Book review: Some Sort of Crazy by Melanie Harlow

Some Sort of Crazy by Melanie Harlow
Series: Happy Crazy Love #2
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: November 17, 2015
Source: Kindle Freebie

When a psychic tells Natalie Nixon her life is about to be upended by a mysterious stranger, she laughs it off. After all, she has everything she’s ever wanted—a successful bakery, the perfect boyfriend, and the keys to her dream house.

Who could possibly make her want to throw all that away?

Then Miles Haas comes back to town.

But he’s no stranger—they’ve known each other since high school. Plus, he’s only around for the summer, he’s still a shameless playboy, and he makes a living writing articles for a men’s magazine with titles like ‘Should You Bang the Boss’s Daughter? A Flowchart’ and ‘Butt Stuff for Beginners: A Field Guide.’

He’s not the man of her dreams, and she’s not about to abandon everything she’s worked so hard for just for a little fun. Except he makes her laugh like no one else, smells like heaven, and looks sexy as hell in those panty-melting glasses.

Melanie Harlow is one of my favorite romance authors, and, since I’ve been in a bit of a slump recently, I thought I’d read some of her backlist to get back on track. I read If You Were Mine and really, really enjoyed it. Then I picked up Some Sort of Crazy and just… didn’t. Where did this one go wrong? I think it was a lot of little things more than anything else.

To start, I’m going to talk about the whole premise of the book. I thought that I would really enjoy a book about a woman who gets out of a ten-year dead-end relationship. Even better that she gets together with a childhood friend because we all know that friends-to-lovers is my absolute favorite trope. But something about the way this was executed, with lots of years of pining despite a long-term relationship and the heroine quite literally jumping into bed with a new guy mere hours after ending things with someone else just rubbed me the wrong way.

The second thing I want to talk about is the language. I don’t have a problem with dirty talk, I’ve read countless erotic novels, and even if something’s not my thing personally, I don’t really judge what other people are doing. But one thing I can’t get over in a romance novel is the hero referring to the heroine as a slut. I know that’s something that people are legitimately into, but it makes me cringe every time. Regardless of how sweet the rest of the book might be, once the hero starts calling the heroine a slut, I’m done. It’s just not sexy at all to me. I almost didn’t want to finish this book because it bothered me so much.

Finally, I want to mention the lack of plot. I’ve found that most Melanie Harlow books kind of lose track of the plot in favor of lots of sex for a good chunk in the middle, and I don’t really have a problem with that. I know what I’m getting into when I read one of her books. The problem is that in this book, I don’t really think she got the plot back until the very end, and even then, it was just… kind of convenient? No spoilers, but it ended with one of my least favorite plot twists and I didn’t necessarily feel like the resolution was in character for the hero.

I think Melanie Harlow is a great writer, but this book just wasn’t for me. Despite that, I’m still looking forward to reading the rest of her books that I have on my shelf.

Previously: Frenched • Some Sort of Happy • If You Were Mine • Man Candy

Have you read Some Sort of Crazy? Has one of your favorite authors ever disappointed you?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: If You Were Mine by Melanie Harlow

If You Were Mine by Melanie Harlow
Series: After We Fall #3
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Source: Kindle Freebie

Theo MacLeod wasn’t supposed to be the one.

Tall, dark and handsome suits me just fine, but the cocky grin, know-it-all attitude, and mammoth ego? No thanks. I only hired him so I wouldn’t have to sit at the singles table again. It was just pretend.

He wasn’t supposed to kiss me.

My heart wasn’t supposed to pound.

We weren’t supposed to spend the night together—the hottest night of my life.

One night turns into a snowed-in weekend away, and even the blizzard of the century can’t cool the fire between us. I can’t get enough—of his smile, of his body, of the way he makes me feel.

We’re nothing alike. He’s a daredevil, and I’m a nervous Nellie. He’s a drifter, and I want to put down roots. He’s an opportunist with a checkered past, and I’m a Girl Scout volunteer.

But none of it matters when I’m in his arms.

