ISBN: 9781311400499
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Cover artist: The Killian Group

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.

Solicitor’s office, Galway City

“What are you doing here?”

“Nice to see you too, Mick.” She opened one eye to look at him.

He stood just inside the solicitor’s office door. He’d expected Kate at the funeral service yesterday, but he couldn’t see any reason for her to be here today.

He scowled in her direction, then strode to reception. The clerk behind the desk turned a harried glance his way, continuing to sort folders beside her computer. “Can I help you?” she asked, not bothering to stop what she was doing.

“Michael Spillane to see Tighe Lynch,” he grumbled.

Finally looking up, the clerk said, “He’s expecting you. I’ll let him know you’re here.”

As the clerk reached for the intercom, he turned back to Kate. If this hadn’t been his father’s solicitor’s office and if today hadn’t been the reading of his father’s will, he would have appreciated the sight of her in her smart dark blue suit, white blouse with the Irish lace trim, and matching blue pumps. She sat calmly, her head against the wall behind her, eyes closed. She bent her shapely legs under her and crossed them at the ankle, her hands folded in her lap.

Her emerald eyes hid beneath lids edged with thick dark lashes. He knew the exact shade of them since he’d looked into them so often in the past. They were eyes no man could forget.

Her normally unruly black hair was pulled back in a twist and away from her heart shaped face.

When they were kids he used to love it when she left her hair down. The tight curls of it bounced over her shoulders like springs when she ran. He’d seen her like that once last year when he’d been home for a couple days during Christmas. They’d been invited to join the Conneelys, but he’d convinced his father not to go. He couldn’t bear being in the same room with her for so long, but she’d delivered food and he’d suffered anyway.

He recalled how he’d stiffened just watching her walk across the farmyard. As he did now. He mentally shook himself. This wasn’t the time or place to get an erection. The business at hand was the will and what she was doing here now. Not the fact that just looking at her could make him stiff.

Clearing his throat, he repeated, “You didn’t answer my question. What are you doing here?”

Her eyes fluttered open. The look she gave him made his heart skip a beat. His groin tightened again watching her tongue smooth its way over her lips. She had no idea just how erotic that simple act was. She was about to speak when a door opened behind him. Both of them spun to face Tighe Lynch.

“Mickleen,” Tighe exclaimed, using the common endearment and thrusting his hand into his. “Welcome home, lad. I just wish it were under different circumstances. I can’t tell you how much Donal will be missed.”

Mick could only tip his head at the man’s kindness. Words were still too hard to come by.

Tighe grasped Kate by her shoulders as she stood to greet him and kissed her on both cheeks. “Kate. Lovely as ever. Won’t you both step into my office?”

Not one to stand on ceremony, Mick strode through the door ahead of Kate and Tighe and went right into the solicitor’s office. He knew where it was. Was it really only a little more than two years ago he’d been here to discuss his mother’s will?

His scowl deepened when Kate walked through the office door ahead of Tighe. He got the perfect look at her shapely bum as she was forced to step between him and the desk to the seat beside him. He shifted in his seat, crossing his legs and pulling his coat around him to hide his erection. He kept his mind on wondering why she was at the reading of his father’s will to keep his libido under control.

Surely, she’d earned a regular wage for the time she spent cleaning his father’s house and cooking his meals. She was hired help and would have been paid accordingly. So there should be no reason why she should be here today. Unless there was something the solicitor knew and wasn’t telling them. Yet.

“I thought this was just a formality, Tighe. Why is she here?” He couldn’t even use her name. Just the feel of it in his mouth would leave him tongue-tied.

Tighe stopped him with an upheld hand. “If you’ll both bear with me, I will explain.” The solicitor turned to a folder on his desk and opened it, extracting two documents. Holding one before him, he said, “This is your father’s will, Michael. It’s all very straight forward. In it, the farm, the stock, the land—almost everything is left to you.”


“We’ll get to that, lad,” Tighe said.

Tighe looked at Kate and held up the second document. “This is the addendum to the will.

“Addendum?” she asked.

“An addendum means that instead of making up a whole new will, Dad just changed it.” Mick, not looking at her, directed his statement to the solicitor and waited for the shoe to drop.

Leave it to his father to make this more difficult on him than it already was. Wasn’t it bad enough he couldn’t get rid of the tremendous feeling of guilt for not spending more time with him? He never wanted to believe—or admit—his father was that sick. Sure, Kate called him regularly with updates. He heard everything she’d said, but why the hell hadn’t he listened to her!

