If You Were Mine, an all-new sexy and emotional standalone from USA Today Bestselling author Melanie Harlow is now available!
If You Were Mine
by Melanie Harlow
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Theo MacLeod wasn’t supposed to be the one.
Tall, dark and handsome suits me just fine, but the cocky grin, know-it-all attitude, and mammoth ego? No thanks. I only hired him so I wouldn’t have to sit at the singles table again. It was just pretend.
He wasn’t supposed to kiss me.
My heart wasn’t supposed to pound.
We weren’t supposed to spend the night together—the hottest night of my life.
One night turns into a snowed-in weekend away, and even the blizzard of the century can’t cool the fire between us. I can’t get enough—of his smile, of his body, of the way he makes me feel.
We’re nothing alike. He’s a daredevil, and I’m a nervous Nellie. He’s a drifter, and I want to put down roots. He’s an opportunist with a checkered past, and I’m a Girl Scout volunteer.
But none of it matters when I’m in his arms.
I know he’s made mistakes. I know his wounds are deep, and he doesn’t trust easily. I know he doesn’t believe he could ever be enough to make me happy, but he could.
All he has to do is stay.
A Review By Wendy
4.5 Real People, Real Fears, Real Love Stars
* * * * 1/2
* * * * 1/2
There is a reason Melanie Harlow is a must read for me. She brings humor, incredibly sexy times and huge heart to every story she tells. Yet what I love the most about her books is the possibility of actual people would have to juggle with these situations. Yes, sometimes the characters may be in perfect careers or live in exotic locals, like France....But overall, the themes of her books are presented so that all of us can relate...And in If You Were Mine...Never more so.
I mean come on...How many of you out there have been tortured at a friend's wedding by being stuck at the dreaded "Singles Table"...Fate worse than death, right..
Well, that is the catalyst for Claire to step out of her carefully, safe constructed life and do something she never, ever thought she would...hire a pretend boyfriend for a co worker's wedding. Claire hadn't intended to go looking for a Paid Boyfriend....she sort of backed into it...
The vision of Singles Table and all of the Pity Looks caused her mouth to say she was bringing a Plus One and before she knew it, she had a guy who looked like Ryan Gosling and they had been dating for a few months. The response from her co-worker was so amazed... the blabbermouth ran around telling all of the other teachers before the end of the day.
There goes the plan to have him just not be able to attend....
And once Claire broke down and told her best friends, her only true support ...even they couldn't help. A brother was suggested... but he was out of the country...even a Husband was offered but all of the teachers had met him at one of Claire's dinners....
Claire was desperate...and desperate times called for lots of wine, a website called Hotties for Hire and drunken fingers writing an inquiring email to a Hottie and then clicking send....
Oh, there was Clicker's Remorse but too late...a Hottie responded and was up for a meeting...
Theo was a man who seemed to have no real attachments... and that was just how he liked it. He could pick up and go any time he felt like it ...and he did often. He thought it was probably in his genes...His mother left his brother and him when he was only one year old and his brother was nine. His dad was a drunk/abusive and in and out of jail...so that had to translate to something about him too...So Theo never thought too much about himself and learned his lessons the hard way.
After realizing all of his actions as a rebellious kid put him smack dab where he didn't want to be for a year...he re evaluated things. He worked angles and had real jobs trying to stay out of trouble. He loved his brother, his brother's wife and kids...and saw how hard it was to make a relationship work.
Theo may have been the one support system for his brother's wife and kids...but he wasn't going to be tied to anyone else....He knew he didn't have the right make up for it...didn't deserve that type of life...better to cut and run if things got too close...
As you figured out... Theo worked for Hotties for Hire...and he was the Drunken Click Claire made...
They both have agreed to meet at a coffee bar...This meeting is everything...because it sets in motion for both of them life lessons; experiences and realizations about their lives, themselves and what they want...
What I particularly loved about this story was how real these people were.... they had flaws...Theo had serious flaws and he messed up...a lot. What was important to me was Claire and how she worked to hold her own counsel.... she was a person who wanted love...deserved love and Theo introduced her to what it felt like to truly love someone....She grew from his confidence in her and from her own little baby steps in believing in herself.
