If You Were Mine by Melanie Harlow – Review & Excerpt

If You Were Mine by Melanie Harlow – Review & ExcerptIf You Were Mine by Melanie Harlow
Published by Self Published on February 28th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 293
Source: Blog Tour, Social Butterfly
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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.

Melanie Harlow delivers romance perfection with If You Were Mine, and I can’t stop thinking about this sexy, humorous and swoon-worthy story. I have a soft spot for good girls paired up with bad boys, and Theo MacLeod is one delicious bad boy. 
 
Theo’s childhood was haunted by his father’s addiction and his mother’s abandonment. His life got off track when he made a few bad choices, and he currently makes his living doing small con jobs throughout the country trying to have as few emotional ties as possible. While he’s a nomad and is says he is happy being alone, he is devoted to his three nieces and helps to support his sister-in-lawwhile his alcoholic brother is struggles with his addiction. Theo also has another job – he works for a date-for-hire service and this is where he meets Claire.
 
Claire is an art teacher who is tired of the singles table at weddings; therefore, she hires the enigmatic Theo to pose as her boyfriend at a co-worker’s wedding. She’s a good girl and a rule follower who doesn’t have a lot of confidence in herself. She and Theo have sparks from the moment they meet, and they each seem to get each other. It quickly becomes obvious that this could be much more than just a paid date. 
 
Although Theo doesn’t think he’s good enough for Claire and doesn’t want any entanglements, he can’t stop wanting her. She makes him yearns for things he’s never allowed himself to want, but he will have to risk his heart and face his fears if he is going to have a chance with Claire. They make an amazing and lovely team as they both bring out the best in each other.
I can’t do If You Were Mine justice, so just read it! You will love the sexy and moody Theo, and you’ll be happy that he found the perfect match in the funny and sweet Claire. Her love gives Theo the confidence to believe in himself again. Their sexual chemistry is electric, and their love story is truly sigh-worthy. If You Were Mine is a stand-alone book, but you will see past favorites from After We Fall and Man Candy, which are also excellent books and not to be missed.
ARC provided by publisher, but this review was voluntarily and honestly written.

 

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Excerpt:

A guy in a black leather jacket set a coffee cup down on the table and sat opposite me.

I looked over at him, feeling slightly awkward since I’d have to tell him he couldn’t sit there. He was handsome, with warm brown eyes and short dark hair, but he wasn’t Fred. “I’m sorry, I’m waiting for someone,” I said. “But I can move.”

To my surprise, he smiled confidently. “Claire, right? I’m Fred.”

I screwed up my face. “You can’t be. Fred has blond hair and blue eyes. I saw his picture.”

He laughed, almost condescendingly. “I don’t use my real picture, Claire. People are crazy.”

What? This made no sense. “I don’t understand. How can you advertise yourself with someone else’s photo? Don’t women get mad when you show up?”

He shrugged, his grin turning a little cocky. “Haven’t had any complaints so far.”

Actually, he was more attractive than the photo he’d used online—more rugged and masculine, with his scruffy jaw, big shoulders, and brawny chest. Meeting the real Fred was kind of like ordering the chicken piccata and being brought the Porterhouse, which hadn’t even been on the menu.

But that wasn’t the point.

(And I’d described someone completely different to Elyse.)

“So, what, you use a fake photo to lure potential clients and then you set up the coffee meeting to check them out first?” I asked indignantly.

“Wouldn’t you?” He shrugged out of his jacket. “It’s a scary world out there.”

I crossed my arms, sitting up tall. “No! That’s a scam. I don’t like scammers.”

“No, it isn’t. I don’t take any money from them. I don’t even talk to them, I just leave.”

Frowning, I said, “That doesn’t seem right to me. These people are willing to pay you to hang out with them and probably feel bad enough about themselves already, and you just walk out without even giving them a chance?”

He shrugged. “Look, if it makes you feel any better, I’ve only walked off a job once, and that was because I thought I recognized the woman. I prefer to keep my personal and professional identities separate. That’s fair, isn’t it?”

Professional identity? He was a rent-a-date! I shook my head in disbelief. “Is your name even Fred?”

“Does it matter?”

“Yes,” I snapped. “How am I supposed to know what to call you?”

He grinned as he leaned toward me and lowered his voice. “Call me anything you want. You’re the boss.”

Was he flirting with me or making fun of me? I cleared my throat and pressed my knees tighter together. “I’d like to call you by your actual name, please. Bad enough I have to pay someone to play my fake boyfriend. I’d like something to be real, at least.”

He held his eyes steady on mine for a moment. I felt like he was sizing me up, trying to decide if he could trust me, so I stared right back without blinking. If anyone at this table was trustworthy, it was me.

“Theo,” he said quietly, his eyes dropping to my lips for the merest fraction of a second. “My name is Theo.”

There. Was that so hard? I smiled at him before picking up my latte.“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Theo.”

“What, you’re just going to believe me? You’re much too trusting, Claire. I bet people take advantage of you.”

I set the cup back down on the saucer with an angry clank. “Is your name Theo or not?”

“Shhh, it is, it is,” he said, laughing. Then he glanced over his shoulder like he was in the fucking CIA. “But I don’t give that out to just anyone. You should feel special.”

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About the Author:

harlow-headshot-colorMelanie 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.

Connect with Melanie:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMelanieHarlow/?fref=ts

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Twitter: @MelanieHarlow2

Website: http://www.melanieharlow.com

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