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.
Melanie Harlow is a favorite of mine. A drop everything I am reading to read her new book favorite. There are a number of reasons for this: her characters are genuine; her writing flows and is a pleasure to read; she tells stories of people I would want to know in real life; she describes scenes and settings in a way that I feel like I am there.
Man Candy was a bit of a different story. It is usually the woman in the story who knows how she feels and the man who is unwilling, reluctant, or afraid to commit. In this case, Jaime is the one who is not willing to believe in love and commitment. Quinn, on the other hand, is pretty sure that she is the one for him…he just needs to talk her into it.
This is a friends to lovers story. Jaime and Quinn knew each other when they were younger, Quinn is friends with her brother, Alex. This is how they meet, how they know one another, and ultimately how they end up living in the same duplex.
The story begins with Jaime in a closet. Literally, it is the first line. With a game of chicken, and with a little history so you know why she is in this closet. Still literally. You find out why Jaime is reluctant to believe in love, you find out about her family, her career, and all of the things that have happened to her in her life that resulted in her belief that love isn’t real and doesn’t last.
Quinn believes in love that lasts, that is work, and that builds into something permanent and deeper than the first attraction. He decides to show Jaime that love is real, and she dares him to try. The book is their story, their dates, his attempts to show her that love is real and her determination to resist believing it is anything other than a fairy tale.
Quinn is instantly likable. He is funny, charming, caring and ridiculously attractive. He’s genuine, and life experience has taught him that he wants to take a path that has more meaning than the one he is on, so he is back in Detroit to make some changes in his life, to find a new direction. It is admirable and he is appealing.
Jaime is likeable, but at the same time, you are a little frustrated with her unwillingness to see what is right in front of her, the chance at real love with Quinn. Harlow does an excellent job of portraying someone who is afraid and reluctant without making the reader dislike her. You understand where Jaime is coming from and what she is thinking, and the talent in Harlow’s writing is this ability to write a character who maybe should be frustrating or hard to relate to…but isn’t. As a reader, you really like Quinn, so you would think it would be hard to relate to Jaime and her reluctance to be with him fully, but you like her, and you understand her, so you never reach the point where you dislike her, even though she is difficult. Credit goes to Melanie Harlow for the writing, the characters, the plot, all of it, for being able to relate to Jaime through the entire book.
Man Candy is delicious. Take a bite.