Moving on to people we first met in the Sisters In Bloom stories, Melissa Foster brings the Braden family to the forefront with the first book in the Bradens of Westin, Colorado series. Narrated by B,J, Harrison, please read on for my review of the audiobook version of
Lovers at Heart
A story that best works after reading the Snow Sisters series, but can stand alone, Lovers at Heart focuses on Treat and Max’s stories, and the aftermath of a destination wedding. Max is the organizing guru with more than a dash of neuroses and ocd, and while helpful with her planning work, is often detrimental to her personal life. She’s clever, driven, outwardly self-confident and wholly in charge of her life. Treat owns several resorts, is always bouncing about and around, and he’s got a serious case of wedding hangover after a memorable, if not his best, moment at the wedding.
Together – these two get another chance to make things right DESPITE their both having serious reservations and issues. Treat is very metrosexual – he’s a solidly good guy who I seriously hoped would find some emotional control. His own dedication to his family and to seeing them happy and settled, often to the detriment of his own forward progress and growth wasn’t over the top, until you add in his bone-deep fear of finding that “love” and then losing it. There’s plenty of growth that needs to happen for Treat, and while I like characters that are in touch with their emotions, there was a bit of “not again’ with each new emotional revelation for him.
On the other hand, Max is almost closed off from her inner voices, until or unless she encounters someone who reminds her of all the bad moments with her ex. Unwilling to stand for any critical judgments from any man, she just shuts down and pushes people away from her, with an almost angry overtone. We do see that her self-confidence from her work, which she does near perfectly, isn’t always translating over, and that makes her very defensive. Oh – and when she’s angry or feeling pressured by anything BUT work, she’s a horrible listener, and refuses to ask questions or hear explanations. So there was a TON of back and forth with these two. And, I kind of have to give Treat kudos for sticking in there, making it clear that he wanted her and her alone, and that he wouldn’t stop pursuing her. In the abstract, for a story, it’s pretty damn romantic…although I can see how it could dance over the edge to stalker if their connection wasn’t so palpable and obvious to everyone else.
Narration is again provided by B, J, Harrison, who again does a lovely job in presenting characters, story and emotional layers without overworking the emotion or getting in the way of the story as it unfolded. But it is less a critique of performance than musing over the ‘rightness’ of this narrator for this book. I would have liked a dual narrator team for this title, while Harrison does a wonderful job in separating and distinctly presenting both male and female voices, I would have appreciated the addition of a female to narrate the women’s parts. There was just a little something not quite fitting with the characters as I envisioned them – and having read and listened to this story (I own the title) there was a piece missing, some youthful edge, that would have added to the performance here.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4
Title: Lovers At Heart
Author: Melissa Foster
Series: The Bradens at Westin CO #1
Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance, Family Saga
Narrator: B.J. Harrison
Published by: World Literary Press
Published on: 14 November 2014
Source: Audio Producer
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 22 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible
Handsome, wealthy resort owner Treat Braden is used to getting what he wants. When Max Armstrong walked into his life six months earlier, he saw right through the efficient and capable façade she wore like a shield, to the sweet, sensual woman who lay beneath. She sparked an unfamiliar desire in him for more than a one-night stand, leaving his heart reeling and his blood boiling. But one mistake caused her to turn away, and now, after six months of longing for the one woman he cannot have, he's going home to try to forget her all together.
Max Armstrong has a successful career, a comfortable lifestyle, and she's never needed a man to help her find her way--until Treat Braden caught her attention at a wedding in Nassau, causing a surge of emotions too reminiscent of the painful past she'd spent years trying to forget. Max will do anything to avoid reliving that pain--including forgoing her toe-curling, heart-pounding desire for Treat.
When a chance encounter turns into a night of intense passion, Treat realizes that the mistake he made six months earlier may cause him to lose Max completely. He will do everything within his power to win her heart forever--and Max is forced to face her hurtful past head on for the man she cannot help but love.
The Bradens are a series of stand-alone romances that may also be enjoyed as part of the larger Love in Bloom series - Voted BEST BOOK SERIES by Supportive Business Moms, UK
LOVERS AT HEART is a SILVER MEDAL WINNER in the Readers' Favorite Awards - Contemporary Romance Category
A copy of this title was provided via Audio Producer for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: