Title: Strong Enough
Authors: Melanie Harlow & David Romanov
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Heat Rating: 4 Stars
All the Feels: 5 Stars
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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 between us.
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.
I’m a big fan of Melanie Harlow and so I was excited to see how her first MM book would turn out, especially co-writing it with David Romanov. I have to admit my expectations were a little high, given that I was familiar with Harlow’s work. Well, Strong Enough completely blew me away. It was heartwarming, sexy, sweet, gut-wrenching- a total roller-coaster.
From the moment Maxim steps off the plane in America, things aren’t going his way. After a string of bad luck, he finds himself being taken in by Derek Wolfe. The two are complete opposites in almost every way- Maxim follows his gut, Derek follows his brain- yet there is this connection, chemistry even, between them that is undeniable. The more time they spend together, the more the spark grows. Maxim thinks whatever happening is simple and easy, while Derek knows it’s anything but. Torn between his heart and his mind, Derek is in a rough spot. For the first time ever he has these incredible feelings, but will he let himself feel them?
Maxim was one of my favorite parts about this book. He’s younger, only 24 years old, yet is wise beyond his years. There is a dept and maturity to his character that is hard to describe. But at the same time, he is carefree, loving, and thinks you should always follow your gut and never second guess things. He has a big heart, and isn’t afraid to love. He is Russian, and it was interesting getting to know more about the Russian culture. Gah, he was so adorable!
Derek was so different from Maxim. He was a bit older 36 years old, and everything was logically thought about with him. His ultimate goal in life was to have a wife and family. You know, a “normal” life. Yet, he is carrying a secret. Derek is attracted to women… but he is also attracted to men, especially Maxim. He has battles within himself over this throughout the book, more so when he starts to really care for Maxim. I have to admit, at times I got mad at Derek. Frustrated with him. Wanted to yell at him. But, at the same time, I appropriate how realistic his character was. Derek was raised a certain way to believe certain things, and his struggle to accept himself is one that many people go through.
The relationship between Maxim and Derek is everything. From strangers, to unlikely friends, to much more. They just click. The complete what the other is lacking, and bring out the very best in each other. The way Derek softens around Maxim is super sweet. And the chemistry? WOWZA! It’s off the charts! There are some serious steamy scenes.
The writing was incredible and I was very impressed with David Romanov’s debut. I look forward to reading more from him! And of course, it was another hit for Melanie Harlow.
You seriously don’t want to miss this touching tale.
Find it on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited!)