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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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  • Overall
    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!)

18 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

6 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. ❤️

5 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.

2 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.

1 person 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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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.

1 person found this helpful

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So sweet.

This is my third book by Cara Bastone in less than two weeks. She is a great writer. This book was so sweet and tender. She did such a good job allowing the relationship to play out. I really enjoyed listening.

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A slow burn that’s totally worth it!

I loved almost everything about this book. It was sooo good! I found myself smiling over and over while listening. So many endearing moments. It was a slow burn that came to a very steamy and well-written climax (no pun intended) in the last 40-50 minutes of the book. Seb, Matty, and Via are all very captivating characters. The narration was excellent with one exception: the attempt at a Cajun accent used for Fin. I hate to say it, but it was fairly annoying. Fortunately, Fin doesn’t have an excessive amount of dialogue in the book. Zeller’s narration of all the other characters was really impressive. I loved the whole story, although I feel there was a bit too much time spent on Via’s breakup with Evan. The excessive attention to that detracted from the main storyline more than added to it and would have been better served by being shortened by about a third. It wasn’t enough to significantly lessen the enjoyment of the story, though. Those minor complaints aside, this really was a great story. I loved it.

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Sweet!

Listened to Cara's books that are part of the Audible Plus catalog and loved them. Took a chance on this when it was on sale recently...loved it. Sweet, slow burn with steam piled on at the end. I'll definitely be picking up the other books in this series.

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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.

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Profile Image for Sara Malcolm
  • 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