Series: Happy Crazy Love #1
on September 22nd, 2015
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I almost didn’t believe it was him.
In high school, Sebastian Pryce had been an aloof outsider who kept to himself. But now, ten years later, he’s back and unusually attractive. With muscle in all the right places and hands that know exactly what they’re doing, Sebastian is everything I didn’t know I needed. And while he isn’t exactly friendly, he has a magnetism that draws me in.
He pulls away, afraid he’ll break me.
Until the night I demanded more—and he gave it. (Hard and deep. Twice.)
Were we just two lost, lonely people seeking solace?
Or could a disgraced reality TV star and a flawed, frustrating man actually find some sort of happy together?
** SOME SORT OF HAPPY is a full-length standalone romance. **
This book is amazing! I just re-read it for a
second time THIRD TIME. I don’t usually re-read a book so soon after I read it the first time or second time, but I had to. I just LOVED Sebastian. He was imperfectly perfect. You get so used to reading about these PERFECT GUYS in romance novels, that it’s a little refreshing to find one who isn’t so perfect.
Reading the blurb, you’re not sure what you’re gonna get when you dive in to this book. You’ve got Skylar Nixon, fresh off the farm, er.. a stint on a reality show about riding cowboys. ;P She is a former Cherry Queen, who went out in to the world to try and find it as actress. Only to find herself on a reality TV show riding a mechanical bull. After realizing that she misses home, she’s back in Northern Michigan staying in a guest house on her parents’ property and working at a local vineyard.
Then you’ve got Sebastian Pryce, who recently relocated back to Michigan after breaking off his engagement to his ex-fiancee in New York City. He’s a lawyer working in his dad’s law firm and he’s working through some issues.
After Skylar’s time on a Reality TV show comes back to bite her in the ass. She ends up visiting Lighthouse Park to sit on the beach and just think about what she’s going to do with her life. When she’s leaving she notices a man sitting on the beach with her…when she realizes she forgot her shoes and turns back to get them, she falls down. After an awkward and somewhat rude re-introduction to each other, Skylar stomps up the stairs and takes off..and that’s how Skylar and Sebastian “meet.”
I really loved the characters of this book. Skylar is trying to find herself as a person after a failed attempt at an acting career in NYC and Sebastian is struggling with his severe OCD. Skylar is amazing when it comes to Sebastian and his quirks. She was understanding and patient with him and it really opened him up and they were just perfect together. Sebastian was also very supportive of Skylar and he really helped her re-discover herself.
This book was great and it’s the first in the Happy, Crazy, Love series. I definitely suggest you check this book out and the two sequels that follow it, Some Sort of Crazy and Some Sort of Love. I hope that some day Melanie revisits these two. I really loved them and I would love to see some more of them!
Also, This series takes place in Traverse City, MI. A lot of the locations mentioned in the book do exist. I happen to be in Traverse City over this last weekend and I took a couple of photos of places mentioned in this book. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to every place mentioned in the series but I did get to a couple.
The set of pictures below is Lighthouse Park where Skylar goes to sit and think about what to do with her life. It’s there that she falls down and runs into Sebastian. The staircase in the first photo is the staircase that she falls down by and ends up stomping up the stairs to get away from Sebastian.
Series: Frenched #2
on October 20th, 2014
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Twenty-eight year old Coco Thomas knows the recipe for disaster:
1) Agree to plan last-minute engagement blowout for spoiled Mafia princess before you realize her choice of caterer is Nick Lupo, a despicably gorgeous young chef with a hot new restaurant in town, a reality TV show victory, and a romantic past with you—one that did not end well.
2) Strike a deal with Nick in which you agree to spend a weekend with him in exchange for his services, under the strict conditions there will be no talking about the past, no second chances, and definitely no sex.
3) Violate all three conditions within 24 hours and spend two glorious days remembering what made you fall for the sexy, egotistical bastard in the first place, and why it hurt so much when he broke your heart.
