Only You, an all-new sexy and emotional standalone
from USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow is LIVE!
4 Only Ever You CROWNS
Melanie Harlow always has that right balance of a super sweet romance and steamy scenes. Her heroes words make swoon and the their skills in sheets heat me up, and Only You is the perfect combination of all the above.
Nate is a typical playboy bachelor when we meet him. He has no plans to settle down. He hides his emotions at all costs, keeping a barrier around his heart. That is until he is forced to bring it down. When he does, he has no choice but to recognize how he feels for his neighbor Emme; however, he is a man who runs from his feelings. It is interesting to see this weaker side of a hero and to see him finally be forced to confront them. He is a romance hero, so he does grow & evolve, finally acknowledging his hangups and choosing to move beyond, which is really what makes him swoon-worthy in the end.
Emme suffers from what most women suffer from, the ideal man created by movies and romance novels. She wants it all. The romance, the partner for life, and as a result she tends to fall fast and get hurt a lot. This aspect of her character makes her relatable because we have either been there or know someone who has been there. She walks into her relationship with Nate with her eyes open. With him, she begins to evolve as well and not explode with emotion at every turn, but she also stands up for herself when he messes up. Those are the moments I like her best.
The story line isn’t really what I was expecting but I enjoyed it. The person who brings them together is also the impetus that tears them apart. Paisley makes him question his life and what he does with it. She makes him uncomfortable in his old life and long for his new one. She brings down his walls, which makes him better and fearful. So much of the story revolves around her and the feelings she conjures up in the hero, making the story more about him then Emme, and I liked the bit of role reversal. As always, Melanie Harlow provides a wonderful HEA that hits the mark on the what romance readers always want.
Sweet and steamy, Melanie Harlow’s Only You is another wonderful read. Filled with old and new characters to love and a romance that warms the heart, it as another book to be on your TBR.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
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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“So did you mean what you said last night? About me?”
He grimaced, his eyes closing briefly. “I’m sorry about that. I shouldn’t have said it.”
“But you think it, right? That I’m a little girl living in a fantasy world?”
“No.” He put a hand on my shoulder. “I think you’re an optimist. I think you see good in people they don’t even see themselves. You build people up—especially me.”
“You?” I laughed a little. “You don’t need me to build you up.”
“Hell yes, I do. You think I’d have been able to handle this whole fatherhood bombshell if you hadn’t been here? If you’d said, ‘That’s what you get for fucking around, asshole. Good luck.’”
I shook my head, a strand of hair coming loose from my bun. “I’d never have done that.”
“I know.” He tucked the strand behind my ear and moved his hand to the back of my neck. His eyes dropped to my lips. “But I would have deserved it.”
I held my breath. Things seemed to be happening in slow motion. His forehead came to rest on mine. And then our noses touched. Our eyes closed. An eternity passed, his lips a whisper from mine. Either one of us could have initiated a kiss. A slight lift of my chin. A little drop of his head. The question—will we or won’t we?—hung there between us, even as his closed lips brushed mine, eyelash soft.
I wanted nothing more than to wrap my arms around his neck and fit my body flush against his, but my wrists lay inert on the edge of the sink. Suddenly he spoke, his breath warm against my mouth.
“You know that dream you have, the one where you really want to do something, you’re desperate to do something, but you’re paralyzed?”
“Yes,” I whispered.
“I think I’m having that dream right now.”
“Me too.” And then I felt it, the gentle pressure at the back of my neck, pulling my head toward him.
It was all I needed. Our mouths came together firmly this time, our lips opening, and I angled my body toward his, throwing my arms around his neck. His hands explored my back while his tongue explored my mouth, and he backed me into the corner, his hips pinning mine against the hard stone counter. He kissed with a fervor and intensity that surprised me, his mouth traveling down my neck, his fingers threading through my hair, pulling the pins loose, his body giving off heat that mine hungrily absorbed. I wanted to get closer to him, wished I could feel his skin against mine. I rose up on tiptoe to press against him, my back arching to fit the question mark curve of his body.
He felt big and strong and reassuring, exactly how I wanted him to feel. I wasn’t even sure what it was I wanted reassurance about… My desirability? Our chemistry? Something new and different happening between us? He swept his lips to the other side of my throat, a necklace of soft, insistent kisses that warmed my blood. When his mouth returned to mine, the kiss grew hot and frantic. He reached down and hiked the hem of my skirt to my waist, and I immediately jumped up, wrapping my legs around him. His hands moved under my ass and he carried me like that into the living room, never lifting his mouth off mine. When he reached the couch, he knelt on it and tipped me backward, stripping off his shirt and stretching out above me.
My hands moved lightning fast over hot skin, solid muscle. Chest and arms and back—I couldn’t get enough. His hand stole beneath the T-shirt I wore and I arched my back so he could reach underneath me and unclasp my bra, then moaned softly at the feel of his palm over my breasts. Moving down, he shoved the shirt and bra up to my neck and put his mouth on me, his lips, his tongue, his teeth, my nipples hardening into tight little peaks that begged to be licked, sucked, teased, tortured.
What are we doing? What are we doing? What are we doing? screamed a voice in my head.
I ignored it, hooking my arms beneath his and pulling him up so I could kiss him again. I didn’t care what we were doing.
It felt way too good to stop.
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 AFTER WE FALL series, 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.
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