“Changed the will?” she asked. “Is that right, Mr. Lynch?”

“In a manner of speaking,” Tighe replied. “It means he added something into the original will.”

“When was this?” Mick asked.

“If you’ll allow me, I’ll read what Donal has bequeathed. If you have any questions we can go from there. Right?”

Both Mick and Kate nodded agreement. Tighe read the will as it stood and then the addendum. Mick couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “That bastard!” he muttered. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the wide glares both Kate and Tighe gave him at the curse.

“Mr. Lynch.” Kate’s voice came on a whisper. “What does this mean? I don’t understand it.” Her eyes were big as she clutched the arms of her chair now, knuckles as white as her face. Gone was the cool Kate he’d seen in the waiting room. In a matter of minutes she’d gone from radiant to ashen. He was sure he wasn’t looking too good right about now either.

“Yes, Tighe. Can you explain it in plain English?” he asked. Why do will readings always have to be so damn dramatic?

“In plain English, your father left everything to you, Michael. However, the addendum states if you try to sell the farm, I have instructions to give everything to Kate.”

“Everything?” whispered Kate, shaking her head.

“That’s insane,” muttered Mick.

Tighe sat back in his tucked leather chair and clasped his fingers together on the desk. “Your father was quite sane at the time, lad. He knew exactly what he was doing.”

“Knew what he was doing? He’s giving the farm to her. That’s sane?” He flung his arm toward Kate as he bellowed. She flinched. Good. Her weakness meant she wouldn’t fight him when he contested the will. And he meant to.

“He was well within his rights, Michael. But Kate gets everything only if you try to sell.”

“What am I going to do with a bloody farm?” It was a rhetorical question. He raked his trembling fingers through his hair.

Silence settled around the office. It was a moment before he realized Tighe was staring at him. “Ah no, Tighe. There’s more, isn’t there?”

“Your father gave Kate full custody of Molly. It was his opinion that since she raised the dog because he couldn’t, she should have the dog.”

“Bollocks!” he spat, ignoring Kate’s sharp intake of breath. “I gave him that dog. She’s part of the farm. By rights, she’s mine.”

“You two will have to work out where the dog will live, but Molly is Kate’s dog now.”

He threw himself back in the chair. “And what if I contest the whole thing?”

“Try, lad. It won’t get you anywhere. Your father was determined to give Kate something for everything she’s done for your family.”

“But, Mr. Lynch, I haven’t done anything,” Kate finally spoke. “I only kept his house and made a meal or two. That was nothing less than I’d have done for my own family.”

Tighe looked at her with seriousness and understanding. “Kate, you were an important part of Donal’s last years and he was grateful to you. He told me everything you did for him, and for Mary when she was dying from the cancer. And without so much as a euro in payment. Don’t be so modest, girleen. The world needs more lasses such as yourself.”

“Yeah, right.” Mick couldn’t imagine Kate putting her life on hold for so long without a cent in payment.

Tighe turned to Mick, exasperation written all over his face. “Everything's completely documented, Michael. Kate hasn’t accepted a cent for everything she’s done the past few years. She took complete care of both of your parents in their final years.” The glare Tighe shot him was clearly meant to cut him down to size—and it worked. Suitably berated, he slunk back in his seat. “You should be thanking her, not doubting her.”

He glanced at Kate, her face pink from Tighe’s comments, but she didn’t say anything. The only telling sign of her emotion was the tear rolling down her cheek and the quiver of her chin. He had a sudden desire to kiss that tear away and still her trembling. Instead, he mentally slapped himself to remind him what was happening. He was going to lose the farm. He’d already lost the dog.

“I know this must be very hard for you, lass,” the lawyer continued. “Donal told me often enough how he and Mary loved you like a daughter.”

Kate sniffled heavily. Her voice was a mere whisper and she spoke through trembling lips, the same lips Mick still longed to kiss. “He always told me that, but I thought it was just because he missed Mick so much. I never realized he meant it. And now it’s too late to tell him I loved him, too.”

She buried her face in her palms, bringing Tighe from behind his desk. He withdrew a hankie from his breast pocket and handed it to her, patting her on the shoulder. “He knew, dear. Actions often speak louder than words.”

She dabbed at the corners of her eyes. “I—I’m sorry. He was such a lovely man and I miss him so.”

