“Find the love of your life, get married, have lots of babies, and live happily ever after”.
Erin Holloway, college student and Omega, thought that’s what his future held until his high school sweetheart broke his heart. Determined to start a new life, Erin applies for a job with a wealthy pilot to be a nanny for his young daughter. After getting the job, Erin is curious about his new, broody, employer and vows to bring some normalcy, and happiness, into their home.
Remington Baker, widowed pilot and Alpha, was in a bind when his long time nanny decides to retire. After searching relentlessly, he comes across the bubbly Omega and decides to give him a chance. Remy quickly learns that temptation comes in the form of an Omega, but giving in to his Alpha instincts means more than he ever anticipated.
Warnings: jealousy narratives, mentions of abuse, sexual assault, mpreg
Heart to Heart is an a/b/o webnovel. It is free to read on Tapas, but the print edition was funded on Kickstarter in a two-volume set. It is a romance drama, with all of the trappings of both a/b/o and fated love stories. It’s really sweet and fluffy and with a fair helping of angst and hurt/comfort, so if that’s your speed then buckle in.
This is so lovingly written, I was immediately invested in the story. It switches back and forth between the POVs of both lead characters; Erin is a vibrant and bubbly omega, and Remington is a reclusive, rich alpha. The story at once reminds of the classic Sound of Music; a rich widower who doesn’t believe in fun and play, and the darling nanny who stands up to him and pulls him out of his shell. Definitely a fantasy narrative, and not without its own twists and turns, this story runs with abandon through romance tropes with a heavy helping of gender exploration. It does, of course, have an awful lot of miscommunication, wild assumptions, and jealousy driven conflict, which is pretty common in the genre but can become a little bit tiresome, and I felt like some of the drama could have been pared down to give it a cleaner narrative. But, all in all, it felt very charming and sweet.
This story absolutely nails emotional engagement. Even if the plot flounders, the characters carry it with their charm and their personality. Erin especially is a delight, personable and optimistic and joyful, and I adored following him on this journey. Remington, conversely, is awkward and in a lot of ways jaded, and has to be brought around to the concepts of letting loose, and loving again after the grief he still carries from his deceased wife. The slow burn between him and Erin is long and fraught with drama but worth the wait when they finally start being honest with each other. Both of them have turmoil and trauma in their pasts, and the ways that the narrative explores this is very satisfying. Erin’s previous experiences with an abusive and sexist ex are heartbreaking, but the pay off is very worthwhile, as is the depiction of therapy and the explorations of mental health. There are also several other relationships present, as Erin builds a connection with Remington’s daughter, and develops friendships with other side characters. I loved them all, through and through.
While this is a/b/o, and as such there is a certain level of worldbuilding required to really establish its concepts, if you are familiar with a/b/o, it won’t feel all that out of the ordinary. It follows the typical genre tropes, and it even has a handy guide at the beginning for readers who are less familiar with the genre, explaining the concepts of secondary gender characteristics, what it means to be an alpha, omega or beta in this world, and how the world functions. People may disagree with me on this, since this is the most telling instead of showing you can get, but I actually kind of like appendixes with world concepts, especially when its concepts that half the readers will be familiar with and others might not be. This means the story itself doesn’t really need to do the heavy lifting of establishing these ideas, and it gives it a good basis from which to leap from.
While this book is entirely vanilla in nature, and as such a little bit fluffy for my own taste, the sex scenes are beautifully written and have such a focus on emotional connection, experiences, and sensation that they were breathtaking to read regardless of the soft content. Of course, even vanilla a/b/o comes with some kinky concepts, and characters going into heat or rut is always a fun time, as animal instincts take over usually rational individuals, pushing a more feral concept of sexuality on them. That is some really sexy stuff, especially in a slow build like this one. You spend so much of the story waiting for them to finally be intimate, that when they do it is like an explosion of emotional and sensual gratification. Of course, I would have loved it to have gotten a wee bit rougher, or that they had gotten it on while they were still mired in an employer/employee dynamic, but that’s my own taste coming through. For a vanilla romance novel, the smut here is top notch.
Heart to Heart is a lovely, sweet romance that will have you glued to the page if you’re the kind of person that eats up angst, drama, and fated love tropes. It’s a whirlwind fantasy of a rich older man falling for the average boy and sweeping him off his feet. It just also comes with explorations of past trauma, therapy, and gender. I very much adored this book, and recommend it if you’re looking for something a little soft.
Have you read Heart to Heart? Let me know what YOU thought by leaving me a comment!