Man Candy by Melanie Harlow
Release Date: June 20, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Not just back in town, but living in the flat right beneath mine. And he looks good enough to eat, which is just one more reason to stay away from him.
But I can’t resist.
The sex is incredible (pretty sure we’ve shaken the house right off its foundation), but he can’t fool me—not this time. A degree in marketing and five years in advertising have taught me that “true love” is a fairy tale used to sell lipstick, diamonds, and perfume. It doesn’t exist.
He thinks I’m wrong, and he wants to prove it.
I think he’s crazy, so I dare him to try.
It might be the biggest mistake of my life.
“It’s so good to see you, Jaime,” he said. “You look great.”
“You too,” I said before I could stop myself. I didn’t want him to think I still cared—in fact, I wanted him to know I wasn’t fooled by his charm. I wasn’t that silly little girl anymore, the one who’d doodled his name in her notebooks and blushed when he said hi at school and cried herself to sleep when he asked another girl to his prom. That silly little girl was gone, and in her place was a confident, smart, professional woman who knew her worth and, even better, the truth about love. No more stars in her eyes.
But why did he have to be so hot?
OK, pull yourself together. No drooling.
“I’m so glad this worked out.” Quinn let me go but stood too close, his feet planted wide and his arms crossed over his chest. He wore jeans, a gray knit pullover that hugged his muscular chest and arms, and his feet were bare. His hair was damp and messy on top, just like it had been the last time I’d seen him in person. His full lower lip made me want to bite it. Maybe even draw blood.
“Sorry, I just got out of the shower,” he said sheepishly, ruffling his hair. “Want to come in and catch up? Or maybe go out for a drink? I just need to throw some shoes on.”
“No.” Trying desperately to shove the image of him in the shower from my mind, I elbowed past him and trudged up the stairs. My cheeks were hot, which meant they were probably turning scarlet. They ruined my poker face every time.
“Come on, it’s Friday!”
“I have work to do.” He was naked a few minutes ago. And wet.
“Did you have a bad day?”
“No.” Rivulets of water streaming over those muscles.
“You already have plans tonight?”
“No.” Steam rising as he stroked himself beneath the spray.
“You don’t love me anymore?”
I froze as the shower fantasy exploded into bits, replaced by a humiliation that paralyzed me, one foot on the top step, one hand on the banister. Slowly, I turned my head and glared at him over one shoulder.
Now the grin cocked up on one side. “Because you used to, you know. You told me.”
“You need to forget about that.”
“Yes,” I snapped. “That was a long time ago. Back when I was young and impressionable and believed in love.”
His brows went up. “You don’t believe in love anymore?”
“Not the romantic kind. That’s a fantasy used to sell things like lipstick and roses and diamonds.”
“Pretty jaded for twenty-seven, aren’t you?”
I resumed heading up the stairs. “I’m not jaded, Quinn. I’m just a realist.” And I’ve been burned before, trusting guys way less attractive than you.
He said nothing more, and I let myself into my flat. As soon as the door was shut behind me, I leaned back against it, exhaling and fanning my face.
He still got to me. That was so aggravating.
I mean, how was I supposed to sleep at night? Quinn Rusek was one fine piece of man candy, and I had a sweet tooth for him that wouldn’t quit.
But he’d made fun of me! Again! A nice guy would have at least pretended not to remember what I’d said. Or maybe apologized for humiliating me. Or not have brought it up at all!
What an asshole.
A hot asshole—the worst kind.
Curse you, Alex, and your generous heart.
And curse you, Quinn, for getting under my skin again. You stay away from me.
But a traitorous little part of me hoped he wouldn’t.
(Bet you can guess which part.)
Man Candy by Melanie Harlow is dreamy perfection! I love watching authors get better with each book and Melanie is no exception. Her writing and voice continue to grow with each new novel, and I know when I pick up one of her books that I’ll fall in love.
Our heroine Jaime Owens (love that last name!) is atypical for a romance novel. She’s not waiting around for her prince to rescue her or to fall in love. She’s all about focusing on her career and her friends. When it comes to love, she’s a love ‘em and leave ‘em type! She endured a bit of heartbreak at the tender age of 17 and has been turned off of love ever since then. But then her world gets turned upside down when she is reunited with Quinn Rusek, her brother’s bestie from childhood. She grew up with Quinn hanging around and basically being part of the family. She was brimming with teenage lust / love for the gorgeous Quinn back in the day. What will happen when he comes back home and moves into the flat beneath her?
So who is Quinn? He’s a smoking hot model who happens to be a thoughtful and kind person. Plus, he’s super smart. He’s not just a pretty face, you guys. He’s really funny and charming and gives the best insta hashtags. He’s basically perfect! He’s been through some tough things over the past year and going home sounds like the best cure for him. Plus, he can’t wait to see Jaime again!
