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Depth of Focus

(Natural Hearts #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Growing up, Travis hated his small town, Slat Creek, and everyone in it. His only goal was to escape for good, and at the age of twenty-one, he thought he had finally achieved it. But when his sister struggles with the death of their mother, he has to return home to care for her.

Whitman grew up believing in the healing power of books, but it wasn't until he moved to a sm
Kindle Edition, 209 pages
Published November 20th 2018
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  74 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Joyfully Jay
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kenna
A Joyfully Jay review.

4 stars

I love books. I love libraries and I love librarians. I might be dating myself, but I remember days spent pouring over card catalogues with the help of two of the most wonderful women in the world. They helped shape me, so when I saw a book about a small town librarian, I jumped on the opportunity to read it. I wasn’t disappointed at all. I liked the characters, the town, and the story as a whole.

I felt connected to both Whitman and Travis. It all comes down to a sm
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh. My…..geez Louise. I bawled like a baby through this whole book but it was so GOOD! So emotional, heartbreaking, heartfelt, sweet, and the list goes on. Be very prepared for a box of tissues but it's worth it.

Being from a small town myself, I can imagine how Travis felt. Everyone in your business, gossip galore, and small mindedness. Bullies. Etc. Travis wanted away. In a place where no one knew him and he could be free to be himself without everyone knowing. Not that he was ashamed of being
Nat ReadingAllNite
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a highly enjoyable, emotionally satisfying story of small town life and found family. Travis is a wonderful character, a young man taking on the responsibility of his troubled teenaged sister after the death of their mother. Whitman has recently moved to the small town as the librarian, anxious to make the library a more vital part of the community. There is attraction between Travis and Whitman but it’s Caitlyn, the sister who’s the reason they begin spending more and more time togethe ...more
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

This book was just ok for me, it didn’t really stand out as amazing or anything but overall I did like it. And while the storyline was a little slow at times it flowed pretty well from start to finish, I think I would have like to see just a little more action happening along with all the family dramas.

Whitman was a cute character. And I liked Travis and his sister. Seeing all the struggles they went through and had to deal with is really touching. I loved how Whitman is able to pull b
Nanna Sander
It started out a little slow, but once it got going (at ~10-15%), it was really good.

It is still a slow burn after that point, but that's also because it is also a story about family and communities.

At one point, Travis calls Whitman 'full of sunshine that brightens his life' (my paraphrasing), and I can only agree. Not to say that he is naively and unrealistically optmistic, but because he is good to the core.

It's not a whirlwind romance, but it is solid and good and, like I said, about all kin
Kendra T
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Travis has had a very challenging year trying to take care of his 17 year old sister, Caitlyn, after their mother died in a car accident. Caitlyn attempted suicide recently, so he has been doing everything he can to keep an eye on her. He is exhausted, but determined. He has no time for a relationship and is not interested in pursuing anything. He is miserable in the tiny town where he was picked on as a kid, and doesn't feel like he is accepted there.

Whitman is the new librarian in town. He mov
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love JD Chambers' Only Colorado series, so when I heard she had a new one, I was thrilled. And this one is as good as those books. I swear, she gets better with every book, so I am looking forward to whatever series her next book is going to be about.

