Series: The Gallaghers, #2
Release Date: June 8th, 2021
Mel Dawson keeps talking me into doing things, like watching the sunset and slowing down to enjoy life.
When she trains me, and I watch her body, I’m constantly fantasizing about exploring every inch of it all night long, claiming her mouth every time she gives me a sassy reply.
I don’t even know who I am when I’m with her. I’m suddenly a completely different man. But, I like this version of myself better. Mel’s smart, determined, and keeps me guessing.
She’s everything I need and want, but I’ve been burned before. I’m used to taking chances in the boardroom, just not in my personal life. How much am I willing to risk for a chance to make her mine?
These Gallaghers and their lives, it’s enviable. I enjoyed meeting Dylan, Ian, Isabelle and Josie in the first of the series in this spin-off, but it’s even better getting to spend some quality time with Dylan. First of all, Layla Hagen has created such a wonderful family in the Gallaghers and I love how much they love each other. I’m a sucker for romances where the families play a big role, because it shows you another side of the characters. And between the Gallahger siblings and their parents and all their extended family members, you are sucked into a world where you’re constantly surrounded by wonderful people.
Dylan’s been dealing with heartbreak since his girlfriend of a million years decides she’s had enough. His siblings have been trying to get Dylan to go out and meet people, but he’s definitely not interested. Sure, he’s all about the playboy lifestyle and getting his beak wet, but he’s not looking for romance or for forever. And his siblings are worried, rightfully so. Melanie is also recovering from heartbreak and while looking after her father and keeping her head above water, she’s decided that one night stands and flirty handsome men are not what she’s looking for – she wants forever. She wants someone who will love and cherish her. Someone who will always be there for her. And it’s clear that Dylan is not the guy. Not at first anyway.
But lust and desire can only hold two people off for so long. Dylan signs up at the gym where Mel is a personal trainer and he insists that she help him get into shape. And every time they’re alone together, there’s sparks flying. I’m not a big fan of insta-love or insta-lust, but I definitely appreciated the fact that even though Mel was drawn to Dylan, she held herself back for as long as possible. Their scenes together were filled with banter and humour and it was fun, I liked that they weren’t pretending to not want each other, but also not jumping head first into anything yet.
“How can you make me feel like this?”
“Like what, exactly?”
“Like I’m all you want. All that matters.”
“Because you are.”
Dylan is a pretty damn perfect hero. He’s kind and giving, generous and flirty. He doesn’t expect anything from Mel that she’s not willing to give him and he’s also not going to hold back when he wants to help her. While Mel is used to being showered with gifts, her past relationship has made her wary of accepting all gifts thrown her way. But Dylan helps her understand that sometimes a gift is just a gift and nothing else. I liked Mel too! It was hard to get to know her, because she keeps a lot of things close to her chest. But I loved her determination, her passion and the undying love she has for her father.
The one thing I did not like and I find it bothers me a lot more now is when the ex shows up and makes a mess of everything. It’s been popping up in a lot of romances I’ve read and it irks me. Mel’s ex is a douche of the first order, absolutely terrible in every way, and the scenes with him made me skin crawl. But it was just really infuriating. There’s also some misunderstanding that I think could have been resolved with a conversation, but I know that jumping to conclusions is quite often a popular thing in romance and I don’t hate it, I just wish it didn’t happen.
Thanks to Layla Hagen and Wildfire Marketing Solutions for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.