Add one road trip, plenty of good scotch, and endless spoonfuls of chocolate cake batter drizzled over your body and licked off inch by oh-my-God-yes-right-there inch, then just admit it.
You’re totally FORKED.
If you’ve read a Melanie Harlow book you’ll notice that her books take place in Detroit. I asked Melanie, who is also from Detroit, to give us a list of 5 places in Detroit and tell us what she loves about them. She not only did this, but she also gave us the connections that these places have with her books as well! 😉
Five places you have to check out the next time you’re visiting Detroit
by Melanie Harlow
OK, this is hard but here are 5 places I really love, in no particular order. Since I love a good cocktail, this list has a theme…
- The Detroit City Distillery: http://detroitcitydistillery.com/
This distillery and tasting room is located in Detroit’s Eastern Market, which is one of the coolest places in the city. I love the history and the local produce and the revival that’s taking place there. The guys that opened the Detroit City Distillery were really inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of Detroit during Prohibition—and you know I love that!
What I sip there: The Brown Derby, made with their Two Faced Bourbon. Yum.
Connection to my books: The Speak Easy series mentions Eastern Market, and Joey’s house is located in that area.
2. Two James Spirits: http://twojames.com/
Two James was the first licensed distillery in Detroit since Prohibition. How cool is that? Plus it’s located in Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighborhood and home to a lot of Irish immigrants. Corktown is experiencing an incredible renaissance now—tons of great places to eat, drink, and hang out, including the tasting room at Two James.
What I sip there: Two James Old Cockney gin is amazing!
Connection to my books: In Forked, Coco and Nick share the five-spirit tasting flight at Two James. She’s also a fan of the Grass Widow Bourbon!
3. The Sugar House: http://www.sugarhousedetroit.com/
Also located in Corktown, this little craft cocktails bar often has a wait to get in, but the bartenders know their stuff. Plus they all look like a young Daniel Day Lewis as Abe Lincoln but with tattoos.
What I sip there: The Queen Anne’s Revenge
Connection to my books: In Yanked, Mia, Coco, and Erin meet for drinks at The Sugar House. (I deleted the actual scene from the final book, but they do mention meeting there!)
4. Cliff Bell’s: http://www.cliffbells.com/
Probably my favorite spot in the entire city. This was an old speakeasy, and when the current owners reopened it, they kept the 1930s vibe. From the moment you walk in, you feel transported. They have live jazz on stage (I never miss The Hot Club of Detroit) and serve delicious food too. The French fries are divine! Also, this sounds weird but I love the ladies room there…it’s a lounge with little seats at vanity mirrors. So old-fashioned.
What I sip there: champagne sometimes, usually followed by a gin martini.
Connection to my books—the decor inspired the club I created for The Speak Easy series.
5. Roast: http://www.roastdetroit.com/
This fancypants restaurant in the historic Book Cadillac Hotel (now a Westin) is pretty pricey, so I usually sit at the bar and enjoy a couple small plates and a drink or two. Mr. Harlow and I spent our 10th anniversary here this year, and the hotel upgraded us to a suite. I was fancypants for a night!
What I sip there: a glass of red wine from their incredible list. Maybe a Chateauneuf du Pape in honor of Lucas and Mia!
Connection to my books—none, really. I’ll have to get on that…look for it in Floored!
Another great book from Melanie! Coco Thomas is Mia’s (from Frenched) best friend and business partner. Mia is in the middle of finalizing her wedding details so Coco takes over managing their event planning business. Coco is currently living with her parents and is drooling over a house she can’t really afford. In order to make enough money for a down payment on said house, Coco takes on a job planning an engagement party for a Mafia Princess. Little does she know that this job will take her back into the arms of her ex, the man who broke her heart, Nick Lupo.
