Rhythm of My Heart (Irish Pride Series). Kemberlee Shortland. Tirgearr Publishing. July 2012. 279 pages. E-book sold at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other major E-Book Sellers.
Kieran Vaughan's tolerance has struck bottom. His dreams of playing the "blues" before a larger, more appreciative audience has been reduced to playing in seedy pubs where the customers are so drunk they haven't a clue to what they're hearing. Add to that he's been cheated out the money he has rightly earned by his thief of a boss, but continuing to play in the filthy dump where he works is better than being, as his boss puts it, on "the Dole." (Irish name for welfare) He wonders if he'd be better off going to America where he understands people really understand and love the type of music he so passionately embraces and shares! But his huge debt makes even that a far distant dream! Depressing enough? Kieran's luck may be about to change in a totally unexpected way!
Eilis Kennedy is in a similar situation. She's a gal who has an amazingly beautiful voice but she gave that up so that she could begin a hopefully more lucrative career as a a finder of new talent. Find the greatest singers and offer them a record contract! Sounds like a dream, right? It's not so for Eilis as she's also had an unfortunate history with a lover and is besieged by Fergus, a man whose style alternates from brutally bossy to being a suave sexual harassment poster boy! Eilis is totally repulsed and frightened by him. For reasons that emerge later in the story, however, Eilis has the ego of a flea and just can't seem to escape her own circumstances, believing she's totally untalented and would do worse in whatever place she would escape to!
Then one night, she travels to "The Little Man Pub" in Northside Dublin and is completely besotted by this gorgeous hunk of a guy who croons out the blues in a style Eilis knows could make him a star for sure. Their contact is both frustrated by the tense sexual electricity stunning both of them and a bit of caustic banter coming from the cynical side of both who seek to protect their egos from more battering! However, the fire has been kindled and will not be put out!
Onward this sexy, spark-laden story progresses. Fergus becomes even more angry when he learns Eilis is attracted to Kieran in more than a professional manner and so becomes even more aggressive. Kieran and Eilis begin to play a cat and mouse game leading them to an ultimately very passionate union eventually but with plenty of conflicts between each scene, ranging from fighting, threats, physical illness, violence and more!
Rhythm of My Heart is a romance story told in a tense, pumped-up, passionate way by someone who knows exactly how to balance the tension of characters falling desperately for each other but riddled with self-doubt and manipulation by other predatory creeps! Very, very nicely done, Kemberlee Shortland!!!