Brianna Heart has a six-year old daughter and a 12-year plan to keep her life as simple as possible until Layla turns 18. That means swearing off relationships and the drama that goes along with them, working two jobs, and being the best damn mother she can be.
The last thing Capital Series Grand Prix racer Hugh Braden wants after dating media-hungry leggy models and money-hungry fan girls is a blind date. But how could he turn down a favor to one of his best friends? Hugh expected the date to go poorly, but he didn't expect to be intensely attracted to the beautiful brown-eyed bartender who completely blows him off - and steals his every thought thereafter.
When Brianna's perfectly orchestrated life turns upside down, Hugh is there to help, softening the turmoil, and maybe even rescuing her heart from the lonely place where it has been hiding. Can a man who doesn't believe in fate and a woman who doesn't believe in true love find happiness in each other's arms forever?
Awesome Story Continuing in this Series
I received this audiobook free for an honest. Love this book and this series. I heard the beginning of this book at the end of the last one and just had to have it. So excited when I began it. Couldn't stop listening. I didn't get much accomplished around my house other than to listen to this book until it ended. Now looking for the next. You will not be disappointed. Melissa is an excellent, creative author with so many ideas in her brain. Every book is unique, other than same romance theme. This HEA is a standalone, but the characters from the other books play a part in creating this awesome love story. You will enjoy it more if you listen to the others first. The narrator does a great job with the characters, their personalities and the overall story.
This a bittersweet story for me
I was actually surprised in this book. I never expected Hugh (playboy) to settle down especially with a woman with a child. Brianna got pregnant right after college and has been a single mom, working two jobs ever since. When Hugh comes into her life, he turns it upside down giving her and her daughter gifts that she would never purchase on her own. As a matter of fact, she tells Hugh he has to stop buying Layla things because it's too much and she doesn't want her daughter to expect this when he's gone. But he has no intention of going anywhere.
The birthday party was so much fun for little Layla. And let's not forget the theater he rents out to have her play that she wrote produced by family and friends. He thinks of everything. But is he really ready to be a dad and husband? And is Brianna ready to trust him that he won't leave?
I think Hugh is my favorite Braden at the moment. Growing up with a single mom, this story really hit home for me. Unfortunately, there are no Hugh Braden's in real life. So this story is bittersweet for me.
As always, BJ Harrison brings home this story with impeccable taste and I love listening to his portrayal of the Bradens.
You don’t need a code word to enjoy this story.....
Hearts at Play is the long awaited story of the youngest Braden sibling, Hugh, as he falls in love with a single mother and her daughter. During the courtship stories of his brothers and sister, Hugh has been an egocentric, immature playboy, living his life as a famous race car driver to the fullest. Although he was always charming, he had no substance, especially when compared to his ultra responsible and mature family members. Thankfully, by the time he meets Brianna, he has decided that he is ready to settle down and find something with real meaning in his life. Watching Brianna shoot down all his advances in the beginning is priceless.
Brianna is his polar opposite. Although she had an oops moment when she became pregnant right after college, she is a hardworking, dedicated mother with no room in her life for anything but her daughter. She has been betrayed deeply by two men in her past, her father and her daughter's father, so she runs from any sign of male attraction. How these two could fall in love seems inconceivable, but they are actually the perfect compliment to each other. Brianna doesn't make it easy for Hugh to win her affections, but he applies his seduction skills with the same precision he uses on the racetrack. As with all of Love in Bloom books, Hearts at Play can be read as a standalone, but I always love revisiting couple from the previous books. I am sad to say goodbye to the Braden siblings, but I have a feeling that I will like the next family, the Remingtons, just as much.
B.J. Harrison narrates most of the Love in Bloom series, and he is incredibly talented. Although he doesn't overly differentiate between male and female characters, he uses subtle changes in tone and pitch to make it clear which character is speaking. His performance is flawless, and his delivery of the steamy scenes makes them even more passionate (not that you can improve on a Melissa Foster love scene!). I look forward to many future narrations by Harrison.
I received a copy of this audiobook at my request in exchange for this honest review.