Maybe I deserved to watch you fall in love with my brother instead of me. But maybe it just wasn’t our time then. Maybe it’s our time now.”
HOLY FREAKING SWOOOOOOOON!! Omg. I can’t stop smiling!! I stayed up all night (yes, again) reading this ADDICTIVE, EMOTIONAL, ANGSTY, SEXY, SWOONY, GORGEOUS love story that was overflowing with feels!! And, yes, there are a lot of shouty caps in this post but this book deserves them!! If you love heart-meltingly sweet heroes, strong single mom heroines, angsty forbidden romance, and beautiful epilogues, this is a MUST-READ!
As I’m writing this review, I’ve literally had 3 hours of sleep, I’ve been chugging coffee all day like it’s a magic potion, and I’m completely exhausted. But it was SO worth it because seriously let’s be honest, all of us WANT the kind of book that keeps us up all night because you just can’t put it down. They really are the best of the best.
And, I’m not gonna lie, this was one of the catchiest blurbs I’ve seen in a long while. That, coupled with the fact that I already love Melanie Harlow’s writing style made me know that this was absolutely a book I’d want to read as soon as I could get my hands on it. And it lived up to my every expectation!
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…
If only my heart would believe it.
The pacing of this story was great! I was a little concerned about how the author would handle the transition from the heroine literally being married to one twin, to falling in love with the other. It’s a tricky situation by any standards and when you add in a child to the mix too it just adds more layers. But I can honestly say I was really impressed with the way the whole situation was presented. I never felt like she was trying to replace one twin with the other, and things were revealed along the way that really made me not only accept but really embrace the direction of the storyline. Sorry, I’m trying to be vague here but still explain what I mean. I hope this makes sense.
The FEELS really stand out in this book. Like my heart was genuinely racing as I kept flipping those pages. I got a lot of that feeling you know like right before you go over a roller coaster… that one.
“I thought he was a ghost.
The same one I’d seen a hundred times in the last eighteen months, doing all manner of everyday things. Driving the car behind me. Crossing the street in front of me. Jogging along the beach, sweat soaking one of his faded green Michigan State t-shirts that seemed to multiply in the wash.
And it never failed. Ever time, every single time, my heart would beat a little faster. I knew it! I knew he wasn’t really dead. They’d been wrong. I’d been right. He was still here.
Except he wasn’t. Of course he wasn’t…”
I gotta say too that there’s just something about a kind, sweet, sexy, good guy type of hero that is just really wonderful to read. It gave me a really warm fuzzy feeling just seeing the way Wes approached both Hannah and her daughter even though his entrance into their life brought on a lot of questions that were hard for a little kid to understand since he looked exactly like the Dad she’d lost…
“Want to ask me a question?”
“Yes.” She looked up at me. “Are you sure he’s not Daddy?”
The desperate hope in her eyes crushed my broken heart. “Yes, honey. I’m sure.”
“He looks just like him.” She glanced at the photo on the night stand.
“I know. That’s because they’re identical twins. Remember, I told you it might be strange to see him.”
“And he likes Moose Tracks, too. Just like Daddy. And he’s a doctor just like Daddy.”
“Lots of people like Moose Tracks. And lots of people are doctors. Uncle Wes is not your daddy. He’s a different person.”
Of course there were a lot of complications that came with falling for the twin brother of your late husband in a small town where gossip is practically the lifeblood of the community. But I will admit that the one thing that genuinely made me MAD beyond all measure was the mother-in-law. Holy freaking hell that woman made me see red. And my only complaint was that, even though she came around in the end, I really wanted someone to strongly put her in her place. I personally have zero tolerance for that kind of thing so it was just a sore spot for me. But in fairness to the book, I would not consider this stupid drama even though the character was a selfish blind fool because I have met real people who are like that and I recognize that her character was very believable though infuriating.
A tear slipped down one cheek. “People will talk. People will say it’s wrong.”
“Fuck people. This is between you and me.”
That being said, I literally LOVE LOVE LOVED everything else about this book. Hannah and Wes together just made complete sense to me. I loved how amazing he was with her daughter, I loved the way he never rushed Hannah into anything, I understood Hannah’s fears, and I think the main reason I was so ‘into’ this story was how strongly I was rooting for them to make it.
“What are you feeling?” he asked quietly.
“Like I wish things were different right now.” I shrugged helplessly, giving in to it. “For us. Do you ever wish that things were different?”
He didn’t even need to hesitate. “All the fucking time.”
I also really appreciated how different Drew and Wes were. Despite their identical appearance, they had very different personalities which really helped solidify the understanding that Hannah wasn’t just substituting a lookalike for her late husband, but was genuinely falling in real love with this other man.
“It’s easy to see why you might develop feelings for Wes. He’s Drew’s brother. They were a lot alike in some ways. And they were identical.”
“But they were really different too,” I said. “I’ve only really just gotten to know Wes since he’s been home. We’ve talked a lot, and he’s such a great listener. A much better listener than Drew, actually. Drew loved to talk and tell jokes and be the center of attention. Wes is more quiet, more serious, maybe more intense.”
They had SCORCHING hot chemistry and those of you who love a good steamy romance will be well rewarded with this book. But to me the most important thing was that the build up was very well paced and the emotional connection was well established so that was honestly was pulled the heat of this story together to me.
“I lost my chance with you then, and maybe I deserved to, for being too scared to speak up and tell you how I felt. Maybe I deserved to watch you fall in love with my brother instead of me. But maybe it just wasn’t our time then. Maybe it’s our time now.”
Her eyes opened slowly. They were wet with tears.
“Tell me you feel nothing for me, and I’ll go. Tell me you could never be happy with me. Tell me I could never be what you want.”
“I can’t.” Her voice quavered.
She hadn’t invited me in, but that didn’t stop me from crossing the threshold and taking her face in my hands. “Then let me love you, the way I’ve always wanted to.”
Oh and this can be read as a complete standalone book. It does however take place in the same town as 2 other standalones by this author After We Fall (my review) and If You Were Mine (my review) but you do not have to read those before (or after) this book unless you want to. This is genuinely a standalone story — and it’s the only book about this particular couple — that even has a gorgeous, heart-warming epilogue that is full of feels!!
Bottom line, if you’re looking for a sexy, swoon-filled, addictive romance that’ll make your heart race on every page, this is definitely the book for you! It was pure ROMANCE HEAVEN and a top favorite recommendation!!
Rating: 4.5 STARS!! Contemporary Adult Romance, can standalone.