Strong Enough, an all-new sexy standalone from USA Today Bestselling author Melanie Harlow and David Romanov is available now !
by Melanie Harlow & David Romanov
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Publication Date: June 19, 2017
I wasn’t looking for Derek Wolfe.
I wasn’t looking for anybody. All I wanted was to start a new life in America. But when I found myself stranded here with no place to go, he came to my rescue, offering me a place to stay.
He’s smart, successful, and sexy as hell—I can barely sleep knowing he’s right down the hall. And when the chemistry between us explodes one night with fierce, fiery passion, it’s hard to deny there’s something real between us.
But he does.
He says he was drunk. He says it was a one-time thing. He says he’s not into guys and what we did meant nothing.
He’s lying. Because it happened again, and again, and again. And it’s better every time.
I know we could be good together, and I want the chance to try, but I’m done hiding. If he’s not strong enough to admit the truth, I’ll have to be strong enough to walk away.
Okay, so as a romance blogger (mostly), I tend to get into a box as to what I like to read. I know what I like and I stick to it. Sometimes a little kinky sometimes a little more sweet…but generally they fall around the same ideas. So when I step outside my comfort zone I am always a little nervous. Strong Enough, definitely falls a little outside my normal comfort zone. As much as I tend to fall back on the same things, I am always looking for ways to broaden my tastes. I don’t have too much experience reading MM romances, as only a few have come my way, but I always look for the chance to try something new. And man oh man was I rewarded with this one!
“We were not a very likely love story,” I said. “We were better then that.” He kissed my lips, and I felt it in my soul. “We were a real love story, and those never end.”
Maxim and Derek are such an unlikely pair, and that’s what makes their story so great! Harlow and Romanov did such a great job at giving us two contrasting characters that fit together so well. The chemistry between Derek and Maxim is palpable. Both characters are struggling with their own internal struggles. Maxim, recently arrived in the US is struggling to get on his feet after a rough start. Derek has always had straying thoughts, but never acted on them until he takes in Maxim. Watching them evolve was such a beautiful story.
Derek’s story is one of so much pain and struggle. He struggles so much with his feelings, and what to do about them. He has grown up believing that how he feels is wrong, a sin. I think his journey throughout the story is my favorite. He evolves so much as a character. It was a beautiful story of accepting yourself, and coming to the realization that how you feel, and what makes you happy is what matters.
Maxim, oh man, our lovely Russian. He had so much strength in order to go after his dreams and come to America. He knows who he is and is finally able to show his true colors once getting off the plane. He has a little bit of a rough start but once he finds Derek and his sister and they take him in things start to look up. Maxim is written as such a strong character, he knows what he wants, and won’t Derek play games with him…even if sometimes he gets distracted.
The writing that we get from both Harlow and Romanov is so beautiful and raw. I loved their writing together. It had a good flow to it, and it was smooth and steady through the whole book. Overall this really is a beautiful love story. I am so glad I took a chance on this book. I would highly recommend this book to everyone!
Overall Review: 5/5 Stars
Figuring I’d had enough booze to blunt his effect on me, I rolled up the sleeves of my black button-down shirt and moved next to him. “I’ll help you.”
I caught him trying to not to look at my wrists and forearms, and it made me smile. How does it feel to want someone and have to hide it? “You wash, I’ll dry?”
We worked in silence, shoulder to shoulder, and I found myself increasingly—and disturbingly—pleased at the thought of him being attracted to me and being forced to conceal it. It was fucking horrible of me to take pleasure in his discomfort, but I liked being secretly wanted. Being illicitly desired. Being the object of his covert glances and maybe even his darkest, dirtiest thoughts. I let our arms touch more than necessary, as thrilled by the physical contact as I was by the thought of what it might be doing to him.
For there is no man who does not sin.
My dick started to get hard, clearly unbothered by the whiskey that was breaking down my inhibitions, pushing past all my defenses, and letting my imagination run wild.
What’s in that gorgeous head of yours, Maxim? What’s behind those cobalt eyes? What would you do to me, if I let you? What would you let me do to you?
“Carolyn is so nice,” he said, handing me the last serving dish left to be dried.
What? He was thinking about Carolyn right now? He wasn’t supposed to be thinking about Carolyn—I was, goddammit!
But I wasn’t. “Yeah.”
He turned off the water. Rested his wet hands on the edge of the sink. “I didn’t realize you had a girlfriend.”
And I heard it in his voice—the slightest edge of jealousy, so faint I might never have noticed it had I not been so hyperaware of everything about him right now. I fucking loved it.
“She’s not my girlfriend.”
“Oh.” Now there was confusion. “I guess I misunderstood.”
“She wants to be my girlfriend.”
Of course there was silence. Maxim would never ask what the problem was. But I wanted to tell him. I wanted him to know. I wanted to share the impossible longing I felt with one person who might understand it.
“The problem is me.”
He was completely still. Before I could stop myself, I covered his right hand with my left. “Sometimes I don’t know what I want.”
He yanked his hand from beneath mine and we faced each other.
For the first time tonight, I looked him right in the eye. Nothing around us existed for me anymore. I heard only his breath. Smelled only his skin. Saw only his guarded expression.
I had to have him.
Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/YwYlrO
iBooks: Strong Enough
Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/eU1rwv
Melanie Harlow writes sexy, emotional romance about strong, stubborn characters who can’t help falling in love. She’s addicted to bacon, gin martinis, and summer reading on the screened-in porch. If she’s not buried in a book or binging on Netflix, you might find her running, putting a bun in someone’s hair, or driving to and from the dance studio. She lives outside Detroit with her husband and two daughters.
Melanie is the USA Today bestselling author of the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, MAN CANDY, AFTER WE FALL, IF YOU WERE MINE, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s.
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For David Romanov, STRONG ENOUGH is to a great extent autobiographical. Born in Russia and raised in Europe, he landed in the United States at the age of 24, where he learned a lot about cultural differences between East and West. David firmly believes in ‘The One’ and learning through love. When he isn’t traveling or educating Melanie in Russian culture, he enjoys books and the company of his husband and dog in Los Angeles.
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