I love Melanie Harlow’s books. Fun and sexy or sweet and emotional, her books are always so well written and delightful and her characters are always so endearing and relatable. Her feel-good romances always made me smile and swoon and I always relate with her characters in one way or another. While I enjoyed every single one of Melanie’s books I’ve read in the past, I have to say ‘After We Fall’ was my favorite book from her and in my humble opinion her best work to date. ‘After We Fall’ was pure and simply awesome from the beginning until the end and I truly enjoyed every minute of it. It was sweet, it was sexy, it was emotional, it was everything I love in a good-feel romance.
Margot and one of her best friend, Jaime work together at Shine PR, a marketing and public relations company they had started together just a year ago. Her business is great, but unfortunately she’s not so lucky when it comes to relationships, finding ‘the one’ and obviously settle down. When her ex-boyfriend shows up at her door, in the middle of the night only to propose to her, she’s more than shocked. Margot’s life is turned upside down next day, when she finds out her ex is just a scumbag liar. To escape everyone and also the gossip, Margot decides it’s the perfect time for a change of scenery. A new client needs some help with a small family farm, so the countryside starts to sound more and more appealing for Margot.
Jack and his brother need some serious help with their farm. At least Jack’s brothers do since he’s convinced they don’t need some stranger tell them how to do their job. He doesn’t like change…in any aspect of his life, so he’s not very open to his brothers’ idea of hiring some PR agency. An ex-soldier, Jack is still grieving after his ex-wife. He’s lonely and unhappy and all he wants is to be left alone – by everyone in town, by his family and definitely by Margot, whom from the very first moment he lays his eyes on her, he feels a strong, strange attraction. Despite his attraction towards Margot, Jack is rude, moody and defensive and tries to avoid her at any cost. But Margot has other plans. She’s sweet and determined to find more about the farm and also about Jack, because she’s drawn to the grouchy, ill-mannered farmer like never before. But Jack had walls up around himself. He believes he doesn’t deserve to be happy, to have a second chance at love, so he pushes Margot away with every opportunity. Will Margot make Jack realize they are perfect together and that all she needs and wants is not to be his first love, but his last?
Like I mentioned above, I loved everything about this story. I said this before and I will say this again – in my eyes a contemporary romance that has a little bit of everything is perfection. And ‘After We Fall’ certainly had…and was. Melanie Harlow’s newest release was wonderfully written, a sweet, fun, sexy emotional story about loss, healing and second chances that really warmed my heart. I loved how the author perfectly balanced every aspect of this story. It had the perfect amount of everything, which I really loved.
The two main characters, Margot and Jack, were opposite in every single way, but they were so good together, so perfect for each other, they complementing each other in such a fantastic way. Margot was a fun, endearing and even relatable character I connected with and liked from the moment she was introduced. She was beautiful, smart, sincere and kind and I loved the fact that she wasn’t a snob. She stood up for herself, she spoke her mind and she didn’t hold back at all. I absolutely loved how understanding she was with our hero. She was sweet, thoughtful and considerate and I’m pretty sure every reader will love her warm heart.
Jack was grouchy, yet very endearing in his own way. His past was heartbreaking and I really felt how lost and lonely he was and as the story progressed, how hard he struggled to accept that he has the right to be happy. His character development was fantastically done, IMO better than Margot’s, his character having so much depth. He was a moody bastard, but he was also a sweet, caring, protective man who just needs to be reminded how to be happy.
I loved everything about these two characters’ relationship – the animosity between them in the beginning, the transition from enemies to lovers and of course their romantic relationship. Like I said earlier, these two were really awesome together. They felt good together in every single way and their chemistry…OMG…it was of the charts! So fantastically done…one of the best I’ve read in a while. These two were sweet together, but they were also hot. Soo damn hot! And the sexy scenes between them? Simply smoking!
Overall, a wonderful read!
“Wow,” she said, shutting the screen door behind her. “That was close. Thank you so much.”
