Siskiyou Review: Another Romance, Unique and Touching in its own right

by Shelee Juarez, Columnist

Only You was a touching and sweepingly romantic tale of a woman falling for a man as he falls for parenthood. With Melanie Harlow’s magnetic writing, this story and its characters were evocative and vivid in their portrayal from the very first page, and they carried in that same fashion until the end. Its allure stemmed from the ease of their connection and grew as their relationship transformed and sparked, making it a one-sitting read.

The beauty of Nate and Emme was in their lack of pretense. Their neighborly friendship did not hide behind this secret need to become something with one another–though both found the other attractive. Instead, their relationship was platonic, simple, just friends. Watching this simple friendship bloom into a wonderful connection as Nate’s life was turning upside-down. Watching their connection becoming more real than anything ever had been for Nate was breathtaking.

The two were more than just caricatures of the tropes they inhabited– a new, single dad and friends-to-lovers. The story included realistic feeling representations of how life and friendship can evolve a person into opening and expanding their heart to what is important. Nate’s aching vulnerability and genuine struggle to overcome everything he had fought against was palpable, and Emme took such care of that gift while still allowing herself to risk her own heart. Both characters had their faults, but together they lifted and inspired the other–something that was so wonderful to be immersed into.

Only You was as charming and inviting as its cover. Though Nate was sort of an atypical hero of a romance novel, I loved how Harlow shaped his arc and brought forth a man who had so much to offer hidden under all of his layers. Its perfectly-timed, emotional gut-punches and sweet, superbly-written romance were everything. Through that, it quickly becomes a story not to miss.

 

This novel scores 5 out of 5 stars because of its touching character evolution and superbly layered writing.

 

BLURB:

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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