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Perfect Harmony: Unfinished Business / Local Hero

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Unfinished Business Vanessa Sexton used to know what she wanted…glamour, fame and applause. At sixteen, answers were simple and dreams were cheap. But at twenty-eight nothing is easy. Not even going home. She misses her mother, but she can't even say the word mom. She wants peace and space to figure out the future, but rational thought is impossible when she's around Brady Unfinished Business Vanessa Sexton used to know what she wanted…glamour, fame and applause. At sixteen, answers were simple and dreams were cheap. But at twenty-eight nothing is easy. Not even going home. She misses her mother, but she can't even say the word mom. She wants peace and space to figure out the future, but rational thought is impossible when she's around Brady Tucker, her first love—her only love. Everyone wants a piece of her, but how can Vanessa give herself away when she's not even sure who she is anymore? Local Hero Hester Wallace is proud of her independence. She only needs one man in her life—her nine-year-old son, Radley. But when Rad starts idolizing their neighbor Mitch Dempsey, Hester begins to wonder if she's been cheating her son out of a male role model he desperately needs. Hester would do anything for Rad, but inviting Mitch into their lives is dangerous. Because she might start to rely on Mitch—on his comfort, on his humor, on his passion. Or worse, she might fall in love with him.


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Unfinished Business Vanessa Sexton used to know what she wanted…glamour, fame and applause. At sixteen, answers were simple and dreams were cheap. But at twenty-eight nothing is easy. Not even going home. She misses her mother, but she can't even say the word mom. She wants peace and space to figure out the future, but rational thought is impossible when she's around Brady Unfinished Business Vanessa Sexton used to know what she wanted…glamour, fame and applause. At sixteen, answers were simple and dreams were cheap. But at twenty-eight nothing is easy. Not even going home. She misses her mother, but she can't even say the word mom. She wants peace and space to figure out the future, but rational thought is impossible when she's around Brady Tucker, her first love—her only love. Everyone wants a piece of her, but how can Vanessa give herself away when she's not even sure who she is anymore? Local Hero Hester Wallace is proud of her independence. She only needs one man in her life—her nine-year-old son, Radley. But when Rad starts idolizing their neighbor Mitch Dempsey, Hester begins to wonder if she's been cheating her son out of a male role model he desperately needs. Hester would do anything for Rad, but inviting Mitch into their lives is dangerous. Because she might start to rely on Mitch—on his comfort, on his humor, on his passion. Or worse, she might fall in love with him.

30 review for Perfect Harmony: Unfinished Business / Local Hero

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shelly

    Nora Roberts is one of the only authors whose novellas I enjoy. While they are obvious in how they will turn out and formulatic, she manages to give the characters some depth. This is a good, quick read for a trip or the beach.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Terri Palermo

    Two stories being re-released in this volume. I realized once I started that I had read the stories before but long enough ago that I was happy to re-read them. Both really good, early Nora.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    I did enjoy this story, just thought maybe it was a little too unrealistic; they didn't even have any time to get to know each other - things just went too fast. While his career as a comic book writer was entertaining, there just wasn't enough time to create a good chemistry between the two main characters. I did enjoy this story, just thought maybe it was a little too unrealistic; they didn't even have any time to get to know each other - things just went too fast. While his career as a comic book writer was entertaining, there just wasn't enough time to create a good chemistry between the two main characters.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Janine

    I like Nora Roberts. As always, I liked the storyline, the development and interaction of the characters. I just found this particular story to be predictable and in some ways similar to another of her stories.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    Pretty predictable. Brady is such a well-developed character, though. Loved him! Vanessa, in the other hand, is pretty boring to me. But I enjoyed this novel. It's good but it doesn't take my breath away. Pretty predictable. Brady is such a well-developed character, though. Loved him! Vanessa, in the other hand, is pretty boring to me. But I enjoyed this novel. It's good but it doesn't take my breath away.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I really enjoyed both stories in this book! Both stories were very interesting and hard to put down. I really enjoy romance stories by Nora Roberts, I highly recommend this book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    I was kinda surprised to know that Nora Roberts write this kind of novel before she became a suspense writer. Anyway, It's a good story but kinda typical that I've already predicted the ending. I was kinda surprised to know that Nora Roberts write this kind of novel before she became a suspense writer. Anyway, It's a good story but kinda typical that I've already predicted the ending.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Niki

    Love Nora Roberts and all of her books they are fast, easy, fun romances.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    just started this book... we'll see how it goes,it sounds familiar, like I've read it before... Maybe I did!! lol I have so many! just started this book... we'll see how it goes,it sounds familiar, like I've read it before... Maybe I did!! lol I have so many!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Predictable. Boring. Expected. Nora Efron could do better. Seems like it was written just to be written and without any real thought about story or plot or character

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Two stories in one book. 1. UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Vanessa Sexton returns to her hometown after the death of her father to get some answers to some questions from her mother. She has been gone for twelve years and doesn’t really know her mother. She is an accomplished piano prodigy, who her father took away from her mother at the age of 16 to play in concert halls all over the world. Now she is back at home to get the answers she needs from her mother and her old boyfriend, Brady Tucker. 2. LOCAL HE Two stories in one book. 1. UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Vanessa Sexton returns to her hometown after the death of her father to get some answers to some questions from her mother. She has been gone for twelve years and doesn’t really know her mother. She is an accomplished piano prodigy, who her father took away from her mother at the age of 16 to play in concert halls all over the world. Now she is back at home to get the answers she needs from her mother and her old boyfriend, Brady Tucker. 2. LOCAL HERO: Hester Wallace is a single mom with a nine year old son, Ridley, who just moved into a new apartment in New York City and is starting a new job at a bank on Monday. After she finishes unpacking, she calls and orders pizza. The pizza happens to be delivered to the wrong apartment but the guy at that apartment decides to deliver the pizza himself since he had seen Hester earlier in the day and was intrigued by her. Meanwhile, her son, Ridley, is in love with his favorite comic book character, Commander Zark, Defender of the Universe, Leader of Perth. So read on in this story to see how these worlds collide!

  12. 5 out of 5

    K.T. Egan

    I absolutely loved Vanessa in Unfinished Business. Roberts did a wonderful job of creating tension between 'Van' and her mother Loretta, using her deceased father as a pivotal tool in the tensions between the rest of the characters. Even when Vanessa's health is in jeopardy, due to a stomach ulcer created by her rigorous pianist touring schedule and her grief over her father's death and the unexpected reasons why her mother and father's marriage did not work out, she is not trying too hard to pl I absolutely loved Vanessa in Unfinished Business. Roberts did a wonderful job of creating tension between 'Van' and her mother Loretta, using her deceased father as a pivotal tool in the tensions between the rest of the characters. Even when Vanessa's health is in jeopardy, due to a stomach ulcer created by her rigorous pianist touring schedule and her grief over her father's death and the unexpected reasons why her mother and father's marriage did not work out, she is not trying too hard to play upon the reader's sympathy. Instead, she created a character that was strong enough to not need pity but was human enough to eventually admit that she needed help. And let's not forget Brady, the hunky, mischievous doctor of our dreams. This was the second time I've read Local Hero and I still loved it. Of course, any grown adult whose kid enough to love writing comic books and bonding with a ten year old is a keeper. And the fact that the kid is such a big part of the story is truly endearing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Gottschalk

    The title of this one is a slight misnomer as the book was almost exactly what I have come to expect from Roberts. 'Unexpected' provides two easy to read, comforting romance stories which are remarkably satisfying and perfect for when you want to escape from life's stresses and strains. The only surprise was that this is two novellas in one volume rather than a longer single story. Both stories had a similar plot (think romantic second chances) but they were different enough to keep my interest al The title of this one is a slight misnomer as the book was almost exactly what I have come to expect from Roberts. 'Unexpected' provides two easy to read, comforting romance stories which are remarkably satisfying and perfect for when you want to escape from life's stresses and strains. The only surprise was that this is two novellas in one volume rather than a longer single story. Both stories had a similar plot (think romantic second chances) but they were different enough to keep my interest all the way through. Fans of Roberts won't be disappointed, provided they don't mind the 'same stuff, different day' vibe.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    Good quick read for the typical “romance” novel happily ever after ending, which are my favorite! The first story was a lot better than the second, but both good reads for something light hearted and fun.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    Good light read in Nora Roberts usual "happy-ever-after" style. These novellas also published under title Unexpected Good light read in Nora Roberts usual "happy-ever-after" style. These novellas also published under title Unexpected

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mildred Rupert

    Two really great stories in one book by a really great author. I always did enjoy reading books done by Nora Roberts.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Darlene Otet

    Two books in one. Enjoyed them both, very much. Good, easy, romance!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    2011 - Had It - Read It - Local Hero - comic book writer & artist

