Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Following His Heart / Donna Fasano

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Romance

Approximate word count: 40-45,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: YES  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Award winning and bestselling author Donna Fasano has written more than twenty novels over the course of her career with almost four million copies sold. She’s not only popular among the reviewers at Books and Pals, but apparently our readers as well, winning our Readers’ Choice Award in the romance category in both 2013 and 2014.

For more, visit Fasano’s website.


“Sara Carson is a 30-something widow with a busy life. Two fun-loving best friends, a caring mom who needs her, and a thriving sweet shop. What more could a woman want? But when the ancient plumbing in her shop springs a leak and a gorgeous, dark-eyed stranger rushes to her rescue, hilarity unfolds--and Sara quickly sees exactly what she's been missing.

Something most peculiar draws Landon Richards to Ocean City, Maryland--and to the lovely Sara. This woman touches his heart like no other, and the two of them explore the heady attraction that pulses between them. But haunting dreams have a way of encroaching on reality, and the strange phenomenon that brings these two together will also threaten to tear them apart.

This is the first book in the Ocean City Boardwalk Series, where life for three enterprising women, Sara, Heather, and Cathy, isn't just fun in the sun--love is waiting on those sandy shores!”


You’ve heard the cliché that says “every story has already been told,” right? At a certain level of abstraction, that’s true. The specifics of character and plot may differ, but there are a limited number of basic stories. It amazes me how authors are able to put their own unique twists on a basic story and end up with something that still feels fresh and new. This goes double (or maybe quadruple) for the romance genre where every book is the same basic story.

Following His Heart made me go “wow” in this regard. At its core, it is the basic romance. Girl meets boy, they take a romantic roller coaster ride fluctuating between, if not love and hate, at least dislike and like a whole bunch, then the happily-ever-after ending. There are minor characters that act as confidants and comedic foils for the heroine and hero, while giving the story more depth. (Primarily the heroine’s disabled mother, plus her best friends, Heather and Cathy.)

But the twists, what set this story apart from a typical romance, is a strange turn the story takes that I’ve described as a combination of a little supernatural and horror-lite, although I’d be quick to say that romance readers who don’t normally gravitate to these genres shouldn’t find this too much of a departure from the norm to be objectionable. I found it thought-provoking in ways I’d have never anticipated.


Relatively mild adult situations.

Format/Typo Issues:

This review is based on a pre-release beta copy. I’m unable to judge the final product in this area.

Rating: ***** Five Stars


Jackie Weger said...

Great review, Al. I adore Donna Fasano's books. They are all great, but Following His Heart really touched me.

Jackie Weger
No Perfect Secret

Linda Lee Williams said...

What a fantastic review for an innovative romance author! Can't wait to read the book...

BooksAndPals said...

Thanks for the comments, Jackie and Linda.

Mary Smith said...

Great review. It's on my tbr list.

Dale Furse said...

Terrific review! Congratulations, Donna. Now I have another Donna Fasano book on my TBR. :)

Mimi Barbour said...

How wonderful! Looking forward to reading the book now even more after reading this review :-)