Avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker, genre-omnivore.
In Harmony- Helena Newbury
Series: Fenbrook Academy #2
Published by: Foster and Black New Adult, on 21 September 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 401, Format: eARC
Source: IFB Blogtours
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....
*I received a free eARC of In Harmony from IFB Blogtours in exchange of an honest review*
In Harmony is a pretty amazing story in several of its aspects. I loved that it focused so much on music, I could almost hear it when Karen and Connor played, and it’s something I’d buy if it existed for real. I really enjoyed Karen, she started out feeling awkward and different from her friends, and she really only had her cello on her mind – which is understandable in some ways. However, when she starts to open up to the world around her, she makes some pretty amazing discoveries.
Although In Harmony is the second book in the Fenbrook Academy series, I didn’t feel like I had missed anything because I didn’t read Dance for Me first, and that is always a plus in my opinion. The friendships between Karen and her little band of actresses and dancers were already established, and made me feel all happy and fuzzy to read about. These are girls who had each other’s backs, who stuck up for each other, and were supportive of each other. Even if they have different personalities, they manage to find a common ground, and the thing I enjoyed the most is that they never judge each other – even when they don’t completely agree with the life-changing decisions their friends make.
Both Karen and Connor hide their real ‘me’ from the world, but they both need to relax and share who they really are in order to move forward. When they first start playing together, they are not in harmony at all, but little by little, as they get to know each other, both their music and their feelings change to become a harmony that was beautiful and breath-taking at the same time. I loved how Karen learned to stand up for herself, even when it comes to her father who has more or less ruled her life since she was a little girl. She was scared and confused, but managed to give herself some time to think so that she could finally make the decision she had to make for her – not to make anybody else happy.
I didn’t like Connor very much at the beginning of In Harmony, I found him to be cocky and more than a little arrogant, but he grew on me very quickly. Behind the tough boy facade, there is a gentle and beautiful soul, but it was so much easier for him to pretend he didn’t care about anything than to give it his all and risk to be hurt. As the story unfolds, secrets appear, and the was the characters deal with this is realistic and rings true. I felt like I got to know both Karen and Connor pretty well, and I will pick up Dance for Me and any other books in this series as well. The romance aspect was very hot, and I think it was more so because it was so utterly entwined with the music throughout the whole story.
If you are looking for a contemporary New Adult romance that covers friendship, love, insecurities, romance and more, In Harmony is the perfect book for you!
I have nine pages of quotes highlighted on my kindle – here are some favorites for you:
At the end, I raised my pudgy hand and pointed to the cellist, her long limbs wrapped around the massive instrument, its varnished wood and smooth curves somehow a part of her. “I want to play that!” I wasn’t to know I’d stop growing at 5’4”.
For Connor, Fenbrook was one big party. For me, it felt like life and death.
I really don’t, I thought a little angrily. I wasn’t what you’d call experienced, when it came to men and sex. In fact, you know that thing where you’re the exact opposite of experienced? I was that.
One performance to both get the credits I needed and to impress the New York Phil scout. Four years of hard work, and yet my whole future rested on just ten minutes.
“Nope. Not an option. We need to get you out, before you disappear into a practice room and we lose you forever.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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. You can find her on:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads