Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Book Tour for Hearts In Harmony by Gemma Brocato (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Readers who love their romances with a whole lot of realism will get just that and more with the steamy contemporary read, Hearts In Harmony by Gemma Brocato.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of this book, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form for the chance to win a selection of goodies inspired by the story and worth $100!

Pippa Sanders’ life is filled with songs of leaving, longing and loneliness. Since the death of her husband, her children have been her world. She’ll do anything to protect them, including encasing her heart in ice until they’re college age. She’s made a practice of shying away from any relationship that could break her heart when it ends. And it’s worked so far.
Clay Mathers has made a temporary move to Granite Pointe, Massachusetts to help with his mother’s Christmas tree farm while she recovers from a stroke. Although his long-range plans don’t include staying in the small town, a little female companionship during his short residency would be welcome. While on duty as sentry against protestors at a military funeral, he finds Pippa visiting her husband’s grave, and begins a campaign to make her into a friend–with benefits.
What starts as a simple affair evolves to something more, something that changes the soundtracks of both their lives…the beating of two hearts in harmony.

“You! Hello again,” she said, clutching the bag in front of her like a shield.
So, she did remember him. But why the hell was she acting nervous? Clay didn’t like that one bit.
“Yeah, me again. I’m glad to see you. Were you looking for me?”
“Oh, God no!” she exclaimed, the words deflating him. Why the heck wasn’t she there for him? Oh, yeah, because of the dead man. Delicate pink rushed into her cheeks. “Uh, no. My son left his books here today. He was on a field trip with school. I didn’t mean to bother you, but the other man left the backpack on the porch.”
She had a son. That was a bit of a surprise. Clay gestured toward the ornately decorated box near the rocker. “My mom’s idea. The school kids leave stuff behind all the time.”
“Yeah, that’s the way those youngsters are. Always forgetting things. Good thing they have mothers who are willing to run out and fetch for them.”
“Yeah, a good thing.” He smiled and changed the subject. “I thought you might be here looking for some company for a trip to the cemetery.”
She stilled when he reminded her of their first meeting. She was a tall woman, with legs underneath a khaki skirt that looked like they’d never end. Normally Clay found himself stooping to kiss women, so her height impressed him. He knew from their meeting yesterday that she fit nicely under his chin. She drew her slender frame even taller while he stared at her.
“Not likely. That kind of company I don’t need. Dewey was bad, but when you showed up, things looked like they might be getting worse when you grabbed me.”
“Hey, I was just trying to prove a point. You shouldn’t have been there alone at dusk.”
She pushed her dark brown hair back from her forehead, tucking the short breeze-blown curls behind her ear. “Point taken. And given the circumstances, I managed, didn’t I?”
He’d made her angry again, but it was worth it. The fire snapping in her eyes was nearly mesmerizing. “This time. But if a man is intent on getting his way, don’t think alittle kick in the knee will make a difference. Especially when the woman is as pretty as you.”
“Well, if I ever feel the need to have a big strong he-man stand by my side beating his chest, I’ll give you a call.” From her tone, Clay wasn’t sure if she was flattered or still ticked off. “But you shouldn’t hold your breath.”
Yeah, he was going to have to go with ticked. He thought he’d just paid her a compliment. Obviously, she didn’t take it that way. He laughed, hoping to ease the tension he’d created with his words. “He-man. I like that. Seriously though, I’ve heard the Battalion rank and file has been getting violent at some of the protests. There have even been rumors that the protesters plan to send a big message soon. You don’t want to get caught up in any of that.”
“And you know this why?”
“It’s my job to know. I’m a…security consultant.” He wasn’t sworn to secrecy on his current project for Homeland Security, but he didn’t want Dewey and the other Battalion bubbas to get wind of his involvement if he could avoid it.
The woman looked at him skeptically. “Oh. Well, thank you again for your rescue yesterday and for finding the book bag. I…uh… I’ll get out of your way.”
He caught a whiff of lavender and vanilla as she pushed past him on the narrow porch. She smelled fresh, clean, very womanly. Without thought, he shot out a hand and grabbed her elbow to stop her. Jesus God, her skin was soft and smooth, like satin. When she attempted to jerk her arm away, he held on tighter. “Wait, I don’t even know your name.”


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Not having read the previous book in this series, or any of Ms. Brocato's previous books, I didn't know what to expect.  What I got after the final page was turned was an emotional journey where two lost souls finally start living their lives amidst the political backdrop of war.  While the story was immensely satisfying on a personal level, it was a bit overwrought when it came to the discussions of war and homegrown terrorists.

Pippa's life has revolved around her children and her music therapy work since the day her husband died in war.  She still visits his grave regularly and surrounds herself with other families dealing with the same kind of grief.  The day she meets Clay is the day her life begins once again as she and he set out on a rocky yet sensual road to romance.  Pippa is a likable heroine, strong-willed, and more than capable on taking care of herself.  She's drawn to Clay as he challenges her and their interactions both in and out of the bedroom are combustible.

Clay is a man of few words but when he does talk it's cloaked in gruffness.  He's a sexy man who exudes power but is very rough around the edges.  He speaks his mind which leads to some jaw-dropping moments that put a smile on my face though.  He's drawn to Pippa the moment he sees her but doesn't want anything long-term.  He and Pippa therefore start off as friends but soon evolve into more in an entertaining dance full of push and pull.  Through it all Clay's emotional walls slowly crumble as Pippa and her kids give him a glimpse of what he's always wanted but didn't think he'd ever get.  Theirs is a rocky yet immensely satisfying journey to HEA and it's mostly due to the endearing Clay.

This was a sweet yet sexy story with likable main characters and a colorful and heartwarming collection of Granite Pointe denizens, particularly Clay's mother, that added to the feeling of family this close-knit group of people portray.  The romance was entertaining and full of sexual tension and when the story focused on them I found myself fully immersed in the story.  But when the storyline veered off into the political arena in became over-the-top with its villains and felt like a distraction.  Dewey was stereotypical in his villainy and I dreaded seeing him.  For the most part though this was a delightful story with a great romance that can be read on its own.  With the talent shown here, and by the smile on my face, this won't be the last book I read by Ms. Brocato.

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Gemma's favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a 'round tuit,' and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she'd write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to 'Dear Author' were gratifying.
After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue an avocation as a romance author.
Her gamble paid off when she was a 2012 Finalist in the prestigious Golden Pen contest for Romantic Suspense and she received contracts for her first and second book.
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  1. Good morning. Thank you for having me on your blog and for the lovely review. I appreciate it. And thanks to Literati Author Services for arranging this tour for me.

  2. Great review!! I just finished this book and loved it! :D

    1. Thanks Tera. I'm so glad you liked it. Set a reminder on your calendar for Exposed To Passion in October. I'm excited for you to read Sam's story.