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Just a Heartbeat Away

(Forever Yours #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  516 ratings  ·  167 reviews
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 y
ebook, 384 pages
Published June 30th 2020 by HQN Books
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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2020 Fall Bingo (#fallintorombingo🍁): ‪Crafts or Puzzles

Not the biggest fan of kids in romance, so I was not expecting to like this debut as much as I did. This hit me right in the feels. Slowest of slow burns, palpable yearning everywhere, and so romantic that my heart hurt at times.

I read this via the library despite receiving an arc; the PDF format hurt my eyes and I couldn’t get through the arc.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Ⓐlleskelle - That ranting lady ッ

If you’re craving a feel good romance, THIS IS IT.
This book has the most powerful slow burn I’ve read in a while, prepare yourself for some intense YEARNING. It felt so good to hope, wish, desire and NEED along with the characters. And the delivery? I didn't expect it to be so HOT. The sex on page is equally smoking and heartfelt. So much HEART! So much HEAT!

Delightful storytelling, engaging dialogues, and complex characters, I can’t choose whom I prefered: the single dad, his kid, their dog, th
I WANT TO LIVE IN THIS BOOK. Ugh, this hit all of my decent people being decent buttons and the slow burn was delicious and hot and the kid was cute and they TALKED and everything about this worked for me on all the levels. Immediately going to pre-order book 2.

Read for The Ripped Bodice Bingo 2020 square: Ice Cream
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book joins the cursed list of Heroines with Freakishly Tiny Hands.

He bent over her hand, kneeling beside her. Dang, she was so small. If he’d laid her little golden hand on top of his, her fingers wouldn’t even have made it to his second knuckles. She wore no rings or polish, just clean fingernails.

Seriously, people, just picture that. What the hell.

That said, this book is an actual delight of a slow burn romance about mature, nuanced adults who have some issues but who ultimately disp
3.5 Stars
Just a Heartbeat Away is a great single dad and age gap romance. I really enjoyed it mainly because of the characters. I absolutely adored Via, Sebastian and Matty.
The forty two year old Sebastian is a widow and tries to get back to a normal life with his six year old son Matty. His son’s former teacher twenty seven year old Via shows back up in Sebastian’s life and no matter how hard he tries a crush slowly develops.

It’s a cute slow burn with some hilarious dialogue. I enjoyed Sebasti
Maria Rose
I haven’t read too many début stories this year, but I heard good chatter on social media about Cara Bastone’s Just a Heartbeat Away, the first full length novel in her Forever Yours series. (Technically her first book is a prequel novella to the series, When We First Met, but this is her first full length story). What a good decision! It’s got everything I look for in a contemporary romance and is a strong contender for my top ten list this year.

Sebastian Dorner is in a spiral of grief after th
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
Wow, just wow!! I grabbed this book for 99 cents off of a BookBub deal and it was worth every penny and so much more. I’m a huge fan of relationships that take time to build and the friends to lovers trope and author Cara Bastone did a fantastic job showing us both in Just A Heartbeat Away. Complex and poignant I found it impossible to put this book down.

Sebastian Dorner meets Via DeRosa when he’s at the lowest point in his life as his son, Matty’s Pre-K teacher where she shares that she’s begun
Sam (AMNReader)
There's nothing wrong with this book but I spent a lot of time not reading it, you know? I didn't touch it yesterday and then I picked it up and recalled it was an interaction between the heroine & hero's child that had me turning it off Mon night and I read a couple more paragraphs and recalled reading is not supposed to be a chore.

Something about the combination of the slow burn and narrative style made it hard for me to connect to the MCs or root for them, thus my earlier comment about rooti
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a good, sweet (but not cloying sweet or precious sweet), slow burn romance. It does not have a lot of high highs or dramatic emotional moments, but it manages to have good romantic and interpersonal tension while letting us just in on two regular folks falling into romance.

