Note: This ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
How did you tell a girl you were falling in love with her? That she was part of what was changing your world—and you—for the better? That you might be an emotionally stunted, jaded divorce lawyer and completely inept as a dad and boyfriend, but there was a good reason for that and you were going to try harder to deserve her faith and trust?
If someone out there finds my ovaries, could you please send them back my way? Because oh my word, Melanie Harlow's first in her new untitled series about the Devine sisters had my ovaries AND my heart falling completely for the story of Nate Pearson and Emme Devine and baby Paisley. Only You is a friends-to-lovers romance between the thirty-five-year-old divorce lawyer that is Nate and the thirty-year-old events coordinator that is Emme, but one with the adorable addition of the unexpected arrival of a two-month-old baby that Nate didn't know he had fathered during one drunken weekend with a woman named Rachel (whose last name he even bothered getting). You see, Nate's always been a non-believer when it came to love and marriage and all things commitment and romance. He's the guy who was used to having a different woman in his bed, made no promises other than making sure whomever he's with is left satisfied. There are, of course, reasons as to why he's the kind of man he is today, but could a romantic and believer in true love like Emme change his thinking?
Not only did this book have one of my favorite tropes, but it also had the whole single parent angle that made it an even more swoon-worthy read. Nate may be the epitome of successful man in Detroit. He was in his mid-thirties, an accomplished lawyer, and did not want for the company of the opposite sex. But he was flawed and those flaws are put under a spotlight when the daughter he didn't know existed was left on his doorstep. It's further amplified when Emme starts to feel like more than just his neighbor and friend. These two females turned his world upside down, made him vulnerable, and ultimately, helped him evolve into a far better version of himself. Oh, he had missteps and made mistakes, and there were times wherein he knew exactly what he was doing--that his words and actions were bound to hurt someone--and yet he would push through due to misguided intentions. At the very heart of him, though, Nate was a good man, which was something Emme recognized and encouraged him to tap into. Of course, this was something he had to fully embrace on his own.
I adored Emme, although the cynic in me did think she was a wee bit naive at times and held an overly romanticized view of what "happily-ever-after" meant. She ended up with her share of frogs, but Nate wasn't exactly Prince Charming either. And that's the thing that she had to accept--that the man she was falling in love with wasn't perfect and that she would still love him, warts and all. See, it's key for me to have a couple that I can totally get behind, and that's what the author's given readers right here. We also get peeks at Emme's sisters, Stella and Maren--older and younger, respectively--both of whom aren't exactly having their own stellar experiences when it comes to love. These three are different enough that they're distinguishable, and I am looking forward to getting to know Stella and Maren when their own books come out, though I admit I'm surprised that Maren's will be out first considering Stella's kinda-sorta-maybe relationship with "Buzz" was talked about more here. Either way, I'll be patiently waiting and highly recommending Only You. Five-plus stars. ♥
Release Date: 12 March 2018
Date Read: 11 March 2018
Learn more about Melanie Harlow.