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on 27 February 2014
Brianna Heart (Bree) is a young single mother who has put her dating life on hold to bring up her young daughter Layla but her resolve is threatened when handsome racer Hugh Braden walks into the bar she's working in. The sparks between them are electric, so will he be able to break down her barriers to allow him to date her?

This was definitely my favourite book in the series as both Bree and Hugh were sweethearts. Even though I'm not a mum myself I totally understood Bree's reasoning for her plan to not date until her daughter was much older, but at the same time I loved how Hugh was doing everything to prove to her that he was not a playboy race car driver who would break hers and Layla's hearts. His dedication to the both was so heartwarming and there was one scene in particular involving him and Layla that made my heart melt...

As with most of the other books in the series there are cameo appearances with the rest of the family which I loved as I may have mentioned one or two times before, I love reading book series as getting to see the characters develop over the series. And it definitely wouldn't be a Melissa Foster romance novel without some steamy bedroom action involved...

I'm actually a little sad that I've finished this book as it now means that I have come to the end of the original 9 books in the Love in Bloom series featuring the Snow Sisters and the Braden family.

But the good news for me, and for other fans of the series, is that there will now be a further 5 books in the series featuring the brothers and sister of Jack Remington who we have already met in Bursting with Love. I definitely plan to read all of these books at some stage in the future once I've cleared a few more from my reviews backlog.
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on 14 July 2014
HEARTS AT PLAY is book six in Melissa Foster's "The Bradens" contemporary romance series. This one focuses on race car driver Hugh Braden and single mother Brianna Heart. Hugh lives the standard wealthy playboy lifestyle--lots of cash, fast cars and women. But he's getting weary of all the flash and glamour. I wouldn't say he's actively looking for true love. More that he's at that point where people who've found success stop and ask, "Is this all there is?" Brianna is a waitress in a bar in rural Virginia, not too far from one of Hugh's homes. He comes in for a (disastrously funny) blind date and falls for Bree. But she's given up on men and dating--at least until her young daughter hits eighteen.

And so begins a race for Happily Ever After.

As we've come to expect from Foster, HEARTS AT PLAY is populated with likable, well-realized characters. Even Bree's daughter (Layla) lives and breathes and has an active part in the story. Too often kids in romance novels are no more than window dressing, or, worse, a means to evoke instant reader emotion--just add "cute" and stir! Foster is a better writer than that. She builds Hugh's relationship with Layla in parallel to his relationship with her mother, and we see all three characters blossom.

Another way HEARTS AT PLAY stands out is in the focus on Hugh's point of view. Usually it's the heroine of a romance novel who gets the most air time. Here, though, attention is weighted toward Hugh's efforts to come to grips with his changing personal values and his determination to win over Bree...and Layla.

This book doesn't have the thematic heft of some of the others in the series. Both LOVERS AT HEART and SEA OF LOVE deal with scary real-world situations like sexual violence and serious phobias--the kind of crippling fear that scars the memory and stifles living. HEARTS AT PLAY is lighter. The conflict can seem a little forced in places. The kind of molehills-for-mountains stuff that makes you want to knock the main characters' heads together and order them to get over themselves.

On the whole, though, HEARTS AT PLAY is a fun, touching book. Well worth an afternoon curled up on the sofa with your Kindle and a cup of tea.
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on 19 February 2014
How does Melissa Foster do it? She has another hit on her hand, one that I really connect with again. This is the perfect book to end The Bradens part of the series. This time it is Hugh's turn to find love. In previous books, you can tell that he was getting a little tired of the playboy life. Well, he is definitely hit over the head with love, when he experiences love at first site. Brianna is different from every other woman Hugh has met. Of course Brianna thinks that she is done with men, at least until her daughter turns 18. Just like in real life, she is thrown a curve ball.

I really identified with this book because when my husband and I started dating, I had a young daughter. My daughter was a baby, but I sill had to make sure that my husband knew we were a complete package. It is difficult because you want to make sure that your child doesn't get hurt in the process. Melissa Foster does a wonderful job of dealing with the inner conflicts that a single mother deals with, not to mention that Brianna has to deal with Hugh being a celebrity. Melissa Foster does a great job of making you feel for the characters.

