Monday, January 26, 2015

Acting Brave by Helena Newbury blog tour @HelenaAuthor #NA #giveaway #review

Acting Brave by Helena Newbury
(Fenbrook Academy #3)
Publication date: January 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance

She’s spent her whole life acting. But is she good enough to make him believe she doesn’t love him?
Three years ago, a terrified girl named Emma fled a world of crime and abuse in Chicago and bought a one-way ticket to New York. She reinvented herself as an actress, enrolled at the prestigious Fenbrook Academy and buried her pain beneath a vivacious new persona. Her new name was Jasmine.

Now she has to pull off the performance of her career.
Landing her dream part in a police show, she finds herself falling for her co-star, Ryan, a real-life cop. If she lets him get too close, he’ll awaken memories she doesn’t want to face and uncover secrets that could endanger them both. But how can she keep a guy at arm’s length when she has to kiss him on camera?

The last place Ryan imagined himself was on a TV show. Blaming himself for the death of his partner, he’s on a downward spiral of rage and guilt. The show is his last chance…but how can he keep it professional when his co-star is a woman he’s crazy about?

As their on-screen and off-screen relationships merge, things go from hot to blistering. But when Jasmine’s old life catches up with her, will a cop be the one person she can’t be around…or the only person who can save her?

Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Previous books in the series:

Fenbrook Academy is a fun, intense and emotional New Adult contemporary romance series written by Helena Newbury. The cast of characters features romances with dancers (Book One's Natasha and Darrell in Dance for Me), Neil and Clarrissa in Losing My Balance (companion novel #1.5), musicians (Karen and Connor from Book Two's In Harmony), and now the other aspect of the Academy's program offerings--acting.

Acting Brave is all about Jasmine, the fun, flirty, and non-trusting friend of the group of friends we've grown to love. We are now privy to the horrible life she led after she fled Chicago with her hopes and dreams pinned on New York City and Fenbrook Academy. Fenbrook has become her haven, her close friends her much-needed life support. But there are still the trust issues and the emotional barrier/distance she erects around herself as well as her heart.

Until Ryan. In his police uniform, the very tall and burly beat cop catches her eye and she feels her mask slipping. Always intuitive, Officer Ryan knows there's so much more to the buxom and flirty redhead, if he can only summon the courage to ask her out. He gets his chance when fate intervenes and changes his life, providing him the opportunity to act as a cop on a new television drama alongside his 'partner' Jasmine. Suddenly, his fictional life intervenes and changes the direction of his real life. 

I have to say Newbury always gives her readers something new and unique with her novels. Her stories take the necessary time to unfold while the characters charm us and ultimately win us over. I've always considered Karen and Connor my favorite couple from book two until now. Jasmine not only made my sympathetic  towards her (in a good way), she earned my respect and made me a dedicated fan. As for Ryan.... What more can I say about this big guy, built like a linebacker but with a good heart and a hopeless, intense love for a certain actress. Besides having his own secrets, he too made me cheer for him while making him endearing. I enjoyed that he was shy when it came to admitting his feelings for Jasmine and how their relationship was explored and not something simply 'jumped' into. Sometimes the development of relationships in NA are overlooked in pursuit of fast hook-ups. That's not the case with this series. Each story shows us how these couples circle each other, the circumstances preventing them from jumping in headfirst, and the resulting drama and deep emotions revealed by the end.

For a victim, Jasmine is a tough woman and she surprised me with her self-imposed changes and vivacious attitude. Her audition scene was laugh out loud hilarious and I loved her scenes with Ryan (the first time they meet in the alley is classic). Since I binge watched the TV show Blue Bloods for two months, Ryan's cop and his own show struck a chord with me. I immediately pictured Ryan as a combination of the three police officers of the Reagan family (father and sons Danny and Jamie). 

My only comments about the book was that I thought we were told too much about Jasmine's past in the beginning, but with the way the story was written, it seemed the only way to go without bogging us down with backstory. There were also some places where I noticed what I believe are 'English' words which are different words for American English.

I've enjoyed my stay at Fenbrook with this talented cast of characters and am sad to see my time end with the closing installment of the series. Thank you Helena Newbury for sharing your beloved characters and stories with us.

Rating: 4

Cover comment:
I like all the covers for this series.

Book source:
I received a promotional copy in return for my honest review during a blog tour.

About the author:

I’m a New Adult Romance author who loves writing about what happens when love and dreams collide with the real world. I wrote my first novel, Dance for Me, in daily chunks in a very busy, very noisy coffee shop, which meant I had to order a black Americano every hour, on the hour, to keep my seat and wound up wired on caffeine most days. I hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists in summer 2013. Unlike my characters, I can’t dance.

Author links: website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook

Tour-wide giveaway 
A Kindle Fire HD7 (US & CAN) 
A Fenbrook Academy T-shirt (choice of size) (US & CAN) 
3 x $10 Amazon gift cards (INTL)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great review, Laurie! I love it when the author focuses on characterization, and this one sounds very character driven. I also like how unique and fun/dramatic it seems! Glad you liked it! :)

  2. It sounds like a great book. I'm not one for NA but I may need to reconsider!

  3. Great review! It looks so good, I hope to get my hands on this soon!

  4. Thanks for the review, it makes me desire the book even more. ;)

  5. I've never heard of this series before but it seems really good!

  6. Sounds like a very good book love the cover looks sweet.