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Blog Tour: From This Moment: Melanie Harlow

From This Moment
Melanie Harlow
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Release Date: October 10, 2017

It was like seeing a ghost.

When my late husband’s twin brother moves back to our small town, I want to avoid him. Everything about Wes reminds me of the man I lost and the life we’d planned together, and after eighteen long months struggling just to get out of bed, I’m finally doing okay. I have a new job, an amazing support group, and a beautiful five-year-old daughter to parent. I don’t want to go backward.

But I’m drawn to him, too. He understands my grief and anger and loneliness like no one else—and I understand his. Before long, that understanding becomes desire, and that desire becomes uncontrollable.

We make excuses. We blame our sorrow. We promise each other it will never happen again.

But it does.

And when our secret threatens to destroy his family and my reputation, we’ll have to decide what’s more important—loyalty or love?

READ THE FIRST CHAPTER TODAY!

FROM THIS MOMENT PREORDER
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This is a story of hope and second chances in tragic and challenging circumstances.  Hannah lost her husband, Drew suddenly and was left as a grieving, single mom. She now just takes life day by day and lives for her daughter.

But when Wes, his identical twin brother,  returns to town, it sends her into a tail spin. It brings back all the feelings of loss, sadness, anger, and fear. She has done her best to put up a good front that she is doing okay, but she really isn't. She is anxious, scared, hopeless, and lonely.

Wes knew and loved Hannah first, but he was more shy and quiet. He did not take his chance to tell her and before he knew it his outgoing twin moved in and swept her off her feet. So his way of dealing with the loss was staying away. But he is now needed by his family to take over his dad's medical practice and cannot help wanting to see Hannah and his niece.

As they spend more time together, attractions and feelings grow, but so do fears, insecurities, worries, and doubt. They have changed over the years. Hannah is not a woman who believes in promises, absolutes, and happy-ever-afters. And Wes is not going to stay quiet and miss his chance this time. But she is going to need a lot of convincing and TLC. When it is just the two of them, it is easier to believe despite the complications and fears. But they have many obstacles against them including acceptance of others. The more the outside world encroaches in their lives, the more it seems impossible for them to get to be happy together. 

This is angsty and frustrating and full of messy emotions and issues. It is told in dual points of view which was important since they have a lot to think about and get caught up in inner monologues frequently. There are side characters I really liked and some I did not. I have only read one other Melanie Harlow book but after meeting Jack and Margot in this one, I am interested in reading their story now in After We Fall.

Wes is sweet, caring, loyal, and loving. He wears his heart on his sleeve. I just adored him and my heart broke for him several times. He missed his chance once and sacrificed himself for his brother. It would be logical for him to be insecure and wonder if he was now just a poor substitute, but he is more of the steady, hopeful, and patient one. She is so fearful and anxious that she causes just as many issues herself. But she also has an inner strength about her and is a dedicated mother. Her daughter, Abby, is a sweetheart and I loved her relationship with her Uncle. 

This is a dramatic, emotional, passionate, and swoony second-chance love story of two people that judgmental society might not think should be together, but were powerless not to fall. They just have to decide if love is a risk worth taking and if they can live with the fall out. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
When Hannah lost her husband suddenly, her whole world shifted. Two years later she is feeling like she finally has her feet back under her: a new job, a grief support group to lean on, and her daughter to focus on. When her late husband’s twin brother returns home, she is worried that the reminder of who she lost will send her backwards. But Wes understands her grief, which leads them to build a new friendship and new feelings towards each other. Hannah is hesitant to pursue things with Wes though, because what will people think if she falls in love with her husband’s brother?

Hannah’s emotions and thoughts echoed what I imagine I would think in her situation, and I couldn’t help but feel sympathy for everything she was dealing with.

I loved Wes. He is also grieving the loss of his brother, but knows he can’t stay away from Hannah forever. And more, he loved her before she fell in love with his brother, but he was too shy to say anything.

The emotions were everything in this book. The extreme variance as Hannah and Wes travel the pitfalls of falling in love with as much baggage as they carry kept the story rolling. I watched in rapt attention as they navigated their own expectations and feelings as well as those of the people around them.

Some of the side characters had me wanting to pull my hair out in frustration, while others provided sweet support for Hannah and Wes.

