on February 28, 2017
Genres: Artist, Contemporary, Romance
Buy on Amazon
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.
“Theo was nothing like the prince I’d thought I wanted, but he was everything I needed, now and ever after.”
This was overall super sweet and super cute. When it comes to Melanie Harlow you know you’ll always get a great well written story. Her books are always sexy, sweet and funny. She’s definitely one author I always look forward to.
If You Were Mine is the last of the interconnected standalones that started with Man Candy (Jamie and Quinn) and continued with After We Fall (Margot and Jack). If you’ve read those two books, you know that Claire is Jamie and Margot’s best friend. If you haven’t, I suggest you read them first, not only are they both great stories but some of the things that happen on those books might be spoiled if you read this one first.
Claire is the typical sweet, good girl. She’s an artist and an art teacher. She’s a hopeless romantic and since her two best friends have recently found their happy endings, she’s been wondering when will it be her turn. But she’s also a nervous Nelly and afraid of take risks for fear of rejection. She’s the butt of many jokes about her being perpetually single, and as her friend’s upcoming wedding approaches, she’s extremely tired of being seated at the single’s table. Desperate to get a date, she decides hires one off a website (a la The Wedding Date, which is one of my all-time favorite movies).
Enter Theo, now Theo is an extremely complex character. Theo is a drifter and also a con man. Theo is also extremely sweet and hot. He has a few jobs and also responsibilities with his family. He’s also very broken from his past, has never been in love nor has been shown much love in his life. When he meets Claire, he’s instantly attracted to her. However, he has a set of rules that he follows during his escort gigs.
“But Claire had this strange effect on me—she made me want to fuck her and protect her from guys like me at the same time. She made me want to break my rules. She made me wish I was someone else…someone worthy.”
Theo and Claire’s date is a success and their “fake” night starts to become very real. One night turns into more, and their overall relationship turns into so much more. But when it comes to Theo, we’re dealing with a super broken character with lots of issues. His first instinct is always to run and that causes a lot of heartache for Claire until he realizes what’s important and why this is the best thing that happened to him.
“I liked it that she called me brave. I liked it that she thought I was good with my hands. I liked the way it felt to sit at her kitchen table and share a meal and talk. I liked it so much that I began to be afraid of falling too.”
I loved the concept of the book, like I said, I’m a huge fan of The Wedding Date. I also liked both characters a lot, they were both charming and likeable. I also loved that the problems were realistic and the unnecessary drama was kept to a minimum. The other thing I loved was so sweet the ending was.
Overall, this is a super sweet, fast read and I enjoyed it a lot. If you’re a Melanie Harlow fan, this is a must read. I absolutely recommend.
**An ARC was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**
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.”