Tuesday, February 13, 2018

NEW + REVIEW: In Harmony by Emma Scott


Title: In Harmony
Author: Emma Scott
Release Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018
 “The root of all madness is an unbearable truth...”


OUR REVIEW:

I've come to know that Emma Scott writes novels that are going to give me not only hella good storylines but her characters are going to be so well written that they're going to feel real. In Harmony has both of these in spades.

Willow and Isaac, our two main characters, feel fully formed on page 1--it's their growth from that page to the last that makes them so interesting. We watch them as they grapple with their feelings of isolation due to circumstances; we watch as their souls recognize themselves in the other; and we watch as they begin to thaw after freezing everyone out and seek the warmth of trust and friendship and love in each other. Their HEA doesn't come easily but when it does happen, it feels that much more..everything... because of how long the road to get there seems.

Initially, I sat down just for a quick minute to see what this novel was all about (I went in blind) and became glued to my chair because I could not put it down until I got to the final curtain. Not only did I have to know what or how this story was going to end, but I simply enjoyed all the small details that made this novel hard to put down. Things like: the division into Acts, the formatting, the secondary characters, the true nastiness of the antagonists, the length of time the novel covers, which allowed so much growth for Willow and for Isaac to ...well, you'll see. Oh! And to see one of my favorite plays through the eyes of a novelist and her characters (after having just read it with my own students) was like the standing ovation at the end of a powerful performance--it just added that much more to my total reading experience.

Emma Scott is 100% a must read for me. Her books are rich in character and plot and rewarding -- they always have me pondering the characters and their stories for weeks and months and years after I've finished them. 


Links:
Amazon Universal: myBook.to/InHarmony

In Harmony Blurb

The root of all madness is an unbearable truth…

At seventeen, Willow Holloway’s life was torn apart. The happy, driven girl is gone, and she is left wracked by post-traumatic stress her body remembers even if she does not. When her father suddenly uproots the family from their posh penthouse in New York City to the tiny town of Harmony, Indiana, Willow becomes more untethered and lost under the weight of her secret. On a whim, she auditions for a part in the community theater’s production of Hamlet and unexpectedly wins the role of Ophelia—the girl who is undone by madness, and her love of Hamlet… 

Isaac Pierce is from the ‘wrong side of the tracks.’ The town bad boy. Girls pine for his attention and guys are in awe of him. That he’s an acting prodigy only adds to his charisma. Isaac utterly disappears into his characters; the stage is the only place he feels safe from his own traumatic home life. He wants nothing more than to escape to Broadway or Hollywood, and leave Harmony behind for good. 

No one can play Hamlet but Isaac, and when the director pairs him with Willow in acting class, they clash again and again—neither willing to open their hearts to anyone. But clashing leads to breaking, breaking leads to the spilling of terrible secrets, and soon Isaac and Willow find Shakespeare’s words mirroring their lives. When they are cruelly torn apart, neither know how this play will end—with madness and heartache? Or healing, love, and the discovery of who they are truly meant to be. 

In Harmony is a standalone NEW ADULT love story, and is intended for readers 18 and up. PLEASE NOTE, this book contains sensitive material such as physical abuse, and the aftermath of sexual assault (off the page). Reader discretion is advised.

In Harmony Excerpt 

“I’m so…not into being with someone right now,” Willow said with a nervous lilt to her words. “Not for a while, anyway.”
I heard a whisper on the breeze, or ever again. A heaviness in her eyes hinted she had lost something and had almost given up trying to find it.
She hasn’t given up, I thought, a fierce admiration welling in me. That’s why she’s doing the play. To find it again.
In that moment, I vowed to try to cut out all the egotistical bullshit and jealousy over Justin. The dance was out of range now anyway. I couldn’t ask her to go even if I wanted to. Which I didn’t. My job was to help her find what she was looking for in Hamlet, however I could. Even as it dented my eagerness to get the hell out of Harmony.
Willow shielded her eyes from the sun and squinted at me. “So what about you?”
“What about me?”
“Do you like anyone?” she asked, her voice a half tone higher than usual. She laughed. “That’s such a high school thing to ask.”
“No,” I said. “If all goes to plan, I’m leaving Harmony, remember? Stupid to start something now.”
“Sure. Makes sense.”
A silence fell.
“Yeah, so I probably won’t go to the dance,” Willow said. “I’m not good in that kind of situation anymore.”
“What kind of situation?”
She shook her head. “Never mind. I should get back.”
Willow started to scoot down off the block. I held my hand out to her to help. She hesitated for a fraction of a second and then took it. I held my other hand out and she took that too. I steadied her as she hopped down and then we were standing face to face. Close enough I could see her pale blue eyes had lighter shards of blue in them, like a topaz. Close enough to smell the sweetness of her breath—coffee tinged with sugar. Close enough to dance if we wanted.
“Thanks,” Willow said, gazing up at me.
“Sure,” I said.
I still held her hands. She didn’t let go.
“So,” she breathed, still not moving.
“Yeah.”
I glanced down at our hands. I hadn’t touched something this soft and good in ages. The sleeve of her coat bunched up and I spied a black mark on the inside of her forearm, close to her wrist. Willow drew in a breath as I turned her hand over. An X, about the size of a quarter, was stark on her pale skin.
She tugged her hands away. “I really need to get back.”
Every instinct cried out to take her hand again, to ask her what the X meant. To lick my thumb and erase it off her skin. I didn’t know what it meant but the sight of it made my stomach feel heavy.
“Willow—”
“I doodle when I’m bored. I told you that.” Her voice was sharp but her smile wobbled. “Let’s go.”
We walked the short distance back to town wordlessly. Back in front of the theater, Willow shouldered her bag and glanced around. “Thanks for today. I think Martin would be happy with our progress.”
“I do too.”
God, would he, I thought.
“So, I guess I’ll see you Monday?” she said.
“You have a ride home?”
“Oh, uh…” She still wouldn’t meet my eyes. “I was thinking of walking.”
“To Emerson Hills?” I said. “That’s a mile and a half and it’s getting dark soon.”
She raised her brows. “I’m not allowed to walk in the dark?”
“You’re allowed,” I said, “but I don’t want you to.”

Author Bio
Emma Scott writes romances with flawed characters, characters with artistic hearts: builders, poets, and writers of various makes and models. And love always wins. Always. 
Where to Find Emma:

Websitewww.emmascott.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmmaScottwrites
Twitter: @EmmaS_writes
Instagram: @EmmaScottWrites
Amazon: http://bit.ly/EmmaScott

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