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  • Writer's pictureAnnika Pillai

my thoughts on the one and only series by melanie harlow

I kind of have an interesting relationship with Melanie Harlow’s books, because I never fall in love with any of them, but I still read them since they are usually a good way to pass time. I was scrolling through my kindle app, when this series popped up, and I figured, why not? It’s not like I had anything better to do.

The thing I love about Melanie Harlow’s books is how easy they are to get through; they are just so quick and light to read, and sometimes you just really need that.

Only You

Anyways, the first book in this series is called Only You, and it follows Nate and Emme––Nate is a divorce attorney who doesn’t believe in love, and Emme is a wedding planner who does.

When Nate suddenly finds out that he has a baby daughter––after finding her left on his doorstep––Emme agrees to help him out. But as she spends more and more time with him, she very quickly starts to develop real feelings for him––the only issue is, Nate doesn’t do relationships. Will she be able to convince him to change his mind?

I actually thought this book was pretty cute! Nate and Emme were adorable, and I liked the relationship buildup––I had a really good time reading, and was very engaged.

I will say, the first hookup happens about 30% into the book, which I don’t love––and I actually think this is pretty common for all of Melanie Harlow’s books. I usually prefer for there to be a little bit more buildup leading to the first hookup, however for this book I didn’t mind as much.

I will say that the Nate––and pretty much the heroes in the rest of the series––are very much “I can’t be in a relationship” and “I’m going to break up with you because you deserve better than me" types of heroes. I personally don’t mind this in books, but I know that a lot of people do, so just be aware of that.

I’m going to be honest, most of the conflict revolved around Nate’s aversion to relationships––it got irritating after a while, but as a whole, I did really enjoy this book.

Rating ➳ 4/5 stars

tw: cancer, child death, death of a parent

Only Him

The second book in this series is Only Him, and I really didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed the first one. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a second chance romance, and I’ve been having horrid luck with those recently, but I thought this book was just okay.

The story follows Maren and Dallas, who used to date in high school, up until Dallas left without saying goodbye. Ten years later, he shows up on her doorstep asking for forgiveness…and things take off from there.

I wasn’t able to fully connect with the characters, and the plot was a tad predictable. I don’t know why exactly I didn’t enjoy this. I think the issue with second-chance romances, is that we are often told the two characters are in love (due to their past relationship), rather than being shown, and I feel like that was the same in this book.

I have yet to find a second-chance romance that I love, and this one was just okay.

Rating ➳ 3/5 stars

tw: cancer

Only Love

The third book in this series follows Stella, and Ryan––when Stella's grandmother calls asking her to visit, Stella heads down to the town where her grandmother lives. It is there, where she meets Ryan, her grandmother's next door neighbor, who is very much haunted by the scars of his past. Stella is very attracted to him, but Ryan is moody and challenging-––one minute he’s an open book, and the next he’s completely closed off. How can Stella convince him to try for love?

I enjoyed this book a surprising amount. I thought that both Ryan and Stella were adorable, and I just really liked the overall pacing of this book. I think that out of all of the books, this one was probably my favorite. I love a good tortured, damaged, hero so that is probably why.

Like I said earlier, this series is filled with heroes who break up with the heroine because they think "she deserves better"––so if you hate that, you probably will hate this series.

Despite that, I had such a good time with this book, and I would recommend.

Rating ➳ 4/5 stars

(tw: death, suicide, mentions of ptsd)

I actually enjoyed this series a lot more than I thought I would––and these books are some of Melanie Harlow's better books, I think. I actually believe her Cloverleigh Farms series is the spinoff of this series? I don't know, I didn't love that series too much, to be honest.

Either way, if you have time, I would recommend you pick this up. None of the books are bad, and I had a good time reading.

Only You ➳ 4/5 stars

Only Him ➳ 3/5 stars

Only Love ➳ 4/5 stars


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