Some Sort of Crazy by Melanie Harlow

Okay Friends, I haven’t read many series, trilogies or whatever else is out there. Until I started reading romance, I cringed at the thought of continuing on with a cast of characters in multiple books. I was a one and done kind of girl. I am so glad my love of romance has changed my perspective on this crazy way of thinking because I would totally be missing out on trilogies like Melanie Harlow’s, Happy Crazy Love trilogy.  Thanks to a couple of friends on Instagram, I went into book two, Some Sort of Crazy a little aware that I was going to love it..and I did.

Some Sort of Crazy by Melanie Harlow

Published November 17, 2015

4/5 Stars

Narrated on Audiobook by Nelson Hobbs and Lucy Malone

 

“The entire night was just ours, like we existed outside of time, in our own little world.”

 

Synopsis:

When a psychic tells Natalie Nixon her life is about to be upended by a mysterious stranger, she laughs it off. After all, she has everything she’s ever wanted—a successful bakery, a the perfect boyfriend, and the keys to her dream house.

Who could possibly make her want to throw all that away?

Then Miles Haas comes back to town.

But he’s no stranger—they’ve known each other since high school. Plus, he’s only around for the summer, he’s still a shameless playboy, and he makes a living writing articles for a men’s magazine with titles like ‘Should You Bang the Boss’s Daughter? A Flowchart’ and ‘Butt Stuff for Beginners: A Field Guide.’

He’s not the man of her dreams, and she’s not about to abandon everything she’s worked so hard for just for a little fun. Except he makes her laugh like no one else, smells like heaven, and looks sexy as hell in those panty-melting glasses.

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My Thoughts:

Some Sort of Crazy was a fun roller coaster ride while also being sexy as hell. Where with book 1, Some Sort of Happy, the vibe felt very dark, the vibe in Some Sort of Crazy felt very light hearted and just completely different. I liked that although following one of the sisters of the main character from book 1 and still feeling pretty invested in this world and characters, this book was able to stand on it’s own. You can totally skip book one and read this one without it..but don’t! 

I liked Natalie as a main character. She gives you the good girl vibes without feeling ridiculous. I love that she owns her own coffee shop. She’s been in a relationship with her boyfriend Dan for forever and long story short, things happen and they break up. This is shortly after Miles, a long time friend of Natalie’s has come home. After Natalie thank you next’s Dan, she allows herself the liberty of hanging out with Miles.

Miles, oh Miles. Miles is a single guy, living the single guy dream. He does what he wants unapologetically but has always secretly been in love with Natalie. He is a blogger with a blog dedicated to different sexual situations he has found himself in with women.

Total friends to lovers. Guy finally gets the girl kind of story. I liked that Natalie’s cutting Douchebag Dan off had nothing to do with Miles and everything to do with the strength she realized she had. I was happy to not have any moments where she regretted cutting him off. That is mostly thanks to Miles, but despite the reputation he has built for himself, I respected that Miles respected Natalie enough to not allow anything initially to happen that she may regret later.

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I really enjoyed the family aspect you get in this one. It was there in book one too, but I felt like we got more insight into the relationship between the 3 sisters in Some Sort of Crazy. Even Sebastian, the love interest from book one. He has obviously become part of the family, and I liked seeing him written into certain scenes as one of the family members.

In true Harlow fashion, this book was sexy as hell. Very descriptive sex scenes that will leave you breathless. In this story though, during each sex scene I found myself rooting for Natalie. She deserved each and every moment of it after what she had been through with Douchebag Dan. Miles was crazy about her and wanted to make her happy and make her feel good. When Miles begins to realize he is feeling something he’s never felt before, it truly felt earth shattering. I had to laugh at him, because as he begins to realize and question his feelings for Natalie, he thinks he’s getting sick.

Now, I will forewarn you-this romance does have a twist that I know many people aren’t fond of. I typically roll my eyes at it as well, but in Some Sort of Crazy, it worked. It made sense, and I honestly can’t imagine the twist having went any other direction and actually working.

