Strong Enough, an all-new sexy standalone from USA Today Bestselling author Melanie Harlow and David Romanov is LIVE!
by Melanie Harlow & David Romanov
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Publication Date: June 19, 2017
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.
Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/YwYlrO
iBooks: Strong Enough
Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/eU1rwv
For Derek Wolfe and Maxim Matveev, those two words have multiple meanings, some contrary to one another and others that demonstrate the effort it takes to get through difficult ordeals in order to reap deserved rewards.
At the beginning of the story, for Derek, being strong enough means to keep his dark sexual urges repressed, fighting them and ultimately controlling them so that no one truly knows just how abnormal he is because Derek’s upbringing has programmed him to believe that anything that is not socially acceptable is disgusting…wrong…even sinful.
These two men seem as opposite as they can be, especially because Derek uses all of his strength to suppress who he really is, fighting to be the man his parents and society wants him to be, not the one he truly is down to his core. And, even with the attraction that Derek feels for Maxim, Derek still torments himself with a code of conduct and traditional values that will lead him to become the perfect family man – one with a wife and kids, not a man who is 12 years younger than him and represents everything he’s worked his entire life to ignore and adamantly deny.
Maxim illustrates his strength and courage when he leaves his home in Russia for a life in the States, not knowing if he can make it here but driven to try because what he wants out of life he cannot acquire in his homeland. Maxim’s optimism and fortitude guide his life and his choices and even though everything seems to go wrong for Maxim as soon as he steps off the plane from Russia, perhaps it’s fate that guides his journey and allows him to help a man understand that despite his upbringing love doesn’t have to be a perfect, quintessential image – it just has to be perfect for the two people who feel it.
The fact that this story is semi-autobiographical adds intrigue and depth to the story line. Both men are fully characterized, which means that readers can truly understand what their words and actions illustrate about them and why they’ve grown to be the men that they currently are.
Derek is portrayed in such a way that readers can’t help but feel heartbroken for him; he’s lived his entire life programmed to believe that there’s only one way for him to live his life, so it makes sense that he fights his true nature and has a difficult time dealing with his feelings for Maxim. It’s clearly not Derek’s fault and while it was a bit frustrating to hear his misguided thoughts, the fact that, that is what he felt and must contend with is devastating not only for him but for those individuals like him who can’t be who they’re meant to be from the very beginning.
Maxim is a breath of fresh air in Derek’s otherwise controlled and tortured world and Maxim allows Derek to understand that there’s not simply one path or one way to live, and even though it’s difficult for Derek to face his reality, he’s strong enough to do so with Maxim by his side.
Strength is defined in varying ways throughout the story, and when Maxim becomes a part of Derek’s life, Derek ultimately needs to decide if he’s strong enough to go against everything he’s been told to believe and experience the kind of love that he could only dream of or if he cares too much about what other people will think and ruins any chance he may have to live the life that he deserves.
“You were given this life because you’re strong enough to live it.”
As long as Derek and Maxim can remember this idea throughout the highs and lows they’ll face in the lives they chosen to live, then they’ll always be strong enough to get exactly what they want and need!
4.5 Poison Apples
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.
Connect with Melanie
Sign up for Melanie’s Newsletter: http://www.melanieharlow.com/subscribe/
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.
Connect with David