REVIEW: “From This Moment” by Melanie Harlow

I had my doubts about a romance about a woman falling in love with her dead husband’s twin.  Usually I’m automatically “Say ‘No’ to a woman plus brothers” but since Melanie Harlow’s the author I went for it.  What makes the story is that the Heroine knows the situation is taboo and wants to step away.  However her feelings are so strong she can’t say ‘no’.  The Hero and Heroine’s backstory justifies everything for me.  Wes met Hannah first but was too shy to ask her out.  Hannah thought Wes was good-looking and sweet and hoped he’d ask her out but he didn’t.  Then Wes’ outgoing, twin enters the picture and asks Hannah out immediately.  Wes’s caring, generous, loyal, and surprisingly sexually aggressive.  Hannah’s still in mourning and overwhelmed being a working single mother.  But feelings flare to life when she sees Wes.

Hannah Parks has been in mourning for her husband for over two years.  Her thirty-something year-old husband went for a run and had a heart attack.  Now she’s a single mom raising a daughter who barely remembers her father.  Her old friends have abandoned her because she won’t “snap out of it”.  Her social life revolves around her support group – Wine With Widows.  She can’t imagine a day when she’ll feel something sexual or romantic toward another man.  Then she runs into her husband’s twin brother in the grocery store and her life is forever thrown.  She doesn’t know if it’s because he looks like her husband or  just the unexpectedness but it leaves her off-kilter.

Wes has returned to the United States after being away for years working as a physician with Doctors Without Borders.  He feels guilty wondering if he had been in town his brother would still be alive.  Now seeing the shocked face of his twin’s widow he feels guilty for making Hannah feel uncomfortable.  He actually met Hannah before his brother but because of his shyness he never asked her out.  But when his outgoing life-of-the-party twin met her he asked her out within minutes and the rest is history.  Except that Wes has remained in love with Hannah.  He stepped aside for his brother and never told his twin he was interested in her.  Wes let them fall in love and live “happily-ever-after”.  Or so he thought.

Even though Hannah hopes that she and Wes won’t see each other very much they do.  Hannah’s daughter is fascinated by her father’s twin.  She asks to hear stories about when they were her age.  Hannah is concerned that her daughter might confuse Wes with the dead father.  The little girl grows attached to her uncle; she misses doing things with her father.  So Wes gladly steps in.

Hannah’s feelings for Wes are complex and confusing.  She’s not sure if it’s because she misses her husband or is just lonely.  But what begins as friendship grows more intense and into an attraction. What she feels for Wes is different that what she felt for her husband.  She loves them both but just as both men were different her feelings are nuanced.  Hannah feels alive with Wes.  Their sex life is much more wild and free than with her husband.  At first Hannah writes it off as a one-time-deal.  But she can’t stop thinking about Wes nor can he stop thinking about her.  Hannah feels like her old self and Wes is the reason.  Hannah freaks out and is wracked with guilt.  She wants to end things because she feels that being with her husbands twin is a betrayal and rather twisted.

Wes feels like everything is moving to how it should be.  No one will care for and love his twin’s wife and daughter as much as he will.  He feels his brother understands and approves.  Unfortunately Wes’ mother’s an extremely possessive woman who has never approved of Hannah even when her other son was alive.  When the truth comes out she is utterly and completely against a relationship between Wes and Hannah.  She even tells her granddaughter that wanting her uncle to marry her mother is vile and disgusting.  Not only that the rumor mill is working overtime in their small town and Hannah’s getting unflattering attention.  Hannah decides she needs time away from Wes to determine if what she’s doing is what’s right or simply selfishness.  Even Wes is feeling the stress.

“From This Moment” is riveting and you will not want to put it down.  Wes is a fabulous Hero unshakable in his belief that his and Hannah’s relationship will work out.  Hannah is realistic in self-doubts, worry about what others will think, especially if this is right for her young daughter.  Wes and Hannah are likable and intriguing.  Melanie Harlow creates a perfectly cringe-worthy judgmental Mother-In-Law.  Lenore couldn’t be more perfect in her role as the opinionated and possessive spoiler.  The only thing better is her husband Doc.  Doc plays the oblivious Dad in the other room.  However is crossword questions are impeccably timed.  There’s more to Doc that he lets on.  “From This Moment” is beautiful in it’s vulnerability and strength.  You will definitely get a tear in your eye.  The titillating sex scenes are a wonderful bonus!

I’m giving “From This Moment” 4 Lightning Bolts and a Storm Warning.

 

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This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed.

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