Onto book 3  I go. Let me know if you’ve given this trilogy a go, or anything by Melanie Harlow. Until next time, take care of yourselves. We will chat again soon. xo

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Sunday Coffee

I was literally just on Pinterest before logging on to type this week’s Sunday Coffee and came across a quote that said, “Never underestimate the power of good morning texts, apologies and random compliments.” I saw it, loved it and am hoping that it reaches someone who could use this little reminder. The simplest of things can go a long way.

Welcome to another Sunday, Friends! Grab your Sunday morning drink of choice and let’s chat.

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This week was a blur. In between the early risings, constant on the go during the day and struggle to stay asleep at night, it feels like nothing really significant took place. Work was work. It’s this never ending cycle of getting there early to attempt to stay on top of things, yet leaving at 1630 (4:30 p.m.) feeling like I accomplished absolutely nothing.

My reading this past week consisted mostly of romance on audio and poetry on my Kindle. I read two poetry collections by Trista Mateer and loved both of them, so so much. I am a huge fan of her collection, Honeybee, which I read upon its release back in 2018 but there are a few available thanks to Kindle Unlimited, that I downloaded and read. First, I read Redacted, which I gave 4/5 Stars. After Redacted, I read, The Dogs I Have Kissed which I also gave 4/5 Stars to as well.

Here’s the thing when it comes to me and poetry: I may be 32, but I absolutely adore and poetry that speaks to the 17 year old girl that still resides within me soul. I am a total Stan for how radical poetry can be and how important a lot of the poetry coming out these days is. There are some poets out here these days who will gut you with the honesty, the brutal deliverance and the rawness to their poems- but to my core, I am sucker for angsty as hell love poems. Don’t even get me started on break up poems! So, I devoured these two collections by Trista Mateer and am on the prowl for more by her. Is there anything mind blowing about her poetry? Not really, but damn! It speaks to me. If I could recommend poetry to 17 year old me, Mateer’s writings would be on that list.

Besides the two poetry collections by Trista Mateer, I also read Some Sort of Happy by Melanie Harlow. I have already posted a review of this romance, but I loved it and am already in the middle of book 2 from the trilogy. Harlow has become a favorite author of mine and I can already tell that my current read of hers, Some Sort of Crazy is on it’s way to being my new favorite of hers.

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It has been a priority for me to get out and explore new to me coffee shops in my city. I found and fell in love with one local chain which was great but I wanted to see what else was out there. It has been a fun adventure and one I am glad I’ve been taking the time to do. I discovered Estate Coffee Co and oh my goodness their Kentucky Smoke Latte is absolutely delicious! They are this kind of tucked away gem downtown that literally my first day looking for them, I almost gave up looking for altogether. I drove around the same block probably four times before realizing I needed to go just a bit further down the road and there it was! It looked like nothing was there from where I was originally. They have these big windows in the front, so when the sun is up, the natural lighting from outside mixed with the artificial lighting insides makes it this perfect shade of brightness. I love it.

I sat there yesterday morning and started an arc I was sent..

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The Girl He Used To Know is my first read by Tracey Garvis Graves and although I am very early into it, I am enjoying it. The following is a passage from the first page I loved:

“From the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of his face. It’s been ten years since we’ve seen each other and though I often struggle to recognize people out of context, there’s no need for me to question whether or not it’s him. I know it’s him. My body vibrates like the low rumble of a faraway train and I’m grateful for the freezer’s cold air as my core temperature shoots up. I want to bolt, to forget about the strawberries and find the nearest exit. But, Tina’s words echo in my head, and I repeat them like a mantra: Don’t run, take responsibility, be yourself.”

I haven’t reached the part in the book where I find out what the hell happened, but I’m already getting the vibes that this book is going to be un.put.down.able. There is something about the writing that has Hooked me already. I like how the story is being told so far and I love that each chapter thus far is to the point, then onto the next. I’m a fan of a good, short chapter!

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The kids and I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday. It is always a joy for me to see what piques their interest. My 8 year old son is a huge fan of R.L. Stein’s The Goosebumps which makes my heart super happy and my daughter is a lover of The Dork Diaries. With Jase it feels like he hauls them, skims them, but is also obsessed with watching the Goosebumps films and writing his own fan fiction. Aysia devours her Dork Diaries though. She sits on the couch all cozy in her blanket and just breezes through them. I’ll share some pictures of our book store trip along with the two poetry collections I hauled.

