Review: “Tease” by Melanie Harlow

Series: Cloverleigh Farms #8

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: July 11th, 2022

Add to Goodreads | Amazon.in (Available on KU)

See reviews for previous books in the series: Ignite (Winnie and Dex), Taste (Ellie and Gianni)

CW: character with social and generalised anxiety

I didn’t mean to say I was engaged to a hot billionaire–it just slipped out.

In my defense, I’d had a really bad haircut, a really strong drink, and I was trying to save face in front of the Mean Girl at my high school reunion.

Lucky for me, I happen to know a hot billionaire. Hutton French and I have been friends forever, and even though big social gatherings are not his thing, I called him from the coat closet and begged him for a favor–show up and play my fake fiancé for the night.

Except that word of our engagement spreads like wildfire. Our families are ecstatic. We’re front page news. My little food blog is launched into the stratosphere.

Of course, I offer to set the record straight right away, but Hutton wants to give it a little time–the phony engagement is keeping his matrimony-mad mother and every matchmaking granny in town off his back.

He even suggests I move in with him to make the ruse more real.

And we don’t stop there.

We practice kissing. Undressing each other. Saying things–and doing things–we’d never dare if we weren’t pretending. Because it’s all for show, right? We’re just role-playing. Hutton doesn’t want a real relationship, and I don’t want to get hurt. But the more time we spend faking it, the more I start to wonder.

Could Hutton French and I actually be right for each other, or is it all just one big tease?

 

Whenever it comes to Melanie Harlow’s books, I never know what I’m going to get. But she never disappoints. And with this second generation of Cloverleigh Farm characters, my heart is full. This is the third book featuring the kids of the original set of characters from Cloverleigh Farms and Bellamy Creek; and I have loved every single one so much that I never want this series to end! And let’s not forget all of the delicious covers that Melanie’s been using for these books, it’s impossible to not want to read them all!

In Tease, you’ll enjoy:

✨ best friends to lovers

✨ sort of a second chance

✨ fake engagement

✨ a chef and food blogger heroine who is so precious

✨ an awkward billionaire with a kinky side

✨ all of the Cloverleigh magic

✨ a steamy good time!

In short, Tease had tropes that I absolutely loved. Everything from best friends to lovers to faking a relationship to living together to make everyone believe it’s real; this book had it all. And when you toss in a large helping of Melanie Harlow’s magic, you know you’re in for a treat. And this book gave me everything and more. I loved Felicity and I loved Hutton and I loved them together so much that I never wanted this book to end! These characters brought so much life and beauty to the story that you really felt like you were a part of it all. And god, it was so wonderful.

“I never want you to change, Hutton. I’ll always take you. I just wish you could see yourself like I do.”

When a mean girl from high school pisses Felicity off during their reunion, she lies that she’s engaged to a billionaire to save face. And when the billionaire just so happens to be her best friend, Hutton, they have to keep up the lies and the performance. For Hutton, being the centre of attention is his least favourite thing. If he could, he’d never appear in public and never interact with people he doesn’t like. But for Felicity, he’s willing to do quite literally anything. After all, he’s only been in love with her for most of their friendship. So he shows up, drawing the attention of everyone at the reunion and then some when news of their fake engagement starts spreading around their small town.

Felicity and Hutton are completely different people, but the one thing they both have in common is the anxiety that cripples them. I really appreciated the way Melanie handled the topic and how it manifested in both characters, how they worked through it and how people around them tackled it as well. For Felicity, anxiety and stress drives her to cut off her hair. While Hutton clams up and looks like a deer in headlights. And yet, when they’re together and around each other, that part of their brain seems to slow down, allowing for them to have some peace.

“She was familiar to me, and yet she was a revelation.”

Melanie writes great steam, so I wasn’t even a little surprised by all of the scenes we got. I do wish we got to explore more of Hutton’s so called appreciation for kink, because the minute it was mentioned, my mind started wandering. So in some ways, this is a me problem LOL. But I loved their chemistry and how their friendship of so many years affects their physical and romantic relationship. This is one of those friends to lovers romances that I absolutely adored because we got some flashbacks and some stories from when they were younger and we got to see them as adults and how they navigated all of that together. It made me happy and I just kept wanting more!

It was so great to see Winnie and Dex again and I loved the little bit Ellie and Gianni that we got, but more than anything, I am so excited to see what happens for Millie!

Thanks to Social Butterfly PR for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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