{Review} Hearts at Play by Melissa Foster


{Review} Hearts at Play by Melissa FosterHearts at Play by Melissa Foster
Series: , The Bradens #6
Publisher: World Literary Press (Self-Published) on March 9, 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
Pages: 349

Our Rating

5 Stars

Brianna Heart has a six-year old daughter and a twelve-year plan to keep her life as simple as possible until Layla turns eighteen. That means swearing off relationships and the drama that goes along with them, working two jobs, and being the best damn mother she can be.

The last thing Capital Series Grand Prix racer Hugh Braden wants after dating media-hungry leggy models and money-hungry fan girls is a blind date. But how could he turn down a favor to one of his best friends? Hugh expected the date to go poorly, but he didn't expect to be intensely attracted to the beautiful brown-eyed bartender who completely blows him off--and steals his every thought thereafter.

When Brianna's perfectly orchestrated life turns upside down, Hugh is there to help, softening the turmoil, and maybe even rescuing her heart from the lonely place where it has been hiding. Can a man who doesn't believe in fate and a woman who doesn't believe in true love find happiness in each other's arms forever?

This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.

ReasonsToReadBrianna Heart has been playing it safe for six years now, ever since she became a mother and realized that nothing in the world was more important than her child’s happiness — not even her own.  Between juggling jobs and raising her daughter Layla, she doesn’t have time for dating, and she certainly doesn’t want to introduce some guy to Layla just to have him leave when things don’t work out.

Hugh Braden has been living it up, capitalizing on his fame to live life his way, without commitments tethering him down.  The last thing he’s looking for is safe and stable, but when he meets a cautious but beautiful waitress, his carefree non-plan goes out the window.


TheVerdictToday, the role of ysar is being played by the giant puddle of mush left after reading this book.

Clearly, I read a lot of romance.  Some of it’s funny or sweet or sizzling hot, and occasionally I’ll come across something that has me watching for the opportunity to grab a free copy of something else.  But rarely do I dip into whatever money I’ve managed to put aside for overdue bills in order to buy everything I can get my hands on.  I might have done that here, with this series.  And it might (assuming “might” means “omg, absolutely!”) have been totally worth it.

Hearts at Play is easily one of the sweetest love stories I’ve ever read, without once making me roll my eyes or think, “Well, of course it’s sweet; it’s obviously fiction.”  Hugh is damned near perfect — without being utterly cheesy and overdone — and Brianna is so damned believable that she’s got to be based on someone real.  Perhaps it’s because I grew up with a parent who tried so hard to date responsibly, without introducing me or my brother to anyone who might not stick around, that I so totally understood Bree.  Whatever it was, I was beyond thrilled when Layla was mentioned, and I was completely sucked in and ultimately blown away by their story.  Not only do I want my own Hugh, but I’m pretty sure I want my own Layla — because, damn, that kid’s cute.

What’s really telling, though, is that I sat here and absorbed every bit of the end of the story.  I’m not in a habit of skipping endings, mind you, but generally when a wedding is looming, I begin to mentally check out, skimming past the way-too-fluffy vows and so-romantic-I-want-to-puke ceremony.  In fact, I’m usually cringing much earlier than that, when whatever silly antics masquerading as a proposal are foreshadowed.  But I’m pretty sure I lived and breathed this one, and if I didn’t know better, I’d say I might have even experienced something reminiscent of emotion — something I try to avoid at all costs unless it involves spoiling a dog or celebrating an unopened pack of cigarettes magically produced by my couch cushions.  If this keeps up, I might actually start acting like a girl!

The whole Love in Bloom series is just amazing, and if you’ve read my reviews so far, you know I’m ridiculously addicted.  It goes without saying that anyone who loves a good love story should grab them all, but believe me, Hearts at Play is the one that will own you.




About Melissa Foster

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author.

She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women's fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog,

Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café.

When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on The Women's Nest, Fostering Success, or World Lit Cafe. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.


Author: ysar

ysar is a book, blog, and design junkie who would be lost without a mile-long to-do list. Find more of her random crap at ysar.info

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