsletter at TriciaLaRochelle.com.

    Book Review

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.

Stephanie Chapman

Tricia LaRochelle creates a romance story filled with trust issues in Flickering Heart. Sara wants to move forward with her life. She joins her roommate, Amy, to support Derek in joining a fraternity and celebrating at a tailgate party. Sara accidentally spills her drink over Rachel after she felt someone grab her butt. Before Rachel can cause Sara more embarrassment, Scott intervenes. Scott and Sara date and everything is going perfectly until she refuses to have sex with him. Scott avoids her at a party and acts like they are not a couple. Rick escorts her home and becomes her confidant. Sara forgives Scott until he acts withdrawn. She discovers he has threatened people to stay away from her. Something isn’t right and Sara turns to her best friend, Rick.

Tricia LaRochelle addresses several intense subjects such as PTSD, trust, and social hierarchy. Sara is a character that I can empathize with. I am socially awkward, and I avoid crowds and parties. Scott gets attention from young women who are promiscuous, so I questioned his intentions. His reputation was less than stellar. Rick appears to be a better match for Sara from the start of the story. The suspense becomes intense as the story unfolds, and the supporting characters become more important in Sara’s life. I was in shock when a dramatic shift in the story took an unpredictable turn. Flickering Heart would be a great book for young adults who enjoy realistic slow-burn romances that involve the personal growth of every character.

Rylanne Burdette

Flickering Heart by Tricia LaRochelle is a suspenseful and intense new adult romance about Sara, who has finally decided to stop hiding and try to embrace life after the death of her parents. She is a first-year college student in Virginia, and upon her first few days on campus, she meets Scott. The two start a relationship, but is Scott really the guy he says he is? As someone begins to threaten Sara and certain evidence comes to light, she is terrified that her first shot at love might not be all she dreamed of. Sara’s friends help her to uncover the truth, but will she and Scott be together in the end?

All in all, Flickering Heart is an addictive book that I read in just a couple of sittings. Although there were a few scenes that were immature for what felt like the target audience of this story, I couldn’t help flipping through the pages, desperate to find out what would happen next. The way the story ended has definitely made me want to keep reading when the next installment comes. I thought that Sara and Scott had such a dramatic but enjoyable story; I didn’t want to see it end. Flickering Heart by Tricia LaRochelle is a mix of suspense, mystery, and romance, and I love seeing these elements added to the general romance genre. This book was fun to read, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys suspenseful romance with some darker themes.

Marta Moran Bishop

Tricia T. LaRochelle’s Flickering hearts brings us a story that touches one deeply from the opening lines to the end of the book. We are hooked reading far into the night. Flickering Hearts the first in her Sara Browne series is a not to be missed romance, with suspense, and emotional upheaval. Will Sarah find it in herself to open up again, to overcome her PTSD, caused by being the lone survivor in an accident that killed the rest of her family? Who is the vicious person stalking her? Will Sarah and Scott get past their own pasts, and follow their hearts?

Sukey McGolrick

I loved this book. Couldn’t put it down. It kept me up too late at nights reading it. LOL! Highly recommend!!

Tamera Pariseau

Flickering Heart was my first foray into this genre and the story left me hooked so I had to return for follow up, Revive. Now, on to Handfast. Great characters you care about, root for, and feel like you know.

Terri Bice

Loved this book!
These characters are well-developed, and the story keeps you wanting more! You’ll want to read the entire series.

Craig Allen Heath

A great read and the perfect start to a page-turning romance trilogy.

Flickering Heart is a romance novel that uses the standard tropes of the genre to touch on a more intimate aspect of love - our tendency toward self-sabotage. Sara's pain leads her to not trust Scott, and Scott's pain leads him to behave as if he is untrustworthy. They struggle against the world to realize their passion, but they triumph over the most difficult barrier to love: their own unresolved trauma. Tricia LaRochelle has established an excellent beginning to this series, which will certainly continue to delve into these deeper mysteries of our hearts and what it takes to heal them.


I haven't read a book in a long time that made me want to stay up late and keep reading! You'll want to keep turning those pages well after you know you should be going to bed. Loved the characters and got attached to each of them along the way.


The perfect book to keep you entranced! Couldn’t put it down, and it was the best story between two people navigating their love for each other. The perfect start to a trilogy of books

Noreen McCartan

Flickering Heart is a great read! Offering more than the typical New Adult romance, Tricia LaRochelle not only has a cast of well-developed characters moving through a page-turning story line, but also deftly handles the sensitive topic of mental trauma with skill that belies her debut author status.