Mick was caught between anger at what his father had done and the urge to push Tighe aside and comfort Kate himself.

What was he to do about his father’s wishes? He could contest, but Tighe said he didn’t stand a chance. Supposedly his father had been sane when he wrote the will, and the addendum.

What was he going to do with the farm? Farm life wasn’t for him. His life was in Dublin. He had a great job there in the museum. It was the ideal situation to use his history degree. He had friends and a new flat. He couldn’t just up and leave it all behind. He wouldn’t. There had to be another way. If there were any way out of this, he’d find it.

Mick cleared his throat. Tighe looked up. “Are we done here then?”

“Aye, Michael, as soon as you sign these forms. Just a formality.” Tighe explained the final paperwork that closed the file.

Signature in place, Mick rose and begrudgingly lifted his hand to Tighe’s. “Thank you, Tighe. I think.” He turned and left the office, not bothering to look at Kate. He couldn’t. By all rights her grief should be his. If he’d only listened to her . . . Now, instead of grief, guilt overwhelmed him.


One of the reasons I adore Kemberlee Shortland's books is because she is able to create vibrant characters that come across realistically. If you love the characters, then you are completely entranced with everything they say and do. If you hate the characters, you are riveted on what these despicable people are going to do next. If the characters annoy you, as a reader, you may find yourself talking back to the character and telling him what an idiot he is. Yes, I know, they cannot hear me, but this is what happens when I read a Kemberlee Shortland book. I am so pulled into the story, I sometimes feel like I am right there with the characters seeing what they see, hearing what they hear, and feeling what they feel . . . if you enjoy your books to contain lots of complex characters in complicated relationships and lush Irish settings, I highly recommend A Piece Of My Heart. ~ Sharal Hunter, Sherri's Thoughts & Ramblings
Kemberlee Shortland has charmed and captivated this reader with a romantic fictional novel titled, A Piece of My Heart . . . characters endear themselves to the reader with their candor, wit, and determination for love and respect . . . the author has created several moments where the characters are brave enough to look back on their life and imagine themselves making different choices with resolution . . . Shortland takes great pains in painting such an accurate and authentic Irish backdrop throughout this novel that it's nearly impossible not to find one transported to Ireland where one watches Gaelic football, listens to the wireless, visits pubs, and drinks in the solstice moonlight of the ancient stone circle . . . A Piece of My Heart is unlike any other romance I have ever read. It has a great contemporary style with a slight erotic flare . . . the sensual petting is done brilliantly with a sensation of foreplay between the author and reader until the very last chapter! . . . Solid writing and storytelling, excellent characters, and romance make A Piece of My Heart a novel you won't want to miss. I highly recommend. ~ Ginger Dawn Harman, Reviewer
I have to admit the emotions are threefold in A Piece of My Heart. When Mick and Kate ache to be with each other, I could practically see it in their eyes and hear it in their voice. The way they try to hold their control intact is so beautifully penned. I love the part about the circle, and the place they shared. Kemberlee Shortland creates a stunning read that touches upon the heartstrings. The storytelling is at its best. The descriptions are marvelously crafted and the characters absolutely lifelike. With emotions turning faster than a roller coaster, she allows the reader to visualize parts of Ireland with romance and a bit of suspense along the way.
~ Cherokee, Coffee Time Romance
Kemberlee Shortland is a pro at depicting numerous romantic moments in a stimulating, unique way that never gets boring or repetitive and evolves to a crescendo experience. The good guy/bad guy scenario unfolds in a credible manner that in turn creates a full-force reaction where one finds Flann or Damean (real name) a totally despicable character and roots for his demise, while eagerly anticipating how Mick and Kate will recover their obviously lost but not forgotten love! Ms. Shortland's style has definitely matured over the last few years, and A Piece of My Heart is terrific romantic/suspense fiction to savor and share with family and friends. ~ Viviane Crystal, Crystal Book Reviews
The novel begins with a great hook that introduces us to the major conflict between Kate and Mick, the central characters. Add the lovely Connemara setting, a shady character who provides some truly suspenseful moments, Molly the Border Collie (I dare you to *not* fall in love with her!), elements of family history, a tart with a wicked Dublin accent, some ancient Irish magic and you get a very satisfying, well-paced romantic story.

