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Lovers at Heart (Love in Bloom: The Bradens,…
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Lovers at Heart (Love in Bloom: The Bradens, Book One) (Volume 4)

by Melissa Foster

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3.5 "Open Your Heart to Second Chances" Stars for the story and 4.5 Stars for the narration.

Lovers at Heart is a second chance romance with a strong women's fiction influence. At the heart of this story (pun intended!) is the vulnerability of opening up one's heart to love after an initial rejection. Much of this story is focused on an introspection of the fear of vulnerability that a person must necessarily experience to fall in love.

Although Lovers At Heart is the beginning of a new series, The Bradens, it's also a spin-off of the Love in Bloom Series where the hero and heroine are first introduced. The heroine is Max, Chaz's assistant and the hero is Treat, the owner of the resort where sisters, Danica and Kaylie, get married. Treat and Max first meet on the resort and share an intimate moment. However, Max is heartbroken when the next day Treat spurns her. Of course, what Treat reacts to is seeing Max in the company of a co-worker in the early morning hours and she is wearing the same clothes from the night before which leads to Treat's own jealousy and hurt feelings.

When Max and Treat meet again unexpectedly in Treat's hometown of Weston, Colorado, it's their opportunity to explore their second chance. But when the hurt feelings of their first meeting make this second opportunity at a union difficult, Treat and Max must learn that they must be willing to get hurt again if they really want to find love. Can their be a HEA under the circumstances?

BJ Harrison returns to narrate this debut book in the spin-off series of The Bradens. Having already gotten used to Mr. Harrison's melodic voice, I was able to quickly re-transition back into the lives of these characters. I also as a general matter enjoy his voice. Mr. Harrison has a soothing voice that sounds like a therapist's voice. This voice worked well to highlight Treat's good qualities and also helped to bring to life Max's and Treat's struggles with their own feelings as they try and find love.

All in all, the focus of this book is on the struggles that people must overcome to finally find true happiness and love. If you enjoy books with this as the central theme, and enjoy a full cast in your romances with lots of secondary characters that give the book the feeling of a family drama, then Lovers at Heart is sure to hit the right spot.

Source: Review copy provided for review purposes. ( )
  B.J.O. | Jul 15, 2017 |
Loved this book. It is Book 1 of the Bradens but does include some characters from the previous Love In Bloom: Snow Sisters series. The back story gives additional depth to the characters but is not needed to fully enjoy this book. Melissa continues to develop complex characters with all of the drama of real life people. Other than Treat's money, they could be the couple down the block trying to get past misunderstandings & previous hurts to find a way to be together. The scenes descriptions are wonderful. The changing point of views threw me for a little but as I got into the story, it was easy to navigate.

This is a story about relationships and overcoming obstacles in order to be successful. The interactions between the characters draw you in and make you want to learn more about them. Melissa's writing brings in past characters and creates a strong sense of family. Treat's mother passing away when he was young affected him in new and different ways than the rest of the family. How he comes to terms with this loss & the way it molded him is a compelling part of the story. Max has her own issues that she has to deal with before they can have a successful relationship. This is a book that once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. I loved it the first time and again, after re-reading it now. ( )
  Pam50627 | Sep 14, 2016 |
Daisy Honey fled Trusty, Colorado, after years of battling rumors sparked by her gorgeous looks and lust-inducing name. Now a physician on the brink of a promising career, she reluctantly returns home when her father is injured in a farming accident. Daisy expects the small-town girls who hurt her in the past to take cheap shots again—but she’s completely unprepared for a run-in with tall, dark, and wickedly sexy Luke Braden, the only man who has ever stood up for her—and the man she’s never forgotten.

Luke Braden is handsome, wealthy, and the best damn gypsy horse breeder in the Midwest. After a restless youth, he’s finally ready to settle down—only connecting with women is nothing like connecting with horses, and he’s never met a woman worth the energy. After an arrest in a neighboring town, Luke’s past comes back to haunt him, and he realizes that his inability to find love runs deeper than he ever imagined.

A chance encounter sweeps Luke and Daisy into a world of passion. For the first time ever, Luke feels a connection, but Daisy’s life in Trusty is anything but permanent, and Luke can’t manage a future until he puts his past to rest.

I really liked this book, it is more than just a love story. It is a story about overcoming addiction, realizing that there is nothing wrong with protecting people and finally overcoming bullying.

Daisy Honey came home, to a town when she was bullied mercilessly by girls in her high school. She came back to Trusty because her father was injured on his farm, but only temporally, as she has been offered positions as a new doctor in New York and Chicago. For Now Daisy is working in the urgent care in town, a town that has no doctor. Because she is the only doctor around, she now has to see all the women who bullied her, but also the one guy that stood up for her.

Luke is amazed to bump in to Daisy (literally), but boy is he glad. He is immediately drawn to her. But Luke is suffering from his own demons and he doesn’t know if Daisy will still want anything to do with him, once she finds out what they are.

I can really relate to this book, and at times it made it tough to read. Not because the book was bad, oh no far from it. The book was fantastic, well written, intense, well informed and inspiring. As a victim of bullying, I related to Daisy’s character. but by the end of the book I was inspired. Such a simple story has helped me immensely and I thank Miss Foster whole heartily for that.

This book has earned a 10 out of 10, for taking such a tough subject, giving the reader something to related to and over come. ( )
  Cara_Ross | Aug 16, 2016 |
It started out alright, but soon it became a sort of painting by numbers - just too many tropes in one book and it all just seemed too contrived.
The hero is too good to be true - handsome, rich, instantly in love, protective, understanding, loving to his family etc etc - he just didn't seem to have any flaws and therefore didn't seem real.
The heroine start off as a strong person, who seemed to know who she was and what she wanted, but a little over halfway she suddenly had an abusive ex and the way this was written made her come across as a weak person all of a sudden - and not because of the abuse and the person she was then. She just seemed to be a different person than at the beginning of the book.
But what irritated me the most (and the reason why it became a DNF after reading 60% of the book) was their on - off - on - off etc. relationship. After the 5th time (sorry, lost count) I had enough. When the couple split up yet again for the next reason after they just made up again and had a good talk, I totally lost interest.
BTW the name Max for a woman also completely threw me again and again. ( )
  Marcella1717 | Jan 22, 2016 |
OMG! This was the most fun I’ve had reading in a long time. I understand why Ms. Foster is the top of her game in this genre.

Max (female) and Treat (male)…so fun and silly already!…have a love/hate relationship, and their attraction and sexual tension grabs you from the first page. It’s a romance story, so you know they’ll get together at the end, but what a fun ride watching them get there.

There were back-stories for Max and Treat, hers being abuse from an old boyfriend, his being the after-effects of the death of his mother, which needed to be faced before they could allow themselves to fall in love. Awww. Two broken people healing each other through love is sweet, but truthfully, the back-stories were a little confusing as Max and Treat do not come across as broken in the least.

On the whole, Ms. Foster is a fabulous writer, and this book is a fun ride with great characters and a satisfying ending. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a romance novel, and I couldn’t put the thing down until Max and Treat finally got together.

On a side note: Treat is one of five or six totally hot Braden brothers who each have their own book. Guess who’s going to go read Rex Braden’s story next! ( )
  LoriCrane | Jul 13, 2015 |
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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.
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