The Artisan Heart #Book Review

Written by Dean Mayes




Hayden Luschcombe is a brilliant paediatrician living in Adelaide with his wife Bernadette, an ambitious event planner. His life consists of soul-wrenching days at the hospital and tedious evenings attending the lavish parties organized by Bernadette.

When an act of betrayal coincides with a traumatic confrontation, Hayden flees Adelaide, his life in ruins. His destination is Walhalla, nestled in Australia’s southern mountains, where he finds his childhood home falling apart. With nothing to return to, he stays, and begins to pick up the pieces of his life by fixing up the house his parents left behind.

A chance encounter with a precocious and deaf young girl introduces Hayden to Isabelle Sampi, a struggling artisan baker. While single-handedly raising her daughter, and trying to resurrect a bakery, Isabelle has no time for matters of the heart. Yet the presence of the handsome doctor challenges her resolve. Likewise, Hayden, protective of his own fractured heart, finds something in Isabelle that awakens dormant feelings of his own.

As their attraction grows, and the past threatens their chance at happiness, both Hayden and Isabelle will have to confront long-buried truths if they are ever to embrace a future.




Beautifully Written, Skilfully Created!   4 stars


It’s been ages since I read romantic suspense and I must say that this was a very pleasurable one.

Bernadette is a high-flying events planner, completely focussed on her own job with scant regard to her husband’s career. As a paediatrician, Hayden hardly has a nine-to-five routine, but Bernie insists he be at her side during the parties she organises. When things reach crisis point on all fronts, Hayden leaves abruptly and heads into the Australian mountains and the place where he grew up.

Isabelle hasn’t had things easy; she has retreated to her grandparents old bakery in the same small country town with her daughter, Genevieve, who is profoundly deaf. It’s only a matter of time before she and Hayden are re-acquainted, bringing back unwelcome memories of their childhood. This is the tale of a small town, the people in it, and the community spirit which fosters strongly through the years.

A really good read, this was more complex than I expected it to be. The characters are – mostly – delightful; the author has skilfully created differing personalities, all well-rounded and with a history. Genevieve, in particular, is very charasmatic  and a prime example of someone whose incapacity won’t hold her back in life. A well-planned and excellently written story, and an entertaining one. The pace of the story changes with events and no matter what’s going on, I found it kept my attention throughout. And, for those who know me well, it finished with all questions answered – my favourite type of novel!

My thanks to the author for alerting me to his work and to publishers Central Avenue for my copy via NetGalley. This is my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: romance, suspense
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 957 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
  • Publication Date: 1 September 2018
  • Purchase Links: Amazon UK
  •                                 Amazon US




Meet the Author


Author Shot Large


When he emerged in 2010, Adelaide based Intensive Care Nurse and author Dean Mayes, had almost given up on the prospect of ever being published. by then in his 30’s with several abortive writing attempts under his belt, Dean believed he had missed his opportunity. But Dean had an idea for one last story he wanted to tell and, rather than allow it to wither and die in his imagination, he decided to blog it instead.

Quite unexpectedly, Dean’s blog took off and after a chance encounter with Canadian based publisher Central Avenue in mid 2009, Dean’s dream like tale about a young man who discovers he has taken on the memories and dreams of a complete stranger, became his first novel. Dean was signed to an initial two year contract and in 2010 “The Hambledown Dream” was published. The novel has since gone on to receive global attention and critical acclaim.

Dean set about penning a follow up novel that was not merely a repeat performance and in 2012 “Gifts of the Peramangk” a powerful Australian family saga. Chronicling a dysfunctional Aboriginal family in the struggle streets of Adelaide’s suburban fringe, “Gifts of the Peramangk” has been described as significant literary achievement. In October 2013, it was nominated as a finalist in the prestigious EPIC Awards for contemporary fiction.

Dean’s third feature length novel, a psychological thriller set in Melbourne called “The Recipient”, showcased his ability to cross genres and deliver a taut and gripping tome about a heart transplant patient who discovers her organ donor was a murder victim – and that the murder remains unsolved.

Dean is currently editing his fourth novel, a return to his romantic roots, called “The Artisan Heart”, which is scheduled for a September, 2018 release.

He lives in Adelaide, Australia with his partner Emily, their two children Xavier and Lucy. An Intensive Care Nurse with over 15 years of clinical experience in adult, paediatric and neonatal medicine, he can often be found lying on a hospital gurney at 3 in the morning with a notebook in hand, madly scribbling ideas while on his break.

Dean is represented by Michelle Halket and is published by Central Avenue Publishing of Vancouver, Canada.








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