I encountered my first Elizabeth Scott novel, Perfect You, from a book fair which took me a few re-readings and a few years to appreciate. I've also read her other works, so when this one popped up on NetGalley, of course I had to request for it!
Emma's more than angry and hurt. Her mom is being kept alive because of the baby inside of her, and that's all that her new stepdad seemingly cares about. Emma would much rather have her mom back rather than a new addition to a family that seems to be on the fast-track to falling apart. Try as her best friend might, Emma can't help but feel so alone... except for Caleb Harrison who seems to know what it is exactly she needs.
My heart goes out to Emma and her devastating circumstance, but there were some times I couldn't really say why she was so angry at her stepdad all the time! Of course her stepdad is going to be concerned for the baby - it's the only living reminder of their love, aside from Emma, whom he loves just as much, even if she is not his. I guess what pisses Emma off is seeing her dead mom on a bed, "living" for a growing baby, and knowing that her mother is never coming back home, which is like a sucker punch in the gut every time Emma visits her in the hospital.
The romance was okay, and Emma was very lucky to have found someone who understand where all her anger is coming from, but I just wished that Emma could have found and healed herself at her own time and pace. When two souls are broken, I don't think that Emma and Caleb relying on each other for support is quite healthy, especially if and/or when it ends at some point.
Scott is an already established teen reads expert writer along with Sarah Dessen, so she obviously has writing and themes pat down. If you're on the market for a contemporary that's on the medium to borderline heavy side of drama, Heartbeat is an okay choice.