Strong Enough, an all-new sexy standalone from USA Today Bestselling author Melanie Harlow and David Romanov is available now !
by Melanie Harlow & David Romanov
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Publication Date: June 19, 2017
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 between us.
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.
Excerpt:Figuring I’d had enough booze to blunt his effect on me, I rolled up the sleeves of my black button-down shirt and moved next to him. “I’ll help you.” “Okay.” I caught him trying to not to look at my wrists and forearms, and it made me smile. How does it feel to want someone and have to hide it? “You wash, I’ll dry?” “Sounds good.” We worked in silence, shoulder to shoulder, and I found myself increasingly—and disturbingly—pleased at the thought of him being attracted to me and being forced to conceal it. It was fucking horrible of me to take pleasure in his discomfort, but I liked being secretly wanted. Being illicitly desired. Being the object of his covert glances and maybe even his darkest, dirtiest thoughts. I let our arms touch more than necessary, as thrilled by the physical contact as I was by the thought of what it might be doing to him. For there is no man who does not sin. My dick started to get hard, clearly unbothered by the whiskey that was breaking down my inhibitions, pushing past all my defenses, and letting my imagination run wild. What’s in that gorgeous head of yours, Maxim? What’s behind those cobalt eyes? What would you do to me, if I let you? What would you let me do to you? “Carolyn is so nice,” he said, handing me the last serving dish left to be dried. What? He was thinking about Carolyn right now? He wasn’t supposed to be thinking about Carolyn—I was, goddammit! But I wasn’t. “Yeah.” He turned off the water. Rested his wet hands on the edge of the sink. “I didn’t realize you had a girlfriend.” And I heard it in his voice—the slightest edge of jealousy, so faint I might never have noticed it had I not been so hyperaware of everything about him right now. I fucking loved it. “She’s not my girlfriend.” “Oh.” Now there was confusion. “I guess I misunderstood.” “She wants to be my girlfriend.” Silence. Of course there was silence. Maxim would never ask what the problem was. But I wanted to tell him. I wanted him to know. I wanted to share the impossible longing I felt with one person who might understand it. “The problem is me.” He was completely still. Before I could stop myself, I covered his right hand with my left. “Sometimes I don’t know what I want.” He yanked his hand from beneath mine and we faced each other. For the first time tonight, I looked him right in the eye. Nothing around us existed for me anymore. I heard only his breath. Smelled only his skin. Saw only his guarded expression. I had to have him.
Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/YwYlrO
iBooks: Strong Enough
Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/eU1rwv
What can I say about this? I think I fell in love with all things Russian when I met Maxim in this book. He is such a sweet, endearing character with a childlike innocence for embracing the new world he's come to, it's hard not to embrace him, too. So I didn't even try not to. Why would I? He's a wonderful character and I just truly enjoyed getting to know him page by page. And it was a delightful discovery - I think he might be one of my new favorite characters in recent reads - and I really enjoyed being along for his ride as he explored his new world, seeing things as he saw them, like the good in the obvious bad. He just had such a positive outlook on life and everything, how could you not be moved by that spirit? In contrast, Derek was more bleak in his outlook, more cynical. He saw the world for what it was - no rose-colored glasses here - and he wasn't afraid to share that opinion. What he was afraid to share was - himself. With a man, at least. He was so deep in the closet at first, he could probably see Narnia. But then, when he gave in to temptation, he jumped straight into denial. He didn't want a repeat and he sure as heck didn't want to admit how he truly felt about what happened - or let anyone else know that it did. He struggled long and he struggled hard, but the funny thing about love and attraction is you can only fight it, only deny it, for so long before it consumes. Then you have to decide what to do about it. Therein lay Derek's biggest struggle: what to do about it once he admitted - to himself, at least - that he was attracted to this man and wanted more with him. That journey to self-discovery, the resolution of his conflict - with himself, his ingrained beliefs and fear of public opinion - is basically what this book is all about (Maxim had already made that journey back in Russia, so was already comfortable with his discovery). And when Derek finally comes to terms with what he truly wants - who he truly desires - it's a beautiful thing. So thank you, Melanie and David, for bringing to life such a beautiful story.
About Melanie: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 series, MAN CANDY, AFTER WE FALL, IF YOU WERE MINE, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s.
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About David: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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