More Than You Know
Book 1, The Harrisons
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Hotel owner Dane Harrison, middle brother of a wealthy Long Island family, needs a lounge singer for his new luxury property. With her stunning voice and amazing curves, Julia Shay is perfect. She also seems to be the only woman in New York City who isn’t falling at Dane’s feet. And despite her feisty attitude and his rule against workplace affairs, he wants her—in his arms, in his bed, anywhere and everywhere.
Julia loves her new job, and she knows better than to think she can keep it and Dane. Even if he wasn’t her boss, Julia’s painful history has given her ample reason to steer clear of rich, powerful charmers. Still, their chemistry is unlike anything she’s known, and when it becomes too much to resist, they agree to one no-strings night together. But instead of quenching the fire, the intense encounter only proves how much they have to lose—or win…
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Feels too forced
Dane meets Julia when he checks her out singing at a lounge. He wants to hire her to sing at his new hotel, and offers her a job hard to refuse. She is thinking it is almost too good an offer and those tend to be bad.
Julia is wary, and her best friend talks her into taking it since these offers never come along in most lifetimes. Dane is warned off her, after admitting she is beautiful to his siblings, and reminded not to mix work with pleasure.
The story itself is a solid one. I liked the characters and how they interacted with one another. I just felt the book itself to be too wordy and focused away from the main point of the story too many times.
***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley.com and its publisher.
Steamy moments, heartbreaking tragedy and several twists
My first introduction to this author was as a part of a Chanukah anthology, and I loved her deft hand with conversation and the life she imbued in her characters. Now in a full length story, Jennifer Gracen has brought us into the lives of Dane and Julia, and the people who surround and care for them.
Julia is a singer, working days as a secretary and many evenings with her best friend and accompanist, Kelvin, singing in a small martini bar on Long Island. While her younger dreams of a life in music were interrupted by several personal tragedies, she’s never lost the spark, or the ability to hold an audience.
Dane is the second son of a wealthy family, but wanting to prove himself, he’s struck out on his own to build a successful hotelier career with several successful sites. Now he wants to build his dream space: boutique, excellent services and a lounge that provides the best singer in the city. Long months of searching never quite brought him ‘the one’ until he stumbles upon Julia and Kelvin performing on recommendation of a friend.
These two are adorable: both are stuck in commitment free zones, Dane’s reasons being his childhood / family history, Julia’s being the combination of a horrid ex-husband and bad ex-boyfriend. Both are wounded and guarded, using ‘no strings attached’ as a watchword and guide to live by. Julia is a difficult person to get close to, and it almost feels as if Dane would have given up, but the chase and their moments together will and do change their attitudes if not allay their fears.
Rounding out the story of Dane’s chase are friends and family: loyal, dedicated and often more cognizant of their faults and fears than the two are themselves. Kelvin with his ready wit, not so gentle truth telling and unfailing support of Julia shows a long friendship that is wholly loving, while her bestie Randi mixes truth and support in equal measure. Dane’s not alone: his sister Tess, his best friend who both adores and reprimands him knows his history and has suffered heartbreak of her own. Both have watched their oldest brother Charles during his divorce, and see the aftermath, and while they’ve all reasonably decided to not get involved, Tess sees a change in Dane, that is wholly down to Julia.
Steamy moments, heartbreaking tragedy and several twists that show both character and heart of both Julia and Dane in actions and conversation, with plenty of moments of laughter and light showing the true connection between them, despite their own pigheaded refusal to drop their guard and accept it. A wonderful start to a new series: I know that Pearce (the unknown Harrison brother) is up next, but I truly can’t wait for Tess’ story.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
- Category: Fiction & Literature
- Published: Dec 29, 2015
- Publisher: Kensington
- Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
- Print Length: 352 Pages
- Language: English
- Series: Book 1, The Harrisons