on June 19th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M
Buy on Amazon
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
From USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow and David Romanov, comes an all new sexy and emotional MM standalone romance.
I wasn’t looking for Derek Wolfe.
I wasn’t looking for anybody. All I wanted was to start a new life in America. But when I found myself stranded here with no place to go, he came to my rescue, offering me a place to stay.
He’s smart, successful, and sexy as hell—I can barely sleep knowing he’s right down the hall. And when the chemistry between us explodes one night with fierce, fiery passion, it’s hard to deny there’s something real there.
But he does.
He says he was drunk. He says it was a one-time thing. He says he’s not into guys and what we did meant nothing.
He’s lying. Because it happened again, and again, and again. And it’s better every time.
I know we could be good together, and I want the chance to try, but I’m done hiding. If he’s not strong enough to admit the truth, I’ll have to be strong enough to walk away.
Strong Enough, an all-new sexy standalone from USA Today Bestselling author Melanie Harlow and David Romanov is LIVE !
℘ ℘ ℘ ℘ ℘ ℘
This is the first book this fabulous duo has written and I hope it’s not the last! The amazing cover should be your first clue it’s an M/M book for fans of this hawt genre. If you’ve never read this genre, but have been curious to find out what all the fuss is about, this is THE book to read! Okay, for you ladies with “delicate sensibilities” I’m giving you a fair warning. I’m including some pretty awesome quotes (that also include some Fbombs in them) in this review that have very descriptive narrative.
Maxim, 24 years old, decides to follow his dream to become a screenwriter. He’s taking a risk, leaving his mother and baby sister behind in Russia, to move to Los Angeles. A little naïve, he puts his trust in someone he met online that promised he’d find him a place to stay, so he blindly sends money for rent and is told he’ll be picked up at LAX. After arriving in the City of Angels he’s left waiting at the airport for hours for his ride that never shows up. His phone’s dead, and he has no way to contact his ride or know where he’s staying. Not knowing where to go he decides to take a cab downtown. With no destination in mind the cab driver drops him off at a local landmark, The Blind Pig . Unfortunately for Maxim things get worse. While at the bar, his bag containing his wallet and clothes is stolen. Now he’s without money or his bank card. Ellen Wolfe, the owner feels awful for Maxim. She feels responsible it was stolen in her bar and insists on calling her brother for help. She’s got three roommates and no room for a guest. Her brother has a house with extra bedrooms.
“You know what? I’m going to help you. I believe in fate, and there must be a reason why you came in here tonight and all this happened.”
“I believe in fate too, but this was probably just random bad luck.”
“Nope. Nothing is random. Now it’s getting late, and I can see how exhausted you are, so I’m going to find you a place to stay and charge your phone tonight.”
Derek is used to Ellen rescuing stray puppies, but even this goes beyond her normal bleeding heart. Yes, he owns a house with extra bedrooms. It’s a very clean house; he’s a bit of a clean freak with everything in its place. It’s beautiful but lonely. He bought it thinking he’d propose to his girlfriend, Gabrielle, but she broke up with him before he moved in. She claimed they’d grown apart, and she was convinced he didn’t love her. At 36-years-old, Derek expected to be married by now and maybe even have a kid or two. He recently started dating a woman, Carolyn; she seems like the perfect woman for him. Trouble is he feels nothing for her.
“She was exactly the kind of woman I’d envision for myself. Nothing about her turned me off. The problem? Nothing about her turned me on, either.”
Unable to refuse Ellen’s request, he picks up his unexpected houseguest, a very attractive young blond. Too bad he’s a he. Derek’s surprised he notices how handsome Maxim is or the attraction he feels, but refuses to acknowledge it. He was raised in a strict household, his parents aren’t from California originally, and his father has very openly homophobic views. Derek’s always been the pleaser, choosing the career his father thought best for him–to take over the family business. It’s not what he wanted to do, but Derek hates disappointing him. It seems he puts everyone first, he and his needs are last. Almost like an afterthought. Besides, he can’t be attracted to a man. His dream is of a wife and kids.
After Maxim calls his mom in Moscow and asks her to wire his savings, Derek offers to let him stay the weekend. As they spend time together, getting to know one another, the attraction grows deeper when Derek finds out Maxim is openly gay. Oh, this can’t be good. After inviting Carolyn to dinner, to prove to himself and Maxim he’s into women, it backfires on Derek.
“I didn’t realize you had a girlfriend.”
“She’s not my girlfriend.”
“Oh. I guess I misunderstood.”
“She wants to be my girlfriend. The problem is me. Sometimes I don’t know what I want.”
Bang! The fireworks go off as Derek decides he has to have him. They kiss, make out, rub each other and then…..
“Everything about this—his mouth, his hands, his body, this kiss, this friction, this madness I felt, this caged thing inside me desperate to get out—was unreal.
Lost to him, lost to myself, lost to this aching, pulsing need inside me to let go. To stop pretending I didn’t want this. To surrender to it because I wanted it and it felt so fucking good.
I grabbed the back of his neck with one hand and fucked his gorgeous mouth like the selfish, savage animal I was, my lower body contracting rhythmically as I poured myself inside of him.
I felt like a god. I felt like a monster.
I felt like nothing in my life would ever be the same.”
Oh, Derek! What have you done? Derek has so many issues to deal with. His hang-ups, the loss of his dream of having a perfect family, and knowing this is not something his parents will accept. Too bad it feels so good. Yet so wrong.
“Guilt. Shame. Anger.
What the fuck had I done?
You shot twenty years’ worth of repressed desire and sexual frustration down another guy’s throat, that’s what. And then you left him kneeling on the kitchen floor without saying a word.”
Maybe they can keep it a secret. But Maxim isn’t ready to be treated like a dirty, little secret. And Derek can’t accept what is in front of him. How can he? Maxim’s unwilling to settle for less. He’s so sure, with or without Derek, he’ll achieve his dreams. Someone will have to either accept or be left alone. Hmmmm…
“I hadn’t moved here expecting to meet someone, but life was strange and wonderful, and I had to believe that this feeling had a purpose. It was too strong, too good, too unlikely for it to be random. Everything inside me, every instinct I had, was telling me to fight for him.”
I loved Maxim; he was so mature and focused on his goals. His enthusiasm for reaching his dream of living in LA, despite his harsh, rude welcome to America, is heartwarming. Maxim’s Russian upbringing gives us some insight on his steely character, and it helps explain why he might appear a little cold and reserved at times. It’s included in the story in endearing ways. I laughed at his superstitious quirks, and I loved how strong and sweet he is.
This book **sigh** is incredibly sexy! I fanned myself reading it; it’s definitely hot and yummy descriptive. I might get in trouble with someone if I include more quotes, I really want to, but don’t want to find out. You need to read it for yourself. I’ve read a few books in this genre, but none of them compare to the heat in this one. Read. It. That’s all I’m going to say. You can thank me later for telling you to read it and making a new convert. Welcome to the club, it’s a fun one!
Review by Dora