Title: A Borrowed Heart
Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 12, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 194
Reviewed by: Bob
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Robin, the recipient of a brand-new heart, knows he can’t give it to just anyone….
Robin’s been through his share of upsets recently, from heart transplant surgery to a brutal breakup. But his experiences have taught him life is short, and he’s ready to seize the day and start anew. A job at Euro Pride Tours is just the kind of adventure he’s looking for. He gets to see the world and live a little, but love isn’t on his radar screen. He isn’t sure his heart can endure that again.
Johan might’ve disappointed his family by striking out on his own, but when he meets Robin, he has no intention of letting him down. Each man is just what the other needs to feel whole again, and while Johan might not be the man Robin originally thought he was, he’s exactly what the doctor ordered to make Robin’s borrowed heart beat faster. As the tour through Germany progresses, they grow closer, but when Robin’s ex joins the tour, he could bring their blossoming love to a dramatic halt.
The framework of his story is an escorted gay trip though Germany. One of the nicest things about reading Andrew Grey’s A Borrowed Heart is knowing, right from the beginning, that you’re also on a symbolic trip, the final destination of which surely is going to be a HEA. But read easy, as the well-paced journey itself is the best part, with finely developed main
characters, nicely filled-out secondary characters, and enough plot points to keep the reader keen throughout.
Certainly, Robin’s new heart has been a physically life-changing event for him, but in this lovely novel it is also clearly a trope for the beginning of his brand new approach to life. (“I was given a new heart. . . In a way, I get to borrow the rest of someone else’s time and I figure I should make the most of it.”) And, as we get to know his fellow passengers, we realize how many of them are also embarking onto new, more satisfying stages in their own life journeys.
Identifying and empathizing with these people is satisfactorily easy. Robin, cautiously living his life, could be any of one of us (“He knew he wasn’t the most handsome guy on the planet, and his ex had certainly made that clear . . .”). As he is concerned with a life that might be short, he is full of trepidation. Johan, who has made great changes in his own life’s direction, is a bright light on the way. To Robin’s surprise, Johan is a dream fulfilled, and they manage to grow towards each other, intellectually and, yes, physically. The side characters offer a nice balance to the flow of the story, with a little “friends to lovers” and some “May-December” relationships. And of course, there is sufficient villainy to pique our taste for suspense.
And a really good trip is had for all!