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 of the resurrection spell—and all possibility of seeing her lover again. (via Goodreads)
I received an eARC of Caroline’s Heart from author Austin Chant in exchange for an honest review!
I previously reviewed Peter Darling, so if you enjoyed this review, I highly recommend checking that out!
The first thing I noticed about this book was its dedication – to Dianna Wynne Jones. After reading it, I can see why.
Caroline’s Heart is soft and domestic and sweet in the way that I remember Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl books being, with the distinct, lovely writing that I’ve come to expect from Austin Chant’s books.
it does need trigger warnings for violence, mentioned trans-antagonism, mentioned queer antagonism, death of a loved one, and attempted murder. There is also a sex scene at the very end.
Magic in this world has consequences, which I loved. I loved the push and pull of the magical ability, the easy explanations of how it worked.
I did wish that the novella had discussed how much of Roy and Cecily’s romance was based on the heart in Roy’s chest – what vestiges of Caroline remained within it?
I cannot speak for the trans rep as a cis person, but this is ownvoices for trans rep. You can read Avery’s review here, as a trans nonbinary person! I was a little concerned about Roy being outed by being undressed after a gunshot wound, but it wasn’t a big deal in the narrative.
Overall, I loved this sweet novella. I’d love to see more in this universe. You can pick up a copy on Amazon.