Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Review for Strong Enough by Melanie Harlow and David Romanov


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.

REVIEW: 2 Stars

Warning: I realize this will not be a popular opinion, and I can respect that we don't all agree on books, so please understand I mean no ill-will. This was a miss for me for a number of reasons. I am really sad because it was hyped up so much, but I just think it really missed the mark for me. I enjoy M/M when it's really well-written, and this one just didn't feel that way for me. I will attempt to explain why it didn't work for me. While I am glad that I stuck it through and didn't DNF it, I can say I wanted to many times and that is a good indication I am not going to be able to recommend this one.

Character Development: We jumped right into a story without any buildup or background on the characters, so the character development to me wasn't really there. There wasn't anything that allowed me to grow and learn with them, to fall in love with them, to empathize with them. When there are some awkward inner comments to yourself about how wrong something is, or why something is bothering you, we usually have a background instead of assumptions on the reader's part.

Writing Style: The writing was really choppy for me. It felt like the pieces of the story were glued together, but not written cohesively, so that made it hard for me to fall into the feelings. I felt the beginning was very slow to the point of stagnant. I was at 30% and still working on day 2 of our meeting and smelling each others clothes.

Emotions/Feelings: It had all the words, it even had all the actions, but there wasn't any feeling behind them, for me. What I love when you read a book that is an emotional roller coaster, you truly FEEL those words. The descriptions and actions all work together to build up a storyline and you're taken on this ride and you can see it playing out movie style. This one....I just read words. I didn't feel the emotions behind the words. It felt very disconnected for me and that's always the hardest thing for me. Some chapters worked and I would start to feel some emotion and depth, and then it would be gone. The buildup was just not there for me.

I desperately wanted this one to work for me, and I've always said that I love M/M as long as it is well-written. While I could see the way the authors were trying to tell it, it just felt disjointed for me and didn't work for me at all. I saw the shame Derek felt and I saw the naiveté Maxim possessed, but with the lack of a buildup and background on the characters, it made for a very choppy introduction and follow through on the book. I wish this was an emotional read for me, but it just wasn't.

Why two stars? Well, I could actually finish it. Even though I wanted to stop, I wanted to see how these two ended up. Again, I could see what they were trying to portray and the feelings these two had for each other, but I just didn't really feel it or overly enjoy it.


Melanie Harlow writes sexy, emotional romance about strong, stubborn characters who can’t help falling in love. She’s addicted to bacon, gin martinis, and summer reading on the screened-in porch. If she’s not buried in a book or binging on Netflix, you might find her running, putting a bun in someone’s hair, or driving to and from the dance studio. She lives outside Detroit with her husband and two daughters. 

Melanie is the USA Today bestselling author of the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED seriesMAN CANDYAFTER WE FALLIF YOU WERE MINE, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s.



For David Romanov, STRONG ENOUGH is to a great extent autobiographical. Born in Russia and raised in Europe, he landed in the United States at the age of 24, where he learned a lot about cultural differences between East and West. David firmly believes in ‘The One’ and learning through love. When he isn’t traveling or educating Melanie in Russian culture, he enjoys books and the company of his husband and dog in Los Angeles.




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