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Monday, June 20, 2016

Man Candy by Melanie Harlow

A Review by Wendy
5 Pushing All The Right Buttons Stars
* * * * * 

Melanie Harlow is like that saying of the little girl who when she is good, she's great. I love the way Harlow can take a scene and make me laugh out loud in the mild of the night with total abandon because the writing is that good. In Man Candy, she accomplished that without any effort at all... it was seamless and perfect. 

This is a tale of where the man is the one who recognizes the importance of connecting; of finding that one person who will be there through the tough times and easy ones...who has figured out what is important in life the hard way... by the loss of his beloved mom and being close enough to world tragedy to "get it"... that time is fleeting and we should live it to the fullest.

This is a combination of troupes with a dash of big brother's best friend...a kinda friend/enemy to lovers thing and then a full on push to show how to accept love in your life.

It is done so well and with amazingly current reference points. It could be a story told to you by someone you know right now when you ask... So how did you to meet and when did you know  he was the one... type of thing.

The major focus of this book is our gal has lost the belief in love. Period.
And it may have started with our guy...
Because there was a teenage crush, a pursuit of a kiss with said crush and then the devastating push back by the fella she informed she loved...
Yup... she told him out loud with all the passion a 17 year old could and he laughed...

So ten years later, we are there when her brother asks her to let Quinn stay in the furnished lower level of the duplex they own for a month. Only because her brother has been so great to her...and the ass is outside, getting out of his car and walking up to the front door does she tell her brother, yes.

Quinn wasn't really the ass Jaime thought of him. He had all of these questionable feelings for Quinn... new feelings as they sort of grew up together. His mom worked for Jaime's family cooking and Quinn would end up over at their house more times then anyone could count. He was practically like a brother... and would tease her all of the time. He loved getting her all worked up... seeing her feisty, sassy and full of piss and vinegar. But when Jaime started to change into this woman/girl... Quinn didn't quite know how to react to it... after all Jaime's family were always there for him and he knew it would be wrong to take advantage of her.

So he laughed...and made a joke out of it in order to hide how he felt.

Quinn is back in Detroit because he is at a crossroads. He has been a very successful model and Social Media star for quite sometime. Billboards have had him plastered everywhere, commercials  with his face hawking the latest fragrance are on and it has been very profitable for him. He was able to provide some relief for his mom.... but it came too late to save her from her fate. After loosing her to cancer, he traveled and became a witness first hand to how fleeting life can be. Quinn was shaken to his core and realized he wanted more out of life. He wanted a community, dear friends and a home.

He purchased a condo but it will take a few weeks for completion. This puts him in Alex's duplex with Jaime. And that suits him just fine. Because he has always had a soft spot for this woman.

Jaime has her life all worked out... she does not need this hot model/ old crush/family friend living below in her world. She does marketing and knows all the ways branding and manipulation plays in sales and this love fantasy everyone believes in. She has learned all her lessons and has enacted her special rules to hook ups/dating. She lays it all out with each fella and if they seem to become attached to her, she cuts them loose before they can do it to her.

What we get with this set up is fantastic scenes, dialogue and a love story based in the willingness to trust and put yourself out there. It is the best.

Quinn's brother Alex is marrying his long time partner, Ben. Ben is a therapist and his contribution to this story is perfect... his is the voice of reason for both Quinn and Jaime. The long lasting love Alex and he have is proof love can be real and worth the fight.

I do not have to tell how incredibly hot the relationship is between Quinn and Jaime... from the happy, biting teasing... with buttons pushed to the braking point... to dirty talking whispered in ears and out and out pet names to make you giggle like a schoolgirl. The humor is top notch and all of it flows so naturally.

All of the secondary characters perform their purpose. They do it well and add to the story.
So if you can tell.... I just loved the story. With this book, Melanie Harlow lives up to being the writer who is very, very good  indeed. 

A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. She writes contemporary and historical romance from her home near Detroit, MI.

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