This story is so unique because the woman wasn’t pining away for the guy. This time it was the guy who had to convince her that it was ok to bet on love. I was thrilled to see that this novel defied the typical trope of the woman waiting for the guy who can’t commit.
The hijinks and jokes in this book were laugh out loud funny. It’s Mel’s signature humor plus some. I was practically rolling on the floor at so many scenes (the closet and love bug). Plus, Melanie really upped the hot factor in this book. Her books are always left-hand worthy but Man Candy was a fan-myself-need-to-left-hand-it-right-now kind of hot. Melanie wrote one of the most erotic scenes I’ve read (the finger). God, this book is delightful.
All the laughing and sex aside, this book has a lot of heart. Quinn and Jaime both deal with some things that have been weighing on them for years and there is some angst as well as really deep soulful moments in this book. It’s not all fun and games, you guys!
I’d also like to give a shout out to Ms. Harlow for giving us Jaime’s brother and his fiancé. It was refreshing to read about a gay couple in a way that didn’t turn them into silly caricatures. I loved Quinn even more once I saw his love and support for his bestie.
In the end, Man Candy is five perfect, happy, warm, tingly, luminous, beautiful, lovely stars! I love love loved this book! Go one-click Man Candy now! You know you want it!
It’s official. Melanie Harlow has turned me into a bookwhore. And that would kinda make her my pimp. But I’m ok with that! After every single one of her books I finish, I say “ohhh THIS is my new favorite!!” Or “he is my favorite of all of Melanie’s men!” And Quinn is no different. I freaking loved him!!! He is the perfect guy! This whole damn book I devoured the instant I started reading!
What I loved about Man Candy was the pacing of the story. Not once was I bored! From the first few pages, that literally had me dying laughing in a hotel room in Vegas, when Mel asked if I’d read the first chapter. I knew then that we were going to get a Harlow signature classic. Filled with all the humor that Mel is known for, all the sexiness that she always brings, and always something that makes us go GOD DAMN!!! Such as the The Finger episode.
Quinn and Jaime have known each other since they were kids. Jaime’s brother Alex, has been best friends with Quinn for years. And yes, Jaime crushed on Quinn for a long time!! After an embarrassing night many years ago, they parted ways. And guess what, that’s all I’m telling you!!! Cause I don’t want to take a thing away from this wonderful, fabulous, hysterically funny book!!
Melanie Harlow is one of my favorite authors. An instant one click. I know every time that she will never let me down as a reader. Miss Harlow is a rare gem. She’s one of those authors that can write anything she puts her mind to, and turns it into a masterpiece.
If you’re looking for a laugh out loud and full of so much sexiness…then Man Candy is the book for you!! This is the absolute perfect summer read!!! Grab it now!
I’m usually all about the male character, because, let’s face it, they are fantasies come to life. But, I have to say, I absolutely adored Jaime in Man Candy. Don’t get me wrong, Quinn was utter perfection, but Jaime is all I could think about after finishing.
Man Candy’s premise had Jaime reconnecting with Quinn, her crush from her teenage years. Quinn did a little number on her back then, and now Jaime has to deal with his sexy model self living in the same building. Unfortunately for her, she’s still attracted to him even if she doesn’t want to be. Quinn was all the things and Jaime just couldn’t resist. Their interactions had me grinning the entire time.
Quinn knew just how to push Jamie’s buttons and pull her out of her comfort zone. It was so interesting to see a bit of a role reversal in Man Candy. Quinn was very open about his feelings… which brings me to Jaime. She had ideas about love and rules about what could not happen. She wanted to keep Quinn at arms length and just enjoy her “man candy” without all of those pesky feelings that ruin everything. Well you know how that goes. Rules are made to be broken. Melanie did something really special with Jaime that made her get under my skin. Watching all of her walls come down with Quinn had me reading this non stop. I couldn’t wait to see her give in.
AND, just as I expected, Man Candy had some seriously hot sex scenes. Melanie Harlow always finds a way to do something different. Always. The writing makes me feel like I’m right there with them… in the room, on the bed, or on the floor, or maybe I feel like I’m a hand, or, um, possibly a finger. Yeah, I’ll admit it. I felt like I was a finger. That’s some serious writing skills. Wait til you find out where that finger was. I don’t care though, sometimes a finger needs a home.
I absolutely loved Man Candy. It was funny and HOT, but it also went a little deeper and was flawlessly written. There were a lot of layers to this story, and I loved every single one of them. I really hope you one-click this, because it was perfect to me. And everyone should feel like a finger at some time in their life. *points at everyone*
About the Author
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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