Owner of a Lonely Heart – Eva Carter

Published By: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 400
Released On: 07/07/2022

What are you most afraid of . . . ?

Gemma is terrified of slowing down, because if she does, she’ll have to admit how lonely she’s felt since losing the love of her life. So she fills her days with work and taking her dog, Bear, to comfort young patients at the local hospital. That’s enough, isn’t it?

Dan is scared of anyone getting to know the real him. He’s the life and soul of every party, but he’s certain that if people find out what he’s done, everything will fall apart.

Casey is Dan’s twelve year old daughter – though they barely know each other. She’s starting four weeks of treatment for a benign tumour, and is scared this summer could be her last.

When Gemma, Dan and Casey meet one scorching July, the connection is instant. Yet they’re all used to protecting themselves from heartbreak by keeping their distance. Now that fate – and a small, scruffy terrier – have brought them together, can they find the courage to connect?

*****

Thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

I really enjoyed Eva Carter’s 2021 book “How to Save a Life”, and I think she’s got a real talent, although honestly, this one didn’t hit quite the same heights for me sadly.

I liked the relationship between Casey and Gemma, it was familiar and friendly without being patronising due to the age gap. I liked the addition of Bear, the therapy dog. I didn’t particularly like Dan to begin with, I felt he was a bit of a caricature, but he grew on me, especially in his scenes with Casey. Angelica never warmed herself to me, even by the end, she just got too under my skin for me to like her.

I like the storyline of Casey’s illness, there’s a subtle honesty with it. However I generally found the whole thing too slow. It was held together by two, maybe three plot points and I just don’t think any of them were particularly strong enough to carry a 400-page book.

I do like the happily-ever-after type books, generally because they’re predictable and you can rely on them for being cosy and safe, but I felt the whole “shallow man falls in love with woman who is not his type and at the same time the woman changes him and makes him realise she’s the one for him” trope a bit clingy and awkward.

The use of the three POVs was a nice touch, just enough to give enough variation and emotion, but the entire thing – writing, characters, plot – just didn’t live up to my expectations sadly. Having said that, I do think overall she is an interesting writer and I will look for future works. Just this one wasn’t for me.

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