Rhythm of My Heart by Kemberlee Shortland
Irish Pride Series
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Length: Full Length (279 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Iris
Artist Representative, Eilis Kennedy, gave up a singing career so that other women could have a fair chance at having their music heard. Having suffered rejection from callous men in the industry, she thought she would get away from ‘casting couch’ mentality. But when she finds herself in the office of Fergus Manley, all bets are off. Disgusted by his continual come-ons and lewd invitations, Eilis is looking for ‘the one’ who will take her career to the next level, getting out from under Fergus’s controlling thumb.
Aspiring blues guitarist, Kieran Vaughan, is looking for his big break. But after suffering near bankruptcy at the hands of an unscrupulous business partner, Kieran is left picking up the pieces. He’s unsure if the debts will ever be paid or if he’ll ever have a chance to do something with his music. At his whit’s end, he’s about ready to throw in the towel and find a full-time job with real hours.
When Eilis discovers Kieran playing in a seedy pub in Dublin’s Northside, she knows he’s the one rare talent she’s been searching for. With her know-how and his talent, Eilis will finally get everything she’s been waiting for. Neither of them count on the powerful attraction from first meeting. Eilis is so rocked by Keiran’s forthright words that it sends her running. Kieran risks being arrested as he chases Eilis across Ireland.
Seeing what’s happening between Eilis and Kieran, anger wells inside Fergus and he steps up his pursuit of Eilis. Refusing to let Kieran get in his way, Fergus vows to add Eilis’s notch to his bedpost, whatever it takes.
Will Kieran be able to protect her?
I apparently need a steady diet of Ms. Shortland’s books. In between reading them, I tend to forget the depth of character and insight into their personalities. I especially forget how devious and evil her villains can be. This makes their presence even more subversive and menacing. The truly ingenious aspect of her villains are the way they could be someone we, the reader, know and have experience with in our own lives. I especially enjoyed Fergus. He comes off a creepy and a little sick throughout the entire story, but the climax of the story truly reveals his personality. The potential reality of his character is what makes the story frightening.
But, I stray from the most important aspect of the novel – the romance! While perhaps “unbelievable”, the connection between Ellis and Kieran can resonate with the reader, and help them remember or imagine that grand passion one can feel when with the right person. I’m not sure I could walk up and down a street and locate my beloved based on said connection, but oh-so-many of us have felt that electric “spark across the room”.
This reader could definitely sense the love Ms. Shortland has for her main characters . . . Kieran can not possibly have been playing for that long and have achieved those chops and not have a healthy dose of self-absorption and elevated self-worth. The reader could probably blame it on his responsibilities with running his own business and caring for his sister, but truly, our author’s love of this character is shining through in his honesty, caring and generosity.
I believe most women reading this story will resonate with at least one aspect of Ellis’ personality. Whether the reader has been a victim of the “sleep with the boss to get ahead or else” situation, or on the receiving end of a careless lover who imparts the poor body image and deflated self-worth, we can all identify with part of her. This makes the eventual connection with Kieran that much sweeter! Our author’s delight in the countryside and its’ people are evident in her descriptive passages throughout the book. However, none tickled the senses quite as much as her extended description of the tea cakes and the delight both Kieran and Ellis experienced while eating them.
This book will engross the reader fully. You will not want to put the book down. This means it will be over far too quickly! The good news is, as soon as you finish it, you get to read it again!