I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by: Self Published
on June 19, 2017
Genres: M/M Romance
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From USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow and David Romanov, comes an all new sexy and emotional MM standalone romance.
I wasn’t looking for Derek Wolfe.
I wasn’t looking for anybody. All I wanted was to start a new life in America. But when I found myself stranded here with no place to go, he came to my rescue, offering me a place to stay.
He’s smart, successful, and sexy as hell—I can barely sleep knowing he’s right down the hall. And when the chemistry between us explodes one night with fierce, fiery passion, it’s hard to deny there’s something real there.
But he does.
He says he was drunk. He says it was a one-time thing. He says he’s not into guys and what we did meant nothing.
He’s lying. Because it happened again, and again, and again. And it’s better every time.
I know we could be good together, and I want the chance to try, but I’m done hiding. If he’s not strong enough to admit the truth, I’ll have to be strong enough to walk away.
A story of passion. A story of desire. A story of temptation. A story of acceptance. Nothing could have prepared me for the hurricane of emotions that this book put me through. I’m very familiar with Melanie Harlow’s writing, and I absolutely LOVE everything she writes, but when she teams up with David Romanov and releases something so special, so authentic, so real, I can’t help but be completely and utterly BLOWN AWAY by its magnificence! STRONG ENOUGH is SO MUCH MORE than a love story. It’s so much more than an M/M Romance. There are so many life lessons here, I don’t even know where to start. This book is so important. It’s so significant today and I just want every single person to drop what they are doing and READ THIS BOOK!
“I was lost. Lost to him, lost to myself, lost to this aching, pulsing need inside me to let go. To stop pretending I didn’t want this. To surrender to it because I wanted it and it felt so fucking good.”
I knew from the beginning that I wasn’t going to do this story justice with my review. I’m not at a point where I can be eloquent regarding this book, because I’m still reeling from what it made me feel. I’m a jumbled mess of emotions inside and yet my heart could not be more full of hope for the future. Derek and Maxim are two of the most special characters I’ve ever read about. They are unforgettable and their story will be forever ingrained in my soul. Complete opposites, these two individuals are drawn to one another on such a level that’s so hard to explain. I’ve never witnessed a connection like theirs, nor have I ever read about a connection this strong and complex. It was refreshing and yet so damn frustrating.
Derek absolutely, 100% broke my damn heart. There were times that I had to set my iPad down and take a deep breath, because the internal war he was fighting tore me open. And Maxim, my god, he was so sweet, so precious, and so endearing, I wanted to pull him in a big embrace and never let him go. Derek is a thirty-six year old successful American who was raised in a strictly conservative and Catholic home. Maxim is a twenty-four year old Russian man who has come to America to pursue his dream of Screenwriting. Maxim’s a dreamer. Derek is a realist. On paper, these two do not make sense, but by first touch, everything changes. Sparks ignite, passion flows, and their connection is absolutely ELECTRIC.
“Yes. Fight me,” he seethed, whipping his shirt over his head. “Fight back.” He came at me again, all strength and rage and heat, pushing me back against the living room wall. “I want you to say no. I want you to be the one to stop this because I fucking can’t.” His lower body anchored mine, the solid bulge of his erection digging into the front of my hip. “I fucking can’t.”
There are so many obstacles that stand in their way. But by just being together, spending time with each other, they ignite the fire within themselves. They give into temptation, and in one another they embrace their true self.
You guys, I could seriously go on FOREVER about this book. I could tell you that I not only loved the interactions between the main characters, but I adored the relationship that Derek had with his sister, Ellen. I loved the banter between the two and I loved how accepting she was towards Derek and towards Maxim. There was NOTHING in this story that turned me off. It was pure magic on every single page. I wanted to crawl inside the pages and embrace these characters with everything I am. M/M Romance is not for everyone, I know that. I only started reading this genre a year or so ago, but I have to tell you that this is just SO MUCH MORE. I think EVERYONE could benefit from reading this INCREDIBLE story. Harlow and Romanov have come together to create something so INCREDIBLY special and unique and authentic, and I can only hope and pray that they continue their co-writing relationship and give us more stories, because you can tell by STRONG ENOUGH, that they put their heart and soul and their EVERYTHING into their words.
“Madness. It was madness inside me. The way I wanted him. The way I needed him.”
This was an incredibly EASY selection for a TOP PICK for me. Hell, it might even be one of my favorite reads of all time. It’s rare for me to be so affected by a romance, but for the emotional reader that I am, STRONG ENOUGH hit all of the right buttons for me, and then some. Trust me when I say, romance readers will be talking about Derek and Maxim’s story for a very long time, so it’s best to keep up with the conversation and get your hands on this BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE the second it releases.
Figuring I’d had enough booze to blunt his effect on me, I rolled up the sleeves of my black button-down shirt and moved next to him. “I’ll help you.”
I caught him trying to not to look at my wrists and forearms, and it made me smile. How does it feel to want someone and have to hide it? “You wash, I’ll dry?”
We worked in silence, shoulder to shoulder, and I found myself increasingly—and disturbingly—pleased at the thought of him being attracted to me and being forced to conceal it. It was fucking horrible of me to take pleasure in his discomfort, but I liked being secretly wanted. Being illicitly desired. Being the object of his covert glances and maybe even his darkest, dirtiest thoughts. I let our arms touch more than necessary, as thrilled by the physical contact as I was by the thought of what it might be doing to him.
For there is no man who does not sin.
My dick started to get hard, clearly unbothered by the whiskey that was breaking down my inhibitions, pushing past all my defenses, and letting my imagination run wild.
What’s in that gorgeous head of yours, Maxim? What’s behind those cobalt eyes? What would you do to me, if I let you? What would you let me do to you?
“Carolyn is so nice,” he said, handing me the last serving dish left to be dried.
What? He was thinking about Carolyn right now? He wasn’t supposed to be thinking about Carolyn—I was, goddammit!
But I wasn’t. “Yeah.”
He turned off the water. Rested his wet hands on the edge of the sink. “I didn’t realize you had a girlfriend.”
And I heard it in his voice—the slightest edge of jealousy, so faint I might never have noticed it had I not been so hyperaware of everything about him right now. I fucking loved it.
“She’s not my girlfriend.”
“Oh.” Now there was confusion. “I guess I misunderstood.”
“She wants to be my girlfriend.”
Of course there was silence. Maxim would never ask what the problem was. But I wanted to tell him. I wanted him to know. I wanted to share the impossible longing I felt with one person who might understand it.
“The problem is me.”
He was completely still. Before I could stop myself, I covered his right hand with my left. “Sometimes I don’t know what I want.”
He yanked his hand from beneath mine and we faced each other.
For the first time tonight, I looked him right in the eye. Nothing around us existed for me anymore. I heard only his breath. Smelled only his skin. Saw only his guarded expression.
I had to have him.