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Just a Heartbeat Away

Just a Heartbeat Away

by Cara Bastone


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…


Once I finished Just a Heartbeat Away, with tears still in my eyes, I moved this book to my “Comfort Reads” Folder. Because that’s exactly what it is. A comfort read. A hug for my heart. Seb and Via are just… everything. This was a beautiful story of Seb, a widower dad, and how he starts to fall for someone from the worst time in his life, his son’s former teacher. Via helped him dig out of the grief from his wife’s death and put Seb on the path to being a better dad for his son, Matty. When they met again, Via is the new school counselor at Matty’s school and Seb is the lunch dad. This puts them into close contact as they circle around each other, both falling but having their own reasons for waiting to take the final leap. This book is a slow burn but in the best way possible. When they do finally get together, you as the reader are just so invested and in love with the characters that you absolutely believe in their relationship.

I mean, this quote from Seb just warms my heart!

I don’t expect you to be issue-free. And I definitely don’t expect our love for each other to just magically dissolve our respective hang-ups. All I want is to keep growing. To keep growing alongside someone I can lean on and who leans on me. And to argue and hold each other accountable and celebrate the good stuff with and make love to and come home to.

Just a Heartbeat Away by Cara Bastone, Chapter 23

And the flirting! I didn’t realize how little flirting I see in romances lately until this book. It was so well crafted and lovely as they just circled closer and closer to each other. Neither Via and Seb have had a pain free past. They are both scarred by their past and they both learn to work through those scars. I honestly loved everything in this book, from Via and Seb to adorable Matty and a funny dog and lovely friends and even Seb’s supportive yet stern in-laws. This book is honestly like a hug for my soul.


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