Hearts at Play (Love in Bloom: The Bradens Book 6)

Hearts at Play (Love in Bloom: The Bradens Book 6)

by Melissa Foster

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Discover the magic of New York Times bestseller Melissa Foster's writing, and see why millions of readers have fallen in love. The Bradens are a series of stand-alone romances that may also be enjoyed as part of the larger Love in Bloom series.
"You can always rely on Melissa Foster to deliver a story that's fresh, emotional and entertaining. Make sure you have all night, because once you start you won't want to stop reading. Every book's a winner!" NYT Bestselling Author Brenda Novak

" With her wonderful characters and resonating emotions, Melissa Foster is a must-read author!" New York Times Bestseller Julie Kenner

"Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!" New York Times Bestseller Lauren Blakely
HEARTS AT PLAY is a GOLD MEDAL WINNER in the Readers' Favorite Awards - Romance Sizzle Category
"Impressive and sweet and swoon-worthy...Melissa Foster struck the perfect balance, making the story real and lovely." -- Readers Favorite
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?

WANT MORE BRADENS? All Braden books can be read as stand-alone novels or as part of the series:
Lovers at Heart, Reimagined (Treat & Max)
Destined for Love (Rex & Jade)
Friendship on Fire (Josh & Riley)
Sea of Love (Dane & Lacy)
Bursting with Love (Savannah & Jack)
Hearts at Play (Hugh & Bree)

The Bradens are part of the Love in Bloom big family romance collection. Characters from each sub-series appear in future books. Read the complete Love in Bloom series:
Sisters in Love
Sisters in Bloom
Sisters in White

Taken by Love (Luke)
Fated for Love (Wes)
Romancing My Love (Pierce)
Flirting with Love (Ross)
Dreaming of Love (Emily)
Crashing into Love (Jake)
Promise My Love (Rex & Jade's Wedding Novella)
**Best if read after Weston & Trusty Bradens**
Game of Love (Dex)
Stroke of Love (Sage)
Flames of Love (Siena)
Slope of Love (Rush)
Read, Write, Love (Kurt)

Seaside Dreams (Bella)
Seaside Hearts (Jenna)
Seaside Sunsets (Jamie)
Seaside Secrets (Amy)
Seaside Nights (Sky)
Seaside Embrace (Hunter)
Seaside Lovers (Grayson)
Seaside Whispers (Matt)
THE BRADENS (Peaceful Harbor, MD)
Healed by Love (Nate)
Surrender My Love (Cole)
River of Love (Sam)
Crushing on Love (Shannon)
Whisper of Love (Tempest)
Thrill of Love (Ty)
"...love, loss, lies, grief, finding happiness in the face of adversity, romance, humor, bravery, hot hot hot sex scenes, marriages, births and totally awesome characters." --Supportive Business Moms, UK

"Like Nora Roberts, Melissa Foster has captivated me with her fantastic, sexy, romantic stories." K. Winning
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented.

Foster's love stories are perfect steamy romance beach reads for fans of Susan Mallery, Linda Lael Miller, Brenda Novak, Debbie Macomber, Jill Shalvis, Maisy Yates, and other big-family, small-town romance fans. The characters are romantic and loyal, some are billionaires, others are blue collar, and you're always guaranteed a happily ever after.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940148180821
Publisher: World Literary Press
Publication date: 01/08/2014
Series: Love in Bloom: The Bradens at Weston, CO Series , #6
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 300
Sales rank: 10,307
File size: 915 KB

About the Author

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance and new adult romance lovers who enjoy reading about loyal, wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines with complex relatable issues.

Melissa also writes sweet romance under the pen name, Addison Cole.

