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4.6 out of 5
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    Two good hearts hidden under their pasts

    Teach Your Heart takes the story of two people who are both damaged by their pasts (or rather how they perceive their pasts) but functioning in spite of it and brings them to heal each other and love each other, without even realizing it, until it is almost too late. They are brought together by accident by three orphans who will tug at your heart as much as they do their Uncle Owen and temporary nanny Grace's. Tracey's books are never just boy meets girl, they mess around, they fall in love. As in many other of her books, this one develops the characters and background up so fully, that you can feel the love these people all feel for each other even though Owen and Grace don't actually get busy until the book is halfway over. What I really like about her books is that the "romance" never seems forced, or false. The reader feels like these are real people and their situations and actions are true to life,and believable. And always complicated by something or another. And yes there are some situations where if they had just communicated their doubts, or feelings, or love, they could have saved themselves some major angst. BUT, in this book the characters are true to themselves and you feel their hesitations, doubts, fears, and absolutely do not feel that these missed chances are just a device by an author to drag out the story. Thank God, they both finally see the light, and get their HEA--along with the three kids. Oh yeah, and they also both make peace with their pasts that had provided so many obstacles to that HEA. I received an ARC for an honest review, and received no compensation.
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    New Zealand Romance

    We all have them – the authors we love to read and the treasured books they write - Tracey Alvarez and her books have become one of mine. With wonderful characters, believable plots, gorgeous New Zealand locations, romance that warms the heart and stories that always make me happy each book is a keeper and I always look forward to the next book’s arrival. Dr. Owen Bennett is the only family member available to take in his orphaned nieces and nephew after his mother suffers a medical emergency. With his busy schedule and rigid lifestyle children don’t fit in easily and become more of a weight than a blessing when the babysitter he lined up bails on him. Gracie Cooper steps into his life at the perfect moment in time. She is a bit of a wanderer, between destinations, has worked as an au pair, and is back in New Zealand for her brother’s wedding. She is just what Owen needs to care for the children who are his responsibility and the money he pays her will go far to assist her in paying back her school loans. Little do the two of them know when their business relationship begins that they are heading into more than an employer-employee relationship. Owen and Gracie have issues from their youth that impact who they are in the present. Owen’s vagabond childhood has made him want more structure and rules in his life as an adult. Gracie’s rigid demanding father is part of the reason that she tends to flee confrontation. Though they are attracted to one another there are questions in both of their minds about the direction their futures should and will take. I loved this book. Owen and Gracie were such wonderfully vibrant multi-dimensional characters that I hated to say goodbye to at the end of the story; and then there were the three children, the grandparents, the characters from previous books in the series and those I hope will get their own books (Sam, Isaac, Daniel, Vee, Natalie and probably others) that kept me reading without a break until I finished. I think that this may be the best book in the series so far. I can’t wait to see who has their story told next! I requested a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
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    O for OMG!...I LOVE this series!

    Or maybe O for Oh yes! More please! Once again Tracey has not disappointed, I think this may be my new favourite of the series so far. Gracie is amazing, I wish I had her outlook on life, her confidence and her fantastic way with kids. How can we not fall for her? She completely draws you in to her world and you are taking every step of her journey with her. Feeling every emotion, every hope, fear, pleasure and pain. Owen is a complete workaholic, but you are still swept away by him. He loves his family, but has been hurt and is wary, work has become his safety net, his ‘go to’ excuse when he feels he is being drawn into family life too much, it stops him feeling and stops them expecting too much. All except Gracie, she expects everything! Charlie, Will and Morgan are the stars of the book for me, they make you smile, cringe, laugh out loud and at times bring a tear to your eye. They keep Gracie and Owen on their toes through every page of this book which I loved! I cannot wait for the next in the series, write faster please!
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    Another Fantastic Read

    Gracie Cooper is a Jack of all trades and master of none. She’s been hopping around Europe and is now in Bounty Bay to regroup, attend her brother’s wedding, and try to work off her college debt. Her carefree lifestyle is about to get a little complicated. Doctor Owen Bennett lives a structured life, where order and tidiness are paramount. With his mother’s suddenly needing to recuperate from a triple bypass, he finds himself the temporarily the guardian of his orphaned nieces and nephew. His life is an unorganized mess. As he’s floundering to find balance between work and guardianship responsibilities, he latches onto the calmest object in his turbulent waters. It just so happens to be free-spirited Gracie. Owen, desperate to find someone to look after his charges, makes Gracie an offer she can’t refuse. Gracie, needing the money to pay off her debt, takes advantage of an opportunity of a lifetime. Living in the same house, their personalities constantly butt heads. As time passes, and sparks fly, they learn to respect each other and appreciate their difference. The end of the school term approaches and Owen’s mother is on the mend. Will Owen move past the embarrassment of his upbringing and fear of loss to embrace what he’s been missing? Can Gracie confront her demons and fight for what she needs? This third novel in the Far North Series was sweet and endearing. I also loved the references to Harry Potter, a series I’ve also read. I appreciate that Tracey Alvarez writes stories which I can relate. Though her stories take place in another country, I can always relate to her characters. They are written so realistically that you are pulled into their lives and you become invested in what happens to them. She also has a wicked sense of humor. I always find myself laughing out loud as I’m reading.
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    LOL with Dr. O for Awesome and Gracie

    Tracey Alvarez has done it again. Teach Your Heart, the third Far North book, is another masterful story-telling adventure. We see old friends (although you don’t have to have read the first to books to enjoy this one) and find new ones. Owen and Gracie are regular people with faults and problems, like the rest of us. It’s always fun to see how Tracey weaves through the realistic challenges and brings her characters to their well-deserved HEA. I think New Zealand tourism should be paying Tracey. She’s definitely the reason that New Zealand is now on my bucket list of places to see. I continue to be amazed at the depth of the dialogue that are part of every book of Tracey’s that I’ve read, and I’ve read them all! Owen is over his head, when he takes on the care of his three nieces and nephew. But they are destined to be together just as much as Gracie is Owen’s perfect compliment. The back story of Owen’s unconventional upbringing was a fun surprise element to this book. Sit down, put your feet up and enjoy playing with this little family-to-be. If you enjoy meeting characters that you grow to love, if you enjoy a book that you hate to see end, if you enjoy laughing out loud while you read … you couldn’t spend a better afternoon than getting lost in any of the Far North or Due South books!
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