Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Helen Newbury's In Harmony. My stop includes all the important details about the book, my review, and a giveaway!
This blog tour is presented by IFB Tours.
In Harmony by Helena Newbury
#2 Fenbrook Series
Release date: September 21st 2013
Publisher: Foster & Black New Adult
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....
In Harmony is the second book in Helena Newbury's Fenbrook series but it can absolutely be read as standalone. I never felt like I didn't know what was going on despite not having read Dance for Me, the first book in the series. However, I adored In Harmony so much I will be picking up Dance for Me, as soon as I possibly can.
In Harmony was reminiscent of Pride & Prejudice, for me, in that the two main characters have formed opinions of one another prior to really knowing one another. But as Karen and Connor get to know each other, they realize there is so much more to the other than what meets the eye...than their perception of the other.
Both Karen and Connor have definite ideas about what the other is all about. Karen thinks Connor is a loser, playboy, what with his rarely attending class and his long list of broken hearts. Connor thinks Karen is an uptight, goody-two shoes as shown by her perfect performances, obsessive practicing, and straight A's. But when an accident leaves Karen without a recital partner, she has to overlook those opinions because Connor is her only hope to graduate.
Karen is an extremely talented cellist, and an extremely driven young woman. It's been her dream (and her father's) to play for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra since she was 6 years old. Her obsessiveness towards perfection has kept her from experiencing...life, really. And she has just a few insecurities.
Connor is an uber-talented guitarist brought to Fenbrook on scholarship...from Ireland. (just one of the reasons to swoon over him) His devil-may-care attitude, partying ways make him seem less than serious about music or his degree. But beneath his casual air, he's hiding a few insecurities of his own.
I gotta say I loved, loved this book. Yes, the plot was somewhat predictable in certain spots, but it was compelling nonetheless. I was literally tense and gripping my ereader in spots just waiting of the other shoe to drop. But In Harmony was a lot of fun, too. I really enjoyed seeing the emotional growth of Karen and Connor. They both were really insecure, vulnerable young people, hiding behind facades. Once we learn the reasons behind Connor's cockiness, I had a new appreciation for him. We know all the reasons behind Karen's self-doubt but seeing her bloom under the confidence she gains with Connor was fascinating.
Then there's the music. I have to admit to this being one of my favorite parts. Music was such an integral part of this story. That Karen and Connor were able to blend their instruments, cello and guitar, together was amazing. I think this translates outside of music as well...keep an open mind. Things that at first glance might seem impossibly ill-suited can meld together magnificently. It was a pleasure to witness their composition for the recital - watching how it unfolded and that it was so personal for them both. I could almost hear the music, Ms. Newbury did such a fine job with it's description.
The story as a whole flowed well and the prose was just as musical as the story. They side characters were equally as well developed as Karen and Connor and I truly look forward to continuing the series. As I said, the plot was predictable in a few instances but it certainly didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story. And the ending, while tidy, was completely gratifying.
"Connor's playing wasn't like that at all. It was...lazy. No bad-lazy. Relaxed-lazy. Lazy like driving with one hand on the wheel and the other around a girl. Effortless." eARC, pg 44
"I let my thoughts guide my playing, my body just a conduit. Connor Locke was long, low notes - the sound of my impending doom." eARC, pg 73
"This would be easier with it written down.He grinned. 'I don't believe in writing stuff down. I like to let it flow.'That pretty much summed up the differences between us. His life was a disordered, chaotic jumble...and yet somehow he was happy. Mine was perfectly regimented and disciplined...and yet I was stressed out of my mind." eARC, pg 82
"Hard and forceful, confident and even cocky. Barely-controlled anger underneath. My second section was Connor. I'd written him into the music." eARC, pg 106
"Oh God...he'd written me. Nervous and shy and...there'd been something else. A sort of dark rhythm underneath that had built and built, wanting - needing - to be met by a harmony." eARC, pg 106
"We hadn't just connected - we'd blended, the best parts of both of us fusing together and becoming something more." eARC, pg 264
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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 .
She loves meeting and talking with other authors, traveling to new places and discovering new books. You can find her on: