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Caroline's Heart

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  476 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Cecily lost her soulmate years ago, leaving her with nothing but the clockwork heart that once beat in Caroline's chest. They say it's impossible to bring back the dead, yet Cecily's resurrection spell is nearly complete and grows more powerful by the day.

But when a cowboy she barely knows is fatally injured, the only way to save him is by sacrificing an essential piece o
ebook, 96 pages
Published October 25th 2017 by Pronoun
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Katie It's not very explicit at all. There's I think one, maybe two sex scenes, but they're glossy, fairly brief, and more sweet than anything. Not explicit…moreIt's not very explicit at all. There's I think one, maybe two sex scenes, but they're glossy, fairly brief, and more sweet than anything. Not explicit.(less)

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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  476 ratings  ·  150 reviews

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Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
I could read books by Austin Chant every single day of my life and be ridiculously happy. This is the third of Austin's novellas that I have read this year, and I want to tentatively say this one is my favorite of the bunch? Seriously, let me gush a little here.

The main character and love interest of this novella are both trans. While this is in a historical setting, and the words trans/transgender are never used, the novella is still super clear about identities, in regards to both both gender
K.J. Charles
Oct 28, 2017 added it
Shelves: fantasy
Chant hits it out of the park again with a fantastic alt-West fantasy romance. This novella features two trans leads, Roy the quiet and frankly adorable cowboy and Cecily the witch who does what you might call magical biomechanics. Vividly written, beautifully drawn characters, lovely sweet romance, magic system created with amazing economy, and a very creepy threat. A joy to read. I'll buy anything Chant writes. ...more
Nina ✿ Looseleaf Reviews ✿
Austin Chant has done it again and created a badass, emotional, and captivating story in less than 100 pages! There's so much going on in this book. There's Roy, the wayward cowboy who has no real home or ambitions other than just getting my. There's Cecily, the witch both feared for her aloofness and cold attitude and respected for helping the injured in her village. Then of course there's Caroline, a lost love whose memory has lived on, probably for longer than it should...

How a novella has co
X ✚ Black Magic Reviews
4.5 out of 5 stars

It's no secret that I love Austin Chant's writing, and the smooth, effortless way he weaves a story with a powerful sense of character, atmosphere, and enchantment. His writing is fluid, both weighty with meaning and delicate in word choice, craft, and construction. Chant has a tendency to take my expectations of a story and turn them on their heads, leaving me pleasantly surprised and longing for more. CAROLINE'S HEART is no different, making for a haunting, lovely, utterly sa
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Austin Chant slowly becomes one of my favorite authors after Coffee Boy and Peter Darling. Featuring two trans* characters in an alternate-West historical setting, I found Caroline's Heart to be magical, tender, and oh so very lovely.

Roy the cowboy is a darling! I immediately fall in love with him. He is quiet, tends to keep things to himself to avoid scrutiny, but the way that he approaches Cecily, wanting to learn, wanting to help ... such a dear, DEAR character. Cecily the witch is a bit pri
Shira Glassman
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There are so many beautiful things to comment on in Caroline's Heart. First of all, it does this super neat trick with worldbuilding where you're set down right in the middle of a visceral, earthy, easy-to-follow 19th century Western American cowboy story, except in this universe witches are a normal, if regarded suspiciously, part of the daily experience. I adore how natural this felt. I think what Austin wrote is exactly how a group of nominally Christian ranch hands would feel about the type ...more
I just grabbed my kindle, got on my couch, and read. And it was so good.

This is the story of a trans cowboy named Roy, and a trans witch named Cecily. Both struggle through life, one because he never seems to stumble upon the right opportunity, and the other because she lost someone extremely dear to her heart and isn't ready to let go of this person yet.
Both characters are attracted to men and women, at least from what I gathered.
I was such a beautiful story, I couldn't stop reading, just so be
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gothy? Yes. Cis? Hell no. I am so happy for stories that center trans voices especially OWNVOICES ones because they bring this little heart to tears. My review is more eloquent. ...more
Avery (Book Deviant)
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I would like to thank the author Austin Chant for providing a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

See more of my reviews on my blog the Book Deviant

I don’t know how often I mention this, but I’m a huge sucker for gothic stories–even romances, which normally aren’t my thing. But I usually make exceptions for trans romances, and a trans gothic romance sounded perfect. And, really, there’s no other way to describe this book. I loved the characters, and I loved their relationship. I loved the
Cowboy and witch sitting in the tree

This was a really sweet read.

Skye Kilaen
Why I loved Caroline's Heart: aside from both main characters being trans and bi (representation yay!), there's a gentle cowboy with lovely manners, some spooky-as-hell magic done by cranky witch, and Austin Chant is freakin' gifted with the English language. So many sentences in this novella kicked me right in the heart. It's about loneliness, loss, the burden of keeping secrets, and finding a person with whom you can be your whole self, but it never feels heavy. The story ends with such a feel ...more
rachel ☾

Trigger warnings for (view spoiler)
I have seen many people recommend this story, but what really made me pick it up was the end of RoAnna Sylver's review of it:

Ultimately this is a story about letting go of a clenched fist so your hand can be open for whatever goodness next comes to you. The same is true of hearts.

This story was exactly as good as everyone said it would be. It is a magical love story between two trans, bi protagonists in the 1800s, and also about holding on to and moving on from lost loved ones.