I know he’s made mistakes. I know his wounds are deep, and he doesn’t trust easily. I know he doesn’t believe he could ever be enough to make me happy, but he could.

All he has to do is stay.

It’s not really a secret that I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately. I think it’s partially my dramatic life and partially the fact that I’ve been trying to read a lot of the same genre back-to-back and that never really goes well for me. I decided to take a break from all of the YA fantasy novels I’ve been attempting and pick up a nice contemporary adult romance.

It really did the trick, because I flew through this book and I loved it so much.

I mean… this book. I don’t even know what to say about it. I loved both Claire and Theo. I loved how much they cooked and baked together. I loved their sexual tension even though it just about killed me. And when I say “it just about killed me,” I really mean it. I almost actually died from the sexual tension in this book. Melanie Harlow gets me every time.

My only criticism of this book is the same criticism I’ve had of every Melanie Harlow book I’ve ever read — there comes a point in the middle where she kind of loses the plot and the characters just have a bunch of sex. And that’s fine and I’ve come to expect it in her books, but it’s not something that, to me, warrants five stars.

Other than that, though, this book was such a great way to spend a Saturday night. I think I’ll jump right into another of Melanie’s books.

#killingthetbr: 13 months on shelf

Have you read If You Were Mine? Do you like Melanie Harlow’s books?
Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Book review: Man Candy by Melanie Harlow

Goodreads ⭐ Amazon ⭐

Ten years ago, Jaime made a bold move when she cornered Quinn in a bathroom and confessed her love.  Quinn knew he could never hook up with his friend’s little sister, so he brushed her off.  Now, having retired from the glamorous world of modeling and looking to settle down, Quinn has temporarily moved into the other half of Jaime’s duplex.  He’s pretty sure that he wants to settle down with Jaime, but she’s completely opposed to love.  Can he convince her to give love a chance?

I snapped up Man Candy one day when it was free on Amazon, but it got lost in the shuffle of ARCs and other freebies and all the other stuff I have to do on a daily basis.  I found it on my Kindle the other day and decided to dive in, and am I ever glad that I did.

I love Melanie Harlow.  This is at least the third book I’ve read by her – maybe the fourth – and they’re always great.  She knows just how to write a swoon-worthy love interest with some scorching sexy scenes.  She’s not afraid to go there and have her characters indulge in some highly NSFW activities that fall outside of the standard romance novel fare.  (I definitely won’t be reading her books on my lunch break.)

But in addition to some scenes that nearly set off my smoke alarm, we have the biggest sweetheart of all time, Quinn Rusek.  Where can I find this man?  I mean, his whole “I’ll make you believe in love” thing was just so cute and so sweet and so heartwarming.  I’m going to cry just thinking about it.  He was so kind and patient and understanding and I just wish he was a real person.

Jaime, honestly, I could take or leave.  Yes, she was cute and quirky, but she drove me crazy!  I would have liked her to act a little bit more like an adult and be a little less frustrating, but I understand that some drama was necessary to keep things interesting.

Overall, Man Candy is high on the fluff scale and low on the angst scale.  Its tropes include second chance romance and brother’s best friend. All of that together means that I really enjoyed it and would love to dive right back in for more Quinn – but I might settle for whatever other Melanie Harlow books I currently have on my TBR.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my fall TBR

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!  Today’s theme is ten books on my fall TBR, and I could not be happier to write about this.  I’ve made some lofty goals for the rest of the year, but I’m hoping to sneak in the following ten books:

  1. Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey
  2. The Duet by R.S. Grey
  3. The Design by R.S. Grey
  4. Meternity by Meghann Foye (which I’ve had an ARC of for years)
  5. Infamous by Jenny Holiday
  6. Lovers Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie
  7. Paper Boats by Dee Lestari
  8. The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
  9. Rock & Release by Riley Edgewood
  10. Man Candy by Melanie Harlow

What’s coming up on your fall TBR?  Do you have any goals, whether for specific titles or a certain number of books?