Melanie Harlow

✮✮✮ 3 STARS ✮✮✮

It was like seeing a ghost. 
When my late husband’s twin brother moves back to our small town, I want to avoid him. Everything about Wes reminds me of the man I lost and the life we’d planned together, and after eighteen long months struggling just to get out of bed, I’m finally doing okay. I have a new job, an amazing support group, and a beautiful five-year-old daughter to parent. I don’t want to go backward.
But I’m drawn to him, too. He understands my grief and anger and guilt like no one else—and I understand his. Before long, that understanding becomes desire, and that desire becomes uncontrollable. 
He says he doesn’t care what people think, and love can never be wrong. But life has taught me its cruelest lesson–love doesn’t always win.
If only my heart would believe it.

This seems to be one of the cases of it’s me not the book because everyone else seems to have loved Melanie Harlow’s From This Moment and while I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it as much as I After The Fall and If You Were Mine. There are so many reviews raving about this story so please check them out – maybe it was the wrong time for this book…I don’t know.

For much of the book I was well entertained. I loved Wes – he has been carrying a torch for the woman who married his twin brother. When he comes home after years of working in Africa for Doctors Without Borders he runs into Hannah, who is still struggling with coming to terms with the premature death of her husband. But when Drew died, Hannah didn’t only lose her husband, Wes lost his best friend, his brother, the person he always stepped aside for because he loved his brother almost more than anything in the world – until Hannah.

“I always knew you were the one.”

I loved how selfless Wes was. He gives Hannah himself and she is the only woman he sees. He is also one the shy ones, the ones you don’t see right away but once you do there is no going back. Wes is amazing with the Hannah’s daughter, the way they bonded was really sweet. He is a wonderful, good man with a pure, pure heart and so in tune with Hannah’s feelings. He gives her room and time when she needs it although he craves her company.

With Hannah you can only empathize. She saw her whole life laid out for her and all of a sudden everything changes. She is alone, a single mother and still reeling from the death of her husband. She went through all the stages of grief but never pulled herself out of the depression. When Wes comes back it’s easy to see how upset she is – of course she is, her late husband’s face looks back at her when she looks at him.

I didn’t want it. I wasn’t ready for it. But love comes without warning.

Letting him isn’t just confusing for her, she is first and foremost a mother and needs to consider her daughter’s feelings too. However, their shared grief makes for a powerful connection because Wes knows exactly what Hannah is going through.  The most important person in his life is gone too. And slowly there is a light lifting the darkness and soon their friendship escalates into more, way more. which brings a whole new set of issues because this is a small town and people talk. Mostly behind people’s backs. And not very flattering.

I empathized with Hannah for half of the book. She really tried hard to get herself out of the never-ending spiral of grief. At some point, though her constant push and pull started to get on my nerves and towards the end (!) she blames him for walking away when she actually told him to go. And while her inner monologue told me that she realized that she sent him away, it was frustrating.(highlight to read)  She got also a bit spiteful and that’s not an attractive feat.  I couldn’t see how she would ever get over her fear. And a couple of pages later there was a twist…

(highlight the next part to read)

…which I saw coming a mile ago. Let me tell you – if you have unprotected sex two weeks after you started your period…maths tells me that you’re fertile.

“Just do it,” she said breathlessly. “I need you inside me again, Wes. Even it it’s only for a minute. We’ll be fine. We were fine the last time.” 

“Just for a minute,” I whispered as I reached down and slipped the tip of my cock inside her. “I won’t come inside you.”

Reckless, right? He is a doctor, for Pete’s sake. 

And all of a sudden things were looking up and that just didn’t work for me. She lays down the law one moment and the next nothing that was a problem before matters anymore. While I did believe that she honestly loved him their problems didn’t go away. I also still had the last time she freaked out in mind…

… and that was only a couple pages before she was enlightened. I just didn’t buy it. Yes, she was grieving but even after Wes explained a misinterpreted situation to her she said she didn’t care and things were over. (highlight to read).

With all that being said, I adored Wes and loved little Abby. I also think that Wes’ mother was a great counter part as an overbearing and opinionated witch. I loved to hate her. The angst level is higher than I expected but that wasn’t unwelcome.

“Love is a risk, Hannah. But it’s always a risk worth taking.” 

While this isn’t my favorite by Melanie Harlow I still enjoyed parts of it. Again, the reminder – if you have read my review do yourself a favor and read others too. The way we experience books is always subjective and you might miss out on a great read!

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