Heartstrings by Rachel SpanglerHeartstrings by Rachel Spangler is an age-gap, rich girl-poor girl contemporary romance.

Mira Collins has her life together. She owns and runs a successful financial planning business, has solid investments, owns her home, and is comfortable living through color-coded schedules and spreadsheets. Her perfectly ordered world is turned upside down when her sister, Vannah, drops her nephew Ben off to stay with her for a few weeks. Mira quickly learns that there’s more to life than consistency and predictability.

Shelby Tanner is right out of grad school and is ready to start her first job as a middle school orchestra teacher. She’s living on her own for the first time and is trying to get her life together. To help make ends meet she provides children with private instrument lessons.

When Mira brings Ben to Shelby for violin lessons, Shelby is enamored with Ben’s innate talent, quiet demeanor, and uptight aunt. The more time Mira and Shelby spend together the stronger their connection becomes.

But can these two seemingly opposite women overcome age-gap, finances, and continuous challenges to find their happily ever after?

Pros And My Favourite Parts

I’m not sure how this is my first Rachel Spangler novel, but it definitely won’t be my last. The writing flows, the dialogue is natural and engaging, and the characters are multifaceted.

Mira is structured, meticulous, regimented, and organized. She loves her nephew Ben more than anything. While she’s annoyed at her sister for dumping Ben on her without asking permission, she doesn’t think twice before taking temporary custody of him. Mira wants so badly to do right by him and is lucky her worrying didn’t give her an ulcer. She even reads a book on adolescent development (How adorable is that?). If Ben wasn’t such a studious, intelligent, self-directed, and motivated young man, Mira’s head probably would have exploded. Fortunately for all involved, Ben’s mom had already set him up with private violin lessons with Shelby.

Shelby is simply a delight. While in her mid-twenties, she’s mature beyond her years. She’s an extroverted free spirit who lives for music and wants nothing more than to help her students reach their fullest potential. When Ben comes for his first lesson, they connect immediately. She realizes quickly how talented he is. She also sees that he’s introverted and solitary (much like his Aunt Mira). Shelby’s outgoing nature helps both Ben and Mira out of their shells.

Mira is an abysmal communicator and there were several times when I gave a hard eye roll due to her lack of skills. Shelby, on the other hand, is an excellent communicator and very patient. I loved the instances where Mira was able to laugh, be silly, and try new things due to Ben and Shelby’s connection. Mira learns, with the help of both Shelby and Ben, that perfection isn’t a measure of success, and vulnerability is essential in having healthy relationships.

Cons And Heads Up

None for me.

The Conclusion

This is a heartwarming story of personal development, growth, bonding, and love. This is a must-read for anyone looking for a low-angst book with engaging characters, that promotes self-reflection, growth, and vulnerability.

Excerpt from Heartstrings by Rachel Spangler

Her heart pounded from the mix of panic and exertion. She needed a minute to gather her thoughts, but Ben didn’t hesitate to knock on the green metal door labeled 345. She fought the urge to pull his hand back. She needed to catch her breath. She needed to pull herself together. She needed to ask questions and find answers that made her feel like she wasn’t destined to screw this situation, and by extension her nephew, up.

The door opened, halting all her swirling thoughts. Or rather, the door hadn’t stopped them so much as the woman behind it.

She was beautiful. There was no other word, or maybe there were millions of them, but Mira couldn’t recall them in the moment. And young. This woman couldn’t have been out of her twenties. Her effervescent smile fell first on Ben, giving Mira a second to observe a few details like her tight jeans, and the oversized scoop-neck sweater hanging slightly off-center to show a smooth expanse of shoulder, almost as creamy as the cotton itself. She didn’t know what she’d expected in a violin teacher, but it wasn’t smooth skin and sparkling blue eyes and cozy sweaters.

Then the woman turned to her, and the warmth of her expression faded to surprise. “Oh, you’re not his mother.”

Mira’s breath left her lungs at the blunt summation she’d been struggling to hold at bay for the last few days. “Is it that obvious? In four seconds, you can tell I’m not mother material? What gave me away? Should I have brought something with me?”

The woman’s brow furrowed. “No. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to imply … I don’t know, whatever I implied. I only meant I saw Vannah’s and Ben’s photos when she contacted me on social media. I expected her to be here.”

“Yes, so did I, but circumstances have changed.”

Get It Online

When you use the links in this review and buy within 24 hours of clicking then we get a small commission that helps us run the site and it costs you nothing extra







Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 9781734303872

Publisher: Brisk Press

Rachel Spangler Online


If you enjoyed Heartstrings by Rachel Spangler then you should also look at

Beginner’s Bet by Fiona Riley








Note: No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site