In Harmony Blog Tour | Book Review & Favorite Quotes

October 1, 2013 Blog Tours, Giveaways, Reviews 15

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
In Harmony Blog Tour | Book Review & Favorite QuotesIn Harmony by Helena Newbury
Series: Fenbrook Academy #2
Published by Foster & Black New Adult on September 21, 2013
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Pages: 401
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars
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....

My Initial Reaction…

After already loving Dance For Me, I wasn’t at all surprised that I enjoyed In Harmony just as much. I was pleasantly surprised, however, by how different the story felt. Despite being set in the same place, time, and even including many of the same characters, by simply shifting the point of view Helena Newbury managed to tell a very different kind of story. And I loved it.

The Characters…

Karen is the character I would have voted least likely to star in a steamy romance, and yet she pulls it off beautifully. She’s been working hard her whole life to get into the NY Phil Harmonica, sacrificing normal relationships and childhood experiences to do so. Karen’s the ultimate over-achiever, with an uber successful father’s expectations to live up to. I loved seeing her try to navigate her father’s expectations with her efforts to find her own path. Karen’s also never been in a relationship; her only sexual experience comes from a selection of bodice-rippers hidden under her bed, alongside her dildo. While Karen may be a virgin it’s not for lack of interest, just opportunities. Her inexperience forms a humorous backdrop and allows Newbury to stretch out the sexual teasing to its height.

Just when Karen is reaching the culmination of all her hard work her duet partner for her senior recital is injured and can’t perform with her. If she wants to graduate, Karen has to put her faith in Connor, the electric-guitar playing, class-skipping, notorious bad-boy. Connor is exactly what you’d expect from a bad-boy: he’s ridiculously sexy, talented, cocky and has a notorious reputation with the ladies. And yet there’s more going on below the surface. I enjoyed getting to know the deeper side of Connor and appreciated that, while he came with his own set of issues, Newbury didn’t write him as a totally broken man either. He needs help, but not rescuing.

I was thrilled too see characters I loved in Dance for Me continue to figure prominently within In Harmony, but their struggles are a subplot and you can easily pick up In Harmony without reading Dance for Me. If you have read it though, you’re in for a treat as these excellent characters continue to develop.

The Story…

In Harmony revolves around Karen and Connor’s struggle to graduate – which means Connor must pass his classes, Karen must deal with some issues of her own, and they both must figure out how to make a cello and an electric guitar work together. Like in Dance for Me, I loved the way music moved the story forward. Newbury is very gifted in the ways she employs music to express emotions, heighten tension, and tell a story of their own. Some of the best moments were when Karen and/or Connor were playing – it became this tangible way to visualize their journeys as individuals and in their relationship.

I loved that In Harmony didn’t duplicate the insta-love that we saw in Dance for Me. Instead we see a relationship that develops slowly, through closely working together over a long period of time. In fact, I think Newbury beautifully complicated the insta-love that had so bothered my in Dance for Me by showing us those relationships in their progression, going through some troubles of their own. Since this story is told exclusively from Karen’s point-of-view, which is pretty observant but also hesitant, it’s a very different perspective that we saw before.

Concluding Sentiments…

In Harmony has really well-developed characters and intertwines music beautifully to propel the story forward. It’s a fairly simplistic plot, without a lot of mystery, but it’s thoroughly enjoyable. Once I started, I devoured In Harmony and can’t wait to read more from Helena Newbury.

Favorite Quotes…

He opened the door to his office. “Sorry, Karen.” We both stopped.

Connor, his feet up on Professor Harman’s desk, woke up and yawned. He checked his watch. “You’re late,” he told us.

He stepped close again, thrusting his face right up to mine. “Have you ever had a man withhold an orgasm from you, until you were crying and begging to come?”

“Yes,” said Connor. “But only when she’s been very, very bad.”

Connor’s playing wasn’t like that at all. It was… lazy. Not bad-lazy. Relaxed-lazy. Lazy like driving with one hand on the wheel and the other around a girl. Effortless. Something stabbed through me, something totally unexpected. It took me a few seconds to realize that it was jealousy.
“They wouldn’t let you in,” Jasmine told me. “Despite your insistence that you could walk in a straight line. You couldn’t, as it turned out.”
“I don’t care!” I told him. “I don’t care that we can’t graduate, I don’t care if we have no money. I want to live in a two-bit apartment with you, with walls so thin—”
“We can hear the neighbors fucking?” said Connor.
“Hell no. They can listen to us!”

Buy Links:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FAUSSC2/?tag=helenanewbury-20
http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00FAUSSC2/
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00FAUSSC2/?tag=helenanewbury-21
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/?ean=2940148587477
http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=1230000185312
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-inharmonynewadultromance-1300442-149.html

Giveaway

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four-half-stars

About Helena Newbury

Helena Newbury is a New Adult Romance author with a love of bakingly hot summer days, strawberry gelato, good coffee and interesting people. Unlike the characters in her books, Helena cannot dance, act or play anything (though she is substantially more flexible since she started writing Dance For Me and tried doing dancer’s stretches, so she’s hoping that something will rub off on her from each book).
Helena writes in a very noisy, very busy coffee shop which means she sometimes end up mainlining caffeine to keep her seat. You’ll know when this happens because she’ll still be on Twitter that night at 4am.

She loves meeting and talking with other authors, traveling to new places and discovering new books.

Berls

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

15 Responses to “In Harmony Blog Tour | Book Review & Favorite Quotes”

  1. Kate Rod

    Karen is an extremely introverted cello player and student at Fenbrook. Conner is a bad-boy-Irish-rock-star in training that she just doesn’t understand. Circumstances beyond their control force them to work together despite their obvious differences.

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Lexxie! I think what makes that first quote so great is the situation it’s placed in… you’re thinking no, he didn’t stand her up. he couldn’t! and hoping he’ll sprint around the corner and tada, he’s actually been there all along LOL!

      As I said in the review, I really recommend Dance For Me as well, it adds a richness to this book, even though I like In Harmony a bit better.

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I really enjoyed it – the cool thing is that it’s part of a series, but can be read alone. I personally recommend reading Dance For me first, but this one was the better of the two IMO. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Naomi! I’ve been venturing out of my standard Fantasy reads lately and this series was a pleasant detour. You could easily read as a standalone, but I really recommend reading it with Dance For Me (I reviewed it a couple weeks ago).

  2. Aimee

    These look like great books. I am excited to get started on them. Thanks for the great giveaway.

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      They really are Aimee. I liked In Harmony a smidge better than Dance For Me, but I’d recommend reading them both. Even though it is easily read as a stand-alone the two work together beautifully.

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks for stopping by!! I really enjoyed it and look forward to more from you (hopefully some more Fenbrook too)!

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