There are many books in this series, but they fit together so well. You don't have to read the whole series. All of the books can be read as stand alone books, but I strongly urge you to read all of them. You will fall in love with all of the characters, the settings, and Melissa Foster's writing style. Hopefully, these books will speak to you, like they do to me. My only warning is that their are adult situations in this book that are not appropriate for all ages.

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours</a>, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
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on 14 February 2015
Throughout the series Hugh has been the one that lives life in the fast lane. Always dropping in and out of the family events, he loved his family but he needed his next thrill. Until Sea of Love,when we began to see a different side to him. He wanted to spend more time with Dane. Now a few months on and Hugh meets Brianna.

Brianna or Bree and little Layla found a way into my heart. I loved them from the very first pages. Bree is a kind caring and protective mother to little Layla everything she does is for that girl. I mean she hasn’t even looked at a man in 6 years, yes SIX years! She has so many walls around her heart I thought Hugh was never going to be able to break them down.

Hugh is like the rest of his family loyal, kind, caring and loving. He loves living life in the fast lane but watching all his siblings settle down he realises he’s a bit lonely. He wants that special someone in his life.

Kat and Mack were very good friends to Bree. I loved how straight talking no nonsense Kat was. She gave it to Bree like it was.

I love how Treat has a special relationship with each of his siblings. He cares about all of them with his big damn heart. Helping each of them exactly when they need it.

The end of this book was so sweet. I had little happy tears. It was the perfect ending to this series.

I’m so sad this is the last Braden’s book. The whole family has stolen my heart.
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on 24 September 2014
Wow!! Melissa Foster your truly talented author, I can't get enough of this series n character's. I loved the story of there courting and how loved blossomed between them, his thoughtfulness towards layla was beautiful, wow!! All the broadens are spoken for now, Remmingtons turn now!!! Hmmmm more hotties and sexy encounters no doubt... One more thing yay Max n Treat going be parent's can't wait for more from this family n growing all the time...5 * n more
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on 14 November 2015
We have has little glimpses if Hugh through this series, always dropping in and out of the family events, he loved his family but he needed his next thrill. Until Sea of Love, when we started to see a different side of him. He wanted to spend more time with Dane. Now a few months on and Hugh meets Brianna.

Brianna (Bree) and her daughter Layla are lovely. Bree is a kind caring and protective mother to little Layla everything she does is for that girl. She has so many walls around her heart I thought Hugh was never going to be able to break them down. She has not let a man at all.

Hugh is like the rest of his family loyal, kind, caring and loving. He loves living life in the fast lane but watching all his siblings settle down he realises he’s a bit lonely. He wants that special someone in his life.

I loved reading about these two and also having family members pop up a long the way. Great series and can not wait to read the next one.
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on 27 May 2014
Excellent ending to the Braden Family lives and romances. Love in Bloom series: The Bradens is a must for die hard romantics! Each book within the series has you loving each and ever character...Whisking you into their lives and loves.
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on 10 February 2014
A well-planned, a well thought out plan is what Brianna had for her life. A plan for her and her 6 year old daughter. Nowhere in her strategy outline did it include Hugh Braden, a Grand Prix racer, who was more than well known for his ladies man antics. Then on the other hand, Hugh was not expecting to be drawn to Brianna like a magnet. To have his heart taken over by her adorable daughter. Like usual, Melissa Foster injects loving and caring personalities into these characters. Throw in some drama, romance and of course her signature spice and you have another awesome installment to this series. I have really enjoyed this series and await the next book. I give Hearts at Play a huge 5 STARS.
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on 10 May 2014
If you read nothing else this summer you just have to read the Braden series of books. Once you start on book one you won't be able to resist reading all the others. Don't hesitate, buy them now !!
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on 11 January 2014
Melissa Foster has done it again! These Braden brothers are all so different in character yet each of them is lovable in their own way. The deep feeling of family that runs through each book and the different aspects of the females coming into the Braden men's lives makes for wonderful stories. This book is about the youngest brother, Hugh, a racing car driver and previous player, who upon meeting Bree in a bar very quickly falls in love with her and her cute daughter Layla. As with each book, there are testing times ahead but family and an HEA will put a big smile on your face. Roll on the Remingtons!
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