Series: Fenbrook Academy
Series Placement: #2
Author: Helena Newbury
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 21, 2013
Published by: Foster & Black NA
Format: Ebook and Paperback
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Copy Provided by: Author
Book Blurb: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. Trapped on her path, she 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 Karen’s duet partner is injured, the bad boy guitarist and the shy, sheltered cellist are forced to team up. 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, they might just have a chance together. If Connor will allow Karen to stop his fall, maybe he can show her a life she never thought possible...
This New Adult Romance is recommended for readers 17+
A note for readers of Dance For Me
A self-contained romance with no cliffhanger ending, this book focuses on Karen and Connor, but Natasha, Darrell, Clarissa, Neil and Jasmine from Dance For Me all appear as well.
Reviewers Note: In Harmony is the second book in the Fenbrook Academy series and is a New Adult Contemporary Romance written by Helena Newbury. I received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review through Read Between The Lines.
A Touching, Romantic, Sweet Story About Overcoming Your Fears, Finding Yourself and Realizing Your Worth!
I freaking LOVED this book! I enjoyed book one, Dance For Me but this book is a huge step up in both story and writing. Told completely in the heroine’s POV, this well written story had connectable characters with substance and not just tragedy... and (excited air wave!) their was the slow build that I love in angsty romances. Yes, call me happy. I'm still floating around in my love bubble since finishing this one!
Karen Montfort is a senior cellist at Fenbrook Academy. She may be twenty-one, living amongst outgoing actors, musicians and dancers but she’s super shy and has been sheltered by a controlling, overbearing father that has her wound so tight, she feels suffocated and introverted and sometimes her stress causes panic attacks. Her dream of becoming a part of the New York Philharmonic is a goal she’s worked diligently towards since she was six years old but sometimes she doesn’t know if its her dream she’s reaching for or her fathers.
When Dan, her friend and partner for the upcoming recital that will either make or break her, ends up with a hurt arm and can no longer play, she must find the strength to convince the only other person who’s yet to pick a partner, bad boy Connor, whose reputation as a slacker is notorious, to help her or she’ll flunk out of Fenbrook, resulting in never playing for the New York Philharmonic and abandonment by her father. Her life is literally in Connor’s hands.
Connor Locke is a devil without a care. He’s an electric guitarist at Fenbrook on a scholarship and he’s living the high life, partying with a different girl every night. He’s riding the wave until the school kicks him out and he moves on to the next big adventure.
Electric guitars and cello’s don't mix, nor do the people or their lives who wield them, so when Karen asks for his help, knowing the hard work and difficulty involved, he laughs at her, but theres something in her desperation and her panic that makes him change his mind and he decides to try. But Connor is concealing a pretty massive secret that could ruin everything.. for both of them.
Karen was a fantastic heroine. I really liked her and I liked her commitment. She worked hard and she had dreams. But she was also flawed in that she worked herself too hard and was never able to just relax. She’s surrounded by a fantastically wonderful group of friends but often feels alone and wandering. And though she still has the dreaded v-card, her innocence didn’t come off as “eye-rolling” (if not ridiculously funny at times). Considering her sheltered life, it was realistic. She also wasn’t opposed to self gratification which made for some interesting moments.
Karen grew significantly from beginning to end. She starts out timid, afraid to voice herself, afraid of her own actions and the consequences they might invoke. She’s a good girl through and through but by the end, she’s a force of nature. I actually wanted to stand up and cheer at the last few chapters. Seeing her come into her own was a beautiful thing! She saw her life being taken away and decided it was time to fix things. Connor being the most important.
*Swoooon* Wow, how I LOVED these two together!!!!
I loved Connor and his unique set of problems. Very rarely do you have a hero with the issues he has and still be the cocky alpha male who saves the day. He was sexy and smart and a little rough around the edges. He seemed conflicted and a bit overwhelmed at times but I loved how different his story was! The author did a fantastic job with him.
These two are an eclectic mix, opposites in every way possible. But throw them together and they completely even each other out. What starts out as a forced pairing, turns to an adorable friendship that inevitably turns to love even though the odds are stacked against them and outside influences try to tear them apart.
AND, the side stories were awesome! The whole cast from book one is back and each has something pretty daunting happening in their unsettled lives. Which leads me to my “troubles” section.
The Trouble with Continuations...
Natasha and Darrell’s story felt unfinished when I completed book one and in this story, we get to see them and what life is like after their story. It wasn’t pretty and in fact, it was a bit discouraging knowing their HEA was in jeopardy. I both loved and hated this glimpse into their continuing problems. I liked seeing them again and I'm glad we saw the “more” I wanted from book one but after getting so close to their characters and their POV’s, it just made me question getting their issues second hand through Karen. I’d almost prefer a novella or the second book dedicated to them.
And I guess I got spoiled in book one with having two POV’s because I would have loved to have been inside Connor’s mind while he was falling in love with Karen, while he watched her from afar and how he dealt with the return of his ex. I wanted to see those pivotal moments, like we did with Darrell from book one. Maybe if I beg hard enough, we’ll get a “his POV”? :D
Regardless of the “troubles”, it did NOT take away from the enjoyment of this story and all the love I have for it.
The Wrap Up:
All I can say is this book was fantastic and I absolutely can’t wait for book three, which I'm really hoping for. Jasmine still needs her story told! And I’d love to see the gang back and experience more of their lives, their friendships and know what their future holds.
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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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