Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: In Harmony (Fenbrook Academy #2) by Helena Newbury

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 nicely executed sequel that catches up with the lives of four friends studying at Fenbrook Academy, a college in NYC for dancers, musicians and actors. This novel centres around the cellist Karen, who is initially depicted as an uptight control freak with an irrational fear of public speaking. Through her perspective, the reader is invited to watch her grow out from underneath her father's tight control over her music career, to admire her new found sense of courage in standing up for what she wants, and to follow her intensifying romance with an Irish musician who is himself fighting personal demons. While focusing on Karen's journey, I loved how the author seamlessly continued the story of the other three main characters, Natasha, Jasmine and Clarissa, blending their different secondary storylines into Karen's and capturing the realistic side to life in the performing arts. Their solid friendship is reflected in the girls' continual support of each other through difficult times, despite what personal problems they may possess. Connor was a great male lead, totally swoonworthy towards the end as he fought through his insecurities and ditched the non-commitment lifestyle to give his relationship with Karen a real chance. Looking forward to more novels in this captivating series.


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