on February 28, 2017
Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance
Source: Personal Copy
Also by this author: After We Fall
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.
Gotta’ hand it to Melanie Harlow – she does a brilliant job with wounded, bad boy heroes and her books give me unexpected feels EVERY. DANG. TIME. Harlow’s If You Were Mine was no exception – I swoon, sighed and screamed (often at the same time). Highly enjoyable, this standalone semi-angsty contemporary romance was a perfect winter themed read.
Elementary school art teacher Claire French unlucky with love. It’s not that anything is wrong with, her she just hasn’t found the right guy (or even a guy). So when she receives an invitation to her co-worker’s wedding, Claire invents a fake boyfriend to avoid an unfortunate evening located at the singles table. Now needing to find Ryan Gosling’s doppelganger ASAP, Claire hires escort Theo MacLeod to pose as her boyfriend – except the chemistry is off-the-charts and the two find themselves fighting an inexplicable pull towards one another. (The author’s synopsis emphasized a snowed-in weekend away, but it was a pretty small part of the overall story. I generally find this author’s book summaries to be a little misleading )
what i liked…
If You Were Mine focuses heavily – and successfully – on the “opposites attract” trope. Really, I couldn’t imagine two people less alike on the face of the planet. Claire plays the quintessential good girl. She’s polite, kind to a fault, and prefers her life as risk-free as possible. Theo was the exact opposite, and even a little unlikable at times. He an ex-con, college drop-out bad boy, but demonstrates his heart of gold while helping to provide for his three nieces. The dichotomy between Theo and Claire was somewhat unbelievable. I really couldn’t figure out what they had in common outside of their chemistry – but found myself eventually won over by Theo’s charm and ego.
where I struggled…
I spent most of the book trying to decide if Theo was either the best or worst person in the world, which led to my unexpected outpouring of emotions while reading. Personally, I like the bad boy stereotype from time to time; however, he comes across as indecisive and selfish. He’s so focused on protecting himself that he doesn’t realize how much he’s hurting Claire. In a way, I understand and sympathize with him as his upbringing makes it difficult to trust. You can only give a character so much room for indecisiveness before you just want to slap them upside the head though.
Fun Fact: If You Were Mine is also a great Christmas-time/winter read for those who don’t like actual Christmas books. The book starts during the Christmas time, but the holiday isn’t a major factor. There’s just an occasional reference to family meals and twinkle lights on Christmas trees. It’s kind of like a warm-up Christmas read.