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Hearts at Play (The Bradens, Book Six: Love in Bloom, Book #9) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
clahain1 More than 1 year ago
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.
Aiesa1 More than 1 year ago
 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. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok, i think Hugh was my absolute favorite Braeden. I think because we saw him grow and evolve in each book. I just loved watching him fall in love.
Anonymous 5 months ago
RenWar More than 1 year ago
As a Grand Prix driver, Hugh Braden know all about the limelight and everything that goes along with it. He’s dated actresses, models, debutants the whole gamut. He’s used to having his pick and being in charge but, as a favor to his mechanic, he goes on a blind date thinking he will have a drink or two with this woman and call it a night. What he encounters at the small town bar is something he’s never thought he wanted, something that will change his life forever. Brianna Heart is a talented photographer and a single mom, working two jobs and doing what she thinks is best to build a safe, stable life for herself and her six year old daughter. She has a plan, that doesn’t include any man, and she’s managed to stick to it for the past six years. Only 12 more to go. Her waitressing job at the local bar puts food on their table, pays most of the bills, and has provided her with friends who are willing to watch over and protect her and Layla. When Hugh’s blind date turns out to be the town gold-digger and loudmouth, he extracts himself as quickly as possible and decides to return to the bar the next night to see if he can get the beautiful waitress to go out with him, but she keeps him at arm’s length and tries to ignore him. What will it take to win her over, and why is it so important to him that he does? Hugh and Bri’s story is truly heart-warming. It’s an awakening for both of them as they come to the realization that they need each other and that this need will not disrupt their lives but will surely enrich them. The interaction between the main characters is flawless, especially between Layla and Hugh. This is now my favorite Braden story. If you have followed the Braden’s at all, you cannot miss this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So sweet. Author knows how to touch our hearts
CassandraNZ More than 1 year ago
Hearts at Play is book #9 in the Love in Bloom series and is book #6 in the Bradens at Weston. CO series but can be read as a standalone. Brianna Heart is a waitress in a bar in rural Virginia, not too far from one of Hugh’s homes and part time photographer’s assistant with a six year old daughter, Layla and a twelve year plan to keep her life simplified with no male attachments or drama until her daughter turns eighteen. Hugh Braden, Capital Series Grand Prix racer who is used to media hungry leggy models and money hungry fan girls. The last thing he wants or needs is to be set up on a blind date by one of his best friends. Hugh expected his blind date to go poorly but he did not expect to be magnetically drawn and attracted to a beautiful, brown eyed bartender who completely ignores him, having no idea who he is. She is constantly in his every thought after their first meeting at the bar. Hugh makes some Hugh changes in his life. This is my favourite book in the Bradens at Weston. CO series. Another great book from Melissa. **CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it! A beautiful love story. This was one of my favorite Braden stories. Hugh, Brianna, and Layla did not disappoint. Thus ended the Bradens of Weston, Colorado and on to other sexy and beautiful family members. LA-TXN
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Hearts at Play is part of a series, but I haven’t read all the previous volumes, so I started in with no preconceptions about the characters. That said, I was swiftly caught up the story of Hugh and Brianna; one a risk-taking driver known for his many women friends, the other risk-averse, eager to protect her fatherless child. Backgrounds are quickly and convincingly sketched, making this a great standalone romance, though it will probably encourage readers to find out more about the wonderful side characters. With friends and fates conspiring equally, it’s hard to imagine how Hugh or Brianna might honestly fall in love, but romance has its own conspiracy, and this story proceeds with a pleasing sense of hope and mystery. Plans might be thwarted, but frustrations never rise too high, and gratification is sensibly delayed as true love brings real questions and doubts. “She’s different from anyone I’ve ever met. She’s more real. She’s responsible, sweet, careful. She’s very careful,” says Hugh. And this is a tale where love doesn’t have to leap into risk, though the bedroom scenes are complete and detailed with plenty of sensuality—and fun. Life’s carousel spins full circle by the end of this novel, healing the past and offering a whole new outlook with even the chance to “believe in fairy tales.” It's a book that plays well, loves well, and reads like an enjoyable race into the happy ever after. Disclosure: I can’t remember how I got it, but I’m offering my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I must say this is my favorite of the Love in Bloom series so far.The way Hugh does a complete 180 is amazes me. Only thing I don't care for is how wishy washy Bree is. Otherwise love the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ssmommie75TB More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading Hugh and Bree's love story.  It was even more enjoyable because Hugh realized from the beginning that Layla and Bree  were a package deal.