Donna Reads: Only You (One and Only #1) by Melanie Harlow

Emme lives across the hall from Nate. They are friends. They share a love of James Bond movies and often spend evenings together watching a movie and sharing a meal. Nate is a womanizing playboy who often lends a sympathetic ear to Emme’s love life woes. Emme secretly would like more from Nate, but he is convinced that he never wants to marry or have children. He believes he and Emme want totally different things out of life. When an ex leaves an eight week old baby  girl on Nate’s doorstep, telling him in a note that he is the father, Nate is forced to man up and take care of his daughter. 

I loved this one. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy Melanie Harlow’s writing. She is great with character development, and her story lines are humorous and have great depth. Nate had a very sad event in his childhood that destroyed his family and made him afraid of opening himself up to love. He was scared to love and lose again. Emme was convinced she only fell for jerks. In the opening scenes where she receives a wedding invitation to her ex’s wedding, I was laughing out loud.  Emme was sweet and adorable. 

The supporting cast of characters were also well written and added to the story the way that real friends and family would.  I highly recommend this one. 

Donna Reads: Man Candy by Melanie Harlow

The Blurb: 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.

Jaime Owens doesn’t believe in love. She’s a love-him-and-leave-him sort of girl. She uses men for sex only and then kicks them out. Quinn Rusek is one of her brother’s friends. She’s known him all of her life. She even told him she loved him once when she was a teenager, and he was embarrassed and laughed at her, even though he really did like her back. He’s always liked her. Ten years later he’s back in her life, living below her. After some silly back and forth, they begin a physical relationship, but she has vowed never to love anyone. 

I read this one when I realized it was the first book in the series (set before After We Fall time-wise). I wanted to make sure I hadn’t missed something important. I hadn’t. I really did not like Jaime. Even after she figured out how she really felt for Quinn, I still didn’t like her. She was just a dud for me. 

Donna Reads: After We Fall by Melanie Harlow

The Blurb: Jack Valentini isn’t my type.  Sexy, brooding cowboys are fine in the movies, but in real life, I prefer a suit and tie. Proper manners. A close shave. Jack might be gorgeous, but he’s also scruffy, rugged, and rude. He wants nothing to do with a “rich city girl” like me, and he isn’t afraid to say so. But I’ve got a PR job to do for his family’s farm, so he’s stuck with me and I’m stuck with him. His glares. His moods. His tight jeans. His muscles. His huge, hard muscles. Pretty soon there’s a whole different kind of tension between us, the kind that has me misbehaving in barns, trees, and pickup trucks. I’ve never done anything so out of character—but it feels too good to stop. And the more I learn about the grieving ex-Army sergeant, the better I understand him. Losing his wife left him broken and bitter and blaming himself. He doesn’t think he deserves a second chance at happiness. But he’s wrong. I don’t need to be his first love. If only he’d let me be his last.

Jack Valentini is an Army veteran suffering from PTSD. He’s also a widower, having lost his wife to a drunk driver. He’s broody and damaged, and he’s convinced he doesn’t deserve to be happy. He runs a family farm with his two brothers. Margot Lewiston is a city girl from a rich, old money family. Margot owns a PR company with her friend. Their company is hired by the Valentini family to help promote the farm and update their image. Jack doesn’t want Margot there. He doesn’t want things to change. It isn’t long before sparks fly between them. 

I liked both main characters. They were both well-written and believable. Margot may have been a little spoiled and rich, but she’s funny and real. She was so good for Jack. Jack was heartbreaking. He’d been through so much. He was a good guy underneath it all, but he had to learn how to let go of the past. I enjoyed their journey and love story.