Requested ARC Review: When Harriet Came Home by Coleen Kwan

Format: E-bookwhenharrietcamehome
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Adam Blackstone
Heroine: Harriet Brown
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 24, 2011
Started On: October 19, 2011
Finished On: October 20, 2011

When Harriet Came Home By Coleen Kwan is set to release from Carina Press on the 24th of this month. Set in the small town of Wilmot in Australia, When Harriet Came Home tells the story of Harriet Brown who comes back home after a period of ten years upon receiving the news that her father had been involved in an accident.

Harriet had been an overweight and shy child which had earned continuous ridicule from her peers. But what had really driven her out of her hometown had been her involvement in bringing to light the damning photos of Warwick Blackstone, the Lord Mayor of Wilmot, receiving a bribe from a property developer which had forced the long-time mayor to resign. Rather than be thanked and applauded for her role in the matter, Harriet had felt more and more alienated until she had finally left home and carved a life for herself as a caterer in Sydney.

When Harriet comes back, the last thing she expects is to run into Adam Blackstone, the only child of Warwick Blackstone, who seems to have grown out of his smooth boyish good looks into a virile and rugged looking man who makes all her senses come alive. And the one thing that Harriet learns even from the very first encounter with Adam is that her hopeless infatuation with Adam when she had been the chubby outcast and he the golden boy of town is stronger than ever, and this time she might just lose her heart for good if she ain’t too careful about it.

Harriet’s well-meaning father who wants her to bury her regrets once and for all pushes Adam and Harriet together, the preparation for the Harvest Ball supposed to be Harriet’s way of making amends and Adam’s quest in bringing back the good name which had belonged to his family for decades. Though Harriet is wary of her attraction towards Adam which she thinks will only lead to more heartache, she finds herself saying yes to the answering need which flares to life in Adam’s eyes whenever they are together. Its a difficult road that these two take towards happily ever after, not because of external influences but rather due to Harriet’s own insecurities which she doesn’t seem to get rid of until towards the very end of the novel.

When Harriet Came Home starts off on a pretty good note. I loved the setting, the way Coleen Kwan seemed to bring her characters to life and of course the sizzle between the sexy Adam and Harriet which is a constant whenever they are thrown together. I loved Adam’s character, the way he had grown up into a man so different from whom he had been 10 years back, a man forced to make a name & place for himself when everything he had loved and coveted had been taken away from him. Though at first he is pretty much antagonistic towards Harriet which is understandable, Adam thaws pretty quickly, not wanting to hold a grudge against Harriet when all he can think about is kissing her senseless and having his way with her. I loved how Adam could see the good in people and the fact that he has an abundance of patience when it come to dealing with Harriet who never seemed to be able to make up her mind.

For me, Harriet’s character was the one that I couldn’t get fully on board with. At the beginning, I liked her well enough, the insecurities that she was feeling pretty much expected when one returns home to a lukewarm welcome at best from the town folk. But what made me dislike Harriet was how she seemed to judge other people when she herself had been on the receiving end of such treatment in her childhood. Harriet who should have understood never seemed to be able to look beyond the surface unlike Adam who seemed to able to see the good in people. I especially found myself irked by the way Harriet seems to be so judgmental when it comes to Adam, again never seeing anything below the surface, never accepting & believing in her heart just how much Adam had changed for the better.

If Harriet had truly being in love with Adam as she professes to be, she would have been able to see the good inside of him and accept him for who he is, and in my opinion Adam makes for one fine hero! If Harriet’s character had stayed true to what she started out like at the beginning of the story, I would have enjoyed the story much better all around.

Though I didn’t turn out to love Harriet’s character, I would still rate this as a good read, recommended for contemporary romance fans who love a sexy reformed hero who wears a tool-belt on occasion. *winks*

Favorite Quotes

He wore jeans and a thin white singlet which clung to his broad chest. His tanned biceps bunched as he hammered away, and his skin glowed with perspiration under the warm sun. Harriet’s mouth went bone-dry. A rush of heat boiled over her, licking her skin, surging inside her breasts, her thighs. Her response was instantaneous. She had no control over it. One look at Adam’s body and desire ignited in her.

She sucked in a breath as their gazes clashed and his face altered. She could see the sweat beading the line of his close-cropped dark hair, could feel the heat radiating off his bulky shoulders, and smell the tang of hard work rising from his chest. A work belt clung to his hips. A smattering of hair flecked his gleaming pectorals above the singlet. With his chiselled face, his impressive biceps and long legs, he could have been a pin-up for one of those beefcake calendars. Mr November, with those grey Scorpio eyes watching her every move.

One Comment

  1. Oh I wanted to read this one! I saw it on Netgalley but I requested another book instead, because it seemed more interesting and I ended up hating the heroine LOL…. Although I still want to read this one, I’ll probably get it next week. Great review!



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