Title: A Heart for Robbie
Author: J.P. Barnaby
Publisher/GR Link: Dreamspinner, Goodreads
Vice: Contemporary, Children
Satisfaction: HEA, very pleased and warm fuzzes
Cover Impressions: Adorable. Two teddybears?! Totally fits.
Best Line: "Is it scary being in it?"
Synopsis: Celebrated Young Adult author Julian Holmes pits the heroic characters in his Black Heart series against all different kinds of monsters. But when a critical heart defect threatens his son’s life, he finds he has no champion. No amount of books, classes, or practice can prepare Julian for the fight to save his beautiful son’s life.
Suddenly there are hospitals, transplant lists, and the nightmare of insurance red tape to navigate. In the midst of his trouble, Julian meets Simon Phelps, the insurance coordinator for Robbie’s case. Simon lives so deep in the closet he might never find his way out, but he dreams of exactly what Julian has. Then one night, drunken need and desperation brings them together, and a new fight begins.
Impressions: What a wonderful read! This book touched me as a romance, but also a wonderful story about a single dad caring for, and worrying about, his young son. As a single, queer mom, I really empathized with Julian's worries over his son's health, the helplessness he feels while navigating the confusing world of medicine and transplants, and the paranoia that his own sexuality will someone be a factor in his son's happiness and health. Barnaby completely hit the center of the target when writing Julian, both as an author who needs his characters, and as a father caring for his son.
Simon was harder for me to love at first. I was frustrated with his unwillingness to face his own demons, and I couldn't always tell how many of the demons were internal, but as the novel progressed I felt that he was his own worst enemy, and he knew it. His knowledge of this, as well as his grand gesture, totally redeemed him in my eyes, and I grew to love and understand him too.
Not only is there a solid and beautiful romance here, it is also a fascinating look into the world of transplant procedures and the medical challenges that so many people face.
A very well done book that was very enjoyable to read, even while dealing with some very big issues!