This is a heart wrenching second chance story full of grief, hope, family, and facing fears. I enjoyed the more mature experiences and ages of the characters and felt like I could relate more closely to their thoughts because of this. This is my first book by Melanie Harlow but it will not be my last.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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“Want to go out in the canoe?” he asked.
“Okay.” I ditched my flip-flops on the small, beach-level deck, and we set our wine glasses and the bottle on the deck’s little round table. Wes was already barefoot. Together we dragged the forest green canoe from the tall beach grasses on the side of the deck down to the water’s edge and tipped it over.
“Let me rinse it out a little,” Wes said, frowning at the dirt and spider webs inside. “Want to grab the paddles? They should be in the shed.”
“On it.” I went to the small shed on the embankment, opened it up and grabbed the oars, which stood in one corner. On the shelves were life jackets and sand toys and deflated rafts that probably had holes in them, and scratched into the wooden door among other graffiti was WP + CB. Huh. I’d never noticed that before. Who was CB? I glanced over my shoulder at Wes, who’d taken off his T-shirt and tossed it onto the sand.
My stomach full-out flipped.
Quickly, I shut the door to the shed and brought the oars down to the canoe.
Wes stood up straight and stuck his hands on his hips. He wore different sunglasses than Drew had worn, more of an aviator than a wayfarer. The body was similar, though Wes’s arms seemed more muscular, especially through the shoulder. Other things were the same and caused a rippling low in my body—the soft maroon color of his nipples, the trim waist, the trail of hair leading from his belly button to beneath the low-sling waistband of his red swim trunks. In my head I heard Tess’s voice. Arms. Chest. Shoulders. Skin. Stubble. Muscle. The smell of a man. The solidity of him.
“What’s the law on drinking and canoeing?” he asked.
What’s the law on staring at your brother-in-law’s nipples? I wondered, swallowing hard. What was wrong with me?
“I think we’re okay,” I said, handing the oars to him. Our hands touched in the exchange. “Let me grab our glasses.”
“Perfect. If you hold them, I’ll take us out.”
I retrieved the wine glasses from the table and walked carefully across the sand to the lake’s edge, taking deep, slow breaths. A sweat had broken out across my back. I was wearing a swimsuit beneath my cover up, a modest tankini, but I didn’t want to remove it. Wading ankle deep, I attempted to step into the canoe, but it wobbled beneath my foot.
“Whoa.” Wes took me by the elbow and didn’t let go until I was seated at one end, facing the other. “Okay?”
I nodded. Despite the heat, my arms had broken out in goose flesh.
“All right, here we go.” As he rowed us away from shore, the breeze picked up, cooling my face and chest and back.
“Drew and I used to have canoe-tipping contests.”
I snapped my chin down and skewered Wes with a look over the top of my sunglasses. “Don’t even think about it.”
He just grinned, the muscles in his arms and chest and stomach flexing with every stroke of the oars through the water. Momentarily mesmerized, I allowed myself the pleasure of watching him. It was okay if we were both thinking about Drew, wasn’t it?
In fact, it was only natural that I was intrigued by the sight of Wes’s body. He was my husband’s identical twin, for heaven’s sake, and I missed his physical presence in my life. I missed looking at him naked. I missed feeling the weight of him above me. I missed the feeling of being aroused by him, of my body’s responses to his touch, his kiss, his cock.
Deep in my body, the rusty mechanism of arousal creaked to life. My nipples peaked, my stomach hollowed, and something fluttered between my legs.
Oh, Jesus.
I sat up straighter, pressed my knees together, and closed my mouth, which I realized had fallen open. Hopefully I hadn’t moaned or anything. After another sip of wine, I turned my head and studied a freighter off in the distance. My heart was beating way too fast.
It’s only natural. It’s only natural.
Wes stopped paddling and set the oars in the bottom of the canoe, their handles resting against the seat in the middle. “We’ll have to bring Abby out here.”
“Definitely.” Did my voice sound normal? “She’ll love it. Here, want this?” I held his wine glass toward him and he reached out to take it. His fingers brushed mine, and I pulled my hand back as if the touch had burned me.
“Thanks.” He tipped the glass up then looked along the shore. “I’d like to find a place on the lake. Maybe not along this stretch of beach, though.”
I caught his meaning and smiled. “A little too close to home?”
“Yeah. But I don’t want to be too far away. I’d like to get a boat too.”
“What kind of boat? Drew always talked about it, but we never quite settled on one.”
“Not sure. Maybe just a little fishing boat, something to ski behind.”
“That sounds fun. Drew loved to ski.”
“We’ll have to teach Abby.”
I laughed. “You, not we. I managed to get up and stay up a few times, but I am not the expert.”
“You can teach her to cook, I’ll teach her to water ski.”
“Deal.” Separate activities seemed like a good idea.
“Breakfast was incredible.”
“Thanks.” I tucked a strand of hair that had escaped my ponytail behind my ear, but the wind blew it right back into my face. “I really like working there. I’m so glad Georgia suggested it to me.”
“How long have you been there?”
“Since spring, when they got busy. I’m not sure what I’ll do this winter when it slows down. I’m dreading it, actually. Abby will be in school full time, and it will just be me at home alone.” This was something else I hadn’t talked about with anyone, how worried I was that the gray skies and cold weather and silent hours would set me spiraling into depression. “I always thought I’d have another baby to take care of, but life saw things differently.”
“You’re still young, Hannah.”
I shook my head. “I’m really not. And I feel even older than I am.” Please don’t go Grief Police on me and tell me I’m being ridiculous, I begged him silently. This isn’t the life I chose. It was handed to me and I’m doing the best I can.
But he didn’t say anything more, just sipped his wine and looked out at the horizon. I was grateful.
“What about you?” I asked. “Think maybe you’ll get married now that you’re back? Have a family? Abby won’t have any siblings so she needs some cousins.”
“That seems to be a popular topic of discussion around here,” Wes said, shaking his head, “but I really have no idea.”
“Small town. We like to know everyone’s business.” I smiled. “Hey, what about CB? I saw your initials carved with hers on the door of the shed. Maybe she’s still around.”
He groaned. “Is that still there? Jesus. That had to be twenty years ago.”
Hugging my knees, I leaned forward. “First love?”
“Not even.” He hesitated, as if he were trying to decide whether to confess something.
“Come on,” I cajoled, carefully reaching out of the canoe, and splashing water toward him. “Tell me. I’ve been spilling my guts for an hour.”
“First kiss.”
I squealed. “And?”
He cringed. “It’s too embarrassing.”
“Wes, I had a completely humiliating breakdown in front of you last night. I got snot on my arm.”
“This is worse.”
“Get it out. You’ll feel better.”
“Let’s just say it was a very awkward, very fast experience.”
I gasped. “You lost your virginity to her?”
“No. Just my dignity.”
Laughing, I tilted my head back and felt the sun on my face, the wind in my hair, and something like joy in my heart.
It had been a long time.

Melanie Harlow 
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 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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