5 CROWN Review
Man Candy contains everything I would expect from a Melanie Harlow book. The characters are interesting, the relationship dynamic is hot, and there is always a happy ending. Man Candy did not disappoint in any of these areas.
This story is a friends-to-lovers romance mixed with a little bit of animosity (not full blown hate per se)-to-lovers romance. When the reader first meets Jaime, she is emotionally disconnected from the world and really only looks for physical relationships with men; she is basically the male version of the traditional romance hero refusing to commit to another person. However, she is forced to interact with Quinn, and she tries to remain aloof and standoffish, rather unsuccessfully, as a result of an embarrassing encounter with him when she was younger. Some readers may be put off by Jaime’s more masculine attributes, personality-wise, but the character motivation established by Melanie Harlow makes her endearing. Even if there are times in the novel where she is frustrating, the reason behind her behavior is understandable. She isn’t callous, she is trying to protect herself, which is relatable. I also really enjoy Jaime’s friends, and, based on the details given about them and their sub-plots, there definitely seems to be the potential for more stories. I want to know if Claire finds love and what happens between Margot and Tripp. Hopefully, Melanie Harlow has some more plans up her sleeves. Finally, Quinn…oh, Quinn. I loved him.! Here is another character that has wit and charm, which are my favorite qualities of a male hero, and, of course, he is easy on the eyes. I also love that he was open to let Jaime find her way on her own, but also strong enough to fight for what he wants. He is patience and understanding of her as a person just makes him that much more irresistible as a male character. He definitely ranks among my list of favorite heroes.
Quinn and Jaime are likable apart, but their chemistry together is sizzling. The banter between the two is great. How they interact speaks of more than just physical chemistry. Some times in friends -to-lover romances, the author feels like telling the reader they have been friends forever is enough to establish an emotional connection, and these books often fall flat for me. Melanie Harlow does not do this. She takes the time to let the reader see them as a couple now versus depending on the past. Through their conversations and dates, the reader gets to see their relationship develop and evolve, not just emotionally but physically as well. Additionally, the sex scenes in this book are some of the hottest that I have read, and this is really because of the emotional connection the is established between the characters by the author. Their interactions as a couple are really what sold this book to me as a reader.
The only drawback for me is the plot of the story is pretty predictable. From the beginning of the story, it is clear what the conflict is going to be. When Jaime tells the reader about the speech she must give, I was able to determine how this event will factor into the story. Finally, when Margot begins to have trouble, the reader knows how this is going to affect Jaime and, as a result, Quinn. Even though the basic plot structure and events of the story are foreseeable, I still really loved this book. The details given and the relationship between the characters make this story so enjoyable that I really didn’t care that the plot sequence of the story is foreshadowed heavily in the story, leaving little to no surprises in terms of story structure. This is a minor blip to me that ultimately didn’t detract from the excellence of the story.
So to wrap this up, I love Many Candy. I love Melanie Harlow’s writing. I will continue to read whatever this woman chooses to publish. If you are looking for a quick, sweet, and hot read, then Man Candy is the book you are looking for! It is definitely going into my favorite read pile.
He’s back. Not just back in town, but living in the flat right beneath mine. And he looks good enough to eat, which is just one more reason to stay away from him. But I can’t resist. The sex is incredible (pretty sure we’ve shaken the house right off its foundation), but he can’t fool me—not this time. A degree in marketing and five years in advertising have taught me that “true love” is a fairy tale used to sell lipstick, diamonds, and perfume. It doesn’t exist. He thinks I’m wrong, and he wants to prove it. I think he’s crazy, so I dare him to try. It might be the biggest mistake of my life.
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.
She is represented by Rebecca Friedman of Friedman Literary.