What struck me most was a moment when Claire appreciated her time with Theo...all the ups and downs because of what the experience brought her. There is so much truth in that passage... for in life all of us take away some good even when a relationship doesn't work...and it is always important to remember that...
Theo had the biggest hurdles in this tale...and it was telling that his brother finally had figured out how to help himself first so he could be there for Theo.
Now all of you may be wondering... But Wendy ... What the hell, Where is the Good Stuff...Well, the Good Stuff is on Every Single Page...The chemistry between these two is scary good... Wicked Good, Naughty Yummy Good.... and when they finally accept it... KAPOW!!!
This book had it all; fun times, romance, sexy times, the push pull of a real life relationship and the sweetest epilogue. All of the secondary characters did their part...and if you had any doubt...
I Could Read Melanie Harlow All Day Long....
A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
Excerpt:A guy in a black leather jacket set a coffee cup down on the table and sat opposite me.
I looked over at him, feeling slightly awkward since I’d have to tell him he couldn’t sit there. He was handsome, with warm brown eyes and short dark hair, but he wasn’t Fred. “I’m sorry, I’m waiting for someone,” I said. “But I can move.”
To my surprise, he smiled confidently. “Claire, right? I’m Fred.”
I screwed up my face. “You can’t be. Fred has blond hair and blue eyes. I saw his picture.”
He laughed, almost condescendingly. “I don’t use my real picture, Claire. People are crazy.”
What? This made no sense. “I don’t understand. How can you advertise yourself with someone else’s photo? Don’t women get mad when you show up?”
He shrugged, his grin turning a little cocky. “Haven’t had any complaints so far.”
Actually, he was more attractive than the photo he’d used online—more rugged and masculine, with his scruffy jaw, big shoulders, and brawny chest. Meeting the real Fred was kind of like ordering the chicken piccata and being brought the Porterhouse, which hadn’t even been on the menu.
But that wasn’t the point.
(And I’d described someone completely different to Elyse.)
“So, what, you use a fake photo to lure potential clients and then you set up the coffee meeting to check them out first?” I asked indignantly.
“Wouldn’t you?” He shrugged out of his jacket. “It’s a scary world out there.”
I crossed my arms, sitting up tall. “No! That’s a scam. I don’t like scammers.”
“No, it isn’t. I don’t take any money from them. I don’t even talk to them, I just leave.”
Frowning, I said, “That doesn’t seem right to me. These people are willing to pay you to hang out with them and probably feel bad enough about themselves already, and you just walk out without even giving them a chance?”
He shrugged. “Look, if it makes you feel any better, I’ve only walked off a job once, and that was because I thought I recognized the woman. I prefer to keep my personal and professional identities separate. That’s fair, isn’t it?”
Professional identity? He was a rent-a-date! I shook my head in disbelief. “Is your name even Fred?”
“Does it matter?”
“Yes,” I snapped. “How am I supposed to know what to call you?”
He grinned as he leaned toward me and lowered his voice. “Call me anything you want. You’re the boss.”
Was he flirting with me or making fun of me? I cleared my throat and pressed my knees tighter together. “I’d like to call you by your actual name, please. Bad enough I have to pay someone to play my fake boyfriend. I’d like something to be real, at least.”
He held his eyes steady on mine for a moment. I felt like he was sizing me up, trying to decide if he could trust me, so I stared right back without blinking. If anyone at this table was trustworthy, it was me.
“Theo,” he said quietly, his eyes dropping to my lips for the merest fraction of a second. “My name is Theo.”
There. Was that so hard? I smiled at him before picking up my latte.“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Theo.”
“What, you’re just going to believe me? You’re much too trusting, Claire. I bet people take advantage of you.”
I set the cup back down on the saucer with an angry clank. “Is your name Theo or not?”
“Shhh, it is, it is,” he said, laughing. Then he glanced over his shoulder like he was in the fucking CIA. “But I don’t give that out to just anyone. You should feel special.”
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2kyu7kK
Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/bgtL5b
Add to Goodreads: https://goo.gl/zqceTQ
About the Author:Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she's not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.
Melanie is the author of the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.
Connect with Melanie:
Sign up for Melanie’s Newsletter: http://www.melanieharlow.com/subscribe/