I really loved th
henri reads
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
read this in one evening as a treat for finishing my paper and do not regret in the slightest!
so far the only other story of chant's that i've read was 'coffee boy' and while i liked that one, this one is now firmly #1! (might be because fantasy is always something i really latch onto).
the only thing i really have to complain about is: why... not.... more.... i would have loved for this story to be given a little bit more space and a little slower pace to breathe and let the relationship develop
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Soft and sweet and intricately beautiful.

Austin Chant is shaping up to be a wonderful author whose stories have the exact touch of echantment I look for. (enCHANTment!!!)
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All. The. Love!!!
Another 5 star read by Austin Chant after I was recently blown away by Peter Darling

There is magic and love and angst and witch-craft and it's all so beautiful and moving. I dare you to read it and remain unaffected by it.

Full review, also posted on

Such a wonderful and a little bit spooky story full of magic!

I loved everything about it, the characters, the plot and the setting. I found it very atmospheric, I could feel the oppressing heat of Texas
RoAnna Sylver
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gems
But the idea of Cecily being placed on the earth in such a damned confusion, just like him, and finding her way to be as extraordinary as she is—and him finding his way to her table, getting to sit across from her, quietly adoring her—the wonder of it all fills him with a swell of emotion that’s the closest thing to holy he’s ever felt.

* * *

I've been a huge Austin Chant fan since reading Peter Darling early last year, and had high hopes coming into this - and I was definitely not disappointed. R
Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
GUYS. GUYS THIS BOOK IS SO CUTE. It's about a prickly witch and a sweet cowboy who get tangled together when they save each other's lives, and they're both trans and queer and mutually slowly falling in love, and they've both struggled with loneliness and isolation because of their identities but over the course of the story they realize they can relate to and help each other and tHEN THEY KISS. Other stuff (necromancy-ish stuff!) happens also but that's the gist. It's a short novella and like s ...more
Ceillie Simkiss
This was delightfully sweet and magical. Read the full review here. ...more
Claudie Arseneault
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, lgbt, indie
My first Austin Chant book, and I'm so happy I started there. Absolutely delightful and charming. I loved both Roy and Cecily from the start. This is romance at its best if you ask me. <3 ...more
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This is the third of Austin Chant's novella's that I've read and, in a turn of events that I certainly wouldn't have expected based on the book description, I think it's also my favourite. Set in 1885, this story begins on a ranch in Texas, where reluctant cowboy Roy works. Roy is a (bisexual) trans guy—but he's not sharing that information with his fellow farmhands, and his disinterest in emulating their rowdy and often crude masculinity makes him a bit of an outcast. Isolated and lonely even a ...more
Amy Cousins
If you're looking for an excellent Halloween read, definitely pick up Austin Chant's fantasy historical Caroline's Heart. <3 It's a Southern Gothic-flavored trans romance with a witch and a cowboy, powerful magic wrapped up in memory and grief, and a lovely HEA. Chant is a magical writer and his books are all on my rec list. This one is no exception. ...more
Karen Wellsbury
Another beautifully told novella from Austin Chant full review here ...more
Nicole Field
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This novella is one expanded from a previous short published in Magic and Mayhem, which gives me hope of other shorts by Austin having expansions in the future.

Like everything else he's written, Caroline's Heart was completely immersive at the same time as being completely different to everything else that he's written. This is set with a trans cowboy in the last 1800s. Actually, every main character is pretty much trans, which is almost unheard of in a historic novel. And it's not just becaus
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-cis-authors
Writers like Austin Chant and Alison Evans are making me realize that there are stories I enjoy within genres I've previously assumed I didn't like. I love Chant's writing style, his worldbuilding, the way his characters interact. Everything is so normal and chill and yet, there's a witch and a clockwork heart and spells going on in this book! But I felt grounded reading this, so I actually enjoyed the fantasy aspects. (Plus, it's not medieval, whew!) Really enjoyed this novella. ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
*flails and sobs*

This was so good. I loved it to pieces and my full review is going to be up on Trans Book Reviews soon. You need to get this <3

**ARC provided by the author
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks, read-in-2018

Hmm... I'm not sure about this one... like that is a GENEROUS 3 stars. Probably shoulda been closer to 2.5, maybe even 2 but like I can't disrespect Chant like that.

I'm a big fan of Chant's novella "Peter Darling," so when I saw this one had gone on Kindle Unlimited I immediately grabbed it and started reading. Needless to say, it didn't live up to my expectations. Honestly, half way through I tried to pull myself away and stop looking at it in comparison to PD, but... it still wasn't
Xan West
4.5 stars

Review to come.

Trigger Warnings: (view spoiler)
Elle Maruska
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a lovely story! I really enjoyed the magic system and how Cecily (the witch) used her gifts to help others. The characters were well-constructed and sympathetic and interesting; you can certainly identify with their decisions and desires. There's a core of sadness--the sadness of loss, of living in a world that refuses to understand you, to see you as you are but there's also a warmth and a sense of gentle hope: that there are people who will see you, who will understand you.

This w
Helen Kord
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, m-f, queer-m-f
This was such a beautiful novella. The writing was dreamy and unique, with a third person present tense, something I'm not sure I've read before. The story tugged at my heartstrings, with Cecily desperate to resurrect her dead lover and realizing it can't be done. Roy was an absolute sweetheart and I loved how shy and lovestruck he was. And it was great to see a romance where both protagonists are trans. Ah Austin Chant, you did it again. ...more
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S. A. Chant, a.k.a. Austin Chant, is a bitter millennial, a decent chef, and a queer, trans writer of romance and speculative fiction. They co-host the Hopeless Romantic, a podcast dedicated to exploring LGBTQIA+ love stories and the art of writing romance.

Icon by Veronica Agarwal (@anuanew)!

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