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Digital Released: April 2014
ISBN: 9781476474540
ASIN: B008LV27VK
Kindle US, Kindle UK
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Print Release: April 2014
ISBN: 9781910234037
Amazon US, Amazon UK

RHYTHM OF MY HEART
Series: Irish Pride, #1
Author: Kemberlee Shortland
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Digtial Price: $2.99
Print Price: $10.99

Artist Representative, Eilis Kennedy, gave up a singing career so that other women could have a fair chance at having their music heard. Having suffered rejection from callous men in the industry, she thought she would get away from ‘casting couch’ mentality. But when she finds herself in the office of Fergus Manley, all bets are off. Disgusted by his continual come-ons and lewd invitations, Eilis is looking for ‘the one’ who will take her career to the next level, getting out from under Fergus’s controlling thumb.

Aspiring blues guitarist, Kieran Vaughan, is looking for his big break. But after suffering near bankruptcy at the hands of an unscrupulous business partner, Kieran is left picking up the pieces. He’s unsure if the debts will ever be paid or if he’ll ever have a chance to do something with his music. At his whit’s end, he’s about ready to throw in the towel and find a full-time job with real hours.

When Eilis discovers Kieran playing in a seedy pub in Dublin’s Northside, she knows he’s the one rare talent she’s been searching for. With her know-how and his talent, Eilis will finally get everything she’s been waiting for. Neither of them count on the powerful attraction from first meeting. Eilis is so rocked by Keiran’s forthright words that it sends her running. Kieran risks being arrested as he chases Eilis across Ireland.

Seeing what’s happening between Eilis and Kieran, anger wells inside Fergus and he steps up his pursuit of Eilis. Refusing to let Kieran get in his way, Fergus vows to add Eilis’s notch to his bedpost, whatever it takes.

Will Kieran be able to protect her?

Excerpt
The Little Man Pub, Dublin City

“Kieran?” called the young man at the door.

Kieran Vaughan looked up from where he sat on a tattered brown sofa. In the tiny storage room, kegs of beer and boxes of crisps lined one wall and cases of hard liquor lined another. A single naked bulb suspended from the ceiling barely illuminated the room, which doubled as a catchall for anything that probably should have been thrown away. The sofa and side table had been an afterthought when Murph decided to start entertaining his patrons. It certainly wasn’t the dressing room he’d dreamed of. And not for the first time, Kieran wondered if he should count himself amongst the throwaways.

“What?” Kieran knew his reply was a little too abrupt and attributed his irritability to the twisting in his stomach. He set his pint onto the table, still half-full.

He was expecting Murph with his pay, but instead, his gaze met with the stagehand, Murph’s 15-year-old son, John.

John was reedy and nervous by nature. His father wasn’t an easy man to work for, and Kieran imagined not easy to live with either. John’s skittishness was obvious when he stepped into the room, his narrow eyes down-turned.

“Da told me to give ye this.”

John practically threw the note at him then scurried from the room. Kieran gave it a cursory glance — a note that simply read, ‘Meet me at the bar. Eilis Kennedy.’

Another one.

He tossed the note onto the grimy table. It landed beside his pint glass.

He sank back against the lumpy sofa and shut his eyes, blocking out his surroundings.

How had he gotten himself into such a mess?

This wasn’t what he’d expected when he’d set out to play his music. Seedy pubs, cheap drunks and slappers whose ages couldn’t be determined from all the make-up they wore. Not that anyone was looking at their faces when their arses were hanging out from under their miniskirts.

His stomach roiled again at the thought of the women who frequented The Little Man Pub.

“Feckin’ hell!” The curse choked him.

What the hell was he doing here anyway? If he wanted to make it big, America was the place to be. No one in Ireland wanted to hear him play the blues. If any race of people knew the blues, it was the Irish. They didn’t need the likes of him to remind them.

The sound of the latch turning on the door snapped Kieran out of his thoughts. He opened his eyes to a short, scruffy-faced man whose belly preceded him into the room, as did the smell of the man’s sweat-stained shirt. Kieran’s heart leapt in his chest. As unsavory as Murphy was, the man still held his livelihood in the palm of his hand.

Kieran hauled himself out of the old sofa and strode over to the sullen little man and snatched the envelope out of his hands, tearing open the flap. His anticipation died at the contents.

“What is this then? Forty euro?”

“What can I say, boyo? Slow night.” Murphy shrugged, totally unsympathetic.

