by Melanie Harlow
Published by MH Publishing LLC on February 25, 2017
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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.
If You Were Mine is the first book I’ve read by Melanie Harlow, but it certainly won’t be my last. I give this 5 hand-on-my-heart, tear-filled, I-love-this-book stars!
Claire French is a girl who plays it safe. She’s an elementary school art teacher who’d love to sell her art, but it’s something she’ll get around to later–the elusive “someday.” She dreams of visiting Europe, but she’s terrified of flying. She wants love, but has never made a lasting connection with a guy.
Claire finds herself in crisis mode when faced with the prospect of attending a friend’s wedding and being condemned to sit at the singles’ table once again. In a fit of panic, Claire invents a boyfriend, whom she says will be accompanying her to the wedding. Everyone is excited to meet this new guy–the boyfriend who doesn’t actually exist.
Out with her friends during a girls’ night out, Claire wishes she could hire someone to play her fake boyfriend, just to help her survive the wedding. The idea quickly turns into reality when Claire logs on to the Hotties for Hire website and arranges an initial meeting with Fred.
Only Fred is actually Theo MacLeod: super charming, ridiculously good looking, and willing to take the job of playing the fake boyfriend for a night. The wedding date goes off without a hitch, except for the part where Claire and Theo discover that their attraction to each other is definitely not fake at all.
However, Theo doesn’t do permanence or relationships. He’s a drifter with a checkered past. He also has tons of baggage when it comes to his family. Needless to say, Theo is only interested in the here and now–not in forever, like Claire.
Neither of them is supposed to fall for the other–but life has a funny way of working things out in ways that are least expected.
I love this book so, so, so much. There’s just something about the author’s writing style that really appeals to me and just works for me on every level. Her writing captures emotion so well–the push and pull of it, the uncertainty, the reward. The writing here is quite beautiful.
That being said, there’s also a nice balance between beautiful writing and crazy hot sex scenes. That’s a seriously winning combination, in my book.
There’s some angst when Theo’s past is revealed, especially with regard to his family and the complicated feelings surrounding them, as well as his internalized struggle with himself. In turn, Claire has to confront her vulnerability and decide whether some risks are worth taking. Both Theo and Claire have layers and depth to them that made me care about them as characters. During the last few chapters, I literally had my hand over my heart because I could not contain the explosion of feels that this book caused.
If You Were Mine is now one of my new favorites and Melanie Harlow is going on my TBR list again for sure. Highly recommended.
Rating: 5 stars