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Let me know how your week went. Did you read anything good? Try anything new? Until next time, take care of yourself. I’ll chat with you soon. xo.

 

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Some Sort of Happy by Melanie Harlow

What’s up Friends? I have been slowly but happily, making my way through Melanie Harlow’s bibliography. Back in December of 2018, I participated in round 2 of Smutathon hosted by two booktubers, Lainey and Riley. I made this whole tbr that in the end I didn’t stick to. A friend on Instagram posted the cover of a Melanie Harlow novel, and being the curious being that I am, I took to Goodreads to investigate. Long story short, your girl is hooked on Harlow. This addiction I have to her books is a real thing. Here are my thoughts on Some Sort of Happy which I finished on Audible yesterday.

Some Sort of Happy by Melanie Harlow (Happy Crazy Love, Book 1)

Published September 22, 2015

4/5 Stars

Narrated on Audio by Nelson Hobbs & Lucy Malone

 

Synopsis:

Skylar Nixon is a twenty-seven year old failed actress with no Plan B. After a humiliating stint on a reality TV show crushes what’s left of her childhood dream, she finds herself back in her hometown with no money saved, no college degree, and no confidence she’s anything but a joke—a small town starlet who couldn’t hack it in the big city.

When she runs into former classmate Sebastian Pryce, she can’t believe the hot body and chiseled jaw belong to the shy, troubled loner she knew ten years before. He’s not exactly friendly at first, and she’s heard the rumors about his tragic past, but something in his sad eyes intrigues her. She only wants to get to know him better.

Until the night she wants more—and takes it. (Hard and deep. Twice.)

Are they just two lonely people seeking solace? Or can a disgraced beauty queen and flawed, frustrated man find some sort of happy ever after?

 

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My Thoughts:

Wow! What a ride. Melanie Harlow sure knows how to tug at a girl’s heart. From the very beginning of this book, I knew I’d be on a roller coaster ride. I liked how when we are introduced to Skyler she is down on her luck. Everything isn’t perfect for her. She has honestly in a lot of ways, hit rock bottom. I liked that the hit had already happened, so we meet her, and the focus is on how do I move past this and on from here? Also, when it comes to Skyler, her insecurities felt very real and genuine. She is the perfect example of not judging a person by appearance. She is a pretty girl who is insecure because she feels she doesn’t have a lot going for herself in comparison to her sisters. One of which is a doctor (I think) and the other is a business owner. Skyler was on a reality show and with a lot of editing and manipulation, painted as the bad girl. Especially after the shows airing and all the of the edited words in Skyler’s mouth, it causes a lot of doors to close in her face. I loved this reality tv backstory.

Sebastian, oh my heart! He’s not broken, I don’t want to say that, but oh my goodness he has his own insecurities he has to work through. Sebastian lives with a form of OCD. He and Skyler went to high school together, but didn’t run in the same crowd. In fact, Sebastian’s high school experience sucked! Sebastian has always secretly had a thing for Skyler and I was totally here for it. He gets the girl in this one! But in true Melanie Harlow fashion, he has to work through his issues before that happens, which I love and appreciate.

I liked how Sebastian as the love interest wasn’t perfect. I loved seeing how he lives with his OCD and we get to see the constant up and downs he experiences. We get to see how he goes a little too far in the deep end when he’s not taking care of himself like he should. I thought the author did a really good job of writing him. You want so bad for him to just be okay. And I loved how Skyler loved him regardless of his OCD. He truly thought he wasn’t good enough for her. I love when a hero doesn’t think he’s worthy. Hah! Skyler begins to learn his ticks and triggers and I just adored their relationship. It truly is team work and takes work.