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maura

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Unfinished Business - 3/5 - Another Nora Roberts that frustrates me...she seems to have this theme in some of her early stories where the long lost child comes home after years without contact and instead of a round of explanations, the characters evade. Vanessa, a piano player, has not seen or heard from her mother in 12 years...after her father took her on a concert piano tour and her mother never fought to keep her with her or stay in touch. For that matter, there's Brady (the hero) who stood Unfinished Business - 3/5 - Another Nora Roberts that frustrates me...she seems to have this theme in some of her early stories where the long lost child comes home after years without contact and instead of a round of explanations, the characters evade. Vanessa, a piano player, has not seen or heard from her mother in 12 years...after her father took her on a concert piano tour and her mother never fought to keep her with her or stay in touch. For that matter, there's Brady (the hero) who stood her up for the prom, 2 days before she left, and never kept in touch either. Now most people, I would think, would come back and start searching for answers. Vanessa, does not. Instead, she decides she's not ready for the answers, or she hears part of an explanation and gets so emotionally worked up that she can't hear anymore. She puts off knowing why her mother let her go for over a month! How realistic is that? Instead of a demanding an explanation from Brady, she tells herself that it was so long in the past that it hardly matters - which is bullshit since she rails about it at least twice in the first 30% of the book. We're 50% in before we learn the real reason Brady didn't show up for prom. But I guess we can't have full explanations within a month of returning, or the book wouldn't actually work. The romance is slightly better, but no less frustrating. Vanessa needs to find herself and learn about who she is and what she wants, and that's great. But then she has no business getting into a relationship with a guy when she doesn't know what she wants. Her actions IMHO were a bit selfish - especially (view spoiler)[ as she pretty much ends up breaking his heart in search of herself... but I understand why she had to do it. I just think she should have asked him for time BEFORE she started the physical relationship. (hide spoiler)] And why is it so difficult for him to understand that she needs to figure things out before she can offer him anything? I just didn't understand these two very well. And honestly, despite all the complaints listed, my inability to understand the characters or their behavior, the story was engaging and I enjoyed reading it. I liked it, but found myself with a lot of questions after reading. Local Hero - 2/5 - Hester and her son, Radley (awful name!) move into a Manhattan apartment building and find themselves making friends with the downstairs neighbor, Mitch who happens to draw and write the Captain Zark comics that Radley loves so much. Hester is reluctant to consider a relationship, but Mitch is pretty adamant. This is the story of that struggle. The book starts out from Radley's POV and I nearly put it back down again - Nora Roberts does not write kids very well...they're too sickeningly sweet when she does and it bothers me. Thank goodness she didn't resume his POV again. Instead, we hop back and forth between Hester and Mitch. Mitch is the highlight of the entire story! That and his relationship with Radley. Mitch is the perfect slob and has a delightfully lazy dog named Taz. He is kindhearted and he really delights in spending time with 9-year old Radley. He also, for some inexplicable reason decides he likes Hester. She is the lowpoint of this story and the reason it got 2 stars. Having been hurt or failed in marriage many years ago, Hester has made a promise to herself that she will never need or depend on another. And it killed me how much she hurt Mitch with sticking to that promise. She was whiny, she was irrational, she was uptight and she was constantly terrified of her relationship with Mitch. (In her defense, he did sort of insist on marriage after knowing her for 3 weeks...I too would have probably insisted on some time, but she didn't need to be so adamant that she would NEVER marry him). It was so irrational that she has this incredible guy who is devoting his time and love for her and she keeps telling herself that she won't depend on him because he'll eventually leave. This is really a story about a great guy who has a fantastic relationship with a cute kid and an awesome dog and the insignificant woman who is afraid of his love and keeps rejecting it. Eh.

  20. 4 out of 5

    MorpheusZzz

    Perfect Harmony by Nora Roberts Unfinished Business World-renowned pianist, Vanessa Sexton, returns to her hometown after 10 years after her father/agent passes away. She has to rebuild her relationship with her mother whom she feels abandoned her when her father spirited her off for her career. She also has to face her unresolved feelings for her former fiance, Brady Tucker, now a doctor like his kindhearted dad, whom she thought left her at the altar back when they were teens. Local Hero Hester Wa Perfect Harmony by Nora Roberts Unfinished Business World-renowned pianist, Vanessa Sexton, returns to her hometown after 10 years after her father/agent passes away. She has to rebuild her relationship with her mother whom she feels abandoned her when her father spirited her off for her career. She also has to face her unresolved feelings for her former fiance, Brady Tucker, now a doctor like his kindhearted dad, whom she thought left her at the altar back when they were teens. Local Hero Hester Wallace has finally got things settled in her life with her 9-year-old son, Radley. She's worked her way up to a job she's proud of that pays her a good salary, she has recently moved into an apartment overlooking Central Park, and she's come to terms with the fact that she'll never risk being abandoned again like she was when her ex-husband took off shortly after Rad was born. Then she meets her neighbor, Mitch Dempsey, who is a successful comic book creator for a series that just happens to be Radley's favorite hero. This story is kind of tiresome in waiting for her to see the light and learn to trust again, but Radley and Mitch's characters are really terrific and keep the story flowing nicely.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy Johnson

