Review: Only Love (Melanie Harlow)

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Only Love
Series: One and Only, #3
Author: Melanie Harlow
Publication Date: November 26, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A gorgeous former Marine with a tortured soul.
The beautiful, compassionate therapist living next door.
A meddlesome grandma determined to get them together.

From USA Today Bestselling Author Melanie Harlow comes an all new standalone romance that will make you believe in the redemptive power of love.

I was expecting a proposal on my birthday, and I got dumped instead.

How could I have been so clueless?

Grams knew exactly how to distract me.

The “cute boy next door” who’s been helping her with yard work clearly needs a little therapy. Who better to call than her newly single therapist granddaughter?

She even fakes dementia to get me to visit, and now that I’m here she’s doing everything in her power to throw us together.

Not that I’m complaining. Ryan is the sexiest man I’ve ever met–I mean the full package, from the chiseled jaw to the massive shoulders to the rippling abs. (And yes, his package is full, and he knows exactly how to deliver it.) He makes me want to get out of my head and follow my heart. He makes me want to take chances I never thought I’d take.

He also makes me want to take my clothes off. A lot.

But he’s moody and challenging–one minute he’s an open book, and the next he’s completely closed off. He holds me like he’ll never let go, but insists he wants to be alone.

Some wounds are so deep, only love can heal them.

How can I convince him to let me try?


The blurb for Only Love is what attracted me to this book. It just sounded cute with the ex-Marine, Grams, and dumped on her birthday girl. I have only read one other book by Melanie Harlow that I loved, so I decided to give this one a shot. I ended up having some mixed feelings about it.

Only Love is the third book in the One and Only series. I didn’t realize that before I read it, but it didn’t seem to matter. It could easily be read as a standalone. Only Love follows the love story of Stella and Ryan. After Stella is dumped on her birthday, her Grams talks her into visiting her. Unbeknownst to Stella, Grams has decided to hook Stella up with her hot ex-Marine neighbor. Ryan’s not looking for a relationship, but neither he nor Stella can stop from acting on their attraction to each other. Soon the feelings they have for each other are making them uncomfortable in ways they didn’t see coming.

Only Love was a fun read. I loved the way it was set up. Stella and Ryan both got their own first person point of view. Grams also got to voice her thoughts here and throughout the book. It made for a very fun reading experience. Grams POV might have been my favorite because she was so sneaky! I loved that she had the best intentions and worked for the greater good.

Ryan was a complicated character. Melanie Harlow did his character justice. I would never want to be in Ryan’s shoes, but I can empathize better after reading his thoughts and feelings in this book. His reasons for shutting down his emotions were valid. I loved how Stella helped him feel again.

Honestly, I didn’t really like Stella. She was so rigid that I had hard time believing she was someone who could exist outside this book. I’m sure there are people out there who would identify in some way with her, but it wasn’t me. I was thinking back and wondering if maybe her character might have made more sense to me if I had read the first two books about her sisters?

The funny thing is that I liked Stella when it came to her relationship with Ryan. The care Stella put into her interactions with Ryan was so sweet. I liked how she truly listened to him and saw him. Stella walked Ryan through some tough moments, and it was touching. Ryan wasn’t always as nice and understanding as Stella, but he got it when it counted the most. I truly liked the relationship they ended up building together — even if I did think they had too much of an insta-love thing going on.

Overall, Only Love was a fun read. I liked how the characters and their love grew throughout the story.

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About Melanie Harlow

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

Melanie is the author of the AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.
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5 thoughts on “Review: Only Love (Melanie Harlow)

  1. I really enjoy Melanie Harlow’s writing but haven’t read her books in awhile. I am curious like you mentioned whether you would have liked her more if you read the other two. That’s happened to me with several lately as well, so I’ll probably start with the first one! Great review! =D

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