When I sit down with a romance, I'm always curious about how the author will write the love scenes. Ms. Shortland didn't disappoint me in this arena, either. I've got to say that A Piece of My Heart contains perhaps the sweetest love scene I've ever read. There's a lovely balance between the physical intimacy and all of the emotions swirling around it. So many authors come close to achieving that balance, but fall short. Ms. Shortland gets it right. I'm sure I'll turn to those pages again and again when I need a bit of that sweetness in my day. ~ Wilma G. Walter, Amazon
The story caught my interest quickly. At first, I found myself disappointed in Mick's selfish life style and his blindness to the health of his parents. But then I realized that many people move away from their parents' area and begin their own lives. The author's descriptions of Mick knowing of his parents' bad health, but not really believing it, is totally accurate. Kemberlee Shortland has written a heartwarming story that will long remain in my mind. Recommended! ~ Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews
Wonderful story with just enough drama to stir the pot, a touch of tortured past to keep you guessing and more than enough relationship drama with Mick and Kate to make the reader keep hoping. They are wonderful characters whose relationship is explained over time which heightens your interest in knowing more about them and why things are they way they are between them and seriously can they overcome these problems. Quite fetching but there is a bit of sadness that will touch your heart so be prepared for that! ~ Mary Gramlich, The Reading Reviewer
The most amazing story I have ever read. Kimberlee really outdone herself. The amazing sceneries as well as the characters. I love it all! I would recommend her books to anyone!
~ Danielle Donascimento, reader
This is a story of the average person trying to find their way in life. There is life and love that comes from death. It is of the struggle to deal with death and the dearth of feelings of the "could have", "should have" and "would have" feelings. This is especially so for Mick as Kate makes him feel guilty for not being with his father when he died. It is also the pent up feelings of desire between the pair that keeps the fires simmering...The most consistent part was how Mick and Kate dealt with their feelings...It is certainly a lesson about how one should never live with regrets. ~ Heather, Contemporary Romance Reviews
A Piece of My Heart has a sprinkling of Irish magic, a three thousand-year-old stone circle ( Kate and Mick’s secret place), a touch of old customs and traditions, as well as a hint of the diversity of the people, their speech, and moral codes. It also shows strong emotions credited to the Irish and, what Mick himself calls, his “pathetic pride”...

Kemberlee Shortland’s thorough character development and the world-rocking love scenes make A Piece of My Heart captivating, but most of all it is the long-suffering love that hides but abides, cries but never dies that makes this beautiful tapestry of a tale memorable.
~ Camellia, Long and Short of It Reviews
{Review for both A Piece of My Heart and Constant Craving}
This pair of books presents an adorable and realistically romantic story of two high school sweethearts who never lost love for each other. Ms. Shortland writes Mick as the kind of many that any woman would love to have the chance to have, hold, and heal. Kate is a powerful, independent but innocent woman with a firm grasp of what love means.

In A Piece of My Heart, Kate and Mick share a lot of commonalities: an inheritance, a need to reconcile the past, and a sense of lost connection. Their reactions to each other and to the situations in which they find themselves are delightfully realistic, and their passion for each other is steamily respectful; a line that most authors have trouble walking. Predictably (why else do we read romance novels?!?) Kate and Mick work through their problems and the story ends with something akin to “…and they all lived happily ever after.”

One of my biggest problems with most romance novels is that they only deal with the heat, the passion, the chase that leads up to the long-awaited (and extremely satisfying) coupling. Yet few novels dare to delve into what happens when the after-glow fades and the couple is forced to live together with normal trials and tribulations. This is where Kemberlee Shortland shines.

