Title: Hearts In Harmony (A Five Senses Novel Book #2)
Author: Gemma Brocato
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publish Date: May 5, 2014
Publisher: Lyrical an imprint of Kensington
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.
CONTENT WARNING: Contains strong language, hot sex and a spicy hero.
“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 a little 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.”
*****5- all around Awesome -Stars*****
~this review may contain minor spoilers~
“This will happen between us. You go right ahead and bet the kids' college funds on that. You want me, as much as I need you. I'll give you time to accept the idea of us together. But I want you to remember something, spitfire. I'm an Army Ranger, a master strategist. The campaign begins now.”
This book had everything! It really was just a perfectly balanced great time and I loved every minute of it. Smokin hott steam, laughs, chock full of angst without diving into overkill, drama, mystery, suspense, amazing lead characters-secondary characters-and the cutest freakin six year old twins ever. There really wasn't anything I didn't love other than it ended.
If this green-eyed hunk wanted to go another round with her, she'd relish it-welcome it. There was something about him...
Pippa's world fell apart six years ago when her husband was killed fighting for our country. The support of her family helped to get her through and now her life is all about her twins. She is finally to a point where she is happy,lonely but happy, she still misses her husband every day but she manages her pain. The last thing she wants in her life is the complications a new relationship would bring, so she figures she is better off waiting until the kids are in collage at least. No one has stirred even the slightest bit of interest anyway, so what is she missing really? Until she meets Clay...
The grin faded from his face as he realized the strength of his attraction to her. Aw, shit. He was in trouble now.
Clay has returned home to Granite Pointe, Massachusetts temporarily to help out his mother on her Christmas tree farm until she recovers from her stroke. When he meets Pippa, there is no denying how badly he wants the little spitfire- she stirs things in him no one ever has before. But he is not looking for a relationship, just someone to warm his bed while he is in town-no point in getting involved beyond that when he will just be leaving anyway. Pippa doesn't seem like a casual fling kinda girl, but clay can be real convincing. What he wasn't prepared for was how Pippa and her kids would completely wrap themselves around his heart. He doesn't need that in his life, he's perfectly happy and doesn't want to change anything and he definitely doesn't want to be tied down with a ready made family, right?? Clay has to decide if he really is capable of walking away, but when things in town take a turn for the dangerous-his decision may be made for him...
“I think we can enjoy each other and have fun doing it. And keep it a secret. And I'll consider any time I get to spend with your kids a bonus.”
“That's about the nicest thing a man has ever said to me.”
“Really? Jeez, you're easy.”
“That's about the nicest thing a man has ever said to me.”
“Really? Jeez, you're easy.”
For me, this book was very much a character driven story-these people had my attention right from the start. The pain Pippa lives with on a daily basis was heartbreaking-from missing her husband, to raising her kids on her own, to the guilt she suffers for developing feelings for Clay-but she doesn't let it drown her. She truly was an amazing woman and her aversion to cussing (something she started when her kids where born) was actually kinda funny- I cracked up when she would throw an 'Oh, fiddle!' out there. And the twins were just to much- funny, cute, and adorable. Clay was another one who completely stole my heart. A gruff, take no shit-bike riding Ranger, with an incredibly sweet side he hides from most people. Pippa's family was amazing too-protective brothers who gossiped like a bunch of old ladies along with her soon to be sister in-law, made for some funny situations. It was an all around amazing read from an author I am now completely in love with and look forward to reading much more from in the future.
“Spending time with you, getting to know you so far, has been... interesting. Since the day I met you, I've been intrigued. Each moment I've spent in your company has been... Jesus, it's been like being home.”
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.