Review: Phantom Heart by Kim Bowman

Print Length: 189 pages
Publisher: EsKape Press (September 29, 2015)

From  Luke Wainwright doesn’t remember leaving, can’t recall where he’s been for the past several weeks, and hasn’t a clue how he came to be so far from home. The only thing he knows is that he woke up one morning desperate to get back to his wife. But Rachel’s reception breaks his heart. She has questions he can’t answer, and even though he vows never to leave again, she refuses to let him in. 

Time all but stops for Rachel Wainwright when she loses the love of her life. She still goes to work every day, but she isn’t really living, doesn’t remember how to exist without Luke. Just as she picks herself up and starts to recover, he returns. Her mind can’t quite believe he’s back for good like he claims… even if her heart wants to trust that they’ve been given a second chance. 

Just when things are looking up for Luke and Rachel, a mysterious stranger threatens to destroy their fresh start. Rachel lost Luke once, and it was nearly her undoing. That was something she never wanted to go through again. But as each secret is revealed, as the story begins to unfold completely, the choice might not be hers to make. 


My Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars

The first things that I am going to tell you is that the synopsis of this story does NOT do it justice. When I was first asked to read this story, I was expecting a completely different story than the one I got - and that is definitely a good thing in this case. 

What I was expecting was either a paranormal story where the main character falls in love with the actual ghost of her husband, or some campy story where her dead husband came back as some sort of zombie (without all the flesh eating). 

What I got was a powerful and deeply meaningful story about love, loss and second chances. In Phantom Heart (an appropriate title if I do say so myself), we meet Rachel Wainwright, who is still deeply grieving the loss of her husband Luke. While at work one night, a stranger comes into her place of employment and collapses at her feet after calling her a pet name that was only known to her and Luke. After rushing to the hospital to demand answers from the man, she is instead thrust into something she cannot begin to comprehend. This stranger was the recipient of Luke's heart - and now due to what the doctors' call cellular memory - all of Luke's memories and mannerisms are now the stranger's. 

Unfortunately, I can't give away any more than that without spoiling the rest of the story - and this is really one of those stories that you have to read for yourself. It speaks deeply of painful loss, and starting over - and the difference between just being alive and actually living. 

The one thing I will say that I did not like was the ending. It wasn't a matter of the story not being wrapped up as it was completely, it was more the fact that at the end a certain character does something that I cannot agree with. Its not that I don't understand their reasoning because I do, but I don't feel as though their decision was the right one. If I had been in that situation it is something that I would have wanted to know. 

Overall, this did not take away from the story as a whole, and I rather liked the way that things seemed to be better for everyone at the end (in more ways than one) than they were when the story began. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

Phantom Heart is available from

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