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Thursday, October 10, 2013

RBTL Presents: IN HARMONY by Helena Newbury - book review with giveaway!




I’m a New Adult Romance author based in London and love to write about tangled love and characters who dare to dream. I believe in strong coffee, fast cars and the ability of him or her to make us forget absolutely everything else.
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Title: In Harmony
Author: Helena Newbury
Series: Fenbrook Academy (#2)
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Foster and Black New Adult
Release Date: Sept 21 2013 (Expected)

Everyone expects her to succeed….

Karen plays the cello like an angel, and it’s the only thing that makes her truly feel alive. But her father’s dream—for her to join a prestigious orchestra—leaves no time in her life for anything but music…not even love. She feels trapped on her path, but doesn’t know how to rebel.

Everyone expects him to fail….

Connor plays rock guitar like the devil himself, and his ability has got him all the way from a dead-end life in Belfast to a scholarship at Fenbrook Academy. But beneath his arrogance and charm, he doesn’t believe he has what it takes. He’s spent his time in New York drinking and partying, and the only future he sees is a return to Ireland as soon as he flunks out.

But what no one expects….

When her duet partner is injured, Karen is forced to team up with Connor. Neither likes the idea, but what begins as anger and distrust slowly spirals into love…and lust. If they can face up to their feelings and act upon them, they might just have a chance together. Will Connor allow Karen to stop his fall? And can Karen trust him enough to let him show her a life she never thought possible?

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A_TiffyFit's Review: This book was delicious. I ate it up, page after page, totally immersed in Connor and Karen, imagining the music they are creating, the tension, the side stories of trouble in paradise with Darrell & Natasha, Clarissa & Neil, and Jasmine. I totally connected with Karen and her bodice rippers, her romantic fantasies, I fell in love with Connor and his angry-drunk-rocker-tortured-soul-utter-gentleman thing. I loved watching Karen's development from obsessive cellist to emotional human being. There really wasn't anything I didn't like about this book! The characters are so...REAL. I've met these characters (brilliant biker dude, sad panda dancer, struggling actress, daddy's rich but I just wanna be me) in real life and Helena Newbury's are so incredibly REAL.

As I was reading, I really wanted to slap Ruth. Just kick her so hard that she wouldn't need a plane ticket to get back to Ireland; she'd land there after I boot her in the butt. I wanted to strangle Karen's dad, too, for being such a domineering personality that she was suffocating. My heart broke a little for Connor at each little revelation that showed his heart and swelled a little as he and Karen wrote about one another and intertwined.

I cannot wait to read more from Fenbrook. I enjoyed Dance for Me (review below in the blue box), but this one was just so much more! 

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About DANCE FOR ME (Fenbrook Academy #1)
Dance for Me (Fenbrook Academy #1)
By Helena Newbury
Foster & Black
Published: June 2013
259 Pages
NA Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: Natasha is one of the most promising ballet dancers at the prestigious Fenbrook Academy of Performing Arts and she’s just landed a life-changing audition. But no one knows the guilt she carries...or the damage it makes her inflict on herself when she’s alone.

Darrell is a multi-millionaire designer at 25. But past traumas have pushed him into isolation and the intense pressure of his work has brought him to the edge of burnout. Seeking inspiration, he sees Natasha dance and hires her as his muse.

As she dances for him, the two become entwined in a passionate but troubled relationship. He starts to see the pain inside her and helps her gradually lower her defenses...but Darrell has demons of his own. Can two broken people save each other? Or will the darkness they’re hiding consume them both?

This New Adult Romance is recommended for 17+ due to mature themes, sexual situations and language.

A_TiffyFit’s Review: While reading this book, I found myself looking up videos on youtube of ballerinas. I had taken ballet as a child, but other than a pirouette and fouette, I had no idea what some of the movements were. Helena Newbury does an excellent job of describing the movements, but I had to be sure that what I was envisioning was what she was writing about! Once you can visualize those pas de chats, fouette, and jetes suddenly those scenes become oh so much hotter!

So at this audition of a lifetime, Natasha is doing wonderfully well when Darrell comes slamming into the room, distracting her and making her falter. Angry, her emotions pour into the dancing…and that angry dancing leads to her not getting the part. Outside, Darrell propositions her, asking “Dance for me…I’ll pay you.” At first insulted and sure he’s a creeper, she turns him down and walks away. But his handsome face floats in her mind and when she shares the news with her friends, they, too, slam him as a creeper until she gives his full name…apparently the uber-wealthy are not creepers. O.o lol

Natasha dances for Darrell and each dance is more sensual and sultry than the last, building up sexual tension. I loved every moment of reading those bits, except for the sudden declaration of love after 2 or 3 meetings. It was going along so well until that point! So I chose to ignore it. Care for, desire, lust after, falling for one another yes; love when you barely know the person’s name? Doesn’t work for me, however romantic the sentiment.

Of course there is the bump in the road: their pasts come back to haunt them. Both Darrell and Natasha torture themselves, albeit in different ways. As the story unfolds, it is obvious that the panacea for their woes is going to be one another.

I cannot stand Darrell’s business contact. She is a manipulative bitch who totally exploited an adolescent male full of anger and grief. She utterly disgusted me. His best friend, Neil, however, is incredibly intriguing and I hope like hell I get to read all about him soon! Haha. I had come to a similar conclusion that Darrell does about Natasha’s past. When she revealed to him the truth, in an attempt to ease his own pain from his past, my heart broke a little. Satisfying ending, no cliffhanger, and a wealth of characters just waiting to have their stories told.