“What am I supposed to do with forty fecking euro?” Kieran tossed the money onto the table beside the slapper's note, then ran his fingers through his hair. He knew his pay was based on the amount of drinks sold at the bar during his performance times. This forty euro told Kieran sales had been poor tonight. He knew it wasn’t true, but getting Murph to admit it would be like trying to convince the man that a bath would make him a more pleasant person, or at least less of an assault on people around him.

“That’s your problem, not mine. But if ye don’t start bringin’ in the punters, I’ll be finding me someone else to take me stage and ye’ll be out on yer arse, wishin’ ye were still bringin’ in the forty feckin’ euro for ninety minutes of that catterwallerin’ ye call music.” Murph stepped through the door to leave, then turned back. He grinned, showing missing front teeth. “Don’t look so glum, lad. Ye could be on the Dole.”

“Feck off with yourself, Murph!” Kieran launched the pint glass at the door as it shut behind The Little Man. Shards of glass sprayed out, stout staining the door and wall. He heard the old man laughing in the corridor.

Anger rose in him. Not at Murph, but at himself. A blues guitarist wasn’t going to get noticed playing in a two-bit pub on Dublin’s Northside. The Irish wanted U2, Boyzone and Paddy fecking Casey, not a wannabe blues guitarist like Kieran Vaughan.

He loved playing the blues. The blues ran through his blood as if it were his own special life force. But if he was going to get noticed, he was going to have to go to America. He abhorred the idea of it, but he loved the music. He just hated the thought of leaving Ireland more. And Gráinne. She was all he had left. And if he lost her for the sake of a pipedream, he would be nothing and there would be nothing left for him to live for.

If I want a better life I have to do something about it.

He’d suffered through years of bloody fingers from long hours practicing on steel strings to play to the best of his abilities. He’d thought he was getting somewhere with his last music venture, only to see it destroyed before his eyes because of a dishonest business partner. It seemed like years of one step forward and two steps back. Now he found himself resorting to playing in seedy pubs to repay his debts and no hopes of getting heard. He was failing to make something of all his hard work.

Holding onto his tattered pride was getting more difficult each day. There had to be a compromise somewhere. There just had to be.

Just once he’d like to be offered the brass ring and go for it.

Just once he wanted something in his life to go the way he’d planned.

Just once he wanted to be someone.

Fed up, he kicked the guitar case lid closed and flipped the latch with his booted toe. He shrugged into his leather jacket and shoved the forty euro into his pocket. He considered the note on the table. Maybe this Eilis could help him forget his troubles, at least for tonight. But the thought if it disgusted him. He just wanted to go home.

Guitar in hand, he flipped up his jacket collar and headed for the back door.

The weather outside The Little Man Pub was better than inside, even though it was pissing rain. The dark side lane suited his dark mood. Thanks to late night mischief-makers, there were few working streetlights, which is why a car just missed him as it sped past. Its tire hit a pothole and splashed dirty rainwater up the front of him.

“Feckin’ hell!” he bit out for the second time tonight. “Bloody feckin’ hell.”

What the reviewers are saying
Kemberlee Shortland tells an exciting story, full of descriptions of Dublin and it's music, almost had me feeling that I could hear the sounds and smells of the pubs. This sexy romantic story will have you wanting more. I look forward to reading the another one of her books. ~ Kathleen Kelly, Amazon

• • •

I love Ireland, and one of the best parts about Rhythm of My Heart is the way the author incorporates Ireland into the story—from the descriptions of the city to the Tunnocks Teacakes (and, after the description of them, I have to find a stateside source!) This story is classic romance—boy meets girl; they feel a connection (literally, in this case); because of a misunderstanding on both sides they spend time apart; and I'm not giving away any spoilers (after all, like I said, it IS a romance) when I say there is a HEA at the end. In the meantime, you get the chance to see how two people learn to trust each other. Once the misunderstandings are cleared up, the way is clear for two people to fall in love—or is it? Another man is also interested in Eilis…and he's not one to give up. I'm glad this is a series…there are secondary characters I'm looking forward to knowing more about. If you love Ireland, if you love a nice romance—give Rhythm of My Heart a try. ~ Books Mom, Goodreads

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I recommend this book if you're looking for characters with strong personalities that experience personal growth, exotic storytelling and steamy male characteer. ~ Dana, Goodreads

• • •

This is such a beautiful love story that will keep you leaving the pages till the end. With enough drama and human emotions to keep the story flowing as they sort out this new relationship. ~ Lynelle Clark, Goodreads

• • •

Intense and Romantic. Steeped in Irish culture, Rhythm of my Heart is the story of two people drawn to one another by an ethereal pull . . . Kemberlee Shortland has crafted a beautiful story with a rich setting including everything I imagine Ireland to be. Her characters are real and the chemistry is just how I like it - steamy. Well done. Looking forward to more from this author. ~ Kate Robbins, author of The Highland Chiefs series, Goodreads

• • •

Intrigung read, that can also be said for the other books in the series
When I first began reading this novel I was not sure about the story line, but as it began to unfold it was riveting. An excellent novel with a good basic instinct to draw the reader into the plot. ~ Wendy Binsley, Amazon UK

• • •

Kick back with an ale or Bailey's and enjoy this musically and magically Irish love tale with a Fairy Godson in training!
This is my first, but not my last Kemberlee Shortland romance. I loved the Irish flair she used, that gave this tale a different kind of voice, for a contemporary romance. Eilis was, in my humble opinion, a REAL woman with curves . . . Kieran was raised right because he does look at the outside, but looks on the on inside and his heart wins. The chicken pox was an unusual and brilliant idea . . . Ms. Shortland wrote this romance with her Irish heart and I was easily SUBMERGED into Ireland at a pub, listening to Irish tunes (yes, I found that on the internet), slammed a few Bailey's shots and watch a couple discover that magically thing called love! I recommend this book to romance reader, who like new and exotic places, a magically music theme, Harleys and a fabulous love story. Ms. Shortland also made me Google, which I love to do, because Kieran compared Eilis to Psyche. l learned that she is the wife of the Greek god Eros, who is the god of love and what female would not swoon! I give this first book in Ms. Shortland's Irish Pride series a score of 4 fingers up and 7 toes and I can't wait to read the next one! ~2_PMVH, B&N Nook

• • •

Great read. Kept me interested from beginning to end. Very romantic and sensual. ~ Linda Comer, Amazon UK

• • •

A ROMANCE WRITTEN WITH AN IRISH HEART & AN AWESOME LOVE STORY
This is my first, but not my last Kemberlee Shortland romance. I loved the Irish flair she used . . . Eilis was, in my humble opinion, a REAL woman with curves . . . Kieran was raised right because he does look at the outside, but looks on the on inside and his heart wins. The chicken pox was an unusual and brilliant idea . . . Ms. Shortland wrote this romance with her Irish heart and I was easily SUBMERGED into Ireland . . . I recommend this book to romance reader, who like new and exotic places, a magically music theme, Harleys and a fabulous love story. Ms. Shortland also made me Google, which I love to do, because Kieran compared Eilis to Psyche. l learned that she is the wife of the Greek god Eros, who is the god of love and what female would not swoon! I give this first book in Ms. Shortland's Irish Pride series a score of 4 fingers up and 7 toes and I can't wait to read the next one! ~ Patty, Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble

• • •

Lovely Romantic Tale!
Rhythm of My Heart is an engaging romance that is well written with memorable characters. The dialogue flowed effortlessly and the settings couldn’t have been more realistic. If you would like to read an entertaining romance full of music and love in an Irish setting, then I highly recommend this novel. ~ Joakess, Amazon

• • •

Intense and Romantic!
Steeped in Irish culture, Rhythm of my Heart is the story of two people drawn to one another by an ethereal pull . . . Eilis Kennedy hasn't had a great history with men and has focused instead on her career which involves discovering new musical talent in Dublin, Ireland. I connected with Ellis right away and felt invested in her journey. She's a real woman with real insecurities about her weight and her looks, pouring all her energy into her career . . . Her search efforts bring her to a hole-in-the-wall pub on Dublin's northside where she meets Kieran Vaughan. Wowsers. The connection between these two is immediate and intense. I don't want to post any spoilers so it's best I say nothing else about Kieran, except perhaps to grab something to fan yourself. :) I couldn't put this book down . . . Kemberlee Shortland has crafted a beautiful story with a rich setting including everything I imagine Ireland to be. Her characters are real and the chemistry is just how I like it - steamy. Well done. Looking forward to more from this author. ~ Kate Robbins, Amazon

• • •

Once more I have been thoroughly entertained by the fresh crisp writing coupled with a fast moving plot in Ms. Shortland’s latest entry in her Irish Pride Series.  Shortland touches on the murky side of the music industry where having to give up a little of your soul, is the price one often pays to even get a chance to display any talent you might have.  Using Eilis as her prime protagonist who bucks the system – giving up her own dream of a singing career – to both protect herself against the corruption and give other women a chance to save their self respect for a chance at stardom was, in my opinion, a most realistic and enviable plot.

The other thing I was totally enthralled with, and possibly because of Ms. Shortland’s adopted homeland, was the rather obvious endeavor to put a little bit of Irish fae magic in the attraction between Eilis and Kieran – something akin to soul mates who could ‘feel’  each others, happiness, hurt, or danger.   It’s something I’ve read of but never had the good fortune to experience, but something that would certainly be quite enviable when one found their one true love.  The way Ms. Shortland wrote this romance was dreamlike, beautifully emotional and intensely sensual with Kieran  finding a spot up on my top ten hero lists!  You just gotta love a man who’s gorgeous, sexy, kind and cooks!

Bottom Line:  RHYTHM OF MY HEART is a most admirable addition to Ms. Shortland’s Irish Pride  series and highly recommended. ~ Marilyn Rondeau, CK2s Kwips and Kritiques

• • •

I apparently need a steady diet of Ms. Shortland’s books. In between reading them, I tend to forget the depth of character and insight into their personalities. I especially forget how devious and evil her villains can be. This makes their presence even more subversive and menacing. The truly ingenious aspect of her villains are the way they could be someone we, the reader, know and have experience with in our own lives . . . the connection between Ellis and Kieran can resonate with the reader, and help them remember or imagine that grand passion one can feel when with the right person . . . This reader could definitely sense the love Ms. Shortland has for her main characters . . . Kieran . . . is shining through in his honesty, caring and generosity . . . I believe most women reading this story will resonate with at least one aspect of Ellis’ personality . . . This makes the eventual connection with Kieran that much sweeter! Our author’s delight in the countryside and its’ people are evident in her descriptive passages throughout the book. However, none tickled the senses quite as much as her extended description of the tea cakes and the delight both Kieran and Ellis experienced while eating them . . . This book will engross the reader fully. You will not want to put the book down. This means it will be over far too quickly! The good news is, as soon as you finish it, you get to read it again! ~ Iris, Long and Short Reviews

• • •

Two Stars Waiting to Be Born!
Rhythm of My Heart is a romance story told in a tense, pumped-up, passionate way by someone who knows exactly how to balance the tension of characters falling desperately for each other but riddled with self-doubt and manipulation by other predatory creeps! Very, very nicely done, Kemberlee Shortland!!! ~ Viviane Crystal, Crystal Reviews and Amazon

• • •

Since the author still spends time in both Ireland and America, she knows what readers from both parts of the world enjoy in their romance stories – and she delivers . . . This story will especially appeal to those who are full-figured or consider themselves to be lacking in appearance or self esteem. (Let’s face it; this describes most people in the world.) None of the characters in this tale are perfect. They actually come across to the reader as human and realistic. Those who play first or secondary characters have well developed backgrounds . . . I am also proof that you do not need to be a fan of the Blues of Jazz to appreciate Kieran’s smooth voice . . . The notes played and the talent described still manages to reach the reader. The rhythm of this story will capture the hearts of many. ~ Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews

• • •

"Ms. Shortland writes amazing characters that come to life and leap off the page. Even the villain, Fergus, as nasty and disgusting as he was, is very realistic. I got a very good sense of what Eilis felt having him around. Ms. Shortland takes it one step further and makes Fergus truly vile, which gives the story some very suspenseful moments. The story moves at a good pace, even with the big misunderstandings and delivers some exciting and heart-racing moments towards the end. I can’t spoil the ending for you, so you are just going to have to read this book to find out what I am talking about. I’m sure you will agree that Rhythm of My Heart is magical" ~ Sharal Hunter, Amazon

• • •

"I haven't read this work yet but I've read other works of Kimberlee Shortland. She is a very talented author who has taken the romance novel and brought it into literature. A little more explicit than Jane Austin, Kimberlee has the same skills in creating a world of words and romance you want to visit again and again. I can't wait to read Rhythm of My Heart." ~ Heather Haven, author of The Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries

• • •

Rhtyhm of My Heart . . . completely pulled me into the story with the need to know what happens next. The couple’s first meeting blows me away with their chemistry . . . I understand Kieran . . . the side-story of her friend leaves me guessing and wanting to know more about her past . . . Rhythm of My Heart is a good read for a rainy day. ~ Jeriha, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

• • •

This story is classic romance . . . you get the chance to see how two people learn to trust each other . . . If you love Ireland, if you love a nice romance—give Rhythm of My Heart a try. ~ JM Thomas, It's Raining Books

 

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