Constant Craving is a wonderful short story that takes place a year after Kate and Mick buried the hatchet and shook the standing stones. There is little classical romance to be found here; instead Kate is tired, has baby blues from a recent birth of twins, and finds herself bogged down by housework. Mick is sexually frustrated (gotta wait for a while after babies are born!), tired from working the farm, and spends all his free time working on repairing the house. How they manage to rekindle the romance, and reconnect as lovers is a beautiful story and is more than just icing on the cake; it’s a story of REAL love, and how it endures, perseveres, and grows. ~ Keri Stratton Alley, The Pagan and The Pen Reviews
This compelling foray into the hearts and minds of a young couple thrown into an unusual situation is an exciting, well-paced romantic read. Mick seems a little selfish at first, but soon redeems himself. The bad guy is really bad, which adds tension to the story. ~ Donna M. Brown, RT Reviews
Ms. Shortland has written a lovely story of love and forgiveness between two star-crossed lovers . . . While Kate was a delight and breath of fresh air Shortland doesn’t sugar-coat Mick at all and his selfishness and lack of concern for his aging and failing parents as well as lack of pride in his family’s farming heritage certainly did not endear him to this reader. Ms. Shortland also introduced a truly despicable character in the farm manager Mick hired to run his family’s farm and for dog lovers, be forewarned there is one instance of brutality concerning a litter of puppies that is not for the faint of heart. Having never been to Ireland – and this being the setting of A PIECE OF MY HEART – the use of the slang words by some of the Dublin characters was interesting. The sensualness was sweet and the long awaited explanation of what had caused the rift in the first place was very emotional and heartfelt. All in all – a good solid read and very much recommended. ~ Marilyn Rondeau, CK2s Kwips and Kritiques
. . . 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[f] 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. ~ Stephanie, Once Upon a Chapter
What a lovely read to curl up with right before St. Patrick’s Day. If you love sweet, romantic Irish movies like The Matchmaker, Waking Ned Devine or Once, and enjoy the works of Maeve Binchy, you will enjoy Mick and Kate’s tale. Childhood sweethearts driven apart by a misunderstanding, brought (unwillingly) back together by a quirk in Mick’s father’s will.

As they work through their grief and their lingering issues with each other, a string of events seems orchestrated by Fate to drive them apart again. There are some stock villains and quasi-villians, but the two main characters stand out as just flawed enough to keep things interesting. Ms. Shortland adds a finishing touch of Irish magic to bring it all to a satisfying end. Fáinne óir duit, Ms. Shortland! ~ Seanachie, I Read Romance
I just finished reading Kemberlee Shortland's new romance, A Piece of My Heart. To read a book set in Ireland, written by someone who really knows the country, is a breath of fresh air. I so enjoy the lovely flavor of Ireland she's captured in her story. Kudos, Kem. I love it. ~ Charlene Raddon, award-winning author of Forever Mine
I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I avidly read through the pages hoping against hope that things would work out in the end. I felt as if I were a part of Kate and Mick’s life cheering them on for their happy ending. If readers enjoy happy endings, Ireland and animals, they will be sure to snatch up this book and read it as soon as they possibly can. ~ Kathy Boswell, Clever Divas
Overall I really enjoyed this story. I was really unsure about Mick's attitude towards his family, until I really thought about the way mine has been towards mine sometimes. Sometimes things happen. I think his change of heart was even sweeter, because you see him evolve through Kate's love and the stories about his parents. I also think having Flann and Gobnait in the story really added depth to the story. The main characters had to overcome some obstacles, so that made their love even more special. They also had to overcome past hurts when they were younger. I just loved Kate. I love Irish women- strong and independent with the ability to love deeply. Of course most women are like that. I loved the Ms. Shortland provided after the wedding information. I liked being part of the closure and the exciting news. Such a great ending to a rocky start story. ~ Jennifer S., You Gotta Read Reviews plus Author Interview
A very delightful story with lots of action, love scenes and devious people. Lot's of sparks flying around too! Did I mention there was a murder?? Yup... so what are you waiting for? Go get yourself a copy of this book, you will not be disappointed. ~ Kathleen Kelly, Celtic Lady Reviews
I must congratulate you Kemberlee. That was the most fascinating and intriguing story I have ever read. I love it . . . Mick and Kate were super fascinating characters. Your story portrayed a lot of emotions. Love, anger, distance, etc. It was quite amazing and it had me trying not to ball over with tears! I loved the scenery of Ireland . . . The legend of the stones was interesting too! . . . I loved Michael and Kathleen. Though stubborn they were headstrong and knew what they wanted! I am truly writing to you to congratulate you and ask that you keep up the good works! I'll be looking forward to purchasing your stories :D . . . I fell in love! ~ Danielle, a reader
I finally got to your book today. I picked it up this morning and started reading....I couldn't put it down! I finished it just now. I'm hooked! I loved it.......you had me hating Flann and loving Mick.....After visiting Ireland I could almost envision the scenes.....right down to the mini. When is the next one coming out? I want to read the rest of the series. ~ Mercedes, a reader in Indiana
I started your book on the plane and finished it with tears in my eyes. It was truly a heart warming love story and I enjoyed it. Any story that can bring tears to a read is a moving tale. I look forward to your next book. ~ Rae, a reader in Nevada
I started your book last night, but I'll need a man to finish it! I'm really enjoying it.
~ Kathleen, a reader in Ireland