    I absolutely loved the first story in this book, and found myself really drawn to the characters and couldn't put it down. It was a very predictable story, but also a very quick read, so it was just a pleasant break from life. The second story, however, left me really bored. I don't know if it was the names of the characters or what, but when I read a story, I like to be able to visualize the characters, and I just couldn't picture them in my head, so it was hard to let myself visualize them as p I absolutely loved the first story in this book, and found myself really drawn to the characters and couldn't put it down. It was a very predictable story, but also a very quick read, so it was just a pleasant break from life. The second story, however, left me really bored. I don't know if it was the names of the characters or what, but when I read a story, I like to be able to visualize the characters, and I just couldn't picture them in my head, so it was hard to let myself visualize them as people. While the first story took me all of about a week (which says a lot, since I'm a working Mom of 2 little boys), this one took me the better part of 2 months to finish.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Remy

    Read these two a looong time ago and decided to pick them up again as a quick beach read. I remembered and enjoyed Unfinished Business. The hero and heroine are both likable, and the family dynamics are fun. I don't remember having read Local Hero. I don't like it as much. It feels rushed and the heroine especially feels just a little too cold. Still, worth picking up in the grocery store aisle. Read these two a looong time ago and decided to pick them up again as a quick beach read. I remembered and enjoyed Unfinished Business. The hero and heroine are both likable, and the family dynamics are fun. I don't remember having read Local Hero. I don't like it as much. It feels rushed and the heroine especially feels just a little too cold. Still, worth picking up in the grocery store aisle.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Danella Shea

    I enjoyed both of these books for what they were - something to help me pass the time while traveling. It wasn't a book that I couldn't put down or one that I minded picking back up when I had a free moment. Ultimately, both novels failed to reel me in and make me care about the characters. I am typically a Roberts fan, but this is one book I won't be picking back up for a reread. I enjoyed both of these books for what they were - something to help me pass the time while traveling. It wasn't a book that I couldn't put down or one that I minded picking back up when I had a free moment. Ultimately, both novels failed to reel me in and make me care about the characters. I am typically a Roberts fan, but this is one book I won't be picking back up for a reread.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    I am a long time Nora Roberts fan so I do not think twice about picking up one of her books. They are always well written. I liked it, it was an good read,;) a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. Not a book I stayed up in the wee hours finishing but as always her characters are interesting and I am a sucker for a good happy ending romance.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    Unfinished Business: As always, this was sweet and good and lovely to read. Vanessa was lovely and Brady was yummy and everyone else was great too. I'd really love to have grown up in a town like that, I think. I really, thoroughly, enjoyed reading this. I'd already read Local Hero, and have only fond memories of it, but didn't feel the need to read it again. Unfinished Business: As always, this was sweet and good and lovely to read. Vanessa was lovely and Brady was yummy and everyone else was great too. I'd really love to have grown up in a town like that, I think. I really, thoroughly, enjoyed reading this. I'd already read Local Hero, and have only fond memories of it, but didn't feel the need to read it again.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    There are two books included. The first Unfinished Business was pretty good. The second is not up to her other books. When I purchased I did not realize it was an older book until the excitement of the purchase of the "first VCR" There are two books included. The first Unfinished Business was pretty good. The second is not up to her other books. When I purchased I did not realize it was an older book until the excitement of the purchase of the "first VCR"

  27. 4 out of 5

    DM

    LOVED IT!! One of my new favourite male characters- Brady Tucker- is beautiful! There are 2 stories in the book. I read the first and I believe I read the 2nd a while ago so I don't remember much about it. Definitely recommend it to a romance reader! LOVED IT!! One of my new favourite male characters- Brady Tucker- is beautiful! There are 2 stories in the book. I read the first and I believe I read the 2nd a while ago so I don't remember much about it. Definitely recommend it to a romance reader!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

    this is a bind up edition that collects two tales from the amazing author Nora Roberts Local Hero and Unfinished Business. both wonderfully written tales of love, loss and second chances. a definite must have for any Nora Roberts fans out there.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nath

    3/5 (C)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Clipsy

    Classic Nora Roberts romance. Stories were good but a little too old fashioned for my taste.

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