I think out of the novels I’ve read by Melanie Harlow so far, this one felt the sexiest. I haven’t read one yet that didn’t include some sexy time, but Wow! Sebastian and Skyler’s sex scenes are like embedded in my brain at the moment. Onto book two I go..

xoxo,

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The Cottage on Rose Lane by Hope Ramsay

What’s up Romancers? I feel like it has definitely been a while since I’ve read a more cozy romance and I needed to rectify that because honestly the cozy romances is where my love of romance began. I had to have The Cottage on Rose Lane when I saw it, and wasn’t disappointed.

 

The Cottage on Rose Lane by Hope Ramsay

Published December 4, 2018 by Forever

My Rating 4/5 Stars

Audiobook Narrator: Amanda Dolan

 

Synopsis:

Jenna Fossey’s life is about to change. An unexpected inheritance and the chance to meet relatives she never knew existed has her heading to the charming little town of Magnolia Harbor. But as soon as she arrives, long-buried family secrets lead to even more questions, and the only person who can help her find the answers is her sexy-as-sin sailing instructor.

Nothing makes Jude St. Pierre feel more alive than racing on the open sea – at least, not until Jenna comes strolling down his dock asking for sailing lessons. But it feels wrong to be attracted to her – especially when he learns why she came to town. Jude knows she deserves the truth but can he help her discover it without losing her and the family he’s come to think of as his own?

 

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My Thoughts:

I really love when you pick up a novel not knowing what to expect and you find that thing within the pages that really blows you away. For me, in The Cottage on Rose Lane, the thing, that blew me away was the location with its culture and history. This romance takes place in the Deep South, on the South Carolina coast. A place with beautiful waterways and rich with history, and plenty of history being stripped away with the booming coastal resort and golf industry that’s taking over.  I really admired the way the author handled all of the historical aspects she incorporated into the story. With being a white female author, writing a story that shed light on a part of African American history I was ignorant to due to not being from that part of the country, it felt very natural and respectful.  I found myself down a rabbit hole for a straight hour researching as much as I could about the Gullah Geechee culture she writes into the romance. We can’t let our history slip away!

I am not the biggest fan of plot lines where there is a secret. My anxiety just can’t always handle it and Jenna has found her way to Magnolia Harbor with the secret of: one of the town’s prominent figures is her dead father’s brother, she’s inherited money from her Grandfather but none of the family has ever met her. It drove me crazy at times. Usually at least halfway through the book the secret will come out, and Jenna does confess to her love interest Jude, but it was still the big elephant in the room up until the last few chapters. I have to give it to the author, the secret aspect definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat, but it took me a while to get into it. During the entire book, Jenna is getting to know the townspeople, and her family, under a fake name, fake identity and has to sit idly by chatting with her aunt as if the family’s hate for her doesn’t matter. Even the love interest thought she was Magnolia Harbor for something totally different for a few chapters and didn’t trust her.

I liked that Jude and Jenna’s romance is an interracial romance. Both are people dealing with abandonment issues and really, so many odds are stacked against them but it works. Their love story did take me a little while to find believable but once I did, I was hooked. Ramsay really found a way to make everything complicated without feeling overly complicated. 

I’m not sure if this is the start to a new series or not, but there are a few storylines I’d like to see more from. I also wouldn’t mind exploring the slight bit of paranormal activity we see in the book. I thought it added a fun twist to the story, and I mean, you can’t really have a story set in the Deep South without a few haunts. 

Overall, I thought this was a nice re-introduction back into the world of cozy romances which I have missed so much. Aside from the history, the other part of this romance I enjoyed, was the fact that the love interest was a man of color. I loved the descriptions of his beautiful brown skin, his pretty eyes and his curly hair. It was refreshing to see a black man, in a cozy romance, as the hero.

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Sunday Coffee

Hello Friend. We have made it to another Sunday, and I’m so grateful. This past week was one of those weeks I couldn’t wait to end. Grab your Sunday morning drink of choice, and let’s catch up.

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There has been a murder at the hands of a military member that has really been on everyone’s hearts here in San Antonio. An Air Force officer has been arrested for the disappearance of his wife. Our unit along with hundreds of volunteers have been assisting the local law enforcement in attempting to locate her. I didn’t even know this woman, but I want her found. I want her laid to rest like she deserves to be, not somewhere laying in a ditch possibly, in the elements. It is sad. Especially when our unit was tasked with going out to one of the locations we know he went to after her disappearance, it just made it even more real. 

