Title: In Harmony
Author: Emma Scott
Release Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018
The root of all madness is an unbearable truth…
At seventeen, Willow Holloway’s life was torn apart. The happy, driven girl is gone, and she is left wracked by post-traumatic stress her body remembers even if she does not. When her father suddenly uproots the family from their posh penthouse in New York City to the tiny town of Harmony, Indiana, Willow becomes more untethered and lost under the weight of her secret. On a whim, she auditions for a part in the community theater’s production of Hamlet and unexpectedly wins the role of Ophelia—the girl who is undone by madness, and her love of Hamlet…
Isaac Pierce is from the ‘wrong side of the tracks.’ The town bad boy. Girls pine for his attention and guys are in awe of him. That he’s an acting prodigy only adds to his charisma. Isaac utterly disappears into his characters; the stage is the only place he feels safe from his own traumatic home life. He wants nothing more than to escape to Broadway or Hollywood, and leave Harmony behind for good.
No one can play Hamlet but Isaac, and when the director pairs him with Willow in acting class, they clash again and again—neither willing to open their hearts to anyone. But clashing leads to breaking, breaking leads to the spilling of terrible secrets, and soon Isaac and Willow find Shakespeare’s words mirroring their lives. When they are cruelly torn apart, neither know how this play will end—with madness and heartache? Or healing, love, and the discovery of who they are truly meant to be.
In Harmony is a standalone NEW ADULT love story, and is intended for readers 18 and up. PLEASE NOTE, this book contains sensitive material such as physical abuse, and the aftermath of sexual assault (off the page). Reader discretion is advised.
“Doubt thou the stars are fire,
Doubt that the sun doth move,
Doubt truth to be a liar,
But never doubt I love.”
MY HEART!!! This is my favorite Emma Scott book so far. The romance, the story, the heartbreak, the characters – I won’t forget Isaac and Willow. Were there a few cliches, like the rich girl/poor boy and the one-dimensional, social-climbing parents? Yes, but overall the magnificent story rose above these minor issues I had with the book. Do NOT miss this page-turner.
“Untouchable. The word sang to me like a lullaby. Everything safe was in those four syllables. Everything I wanted to be but wasn’t.”
Willow is a beautiful 17-year-old who has suffered a terrible assault. An assault she keeps buried inside until it almost eats her alive and kills her beautiful spirit. She finds solace in the local community theatre where she can act out her sorrow and rage, all while speaking someone else’s words.
“Someday, Willow, you might find yourself cast into darkness too. I hope that day never comes. If it does, it will be scary at first. But you will see your own brilliance. Your own strength. And you will shine.”
Isaac is the local “bad boy” but he is so, so much more. He is a brilliant actor, but dirt poor and suffering from a horrific home life. He, too, finds solace in the theatre and sees a kindred spirit in Willow.
“Taking a seat next to him in something as ordinary as English class felt odd, though I began to see why Isaac saved his words for the stage—he sat in his chair like it could hardly contain him. He’s too big for this town.”
The story mirrors the tragedy ‘Hamlet’ which Isaac and Willow are starring in. Although I knew the inevitable was going to happen, I couldn’t help but sob and yell while the star-crossed lovers’ terrible conclusion was playing out. Willow suffered terribly at the hands of not only her past abuser, but also her cold and unfeeling parents. She did seek out kind adults who understood her and offered comfort and their great compassion helped me through this book.
“It’s never too late. Those two words are the greatest, most powerful killer of hope mankind has ever invented for itself.”
‘In Harmony’ is a detailed, epic, gorgeous love story that delves deeply into the world of the theatre. I loved every word. Isaac and Willow are among the most tragic yet triumphant main characters I have ever read. And their love…just perfect!
“I burn. I pine. I perish.”
Aaaahhhh, Isaac…I miss you already. If you are in any kind of book slump, then please read ‘In Harmony.’ You won’t be able to put it down. I was enraptured by Emma Scott’s words. It is a stunning story of the triumph of love, loyalty and goodness.
I shook my head. “Never.”
In Harmony Excerpt:
“I’m so…not into being with someone right now,” Willow said with a nervous lilt to her words. “Not for a while, anyway.”
I heard a whisper on the breeze, or ever again. A heaviness in her eyes hinted she had lost something and had almost given up trying to find it.
She hasn’t given up, I thought, a fierce admiration welling in me. That’s why she’s doing the play. To find it again.
In that moment, I vowed to try to cut out all the egotistical bullshit and jealousy over Justin. The dance was out of range now anyway. I couldn’t ask her to go even if I wanted to. Which I didn’t. My job was to help her find what she was looking for in Hamlet, however I could. Even as it dented my eagerness to get the hell out of Harmony.
Willow shielded her eyes from the sun and squinted at me. “So what about you?”
“What about me?”
“Do you like anyone?” she asked, her voice a half tone higher than usual. She laughed. “That’s such a high school thing to ask.”
“No,” I said. “If all goes to plan, I’m leaving Harmony, remember? Stupid to start something now.”
“Sure. Makes sense.”
A silence fell.
“Yeah, so I probably won’t go to the dance,” Willow said. “I’m not good in that kind of situation anymore.”
“What kind of situation?”
She shook her head. “Never mind. I should get back.”
Willow started to scoot down off the block. I held my hand out to her to help. She hesitated for a fraction of a second and then took it. I held my other hand out and she took that too. I steadied her as she hopped down and then we were standing face to face. Close enough I could see her pale blue eyes had lighter shards of blue in them, like a topaz. Close enough to smell the sweetness of her breath—coffee tinged with sugar. Close enough to dance if we wanted.
“Thanks,” Willow said, gazing up at me.
“Sure,” I said.
I still held her hands. She didn’t let go.
“So,” she breathed, still not moving.
I glanced down at our hands. I hadn’t touched something this soft and good in ages. The sleeve of her coat bunched up and I spied a black mark on the inside of her forearm, close to her wrist. Willow drew in a breath as I turned her hand over. An X, about the size of a quarter, was stark on her pale skin.
She tugged her hands away. “I really need to get back.”
Every instinct cried out to take her hand again, to ask her what the X meant. To lick my thumb and erase it off her skin. I didn’t know what it meant but the sight of it made my stomach feel heavy.
“I doodle when I’m bored. I told you that.” Her voice was sharp but her smile wobbled. “Let’s go.”
We walked the short distance back to town wordlessly. Back in front of the theater, Willow shouldered her bag and glanced around. “Thanks for today. I think Martin would be happy with our progress.”
“I do too.”
God, would he, I thought.
“So, I guess I’ll see you Monday?” she said.
“You have a ride home?”
“Oh, uh…” She still wouldn’t meet my eyes. “I was thinking of walking.”
“To Emerson Hills?” I said. “That’s a mile and a half and it’s getting dark soon.”
She raised her brows. “I’m not allowed to walk in the dark?”
“You’re allowed,” I said, “but I don’t want you to.”
Emma Scott writes romances with flawed characters, characters with artistic hearts: builders, poets, and writers of various makes and models. And love always wins. Always.
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