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Heartstrings cover art

Heartstrings

By: Rachel Spangler
Narrated by: Ann Shanks Etter
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Summary

Mira Collins has her life together. She’s built a solid career as a financial planner, a comfortable home, and an uncomplicated and regimented routine…until her wayward sister, Vannah, shows up unexpectedly and drops a bomb on her orderly world. Ever dependable Mira reluctantly accepts temporary custody of her 10-year-old nephew, Ben, then quickly learns that not all responsibilities can be handled with a color-coded calendar system, and that being a substitute parent is terrifying. There are new skills, stressors, and emotions to contend with, many of which are simultaneously simplified and complicated by Ben’s beautiful young violin teacher.

Shelby Tanner is fresh out of grad school and eager to start her first job as an orchestra teacher, and although she believes the power of music will enrich her students’ lives, she still feels like she’s waiting for her own to start. Working harder than ever to make ends meet while struggling to find her feet, she quickly learns that not everything can be handled with a well-tuned instrument or a creative mindset, and that being an adult is terrifying. She’s desperate to feel confident and competent, but the world keeps tripping her up. Case in point, her growing attraction to the guardian of her most gifted young musician.

Drawn together by their changing circumstances and their mutual affection for Ben, Shelby and Mira learn to lean on each other despite their differences in age, personality, and lifestyle, until Vannah’s reappearance threatens to upend everyone’s lives all over again. Is attraction enough to sustain opposites without the commonality of Ben between them, or will the beautiful music they’ve created together fade into silence?

©2022 Rachel L. Spangler (P)2022 Rachel Spangler
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

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  • Denise A.
  • 23-08-22

I was hooked when I heard the Sampler.

This is Jen Warner, Denise's wife. I used her account with Amazon so I could access this gift I won from Rachel and what a gift it is. I have spent the last two days wrapped up in this beautiful story. It is wonderful to hear a story that has so many main characters in it and not just the two women. It is warmth, it is angst, it is everything that makes up a family. I love it and wish I had enough words to convey just how much it touched my heart. The girl's journey to love is so real that I found myself almost knowing them, even though they are characters in this wonderful book they are simply so much more, their relationship with Mira's nephew is lovely, and I did try to warm to her sister but that took a while! Shelby's family are a hoot, especially her brother. Listening to this story felt like being in someone's home as they narrate the lives of their loved ones. Shelby and Miro what beautiful souls, and such real people! Love them. Again, what a gift. I loved it from beginning to end and the epilogue made me smile so big. Thank you, Rachel,

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  • Holly
  • 13-09-22

Classic & Cozy

In the midst of tragic/disheartening/angering newspaper headlines and personal stress, I needed this. I needed this as a sweet getaway where the only thing I had to do was anticipate the symphonic ending. (I had to: it was either going to be 'symphonic' or 'harmonious').

Romance is not normally my genre, but ever since covid, I began branching out and have enjoyed queer romance. I've read or listened to a few of Rachel's books, and one thing I really appreciate is that the whole plot doesn't revolve around coming out nor is it about the trials and tribulations of our queer community. Sometimes I need that righteous anger kind of read, but sometimes I just want to enjoy a story about people like me. Rachel's stories are just that--love (and lust) stories to be enjoyed! I don't have to wait for justice or lament; I can simply get lost in a story of two people finding each other.

This particular novel felt very classic rom-com and made me nostalgic for Meg Ryan (lesbian version). Mira and Shelby were characters that got to me. I wanted to be the friend that lovingly bopped them on the head to tell them to get over themselves and fall in love already. I appreciated their personality quirks and was reminded of my own stubborn tendencies (don't tell my spouse I acknowledged that).

(Spoiler-ish alert) I was left imagining a sequel of the two having their own child who rebelled and played the drums instead of joining their cousin in the string section.

A good, cozy read to remind you that life is indeed good.

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  • mavivalip
  • 08-09-22

I loved the story,

I loved the story and I wish I read it first on my eReader prior to the audio version. I didn't care for the narrators voice for Shelby, Regardless the story is great and well written by Rachel Spangler. Don't let the narrator sway you from listening or reading the story. It's another great hit for the author.