• Just a Heartbeat Away

  • Forever Yours, Book 1
  • By: Cara Bastone
  • Narrated by: Patrick Zeller
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (497 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 20-something Via really too young for him, or does 40-something 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....

©2020 Cara Bastone (P)2020 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Just a Heartbeat Away

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So sweet! Great pandemic relief!

The characters in this book are really brave and sweet, and their struggles are realistic. This one is not as funny as Cara Bastone's "Call Me Maybe" (available for free right now on Audible, and the way I discovered the author), but it's as heartwarming. There are not a lot of plot surprises, but also no silly machinations to keep the characters apart. The reasons for their hesitation are reasonable and understandable. The narrator was great with both the male and female voices (which is often not the case for male narrators), and his deep voice made the male protagonist sound SO sexy! If you're looking for some soul-calming, feel-good relief from all the difficult news in the world right now, and you want to listen to a story about decent, lovable people finding each other despite real-world struggles, this is the book for you! (There is explicit sex at the end, but it's not gratuitous - I think it adds to the emotional journey of the characters. If that's not your thing, you can just skip that part. Personally, I think a slow-burn romance like this really needs some great sex at the end as a payoff, and this book really delivers on that!)

21 people found this helpful

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Mixed feelings

Parts of the story were slow. Parts of it were too steamy. Would have been better for me without the explicit sex details

7 people found this helpful

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I loved it so much!!!!!

This book was so great. Everything about it was wonderful! I’m so sad it ended! 😭 I’m stingy with my credits, but I will be getting the next book by the author right about...now. ❤️

7 people found this helpful

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Incredible Book

I absolutely loved this story. Seriously, I loved everything about this story. The slow build up, the chemistry, and bond between father and son. It was such a sweet story. And the narration was very nicely done. A great first book in this trilogy.

3 people found this helpful

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Another great read from Cara

Cara Bastone is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. She has the ability to build these stories that suck you in and leave you wanting more, more, more. The slow build type of romance is this book was enthralling, and the narration by Patrick Zeller was charming and engaging.

2 people found this helpful

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Just meh

It was very lack luster. I would not recommend. I finished it though which is more than I can say about the last two books I tried to listen too. So there’s that.

2 people found this helpful

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Real

I loved this down to earth slow burn! The characters were well developed, and their relationship is a slow sizzle that gets really hot. I wasn't in love with the narrator, though.

1 person found this helpful

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Mature

T may have liked this better if I hadn’t already heard the three included stories which were so much better. Advice to the author go back to light and flirty you do those so much better than heavy mature.

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a true Romance novel!

Cara Bastone is an amazing author. She pulls you into every characters thoughts and desires. I've listened to many of her books and this one is my favorite romance novel that takes you into deep secret sexual thoughts in the end. I highly recommend anything that Cara Bastone writes.

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Slow burn for sure!

This is such a sweet story...the slow burn made me crazy, but couldn't stop listening.
Beautiful.

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  • Bella A
  • 01-01-22

Disappointing

I had previously enjoyed one of the author's other books 'Call me maybe' which was witty, accessible and fun so I thought I'd give this one a shot, though I'm still not entirely convinced that romance is a genre for me. The storytelling was fine - the author can write and invests a lot in worldbuilding. However, I did find the world she built (contemporary NYC) was not one I recognised - it was a lilly white existence, with a couple of LGBTQ characters sprinkled in for good measure. There were no non white characters and at one point the female MC expresses surprise that one of her colleagues (an older white woman) had been in an interracial marriage! The female MC also has a lament about how an Italian neighbourhood in Brooklyn no longer has Italians - well, sister, imagine how all the under represented minorities feel about their neighbourhoods in say Harlem, Bronx etc. The female MC's best friend is from Bayou country and the way she is depicted feels like full on cultural appropriation. It's fine (and probably sensible) that Cara Bastone does not attempt to write non white characters as I'm guessing she doesn't know any, but what I really objected to is depicting this very narrow vision of one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world - it was jarring. I also did not care for the insinuations in the book that an indication of a well balanced and fulfilled woman is one who has to be a good mother. There were countless examples of assumptions (which I won't list) based on gender stereotypes which I felt the author was endorsing and not deriding. Finally, I could have done without the cringey sex scenes at the end - just felt a bit creepy. The author can write and she shouldn't be faulted for writing about what she knows, just a shame that the world she knows consists of tedious people who look and sound the same.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Arathea
  • 05-29-22

Heartfelt and Beautiful

I absolutely loved this story. The plot line, the characters, the relationships, the main environments - they all worked so symbiotically that everyone and everything flowed perfectly.
The partnership between Seb and Matty was funny, sweet and heart-warming. The number of times I smiled and even laughed out loud at their antics and the love I could feel between them, made me melt.
Vi was such a complex and familiar character to me and I felt the ups, downs and worries as she journeyed towards her new self and space.
A perfect happily ever after, without the chaos of a mad plot twist made this story one that I will be going back to for sure.
5 out of 5 recommend!

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  • Sara Malcolm
  • 09-30-20

So sweet my teeth hurt!

Tthe slowburn is REAL! the angst.... the cuteness. my heart! I can't wait for book 2