Nick and Coco got together in college (Go State!) and were together for most of their college career. They made a spontaneous decision that instead bringing them closer together like expected, it instead caused Nick to leave Coco. After reading his reasons, I can understand why, but he could’ve handled it better or at least TALKED TO COCO before he did what he did. They probably both would’ve came out of that whole situation still together if they had. But it’s alright, because it looks as maybe it was good for both of them that it did happen that way. They went off and grew up, found their places in the world. When Fate was ready she brought them back together and showed them that they belonged together, just 7 years later than either of them thought.
While Coco may have irritated me a bit through out the story, I still enjoyed the book. Though honestly, I always expect the characters to irritate me at some point.
I think what I liked most about the book was Nick Lupo and his connection to Tiny & Joey from Melanie’s other book series, Speak Easy. I really LOVED that series and I was so glad that they got a little part in this story line. It was like having an extended Epilogue for the Speak Easy series that you didn’t expect! It was a wonderful surprise. But back to Nick..honestly..there is nothing hotter than an Italian man that can cook..and bake. YUM, I would love to bake with him! Especially when it got down to licking the cake batter off the spoon, er thigh? Ok! Count me in!
I enjoyed this story and I think you will too. Though I do suggest that you read Speak Easy first, so you can meet Nick’s ancestors who are mentioned in this story. 😉 Also, don’t forget to check out FRENCHED, the first book in this series, if you haven’t already! 😉
The Frenched Series
on March 18th, 2014
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When Tucker Branch, playboy heir to Branch Bolt and Screw, screws and bolts a week before their wedding, Mia Devine wants nothing more than to crawl under her newly monogrammed sheets and plan a funeral for her dignity. But her friends convince her that bitter tastes better when it’s drowned in Bordeaux, so Mia grits her teeth and packs her bags, determined to make the best of her luxurious Paris honeymoon—alone.
She never planned on meeting Lucas Fournier.
The easygoing bartender’s scruffy good looks and less-than-sympathetic ear annoy her at first, but when she takes him up on his offer to show her around the city, she discovers that the romance of Paris isn’t just a myth.
Nor is the simultaneous O.
The last thing Mia needs is another doomed love affair, but since she only has a week, she figures she might as well enjoy la vie en O with Lucas while she can. But each day—and night—with Lucas is better than the last, and suddenly her heart is telling her this is more than a rebound fling.
Is it just the seduction of Paris…or could this be the real thing?
A week before her big wedding, Mia Devine’s fiance, Tucker, calls off their wedding with a text from VEGAS. Which in my opinion was probably the best thing to happen to her..as he has a thing against oral sex and body fluids. Also, it seems like he was the kind of guy who is “Wham, Bam, Thank you Ma’am. I’m sorry you didn’t get off but I must go take a shower because I’m a closted germaphobe.”
Eventually her friends Coco and Erin manage to talk her out of the blanket fort she’s built around herself. From there they try and talk her into taking her booked & paid for honeymoon by herself. Paris is somewhere she’s always wanted to go..so eventually she gives in to her friends and goes.
On her first day in Paris, after walking around witnessing the city of love being in love, Mia can’t take it no more.
“I tried to perk myself up with a stroll along the Seine, but my Independent Woman positivity had fizzled.
Everywhere I looked I saw couples in love.
Working herself up into a rage she somehow loses herself in Paris and has no idea where she’s at. She decides she needs wine so she walks a bit more and comes across a bar called The Beaver Bar & Grille. She walks in and looks to see if a proposal is imminent and finds that there doesn’t seem to be much love in the air. The moment Mia walked in to this bar, her life takes a turn for the better and here we meet Lucas. 😀
Lucas is the cute bartender who helps Mia drown her sorrows in a good bottle of wine. He manages to talk her out of taking the first flight back to Detroit and they make a deal. She agrees to give Paris another day and he agrees to spend the day being her tour guide to France. He’s the complete opposite of what Mia looks for in a guy, but sometimes what you’re looking for isn’t always what you pictured it to be.
