11 February 2017

Teach Your Heart (Far North #3) by Tracey Alvarez

Teach Your Heart (Far North #3) by Tracey Alvarez.
Audience/Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance.
Publication: November 20, 2016.
Some lessons are harder to learn than others…

Doctor O-for-Awesome Owen Bennett is all about fixing broken things. Then the arrival of his orphaned nieces and nephew for twelve weeks causes his workaholic life to plummet into chaos. Hiring the beautiful but unpredictable Gracie Cooper as a live-in nanny might just get him out of a tight spot…or it could seduce him into a reckless affair.

After four years flitting around Europe, waitress/dog-walker/au-pair Gracie Cooper has returned home to New Zealand. Her plans to hang out with her big brother change when Owen offers a perfect solution to her crippling university debt. In spite of her sexy-stick-in-the-mud boss, she’ll spend fun days playing in Bounty Bay’s sand and surf with three cute kids. At summer’s end she’ll follow the sun overseas again.

Gracie and Owen’s opposites-attract connection is so unexpected and powerful that their foundations are rocked. But some things aren’t easy to fix. Some past hurts can’t be run from forever. And the lessons they teach each other risk breaking their hearts.

Reviewed by Kelly.

I love stories with families. I love stories with broken people. I love happy endings. I love when opposites attract. I got it all!

Owen and Gracie meet by fluke when Gracie finds two of the three kids who kind of ran away from their uncle's home. She brings them home and the next thing you know she is the live in nanny! The kids are homeschooled and Gracie does that too! All while Owen overworks himself as a doctor at the local hospital. But little by little, Gracie and the kids get under Owen's skin and begins to think that maybe he needs to change his priorities. Gracie is an amazing woman. I wish I were more like her, always optimistic and loving and carefree! But even she has problems like the rest of us. I love Owen's inner monologue...

Forget pancakes for breakfast- hand him a spoon so he could scoop her up.

With the three charges, Gracie and Owen find a happy medium and lots of family moments. I love Charlie, she is so adorable that I could just eat her up. Morgan is the teenager that Gracie sees herself and watches out for. William is a Harry Potter and Shark fanatic.

You gotta be willing to be hurt entering the ring, or you'll hide terrified in the corner, never knowing if a fight could win you the match. That's what Mum used to say when I was scared to try something new.

The writing is good. I loved the story line. I haven't read the other books in the series and it isn't an issue if you don't. I loved the characters and all their flaws. I want to move to New Zealand and watch the All Blacks. We almost did move their at one time!

I prefer behind closed door sex. This is not that!

If you like broken families, medicine, sharks, Harry Potter, the beach, New Zealand, All Blacks, tattoos, lost puppies, bus homes, homeschooling, school dances, eating disorders, traveling all over the world then this might be for you!

Gracie squinted into the dim interior and took a few steps inside. She hadn’t noticed the workbench, covered with rags and odd tools and some grease-slicked motor parts, last night. Beside the bench, a weed trimmer was in at least a half-dozen pieces. For a man who looked like dirt or motor oil wouldn’t dare cling to his Teflon-slick surface, he sure had one hell of a man cave.
“You’re going to fix the mower?”
“Nobody else around to do it.” He picked up a metal toolbox and dumped it on the opposite side of the mower to where she stood. “Call it a leftover childhood hobby.”
“Fixing lawn mowers?”
“Fixing anything. Often stuff I’d already fiddled with and screwed up.”
“You taught yourself to repair things?”
He shook his head. “My dad taught me, mostly. He used to work as a mechanic before he met my mum. Think I got my love of figuring out how things work from him.”
“You didn’t want to become a mechanic like your dad?”
A cloud passed over Owen’s face then disappeared. “Not after I decided fixing people was way more interesting than fixing a motor.”
“I guess there’s a different kind of job satisfaction in that. Your family must be proud.”
His tone was so carefully neutral, Gracie couldn’t work out if there was an undercurrent of sarcasm beneath the word.
“So your parents still live in a house bus? The same one you lived in as a kid?”
A beat of silence followed while Owen stared into his open toolbox. After a moment, he selected a spanner and replied, “The very same.”
“And your siblings? You all grew up in the house bus?”
“Yup.” He crouched beside the lawn mower, slitting his eyes at it as if the thing had defied a direct order. “Think the spark plug is dirty.”
With two older brothers, Gracie was familiar with the male I don’t want to discuss this vibe. Rationally, she should back off and leave him alone. Emotionally, he’d piqued her curiosity, and she couldn’t resist jabbing the sleeping bear a bit more.
“So…no other awesome doctors in the family?”
He angled his chin, a grimace pulling down his mouth. “I don’t encourage that nickname in adult company; it makes me sound like an arrogant dick.”
Yep, she, too, had been guilty of an uncomplimentary first impression. But after meeting Owen, the nickname was actually kinda adorable. “Who started it?”
“One of my fellow interns, during training in Auckland. They called me ‘O’, and after one of our most grueling double shifts, one tagged me as ‘Doctor O-for-Overworked.’ My mate Simon deemed ‘O-for-Awesome’ funnier, and somehow it bloody stuck. It’s since followed me to Bounty Bay, and I suspect Simon contacted one of the triage nurses on the sly.”
He shot her a grin that caused a low flutter in her belly.
“The nurses introduce me to kids as Doctor O-for-Awesome—sometimes it distracts them for a moment; sometimes it makes them smile. It’s worth an embarrassing nickname then,” he added.
“I’m sure the patients you save think it’s very apt.” She gave her watch a pointed glance. “I’d better get myself and the girls ready.”
She backed out of the garage and hurried into the guest room to shower and change. If she woke in an emergency cubicle to see Owen’s face above her, she’d smile, too. Hey, a hottie doctor was easy on the eyes, but not a threat to her equilibrium.
But the guy tinkering with a mower, grease on his hands and scruff along his jaw…
The guy exposing a sliver of his vulnerable self he was probably unaware of…
That guy popped her bubble of safe distance he probably hadn’t even noticed her hiding behind.

Tracey Alvarez is a USA Today Bestselling Author living in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand). Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.

Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.

When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found with her nose in her e-reader, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.

Follow Tracey on Twitter as @TraceyAlvrezNZ or Facebook as http://www.facebook.com/TraceyAlvarezAuthor

Her website is http://www.traceyalvarez.com and don't forget to sign up to her newsletter here: http://bit.ly/JR3Asu

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