• Dean Mayes
  • September 1, 2018
  • Romance | 320pp
  • Trade Paper  978-1-77168-142-1  $14.99
  • Ebook  978-1-77168-143-8  $5.99
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The Artisan Heart

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.


Isabelle watched the way Hayden recalled those happy memories through the delicate dance of his fingers. He was almost theatrical in his vast vocabulary. He wasn’t merely relating those memories. He was telling a delightful story, and Genevieve hung on his every word.

Isabelle felt her attraction to him solidify.

This was a very different Hayden to the man she had met several weeks ago and he was certainly different than the awkward little boy with the Coke-bottle glasses from all those years ago.

Full and happy, they tidied up the picnic and stowed everything away. Isabelle brushed Genevieve down and allowed her to take off once more, reminding her not to stray too far. Hayden produced a Thermos and poured them both a coffee. Isabelle leaned back and stretched her legs out, prizing each of her boots off and revealing a colourful pair of socks, adorned with elephants. Hayden blinked in surprise as she wiggled her toes.

“Don’t dis the socks,” Isabelle chastised, taking a mug from him.