I really enjoyed this story. So much so that when I started I didn’t put it down until I was done with it. Good thing I started it on my day off. 😉 It was beautifully written and I fell in love with both Mia and Lucas. I laughed every time Mia, the Queen of list making, started listing off reasons for this and that. Ha. Lucas was WOW. He was amazing, sweet and helped Mia realize that life isn’t always about deadlines. The banter between them was entertaining and the chemistry was smoking and that lead to sex that was on fire. (whoa kings of leon anyone?)
“Listen. I don’t know what kind of assholes you’ve been with before, but I promise you, your orgasm will not only make an appearance tonight, it will be the star of the show.”
I agree with some of the other reviews out there about the ending seeming like it was rushed, but you know what..I bet we’ll see Mia & Lucas again the future! 😉
Thanks to the author for letting me read and review this book! I really enjoyed it just much as I’ve enjoyed your other books!Speak Easy by Melanie Harlow
Series: Speak Easy #1
on July 22nd, 2013
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Temptation is everywhere.
It's July, 1923. By day twenty-year-old Tiny O’Mara works for her father’s smalltime bootlegging operation. By night she craves the roll-your-stockings-down lifestyle of a flapper, but with her mother gone, she’s usually stuck at home with two younger sisters—until her father is kidnapped by a mobster in Detroit's exploding organized crime scene, and it’s Tiny who has to come up with the ten-thousand-dollar ransom.
In one week.
Enzo DiFiore’s screen-idol looks and dangerous charm leave her breathless, even though he’s the son of the mobster holding her father hostage. But when the forbidden spark between them refuses to burn out, she tries to use their powerful attraction to buy more time.
And then there’s Joey Lupo, the irritatingly handsome pest from her childhood who’s got the street smarts Tiny needs to smuggle enough booze to make a quick ten grand. But he’s got his own agenda where gang rivalries are concerned, and despite his promise to protect her, Tiny isn’t sure she can trust Joey—or stop her growing feelings for him.
To save her father’s life, she’ll have to choose between them. But deciding whom to trust isn’t easy in a world where everyone wants something—be it booze, money, power, or sex—and no one cares what it takes to get it.
Tiny is a 20-year-old girl dreaming of someday finishing nursing school, and moving out of her dad’s house. Tiny works for her father’s bootlegging operation while simultaneously helping out in her older sister’s small grocery store when she is needed. At night, she craves the lifestyle of the flapper, but instead is at home taking care of the kids. NOT HER KIDS, her own little sisters, While their dad is off customizing cars with hidden compartments, gambling or picking up the shipment of booze that’s just come in over the lake.
One day, about a week after Tiny notices “The Sheik”, aka Enzo, coming into her family’s grocery store. Enzo comes into her store asking her to pass something on to her father. That night her father goes missing.
Oh no, what’s a girl to do? Enters Joey, a serious pain in Tiny’s ass, but someone she and her family have known all her life. With his help, she is able to collect the ransom money needed to get her dad back.
The chemistry between Enzo and Tiny is explosive, and Tiny tries to use it to her advantage. But what’s this? An almost unwanted attraction for Joey has decided to sneak up on Tiny. Who is she going to choose? The mobster whose family has kidnapped her dad, or the boy from down the street that she’s known all her life and has done all he can to help her get her dad back?
Once I started reading this book, I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. IT WAS AMAZING. It was like reading through an episode of Boardwalk Empire: DETROIT. Bootlegging, dancing, gangs, sex, etc. It’s all there. Though instead of Atlantic City, it takes place in Detroit, Michigan. The writing and detailing of this story is flawless and the execution of it is as well. The characters were well written and I enjoyed all of them. Melanie really did her research into 1920s fashion, Detroit history, Prohibition, etc. to write this story and make it seem REAL.
Being a native of Michigan, I hardly ever get to read books that take place in my own state. When I do get to, it’s nice to already know what is being referenced to in the book. Yes, Speak Easy does take place in the Roaring 20s, but that doesn’t mean the streets and various parts of Detroit and the suburbs that were mentioned in this book do not still exist today!
I enjoyed this book and I cannot WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE. Thank you, Melanie, for letting me read and review your book. 🙂