When we first meet our couple, Seb and Via, they are practically strangers. Seb has just lost his wife in a car accident and is lost, shell shocked, and doesn't quite know how to be the sole responsible parent for his
Sep 02, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5 okay stars. I admit I did a bit of skimming. This book had a reasonable plot and several tropes that I usually like. It was very slow burn, however, and felt a bit repetitive at times. The age gap wasn't that huge IMO, and the hero, Seb, especially seemed to be way too hung up on it for way too long. I got a bit sick of his dwelling on that so much. Alright, already! I did like Seb's sweet relationship with his young son, however.

I quite liked the heroine, Via, and I could feel some of her l
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Widowed dad Sebastian Dorner has spent two years using the simple checklist his son's kindergarten teacher gave him, a list necessitated by the painful realization he was begin to neglect his child in his grief. Settling in to their new reality including a school change and a new career, Sebastian is ready to start dating again.

Sebastian, in his early 40s, is aghast to discover he has the biggest crush on his son's former teacher, who is now a new guidance counselor at his son's school. Via DeRo
3.5 stars but rounding up to 4 because the relationship between the two leads felt very believable and true.

Things I liked:
+ the way Seb and Via communicated and actually talked to each other
+ a six year old child who acted like a actual six year old child and not a infant or a teenage trapped in the body of small one (look, I'm sorry but a lot of authors can't write kids well in literature. So when I find one who can, I make note)
+ all the secondary characters including Seb's friends, his in-la
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really great fun! This is my first read by Cara Bastone and I will definitely be looking for more of her books.
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r2020, stars-4-0, romance
Couldn’t concentrate on the titles I had planned, and Audible recommended this book. Why not? Well, as it turned out, this was a lovely romance. No crazy insta-love and what not, but a well developed story of two people who have faced hardship, and how they build themselves back up. Actually, the whole setting and cast was charming. Reading this felt like a warm hug :O) What more do you want?
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

This saddens me and part of me feels like I am being overly harsh but at the same time I just didn't enjoy this as much as I wish I did. Which is weird, because it's a slow burn romance that's satisfyingly low on drama and features adults who actually talk to each other and are pretty upfront about their feelings.

I should have adored this!

Instead, I was too annoyed by Sebastian constantly going on and on about the age difference between him and Via (she's 28, he's 42). Age differences
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Just a Heartbeat Away is totally not my tropes. Single dad, age gap, adorable moppet: these are not tropes that I enjoy. Honestly, if I hadn't recently listened to Bastone's Call Me Maybe, which was absolutely totally my thing, and if the reviews weren't so good, I might have DNFed early on, because the start was a bit rough for me. But I'm very glad I didn't, because I was in my feels by the end.

What I loved about this book was how much it focuses on mental health and toxic masculinity. Seb is
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warning, the start of this book will break your heart. But putting the pieces back together, like for the characters, is totally worth the ride!

Via DeRosa is a kindergarten teacher when she met widower Sebastian Dorner. She have no idea that the gentle advices that she offered without any judgement helped him get his life back on track while he's grieving. As a former foster kid, Via is no stranger to life throwing you a curveball. Two years after Seb and Via's first meeting, she's now the new
nick (the infinite limits of love)

Just a Heartbeat Away is one of my favorite romantic debuts of 2020. While I initially picked up the book because of the most adorable puppy on the cover, it quietly managed to sneak up on my heart and ran away with it. I don't know what it is with me and painfully slow-burn romances, but I find myself constantly devouring this trope. In Just a Heartbeat Away, not only is the slow-burn trope penned with a lot of heart, but we are gifted with two additional tropes: single-dad and age-gap. As thos
Kay (aka) Miss Bates
I didn’t think a romance writer could pull off a romance narrative without a betrayal. I’ve thought, until now, the romance narrative needed a tearing-asunder moment to work (executed with varied degrees of success depending on the author’s control of craft). Cara Bastone proved me wrong and her début romance, Just A Heartbeat Away, tossed my assumptions about the romance narrative out the window and bade me reevaluate its elements. Oh, there’s plenty of conflict (without a betrayal, or tearing- ...more
Janine Ballard
I heard about Cara Bastone’s debut contemporary romance, Just a Heartbeat Away, when it was recommended somewhere on social media. The main conflict (May-December) and the background of the hero (he’s a widower) sounded good so I checked it out of the library.

