Book Review – Fragile Heart by Nic Starr

Publisher: Indie
Pages: 102
Characters: Sean/Jason
POV: 3rd
Genre: Contemporary

The past doesn’t have to dictate the future.

It’s hard to focus on work when Sean Vargos sits a couple of desks away. He’s quiet, well-respected, and dedicated to his job, not to mention he’s gorgeous. Jason can’t get him out of his thoughts. Acting on his attraction is frowned on in the workplace but talk of Valentine’s Day and an upcoming business merger gives Jason the push to finally make a move. He’s tired of being alone, and he doesn’t want his career to be his key priority anymore.

Sean isn’t looking for an office romance. He isn’t looking for romance, period. Putting the past behind him has been a struggle, and he knows better than to think he can fall in love again. But Jason Simpson is hard to ignore. He’s passionate about his job, and he’s also interested in Sean.

The temptation is too much to resist, and they embark on a tentative relationship. Jason falls head over heels, fast. Sean runs.

All Jason wants is to win over Sean’s heart, but first he needs to earn his trust.

Fragile Heart is an office romance featuring hurt/comfort themes, well-intentioned friends, and a happy ending.

Note: This story started life (as A Day At A Time). This story has been revised, expanded, and re-edited, adding approximately 40%, but the plot largely remains unchanged. It is approximately 26k words.

Buy Link


Nic Starr is one of my go to authors when I want a sweet read with wonderful characters. I loved Sean and Jason’s story, which was a perfect mix of sweet with hurt/comfort. And a cat called Pancake.

I thought this was a story about friendship, and moving forward despite the past. I liked both Sean and Jason, and how the details of Sean’s past weren’t revealed until much later in the story. I liked how Jason persevered and was determined to do, and be, whatever Sean needed. Their love for each other felt very real, and I liked the realism of the scars, both physically and emotionally, Sean carried. Jason is very sweet, and goes that extra mile, in stark contrast to Sean’s ex.

I enjoyed about their journey from attraction, to friendship, and more. I like stories where couples take the time to get to know each other and have more in common than just enjoying a good sex life. I liked how Jason and Sean were a mix of alike and different and how the latter enriched their friendship. I also liked how different their families are—one very accepting and relaxed and supportive, while the other is formal, polite, and nothing like a family should be.

Joanna and Roger are both good friends, and I liked how they were both there for Sean and Jason. I particularly liked how Joanna, despite telling Jason to hang in there, left it to Sean to tell Jason everything when he was ready. I loved Pancake, Sean’s cat.

I loved the epilogue and catching up with them and their HEA.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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