Sometimes I find being in the military, and the person that serving kind of molds you into, at complete odds with the person I am becoming. I had a situation this past week where I allowed one of the shifts I’m in charge of completely pull me out of character. I lost it, then spent most of the night tossing and turning, upset with myself for allowing them to get me so worked up. Don’t disturb this groove. I need to chill. I feel like I spend more energy getting worked up than I would if I remained cool, calm and collected.

In the whee hours of Monday morning, about 5:30, I was on my way to work and stopped at the gas station. Right place, right time. The gas station had the radio on a classic rock station and I became acquainted with a new favorite song: Love Bites by Def Leppard. If asked what I’ve been obsessed with lately, that’s it. That was all I listened to for two days straight. Shoutout to early morning gas station runs! You never know what song you’ll leave with stuck in your head.

Reading wise, I finished one of my picks for March Mystery Madness..

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 A Dark and Stormy Murder by Julia Buckley was a fun read. I love cozies surrounding books. In this one, the main character is a writing apprentice for her life long favorite suspense author. Shortly after meeting, the two find a dead body outside of the author’s Victorian home. I loved that the author incorporated quotes from the book the character’s are working on at the beginning of each chapter. Kind of a story within the story. There is also a blooming romance that I would like to see more of, so I’ll definitely be continuing on with the series.

I was also in the mood for another Candace Osmond, but not quite ready to continue on with the trilogy of hers I have been procrastinating on finishing.

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A Stolen Heart is very, very short. It’s less than 50 pages, but being that it’s book one in Osmond’s The Wayward Witches series, it did a fantastic job of being the first book. It introduced me to the leading characters and gave me a bit of background for each one and I’m intrigued to see where the next story picks up after getting a glimpse into what Lenora is trying to do.

Candace Osmond is quickly becoming a new favorite author of mine. I want more from her, now!

On Instagram this week:

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I received this review copy of The Cliff House by Raeanne Thayne thanks to Little Bird Publicity. In the post I wanted to know how you incorporate reading into your busy work week. I have found that my reading, especially of physical books, slows down tremendously throughout the week, leaving me to play catch up on the weekend. If you have any advice, let me know. I have set a challenge for myself to read 30 minutes every night in the month of March after 8 p.m.

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I’ve done a full review of Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid back in October when I read it on Netgalley, but it is here, and I am so happy to have a physical copy of my own. I have noticed it’s getting plenty of mixed reviews, but I am a total Stan for this book.

Share with me what’s been up with you. How is your reading going so far this month? Anything great that you’d recommend?

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Catastrophe Queen by Emma Hart

“I wanted to find love and keep it and not set anything on fire or cause any natural disasters in the process.”

Catastrophe Queen by Emma Hart

Published January 29, 2019

4/5 Stars

 

Synopsis:

One hot mess. One hot boss. One too many hot encounters…

It’s not you. It’s me.
No, seriously. It is me. Not only does my name literally mean “unfortunate,” but that’s the story of my life.

Everything I touch turns to crap. An apartment fire—that I swear I was not responsible for—means I’m living back at home with my sex-mad parents. Yay, me!

Which is why I need my new job as personal assistant to Cameron Reid to get back on my feet. Three months in this job and I can move back out and, hopefully, remember to turn off my flat iron once in a while.

Ahem.

On paper, my job is easy. Make coffee. Book appointments. Keep everything in order.

Until I walk in on my boss, half-naked, wearing nothing but the kind of tiny white towel that dreams are made of.

Now, nothing is easy—except our mutual attraction. But he’s my boss, and you know what they say about mixing work and pleasure: unless you do p*rn, it’s just not worth it.

Or is it?

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My Thoughts:

Catastrophe Queen is my first Emma Hart romance, and I really enjoyed it. This book is less than 200 pages, yet I felt it did all it needed to do in a short amount of time. I will say, if errors are a thing that bothers you as you’re reading, you’ve been forewarned: this book could’ve used a bunch of extra editing, but I was having so much fun reading it, I was able to look past it.

