Even If It Breaks Your Heart
– Erin Hahn –
Published 6 February 2024
It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that I’ve fallen in love with as quickly as I did with Even If It Breaks Your Heart. It was everything I needed – horses, grief, friendship, slow burn romance, family and just so much heart it was an utter delight to read.
Case Michaels is broken. Or at least, that’s how he feels. Ever since the death of his best friend, he doesn’t know how to be himself anymore. Completing items on the list Walker left for him, even if they mostly almost get him killed, is the only way he knows to keep moving forward. There’s just one item on the list he doesn’t know what to do with – befriend Winnie Sutton.
Winnie is just trying to survive. Parent her two younger siblings, pay the rent and for food and keep her job at the Michaels’s Ranch. But it’s riding Queen Mab and training her to barrel race that gives Winnie the most joy. She does not need to have to deal with spoilt, rich-boy Case Michaels and when he starts hanging around the stables, she can only assume it’s a punishment enacted by his dad for yet another drunken mess. But Winnie and Case have more in common than they realise and as they work through the challenges they are facing, having each other at their sides might be the best thing they have going.
The romance is just perfect in this book. Winnie and Case build a true friendship and stay friends before moving slowing into something more. It made their relationship so grounded, authentic and it’s so, so nice to read a romance that isn’t rushed.
The other thing I adored about this book is the lack of predictable drama. You won’t find that here!! The list thing could have blown up in such a predictable ways and it didn’t. There are very real issues dealt with in this book, like grief, parental neglect and they get the page time, rather than trite drama, which I so appreciated.
Lots of course language, mature themes and that along with older characters push this into upper YA. I highly recommend it and love that I’ve found another horse book for my readers (and for me).
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Themes: family, siblings, abuse, grief, horses, rodeo, death, friendship,
Published: 6 February 2024 by Wednesday Books
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 320 pages.