“You’re welcome.” I crossed my arms, wishing I’d thought to grab a shirt. “Want to tell me what you were doing out there?”
Her cheeks colored. “Um, I was taking a run.”
“Up a tree?”
She laughed nervously. “No. Well, I didn’t start out in a tree. That happened later.”
I cocked my head, unable to resist giving her a hard time. Not so sure of yourself now, are you, Barbie? “Oh yeah?”
“Yes. See, I left the cottage I’m renting without using the bathroom by mistake,” she began, twisting her fingers together, “and I was planning on running a loop around the farm, but it’s bigger than I thought.”
“Ah. So you were looking for a bathroom in the woods?”
“Well, yes.” She swallowed. “Sort of. But then I heard a splash and saw you…” Her cheeks were practically purple now.
I played dumb. “Saw me what?”...continue reading
“Saw you naked, OK?” she blurted, throwing her hands up. “I admit it—I saw you naked.”
I had no hangups about nudity, but I was damn serious about my privacy, and about people sneaking up on me. But her embarrassment was funny. The two times I’d seen her before, she’d been so polished and poised. It felt good to put her in her place a little. “So you climbed a tree for a better view, is that it?”
Bowing her head, she dragged the toe of one shoe across the wood planks of the porch floor. “Something like that.” Then she looked up at me. Took a breath. “I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. I was—I mean, I got—I couldn’t—” She sighed, briefly closing her eyes. “I have no excuse. Will you accept my apology?”
She was prettier without makeup, I decided. And the way she wore her hair off her face emphasized the wideness of her eyes, the angle of her cheekbones, the arch of her brows. Her lips didn’t need all that glossy crap, either. They were a perfect rosy pink, and I wondered if they’d feel as soft as they looked.
Fuck. I hadn’t kissed anyone in three years.
Clearing my throat, I took a step back. “Yeah. It’s fine.” Now get out of here.
She didn’t move. “So you’re not going to fire me?”
“I never hired you.”
“I know. But I really want this job. I think I can help, Jack. I know I can.”
“Suit yourself. I want nothing to do with it.” My name on her lips was trouble. Needing some distance from her, I started walking toward the dock to get my shoes and socks, but she followed me. God, she was a pest. It reminded me of the way Steph used to tag along after the boys when we were kids, wanting to get in our games.
“Are you going to be like this the entire time I’m here?” she asked.
“Moody and uncooperative?”
“Why? Do you hate me that much?”
“I don’t hate anybody. I just don’t see why we should pay some city girl who’s never set foot on a farm to advise us.” We reached the dock, and I leaned down to get my stuff.
“I’m not even asking to be paid, so piss off!” she shouted, her voice carrying on the water.
I straightened. “Oh, you’re working for free?”
“Then you’re an idiot. Or so rich you don’t need the money.”
“I’m not an idiot,” she said through clenched teeth.
“So you’re rich, then.” I don’t know why I was being such an asshole. But for some reason, I did not want to let her see another side of me, or see another side to her. “I should have guessed.”
She crossed her arms. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means you look like you’ve led a charmed life. Like you’ve had everything you’ve ever wanted handed to you. Like you’ve never gotten your hands dirty.”
“So get them dirty.”
I almost fell off the dock. “What?”
“Get them dirty. Teach me about working this farm. I want to learn.”
Was she serious? The last thing I needed was to drag her ass around all day, explaining things. Or stare at her ass all day, imagining things. But one look at her defiant face and I shook my head. “Why do I feel like if I say no, you’ll just keep bothering me?”
She smiled and clasped her hands behind her back, rocking forward on her toes. “Because I will. I don’t like being told no.”
“Of course you don’t.” Jesus, she was trouble. A bad apple—smooth and shiny on the outside, spoiled rotten on the inside. But for no good reason, I found myself giving in. “Fine. Go change your clothes.”
About the Author
Melanie 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.