This book is hilarious. I was sitting at a coffee shop reading the last few chapters and laughing so hard. There is so much funny banter between characters: Emme’s family for one is a hot mess. Emme lives with her parents and currently her Aunt Grace and Grandpa are living with them as well. I lived for the fussing between Aunt Grace and Grandpa.  Emme’s Mom is so stressed at having these fussing family members under the same roof that she usually has a glass of something which contains alcohol in her hands. On top of Emme being a klutz, her dysfunctional family was the icing on the cake.

I loved the set up of this book. Emme literally walks while daydreaming into traffic and is saved by her soon to be boss, Cameron. Once she starts the job, you’re on edge the entire time hoping she doesn’t make a fool of herself. I loved that Cameron found her klutziness adorable and the two were able to joke about it together.

Another aspect to the story I enjoyed was once the feelings between Cameron and Emme were put out there, how easy it was for them to enjoy each others company. I loved how they would just chill with some food and watch serial killer documentaries. Their relationship felt very realistic.

Overall, I think if you’re looking for a fun, quick read, you should check this one out. It didn’t leave anything to be desired. It did what it needed to do in a short amount of pages, and I am always in aw when an author manages to do that!

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Only You by Melanie Harlow

Okay, let’s get this out of the way before I go any further: I totally read the last book in this trilogy, Only Love, first. It happens. I was too far into it when I realized this, so I went ahead and finished it and have finally back tracked and read book one, Only You.

 

Only You by Melanie Harlow

Published March 10, 2018 by MH Publishing

I listened to the Audiobook via Audible. Narration was done by Stephen Dexter & Lauren Ezzo

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Synopsis:

Nate Pearson is ridiculously handsome and wears the hell out of a suit and tie, but I’ve seen the parade of beautiful women leaving his apartment across the hall—a different one every time—and I want no part of it. When it comes to romance, I’m looking for something real, something that will last: the happily ever after.

As a divorce attorney, he loves to tell me there’s no such thing.

As a wedding planner, I choose to disagree.

We disagree on almost everything, in fact. Everything except James Bond. The only time we really get along is when we’re watching 007 flicks together, and I’ll admit—he has rescued me from a disaster or five. So when one of the baton twirlers from his parade leaves a baby girl at his door with a note that says “I’ll come back for her” and he begs me for help, I can’t turn him down.

But it’s a mistake.

Because watching him with his daughter, I start to see another side of Nate, a side that has my breath coming faster, my body craving his, my heart longing for him to change his mind about love and tell me there’s a chance for us.

I don’t want to be just another girl leaving his apartment in the morning.

I want to be the one he asks to stay.

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My Thoughts:

Melanie Harlow has quickly become a new favorite romance author for me. Firstly, I have never been to Detroit, Michigan, but it is one of those American cities that gets a pretty bad rep. I have only read a handful of Harlow’s novels at this point, but I love that her romances all seem to take place in Detroit and it’s surrounding cities. I love that she is able to  focus her romances in a place that is typically shown in a negative light.

In Only You, I loved the spin on the  “surprise baby,” trope. This is a trope that a lot of romance readers admit is not their favorite, but Melanie Harlow does something different with it. I felt it added a creative spin to the story while feeling very realistic at the same time.

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I really loved Nate and Emmy with their friends to lovers romance. I enjoyed how they were neighbors for years and had complete opposite outlooks when it comes to relationship, yet the surprise baby began to blur the lines on what had been keeping the two apart.

If you’re a fan of “the broken hero,” I think you’ll be a fan of Nates. He has chosen to live his life unattached after the loss of someone very important to him. It is so understandable yet I loved when he admitted to Emme that he would try to push her away, and requested that she not let that happen.

In true Harlow fashion, the ending was absolutely swoon worthy. In each book I’ve read by hers so far, I find the way the hero uses creativity and truly steps outside of his comfort zone to get his girl, and this one didn’t disappoint.

Only You was fun and sexy while being sweet and giving a slight glimpse into the life we create after a great loss. I highly recommend checking it out.

 

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