Book Review

Book Review: Just a Heartbeat Away (Forever Yours #1) by Cara Bastone

Rating: ★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Cara Bastone
Publisher: HQN Books
Release Date: June 30th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Some people change your life

Others change your heart

Newly widowed dad Sebastian Dorner was unraveling at the edges—until his son’s teacher, Via DeRosa, threw him a lifeline. Now, two years later, they reconnect at Matty’s new school, and an inconvenient but unmistakable jolt of attraction crackles between them. But why does the first person to spark with Sebastian in years have to be a millennial? Is twentysomething Via really too young for him or does fortysomething Sebastian just feel too damn old?

A former foster kid, Via’s finally forged the stable life she’s always dreamed of—new job, steady income, no drama. The last thing she needs are rumors about her and a single dad at school. But why does she keep being drawn into his capable, worn-flannel orbit? And why does being around Sebastian, Matty and even their dog, Crabby, seem to spark so much want?

They’re trying to ignore the tension threatening their friendship. But sometimes what’ll heal you is just a touch—and a heartbeat—away.



This book made me realize one of my biggest contemporary romance pet peeves.

I HATE when one of the love interests starts off in a relationship. Just super unnecessary for me. It makes all of those good moments between them when that chemistry is starting to build feel tainted by the fact that someone is still attached to someone else. UGH. And in this book it wasn’t until 60%+ where it was confirmed Via was at last single.

Since that brought my rating real low I’ll throw in a few things I did like. I liked the other tropes and conversations surrounding grief, resilience and moving on. There’s some good moments about being in a relationship with a larger age gap and what that can mean for both parties. Solid side characters who were supportive friends to Sebastian and Via.

Also this was oddly Hallmarky and then got dashed with way more heated spice RIGHT at the very end that I was a bit taken back. Easy to skim over since it’s at the end, but if you’re waiting for that slow burn to kick in, it eventually does.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: multiple open door concentrated at the end
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: widower, mentions of growing up in foster homes, depictions of grief

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