Sebastian Dorner, an architect and a Brooklynite, had his world upended when his wife Cora was killed in a car accident. Four months later, he is at a parent-teacher conference with his four-year-old son’s pre-K teacher when Miss DeRosa, th
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. It was sweet, steamy, and tender!
Rachna R
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I can't even describe all the ways this book did things I loved in exactly the way I love them, but let me try.

These lead characters are such genuinely, deeply good people! And they also feel really fleshed out - some rough beats in their pasts, and understandable emotional consequences to those that they work out both between themselves and each other. And that's why the age difference (a good 14, 15 years?) also works SO well, so much better than you'd think it would - they TALK! They're
Leigh Kramer
A number of friends have boarded the Cara Bastone train since this book debuted. After reading this, I can certainly see why. This book is not without its issues and yet it fully consumed me and I could not read it fast enough. I really debated how to rate it because of said issues but 3 or 3.5 stars didn’t feel right because I did really enjoy this overall and so I’ve landed at 4 stars.

Sebastian and Via were both marvelous characters and they helped me hang in there through pacing issues and Vi
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars rounded up

This is LOVELY!

I may find Seb's moaning about the 15-years-old age-difference between himself and Via to be aggravating at times (he's a 42 year old single father with a 6-year-old son, she's a 27 student counselor at the elementary where Seb's son goes to school) -- but I think that Cara Bastone is able to lay down the foundation of those concerns. Bastone writes a convincing situation of two person with different phase of their life, as well as different background.

Seb is
Nishoo | Rakes and Heartbreaks
There are not enough words for how much I loved this book!! Via, Matty and Seb have my whole heart!

The slow burn, the banter, the angst, the relationship, the chemistry.. just wow!

I didn’t want the book the end at all. I just wanted to keep reading more about these two and their love story. :D

Seb is a single dad and his relationship with his son, Matty is one of the biggest highlights of the book. I am generally on the fence about kids in books because some are so obnoxious but Matty was so ado
This book is adorable!! Such a great contemporary with so many cute moments. This is a single parent, age gap and slowburn romance. I don’t have too much to say about this as this was as cute as the cover is. I mean how cute is that dog?

Sebastian and Via are a sweet couple and I loved reading their story. Sebastian is the absolute best dad with such a adorable son. He did annoy me with the constant reminder that Via was younger than him, but he explained this and I understood. Overall, I really
Jun 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I really liked this story and the characters. But it's got language and explicit scenes so I docked 2 stars for that.

When Sebastian loses his wife, he struggles a lot and his son's pre-K teacher notices. She kindly tells him he's neglecting Matty and gives him a list of what to do that becomes a catalyst to turning point in Sebastian's life.

Years later, Sebastian and Via meet again when she becomes the counselor at Matty's school. He's in a much better place emotionally and their friendship sl
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I loved this book. So very much about it, but especially the openness about loneliness. And I loved Patrick Zeller’s sexy ass narration!
Wow, this one caught me by surprise! It's an age gap, single father/widower, sloooow burn, with so much mutual pining. I passed on reading this several times because the cover kind of led me to believe it would be too hallmark-y for my taste, but I was so happy to be wrong about that. It definitely was quite a slow burn, but the feelings and situations here weren't cheesey but very real. There's a lot of dealing with the grief of loss and navigating being in a relationship when there's a kid inv ...more
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Hi, I’m Cara!
I’m a full time writer living and writing in Brooklyn with my husband, son, and an almost-goldendoodle. My goal with my work is to find the swoon in ordinary love stories.

I’ve been a fan of the romance genre since I found a grocery bag filled with my grandmother’s old Harlequin Romances when I was in high school. I’m a fangirl for pretzel sticks, long walks through Prospect Park, and

Other books in the series

Forever Yours (3 books)
  • Can't Help Falling (Forever Yours #2)
  • Flirting with Forever (Forever Yours, #3)

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