Oh boy did I love this book. It’s no surprise as the first three books were on my best of 2019 list, and this one did not disappoint. The writing is so warm, it feels like a hug. Henry DeSantis … yowza.
It’s nice to read about adults going through adult issues, like divorce, infertility, dating as a single mother, etc. It’s super relatable for me as these are the things my friends are going through as we move through our 30s
In hindsight, I should not have had that fifth mimosa at Breakfast with Santa.
Or the sixth, seventh, and eighth.
But my shame over the public meltdown that resulted was nothing compared to being abandoned by my husband of fifteen years for a much younger woman—and did I mention she’s pregnant?
For the sake of my children and my pride, I pack up and head for my childhood home and the small town where I grew up. Cloverleigh Farms would be the perfect place for a fresh start.
Falling for Henry DeSantis wasn’t part of the plan.
Sure, he’s easy on the eyes and hard in the bedroom (also the hallway, the bathtub, and on top of his desk), but he’s newly divorced too, and things between us are moving so fast I’m afraid neither one of us has had enough time to heal. Not to mention the fact that I’m a single mom now—my kids have to come first.
But Henry makes me feel beautiful and sexy and wanted and strong—things I haven’t felt in years. We understand each other, and when I’m in his arms, I’m tempted to trust again. To love again. To let myself be loved without fear.
But deep down, I’m terrified.
Is this all too much, too soon? Or am I a fool to let a second chance at happily ever after pass me by?
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“Want to unzip my dress?”
“That would be a hell yes.” He took my hand and pulled me to my feet. “Turn around.”
I turned, lifting my hair off my neck. Slowly, he pulled the zipper down my back, and the red dress fell to my feet. Stepping out of it, I suddenly felt self-conscious. I hadn’t been fully naked in front of a man without the cover of darkness in a long time. I hadn’t been fully naked in front of anyone but my ex since I was twenty—and I didn’t have that body anymore. I’d had two children. Even though I knew it was stupid, that nagging little prickle of insecurity still stung . . . I’d been left for a younger woman. He’d told her I didn’t excite him anymore. Was my body to blame? Before I could stop myself, I covered my chest with my arms, wrapping one fist inside the other and tucking them beneath my chin.
“Hey.” Henry turned me by the shoulder so I was facing him again. “Don’t do that.”
“What?” I had trouble looking him in the eye.
He tipped my chin up. “Don’t hide yourself from me.”
“I’m not hiding,” I said, but of course I was.
Taking me by the wrists, he forced my arms down to my sides, and looked at me.
I started to panic a little.
I was totally bare before him—stretch marks, C-section scar, less-than-perky breasts and all. Unlike many of my friends, I’d never had surgery to restore my post-baby body to its former tight, bouncy, unmarked state. Now I was kind of wishing I had.
I’d never felt so naked or vulnerable in my life.
“Sylvia, I’m going to say this once,” Henry said seriously. “And then, since you’ve learned not to trust words entirely, I’m going to spend the rest of the night showing you that it’s true—I think you are the most exquisite woman on the face of the earth, in every way. There is no part of your body, no inch of your skin, that isn’t perfect, because it’s yours.” He took my head in his hands and kissed me, hard but sweet. “And all I want to do is make you mine, even if it’s just for tonight.”
“Yes,” I whispered. I rose up on my toes, pressing my lips to his again while my hands went to work unbuttoning his shirt. “Make me yours tonight, Henry. That’s all I want to be.”
USA Today bestselling author, 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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