Review ~ Heartsong Series by Jennifer Hartmann

An Optimist's Guide to Heartbreak (Heartsong, #1)An Optimist's Guide to Heartbreak by Jennifer Hartmann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I started An Optimist's Guide to Heartbreak, I could see that it would take me on an emotional ride. Lucy was determined to find closure with her childhood friends; however, she had secrets of her own. Moving into the house next-door to her childhood home unearthed a lot of memories, and I was soon on a journey getting to know Emma, and to see Cal and Lucy in the present day.

Cal tried to keep Lucy at arm’s length, he was determined not to get into any sort of relationship, but I could see the chemistry growing between them. Cal became quite possessive of Lucy, and the will to protect her was strong, even if it was from himself. He was such a closed off guy and tried to have no attachments, friends, family or girlfriends.

Lucy was such a sweet and charismatic young lady, and her personality drew her friends to her. She had such a great support crew, even if some were oblivious to her issues. I enjoyed watching her find her place in the world, but tried to keep Cal at a distance as she didn’t want him to get attached to her either.

This was a great start to the duet. I was pulled into the story and was eager to see what happened in the past. There were a couple of secretive threads that kept me guessing, building the story for that inevitable twist. I am excited to see how things go for Lucy and Cal.

Title: An Optimist's Guide to Heartbreak
Author: Jennifer Hartmann
Series: Heartsong #1
Genre: Jennifer Hartmann
Published: January 17, 2023

Dear Diary,

There once was a girl with fireflies in her eyes and music in her soul.

(Remember her... she's important.)

She's the reason I panic-bought the little brick house on Maple Street; the one I lived next door to for eight magical years. Now that I'm back digging up floorboards and lost journals, I can’t stop thinking about the two people who grew up here.

You see, that girl was my best friend, and this house was once hers. She also had a big brother who was my everything before circumstance turned us into nothing more than memories.

That’s why I applied for a job at his auto shop—unprepared to discover that my new boss, Cal Bishop, is now gruff, built, and covered in tattoos.

I'm the sun to his overcast sky. The smile to his surly solitude.

A reminder of everything he longs to forget.

But my heart has a secret, and we’re running out of time to fix our torn pages.

Maybe the same girl who used to be the glue still holds the key to putting our pieces back together.

(See? I told you she was important.)


A Pessimist's Guide to Love (Heartsong, #2)A Pessimist's Guide to Love by Jennifer Hartmann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars

The second book in the Heartsong duet started so well! I could see the effect that Lucy’s condition had on Cal and how hard it was for him to process. He constantly worried about Lucy and wanted her close to him.

Lucy continued to be drawn to Cal, however there was a lot of push and pull between them. The more time that these two spent together I could see that they were supposed to be together, but not being 100% truthful to one another was always going to throw a spanner in the works.

The dual point of view was different too, considering that the first book was entirely Lucy’s perspective except for Emma’s entries. It was interesting getting Cal’s perspective to really understand his hesitation and demons as to why he kept Lucy away.

There was something about this book that didn’t quite live up to the first book. It did wrap up nicely though. It just didn’t have the same impact that I had after the first book. I did enjoy the emotions that this whole series drew from me.

Title: A Pessimist's Guide to Love
Author: Jennifer Hartmann
Series: Heartsong #2
Genre: Jennifer Hartmann
Published: January 25, 2023

Within the tangled roots of grief, we stand to lose so much. But no one ever acknowledges what we stand to gain.
Strength. Perspective. Appreciation. Resilience.
And sometimes, every once in a while, if you’re truly lucky…
There is love.

After an emotional cliffhanger, we finally get inside Cal's head and discover his secrets, along with more details of his tragic past, that have been keeping him from Lucy.

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