Heartbeat-Elizabeth Scott

Heartbeat
Elizabeth Scott
Harlequin Teen, Jan 28 2014, $16.99
ISBN: 9780373210961

Dan wants a baby badly so to make him happy his reluctant wife Lisa agrees to the high-risk pregnancy though she wishes her husband would cherish her daughter Emma who lives with them as more than enough as he seemed to at one time. Lisa becomes pregnant, but tragedy strikes and she dies. To save the unborn, Dan insists doctors hook up his brain dead wife to life support equipment.

Blaming Dan for her mom’s death, Emma grieves her loss compounded with every visit to the hospital to see her mom hooked on tubes and her once beloved stepdad fussing over his unborn. Her trauma leaves her ignorant that her stepdad conceals his guilt-ridden broken heart from his hurting stepdaughter. Angry, Emma’s grades collapse as she no longer cares. Having lost a loved one, town bad boy Caleb recognizes a mourning kindred spirit in raging grieving Emma and tries to be there for her.

Heartbeat is an insightful timely (with the recent Texas tragedy) contemporary that takes an intense dark look at grief and the profound emotional complexity of the availability of modern medical techniques impacting families. Although the teen romance feels more of an unneeded genre requirement that detracts from a poignant character driven storyline, Elizabeth Scott writes a thought-provoking tale.

Harriet Klausner

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