I felt so sorry for Travis. He was just trying to do what he could and help his sister while trying to have his own life. People generally aren't equipped to raise their teenage sister after their mother dies, so having to step into that space al
Diane Dannenfeldt
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
My biggest issue was it was too slow of a burn for me. I would have liked to have them move a little quicker. Also, I never got a clear reasoning behind why Caitlyn's father wanted her, she was nearly 18 yrs old. Whitman has moved to this small town after a break-up with his ex to take over as the head librarian. Travis is trying to take care of his sister after their mother died. Caitlyn did not take if very well and attempted suicide before the book starts. He keeps an eye on her basically 24/ ...more
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Depth of focus is the story of Travis, a young Native American student who, following the death of his mother, must return to his hometown, which he has very little fond memories of, to take care of Caitlyn, his little sister who took her mother's death very badly and tried to put an end to her life. It is also the story of Whitman, a thirty-something Canadian who has just moved to the small town of Slat Creek to replace the recently retired bookseller. Out of a little bit toxic relationship and ...more
Life has a way of throwing you hard things to test your mettle, and sometimes it seems like it's just doing it to screw you over. When Whitman goes through a breakup he decides to make a huge change and accepts a job in a tiny town in Oregon. That change brings him into the bosom of a very nosy, very caring town that seems to have made a place for him, a place that feels like a true home. But not everyone intends to end up stuck in Slat Creek, as is the case with Travis. Both men learn about the ...more
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
I have to be honest that I struggled with this book. I had a hard time keeping focused on the story, and it took me a long time before I got into the heart of it. It’s a slow-burn love story. I love slow-burn, but this was so slow I felt my interest waning. At times, I found it too detailed in the day-to-day life that dragged on too long. Furthermore, I thought it was more a story about Travis and his sister, Caitlyn, getting over their mother’s death with all the life-altering after-ef
Sarah Jones
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
4* Depth of Focus is the first in JD Chambers’s new series Natural Hearts. This story follows Whitman and Travis through their slow burn courtship while each find reasons to love their small town. This is a good, solid story that flows well. Would recommend.

Whitman has lived in the big city most of his life, but after a bad break up decides that small town living would be more of his style. He becomes the head librarian in the town of Slat Creek, Oregon and immediately starts trying to integrate
K.R. Phoenix
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
🌟🌟🌟🌟4 stars
🔥🔥🔥Heat Level: 3 (slow-burn to love)

A heartwarming story about loss, change and finding your place 💜

I loved this story. It is dynamic, interested and endearing, great writing by J.D. Chambers.

Some spoilers below:

The story follows Travis as he comes to terms with being sole guardian to his 17 year old sister after their mum dies tragically. He is forced to return to the small town he hates and the land he is a part of. He strives to do his best for his sister and faces many challenges
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the heartbreaking story of siblings Travis and Caitlyn struggling to get over their mother's death. It's not going so well for either of them, but things begin to slowly change when new librarian Whitman insinuates himself into their lives. While the overall feeling throughout the book is heavy and varying levels of painful; there is also warmth, love, and even humor. The romance between Travis and Whitman is not the main focus most of the time, and I think that works very well here. Tra ...more
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: family, kids, arc
This was a sweet slow burn that for me, was really authentic. We meet Travis and he is in this tough and emotional situation after his mother has died and he has to take care of his sister. I appreciated that the author made this so believable. Seeing him struggle was really impactful and made me want him to find his HEA that much more. Then there is Whitman who I just could not help but adore. He was a little bit nerdy but so dang genuine and caring that I just wanted to put his librarian booty ...more
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This first book in JD Chambers' new series is a sweet yet emotional story about two siblings trying to move on and the difficulties they are having, and the (super) slow-burn romance between oldest sibling Travis and the town's new librarian Whitman. This story resonated with me as someone who has lost a parent myself, and while that made it more emotionally painful for me to read at times, it also pulled me into the book even more as I recognized a bit of myself in Travis and his younger sister ...more
Sarita Chapdelaine
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
This is an amazing start to a new series and I love everything about it. I was fully engaged from the very first page and I could not put it down. It is beautifully written, emotional, inspiring, sweet and the characters are incredible. The author does an excellent job with some difficult and heartbreaking situations. Travis is awesome and I love how he drops everything to look after his sister. Whitman is such a caring and loving person and he will do everything possible to help his new communi ...more
Kathryn Manzella
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Depth of Focus is the first book in JD Chambers' new series, Natural Hearts.

Travis is stuck in Slat Creek, guardian to his sister after their mother'sdeath... but he plans to leave once she is grown. Nothing is going to hold him back.... except the new librarian in town, Whitman, is starting to test that resolve. Will their attraction and connection ne enough to keep him in town or is freedom too attractive to give up?

