Chace Verity is one of my favorite authors of the past couple of years. Their soft Canadian demon romances are delightful, weird, and fun. They also acknowledge and address the frustrations of existing in late stage capitalism with it’s dehumanization and the constant grind of mere existence. In One Heart, they give us a true romance where the love interest dies early in the book and then raise their middle fingers at Canada’s far Right. Perfect for spooky season election season. (If you can register to vote, please do and please vote.)
Vince (they/them) is a grumpy bartender in Calgary. They tend to keep to themselves, not interacting much with co-workers, especially after being ghosted (non paranormally) by their last romantic partner, Nathalie. When the very handsome and sunshiney Kit (he/him) comes to work at the bar, Vince plans to keep them a little farther than arms length. Kit is instantly smitten and invents all kinds of reason to spend time with Vince. Just as Vince is letting down their guard enough to agree to a real date and serious kiss, Kit disappears. Vince assumes that Kit has returned to the fold of his very rich family.
Until something weird happens and while attempting to escape an attack, Vince jumps into the Bow River and accidentally revives Kit’s dead body. This is how Vince learns they are a necromancer from a line of necromancers. Vince and Kit also learn demons are real and that zombies eat ghosts, not alive people.
As Vince and Kit get thrown headfirst into this paranormal world, they learn they must solve Kit’s murder and free him from his grudge. They both need to learn a lot more than they wanted to about their families, and figure out the power dynamics of sharing a heart.
I love the way Chace Verity handles the hearts of their characters. Kit and Vince both experience and work through a great deal of trauma, but never in a way that would traumatize readers. One Heart also brings in some demons we got to know in other books. Harrison’s son Justin (from Match With a Demon) good naturedly joins the ghost hunting and grudge busting shenanigans. Vince’s whole plan to keep himself protected from love, friendship and family was destined to fail.
CW: murder, death of parents off page, toxic family, toxic workplace, hostile ghosts, parental abandonment, politics.
I received this as an advance reader copy from the author. My opinions are my own, honestly and freely given.