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite In Hearts at Play, it is time to get acquainted with Grand Prix racer Hugh Braden and single mom Brianna Heart. Hugh is used to living his life fast, both on and off the track. Beautiful women, glamorous parties and overzealous fan girls are the norm in his life, so when his crew chief, Art, suggests a blind date with a woman deemed “perfect” for him, Hugh is prepared for the worst. What he did not expect was the beautiful bartender not giving him a second thought. Brianna can spot a player a mile away and she pegs Hugh from the start, refusing to indulge in his flirtations or acknowledge his McDreamy-like appearance. Through Melissa Foster’s incredible words we see just how determined Brianna is to make a good life for her and six-year-old cutie, Layla. She’s sworn off men until her daughter is 18, but when her life gets thrown for a loop, it’s Hugh who steps up to give her a helping hand. Melissa Foster has given us yet another amazing Braden tale. Hugh has lived his life the way he wants without regard to how a revolving door of long-legged beauties may affect his future. In Hearts at Play, that future becomes mighty present and Hugh comes through with flying colors. What made this story so impressive and sweet and swoon-worthy is that Hugh is great, even with his flaws and very public predilection for beautiful women. Bree is tough but tender, and is willing to judge Hugh on his own deeds rather than on Layla’s father’s bad deeds. It can be tricky to write a romance with a single mom without making her overbearing or too ready to settle down with a supposed ‘good guy’. Melissa Foster struck the perfect balance, making the story real and lovely.
ysar More than 1 year ago
Brianna 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. The Verdict: Today, 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the last week I have read all of sires and I want more I cant stop thinking bout these books and how great they are.... they are a must read!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Toss in your purse or add to your nook. All are recommened.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bxr4me More than 1 year ago
You cannot go wrong with a book by Melissa Foster and the Bradens series does not disappoint.
Angela_Peay More than 1 year ago
I love all of Melissa Foster's books, but I think this one is my favorite so far...
kydirtgirl68 More than 1 year ago
Brianna only has one goal to work hard and make sure her daughter Layla has everything she needs. Being a single mom she has sworn to never to have a relationship until Layla is eighteen. She isn't prepared for when a sexy stranger walks into the bar she is working at one night makes her rethink putting men off. Hugh is tired of all the drama and the girls only looking for fame. He is in town for a race and just wants to stay away from all media. When he sees Brianna he is immediately attracted to her and wants to know more. Hugh has to make her see he isn't going to break her heart or hurt her daughter. She deserves some happiness in her life and he is the man to make her happy. He just has to make her see that. Brianna is a wonderful mother and works hard to provide for her. She did it all by herself for a while until her mother finally came back around. She is used to being alone and afraid to have her own life. Hugh is a famous race car driver who is getting tired of all the nonsense. He just wants to race to have fun without all the media and crazy women. He is cutting back his schedule so he can have more time for the real things in life. He is so sweet and thoughtful you just want to grab him for yourself. Since I met this family I have been waiting for Hugh's story. I love anything to do with racing and I kept wondering who Hugh would find. I figured it would be some sponsors daughter or even a rival female racer. But nope he falls for a single mom and I have to say Brianna is a better match for him than I ever would have thought. She brings out the softer, sweeter side in him and makes him so much more lovable. I love Hugh with Layla and how he is always putting her first even though she isn't his. He has to convince Brianna she should have a life and that he does care for her. I love him so much in this book. I will say a few times I wanted to smack Brianna and say look what you have don't ruin it. No one can ever say she isn't a wonderful mother. Both Hugh and Brianna are wonderful together as they bring out the best in each other. I love the ending of this book and I hate to say goodbye to this family. I hope to continue to see them in other series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
gaele More than 1 year ago
The second that I have read in this series, Melissa Foster is wrapping up the Braden clan by finding them their match.  I’m a sucker for a romance when I know, as I turn the first page, that the story will have a happy ending, reading is an escape and I want to leave that world with a smile.  Brianna is a single mum, she is, like many single mothers out there, entirely dedicated to her child and doing the best for her possible.  With a twelve year plan to take her to her daughter turns 18: men, dating and the concept of love are not on her radar. Hugh is the fast-paced celebrity brother: a grand prix racer he goes through women like his race team does tires.  Tall, leggy, easy on the eye and not requiring commitments, his intention and desire to find a lasting relationship is negligible.   When Hugh spots Brianna he is instantly intrigued: so different from those he is used to encountering, she doesn’t even know who he is or what he does.  Her casual responses, while friendly are distant and he is far more used to having women falling over him, knowing who he is and how his position can improve their lives.   Hugh makes some huge changes in his life: he wants Brianna and will need to drop that ‘rico suave’ exterior to show her that he has a heart and they stand a chance.  Brianna is so focused on keeping Layla happy, even to the detriment of her own life, that she is unwilling to allow a man in.  But, like all good things, plans change and Briana needs to face some of her own insecurities to take a chance at a family that will be more than she ever imagined.  Characters are well defined and portrayed, with real emotions and insecurities that feel natural and familiar to all readers.  While the instant attraction and connection was a bit farfetched, and made hash of Brianna’s ‘set in stone life plan’, it did show how futile such rigid planning can be.  Foster manages to incorporate real world concerns that will resonate with many, and while making this a romance, the omnipresent issue of family and children first kept the reader aware of the choices and how difficult it is to balance all the concerns with everyone’s best interests at heart.  A great installment in the series, I do need to go back and read the earlier books in the series, but I didn’t find a great lack of understanding or information jumping into the series at the end.   I received an eArc copy from the author via Tasty Book Tours for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.