A wonderful story of finding love when you aren't looking for it. Whitman is
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
*arc received in exchange for an honest review*

What a wonderful slow-burn of a read! I loved all three main characters Travis and his sister, Caitlyn, and then the support provided by newcomer to the small town Whitman. Small town romances are always going to be a favourite of mine because you get to know the background characters as well and Chambers definitely delivered the small town magic in a Depth of Focus. It was nice to see the romance slowly build between Travis and Whitman and be more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this!

Heartache and tragedy is the beginning of this book. But out of it all comes love and hope. Travis is struggling to care for his 17yr old sister after their mother died. Caitlyn is drowning with depression and Travis is out of his depth. Whitman is the town's new librarian and offers Caitlyn an internship for the summer, giving her hope and a purpose. Travis is becoming closer to Whitman also, but tries to resist, not wanting ties to the town. Caitlyn's biological father turns up
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
After the death of their mother Travis returns home to look after his 17 year old sister Caitlyn, whio is struggling emotionally. Whitman has recently moved to their small town where everyone knows everybody's business. While Whitman craves the small community, Travis is just biding his time to escape. Whitman takes Caitlyn under his wing and grows much closer to Travis too. Travis is reluctant to get involved with Whitman because of his plans to leave town as soon as Caitlyn goes to college.
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed that this book was a bit different than a lot of romances! Instead of focusing on the physical aspect of the couple it more showed Whitman and Travis' struggle with their individual problems and how they supported each other through them. The loss and grief that Travis and his sister faced was heartbreaking and so realistic! The side characters in the book were well written and I enjoyed what I learned about this small town. I would say this was sweet, slow burn with a couple who I lik ...more
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great read. Great new series. Great new characters. I want more.

I have only read the Colorado Series and enjoyed the kink found in them HOWEVER this series is sooooo different from that but yet still very much just as powerful. These new characters are just as complex in their stories and how they all make their own family by entwining themselves together through so much drama from outside forces.

I can't wait to see where these side characters take us as we continue our journey in Slat Creek.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you like emotional drama you will love this. The angst drips off the page. At 21 years old Travis has to come home to look after his sister Caitlynn after their mother dies. Caitlynn is deeply troubled, has withdrawn into herself and Travis is coming near to the end of his tether until a new librarian arrives.
Whitman is older, calm and collected and everything that Caitlynn needs to help her heal - and Travis too. However this is not the entire story...
A tearjerker of a story.
Joscelyn Smith
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Small town love

This was a great slow burn romance. It was more about the characters emotional connection than sexual (although that was there too). Travis and Caitlyn were in so much pain until Whitman blew into their lives like a breath of fresh air, he helped bring them back to life after a heartbreaking loss. All in all a very enjoyable read that was emotional without been too angsty.

*I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book*
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this slow burn love story. Travis and Whitman took things at a slow pace. Anything else would not have felt authentic to their characters. Travis has much to overcome and Whitman is the perfect partner for him.

I loved the depth and complexity given to these two. This was a very emotional read that I will not soon forget.
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story. Whitman totally stole my heart, he is just so lovely, sweet and caring and not just to Travis but to everyone that he meets in Slat Creek, he’s just so adorable. I absolutely loved the dynamic of Travis and his sister. I had tears rolling down my face when Travis and Caitlyn were in court and everyone turned out for them. I can’t wait to read Jeremy’s story, hopefully he’s god awful father stays away.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this start to a new series. Both MCs were unconventional which I loved.
The relationship developed slowly but it makes sense.
I’m going to like being in this universe. Book 2 cannot come soon enough.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In a small town two endearing guys are gradually drawn together--one the newly arrived town librarian, the other a 21 y o man protecting his troubled teenage sister. A sweet, slow burn romance that is also the story of making a family and finding a valued place in the community.
Cute and feeling good story.
A little bit of angst but not overwhelming. It's slow burn.
Love it. Great characters!
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