I’m a fan of Melanie Harlow writing on her own so I was looking forward to her first male/male romance. Plus she was co-writing with David Romanov. Some of my favorite books are written by pairs so I was solidly here for this one.
Maxim moves to America from Russia without much of a plan. Well his plan consists of renting an apartment in Hollywood sight unseen from some random guy, finding a job immediately that will allow him to enroll in English classes, pay his bills, and buy a laptop and then of course his ultimate plan: write screenplays for Hollywood. How this will happen is anyone’s guess. He comes across his first roadblock pretty much immediately off the plane when his friend of a friend who was to pick him up doesn’t show up but his luck holds up as this leads him to Derek Wolfe.
I couldn’t tell while I was reading this who I liked more – Derek or Maxim. Usually there is always a main character I’m drawn to more over the other but here…maybe it was Maxim. Maxim has this lovable optimism about him that is just so captivating. It’s hard to not love the guy. Every single time he spoke of the superstitions he held it made me laugh since he took them so incredibly seriously. Conversely we have Derek who is just so serious that I wanted to hug him and give him more happiness in his life. Which is why I felt like the two were such a match made in heaven and a perfect balance.
I enjoy stories like this one where one of the main characters are conflicted about their sexuality. It’s so unfortunate that so many have to deal with that and not feel comfortable accepting themselves and thinking that their loved ones won’t accept them either. Derek felt very real to me – both in his repression of his desires, and in his struggle to make himself want what he considers acceptable to society and his family.
There were times where I was getting frustrated that Maxim was a little bit of a doormat so I was happy to see that was not the case throughout the whole book. This did not disappoint and I will be looking forward to Melanie Harlow’s next m/m and looking up David Romanov’s other books for sure.
Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/YwYlrO
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Melanie Harlow writes sexy, emotional romance about strong, stubborn characters who can’t help falling in love. She’s addicted to bacon, gin martinis, and summer reading on the screened-in porch. If she’s not buried in a book or binging on Netflix, you might find her running, putting a bun in someone’s hair, or driving to and from the dance studio. She lives outside Detroit with her husband and two daughters.
Melanie is the USA Today bestselling author of the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, MAN CANDY, AFTER WE FALL, IF YOU WERE MINE, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s.
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For David Romanov, STRONG ENOUGH is to a great extent autobiographical. Born in Russia and raised in Europe, he landed in the United States at the age of 24, where he learned a lot about cultural differences between East and West. David firmly believes in ‘The One’ and learning through love. When he isn’t traveling or educating Melanie in Russian culture, he enjoys books and the company of his husband and dog in Los Angeles.
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Rating: 4 stars
Title: Strong Enough
Author: Melanie Harlow & David Romanov
Release Date: June 20, 2017