ARC Reviews,  Reviews

Melanie Harlow’s Small Town Swoon ARC Review

Thank you to Melanie Harlow and her team for the advance reader copy of Small Town Swoon, the fourth story in the Cherry Tree Harbor series.

I adore Dash and Ari so much, Melanie Harlow has put together a phenomenal novel. Who doesn’t love when a character gets a second chance to fall even harder for her best friend’s older brother, bonus he’s a Hollywood heartthrob!

I am a Melanie Harlow review team member, but I remain honest and genuine in my reviews.

Only in the movies does the Hollywood heartthrob fall for the small town diner waitress.

So when Dashiel Buckley returns to Cherry Tree Harbor for a wedding, I’m determined not to let my massive crush on my best friend’s older brother hijack my good sense.

(It happened once before. Do not recommend.)

But when my hand is injured, it’s Dash who steps in at the diner. The moment he realizes I can’t afford to fix my car, he takes care of it. And when he hears about the way my toxic ex treated me, he refuses to let it go.

Now it’s not just his blue eyes and sexy smile that have me swooning, it’s the way he wants to help me. Encourage me. Protect me.

I can’t resist.

Our text messages heat up. Our phone calls melt all my defenses. “Just friends” turns into “just once,” and “just once” becomes a distant memory. Night after night, he warms my bed, my body, and my heart.

But it can’t last.

Our dreams have us on two different paths–Dash wants the lights, camera, action of Hollywood, and I’ll always be a small town girl.

If only I could be his.

Check out my more detailed thoughts below…

  • Characters: Dash and Ari are the main characters. Dash is the Buckley of this instalment, the brother who left Cherry Tree for a movie career. When we meet him you empathize with him right away, he’s been typecast and wants to pivot into a more serious role. That is not going as easily as he planned, and he’s back in town a bit early for his brother’s wedding to see if being home gives him that boost he needs. That boost comes instead from Ariana DeLuca. Ari is Mabel Buckely’s best friend and has loved Dash since she was young. When we meet her she is all embarrassed about Dash, specifically when she crawled into his bed at sixteen years old with seduction on her mind, and the gentleman Dash is he turned down her advances. I loved Ari and her determination, as she’s a professional chef set to inherit her parent’s diner but waits for nothing to be handed to her. She helps Dash with his bit of stunted emotions at the beginning of the story, by the end every reader will fall for yet another Buckley brother.
  • Setting: Cherry Tree Harbor is in this wonderful world of Melanie Harlow’s Michigan. I loved that we are not too far from so many of her iconic settings and so we get this really wonderful Cloverleigh cameo in Small Town Swoon. Speaking of cameos, I see you Melanie with the reference to one of our fave bull riders Rhett Eaton (Elsie Silver fans will eat it up, or should I say drink it up).
  • Pacing: I fell headfirst into this story and never wanted to come up for air. I love this town and its cast of characters. The story beats are timed very well, and I enjoyed how the third-act conflict was dealt with maturely. It felt like further proof that when they were young it was the right person at the wrong time, and now is their perfect time.
  • Romance: I love this type of second-chance romance, the kind that feels so rewarding when it is so many years in the making. Ari had loved Dash for so long and never thought he’d look at her twice since the night she messed it all up. Rather it was Dash who admits he did always want Ari but believed he was not good enough for her when she was sixteen, and he was nineteen. Now all grown-ups both of them have palpable chemistry, the tension oozes off the page, and Melanie produced one of her steamiest books, each scene is the chef’s kiss (a chef’s pub for Ari). Their relationship conflict felt so real, and it makes me more bittersweet that we are nearing the end of our time in Cherry Tree Harbor.

Small Town Swoon receives five out of five stars.

You can pick up the story here.

Follow Melanie on all her social channels…

Facebook | Amazon | Bookbub | Instagram | Pinterest | Website | Mailing List

Thank you again to Melanie and her team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *