We caught up with Mills & Boon Modern and Dare author Clare Connelly to discuss the fourth and final book in The Notorious Harts miniseries: Unbreak My Hart. Read on to find out about surprise heiress Avery Maxwell and legal advisor Barret Byron-Moore…
Wow! I can’t believe it’s finally time for Avery’s story to hit the shelves! I loved absolutely everything about writing The Notorious Harts – this series about one of the wealthiest families in the world, three brothers who have all sworn off love. That is until they meet the right woman to show them the error of their ways, one sensual night at a time.
But this scandal plagued family has a secret, and it’s about to shatter their lives! Enter, Avery Maxwell, a surprise sister, raised in poverty on the other side of the world, who’s made pushing people away an artform. Afraid she might want to cause trouble for their family if she finds out her dad was the late billionaire Hart – and the fortune she could lay claim to – the brothers dispatch a trusted friend and legal advisor to San Francisco in order to suss out what he can about our feisty heroine. Avery’s definitely no shrinking violet. She sees something she wants and goes after it, and Barrett Byron-Moore is about to become her birthday present to herself – she sets out to seduce him before he can tell her the true reason he’s come to America! How will Avery feel about being lied to? I think you can imagine…not great!
I really love writing series, and especially the last book in a series, because you know the characters so intimately, and can layer their happy endings throughout the final book. We see in Avery’s story glimpses of the Hart brothers, and at the end, we see a lot of them, and the way their lives intersect to make a rich tapestry of a modern family. Their dynamic is so important to this series; they had a very fractured upbringing and I wanted readers to see that they had clawed together a truly loving and supportive family – and that their choices of partner had underpinned that. These are romance novels but beyond the romantic love there’s also a focus on family love, and its knotty and complicated dynamic.
This is a series that deals with fallout – the fallout of having emotionally unavailable parents, the fallout that comes from being raised ‘super rich’, and from having been lied to all your life. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, there is a closeness between the siblings that is really meaningful and special – and Avery faces a choice: does she want to be a part of that, or not. She’s always been a loner, pushing people away to avoid getting hurt, and the idea of letting people get closer to her is terrifying at first – especially when Barrett Byron-Moore, the handsome lawyer she seduced before she knew he was connected to her would-be family, is someone her brothers treat like family! Meaning to love and accept them is to have him in her life – and in some ways he poses a far greater threat to her happiness than anything else, because if she loves him and rejects her, she’ll be truly devastated.
I really love the way Avery faces her fears in true kickass style, but it’s not an easy journey! Much like writing a book, there’s tears, doubts, frustration and finally a sense of euphoria towards the end that makes it all worthwhile. I hope you’ve been loving The Notorious Harts – I can’t wait to hear what you think of Avery and Barrett.