Review: Make-Believe Match by Melanie Harlow (Cherry Tree Harbor #3)
Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author.
Make-Believe Match is the third novel in Melanie Harlow's Cherry Tree Harbor, and it's a marriage of convenience romance featuring Alexandra McIntyre and Devlin Buckley, both in their late twenties. Lexi works at the family-owned Snowberry Lodge, a snow resort built by her great-grandparents located in northern Michigan; Devlin was born and raised in nearby Cherry Tree Harbor but currently lives and works in Boston for Hotchkiss Properties. When Lexi learns that she needs to be married in order to inherit Snowberry Lodge, she's at a loss as to how to deal with it. Not only is it such an antiquated demand, but she's nowhere near settling down, not when she isn't even in a relationship. However, Lexi refuses to let her family's resort end up with a conglomerate that simply wants to tear it down. When Devlin offers marriage, though, she hesitates. Sure, this is the same guy she shared one heck of a one-night stand with, but he's also the same sneak who turned out to be working on behalf of Black Diamond Resorts to buy Snowberry Lodge. He's her enemy...and the guy with the key that finally managed to open her, erm, door. And maybe, just maybe, he may turn out to be the husband she never knew she wanted.
This was a seriously fun read! The meet-cute was a memorable one, and the way Lexi and Devlin went from opposing sides to unlikely allies AND spouses was filled with wit and humor plus the heat and heart that I've come to expect from Melanie Harlow. Now, marriage of convenience romances, just like fake relationship ones, aren't at the top of my favorite tropes list. It takes a bit of something-something, i.e. creative touches, for me to really sit up and pay attention. Harlow accomplished exactly that, and I reaped the benefits, falling in love with two main characters who had a marriage of convenience only to end up with supposedly inconvenient feelings. From start to finish, this book owned my heart, and while that happily-ever-after was one that I knew was waiting for me at the end, the journey was unexpected to a degree, with hurdles that weren't insurmountable yet still challenging enough to make for an even more interesting read. Lexi and Devlin were worth becoming emotionally invested in, and I enjoyed every minute spent with them in Snowberry Lodge and Cherry Tree Harbor. Make-Believe Match gets five stars.
Read my reviews for the Cherry Tree Harbor series:
Runaway Love (book one) - 4.5 stars - My Review
Hideaway Heart (book two) - five stars - My Review
Make-Believe Match (book three) - five stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date: 20 November 2023
Date Read: 17 November 2023
Learn more about Melanie Harlow.
Purchase Make-Believe Match on Amazon.