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My new neighbor is a firefighter—and a scorching hot single dad—but I swear I didn’t set off that smoke alarm on purpose.

(And I was beyond mortified when he rushed in and saw me naked.)

Nothing happened, of course—because I, Winnie MacAllister, romance junkie and owner of a constantly broken heart, have sworn off men for one solid year.

Even protective men with chiseled jaws, bulging biceps, and deep brown eyes that make my breath come faster. Even former SEALs with broad chests and strong hands that make my skin sizzle. Even gorgeous, grumpy guys who have their hands full raising two adorable little girls and claim they don’t believe in love.

Until Dex kisses me one night, and I drop all my defenses.

(Also my underwear.)

He says he’s not gentle, and he’s right. He says I should take the dream job I’m offered in another state, and he’s right. He says he’s too old for me and could never be the man I deserve.

He’s wrong.

Dex and I might be twelve years apart, but the fire between us is the kind that will never burn out.

How can I convince him to give happily-ever-after with me a chance?

340 pages, Paperback

First published November 22, 2021

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About the author

Melanie Harlow

56 books16.3k followers
USA Today bestselling author of sweet and sexy romance. Lover of cocktails, high heels, and history with the naughty bits left in. Michigan girl. INTJ. Always seeking ginspiration...

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FULL LIST OF BOOKS:

Series:
Drive Me Wild (Bellamy Creek #1) by Melanie Harlow Make Me Yours (Bellamy Creek #2) by Melanie Harlow

Irresistible (Cloverleigh Farms, #1) by Melanie Harlow Undeniable (Cloverleigh Farms, #2) by Melanie Harlow Insatiable (Cloverleigh Farms, #3) by Melanie Harlow Unbreakable (Cloverleigh Farms, #4) by Melanie Harlow Unforgettable (Cloverleigh Farms, #5) by Melanie Harlow

Only You (One and Only, # 1) by Melanie Harlow Only Him (One and Only, #2) by Melanie Harlow Only Love (One and Only, #3) by Melanie Harlow

Man Candy (After We Fall, #1) by Melanie Harlow After We Fall (After We Fall, #2) by Melanie Harlow If You Were Mine (After We Fall #3) by Melanie Harlow From This Moment (After We Fall, #4) by Melanie Harlow

Frenched (Frenched, #1) by Melanie Harlow Yanked (Frenched, #1.5) by Melanie Harlow Forked (Frenched, #2) by Melanie Harlow Floored (Frenched, #3) by Melanie Harlow

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,628 reviews
Profile Image for gloria .☆゚..
686 reviews1,220 followers
May 2, 2023
➥ 2 Stars *:・゚✧

Before I got there, she called out. "Hey, Dex?"
"Yeah?" I turned around, terrified she was going to ask me if I wanted to come in and knowing I'd say yes.
She was leaning out her doorway, and a playful grin on her face. "I had fun tonight."
"Me too." And then I relaxed, because I knew what was coming.
"But I don't love you."
I grinned back. "I don't love you either."


━━━━━━━━━━━ ♡ ━━━━━━━━━━━


Edit: you should have seen my face when Chandler gave this 5 stars 😭. What a disappointment, I wanted to love this so bad. It sounded too good to be true (because it was); dilf firefighter love interest that has 2 daughters and just moved in next door, friends with benefits arrangement, and good good steam. But it wasn't so good good :( This was a buddy read with Amy 😭 poor soul, I think I'm sharing my bad luck with her for the time being. What this book lacked the most was execution but I'll get to that later.

➥ Winnie (h) was a pretty shitty fmc. She is the fmc that we all know and hate; quirky, short, sunshine girl. She's so immature. What bothers me most is how I'm so unable to relate to her. It kills me that some men perceive women as...THAT. You know? Because we are just nothing like this. That is a whole child and it was so strange to read this book and know that (1) an old man was attracted to her and (2) we are supposed to take her seriously. She had some decently sweet moments with the girls but that's it.

➥ Dex (H) was an even shittier mmc lmao. He's only 35 but apparently he has grey hair?? Anyway, my dearest little boy Dex, don't you get tired of shitting on your ex-wife for being a decent, responsible mother, or maybe do you get tired of comparing the woman you're fucking to your own daughters? No? Ah. This man encapsulates subtle toxic masculinity and it's very telling. I truly can't see how people find men like him attractive; they're so unlikeable (not in a morally grey cute way. Especially considering that this is a contemporary romance, people!!)

Hallie and Luna (Dex's daughters) carried this book on their backs!! They're so fucking cute. They were entertaining, funny, and just such little angels. They're the only reason this book wasn't 1 star for me.


Let's begin with some positive aspects because there really aren't many. Firstly, I appreciate that this book has dual perspective (even if the male perspective was ass). This book also has nice, short chapters. And, lastly, the only aspect I actually liked about the book was when this dude fucked her with her sundress on and he ripped it and felt bad so he sewed it for her after.

Alright, now I get to shit on it YAY!! First of all, Dex is a single dad right. He's divorced from a woman called Naomi who was so villianised for no reason. Dex chose to go off into the military/seals or something, while she always had to stay home with the kids. The kids were sad, she was sad, and even when Dex visited or came back, he was unloving, unkind, and inconsiderate. And so Naomi, logically, divorced him. Honestly the most logical thing about this whole book. Now, he has his little pity parties where he's like "I know 🥺🥺 I'm such a shitty person 😞😞 I fucked up, man" and people comfort him telling him that he's not and he was doing his best LMAO.

Naomi is depicted as a control freak, crazy, annoying mom who does nothing but be strict, mean and controlling. Have people not seen with their own eyes how villainised the "mean parent" always is? It's often the one who keeps the family together, who's organised with all the children's necessities (driving them everywhere, booking their appointments, giving the children their medicine, setting a bedtime, giving them healthy food). And then the other parent, the one who shows up when they feel like it, gets to contradict the other parent, break the rules, and be the fun parent. They just get to fuck around and be less than mediocre, yet, they're so much more loved by their children than the other parent. And that's painful to see. Even more painful for it to be written and normalised and justified in a book. It's not problematic or anything, but I just think it's so wrong.

Dex just get's to fuck around however he feels like it and he gets no backlash. Naomi is trying her absolute best, being a pretty wonderful parent, and she's shit on for no reason. Now here are some examples where Dex is a shit parent in comparison to Naomi:

He lets his daughters get sunburnt because he chose to not reapply it for them and when Naomi confronts him about it, he says she's overreacting and invalidates her very valid concern for her children's health.

One of his daughters has a mild allergic reaction and he chooses to not inform Naomi about it. These are things a mother needs to know!! Does no one have compassion for this woman who is exasperated trying her best to keep her daughter safe and healthy when her co-parent won't even inform her of medical issues?

➺ Naomi doesn't let her daughters have gum for many valid reasons, but Dex gives it to them anyway. One day, one of the girls gets it stuck in her hair and he doesn't even bother to try and brush it out and get it out. He just cuts it off. So of course, when the girls are given back to Naomi, she's concerned that this man is chopping up the girl's hair???


Those are just a couple of instances but something I want to touch on too is the double standards between men and women. It's clear the author and readers of this book find Dex's incompetence endearing. I don't find it endearing when men are bad at something that is stereotypically a woman's thing.

Dex is bad at doing hair. The author always mentions how the pigtails are always lopsided and that he's always too rough when brushing the girls' hair. And just...? Imagine if that were a woman, how everyone would look at her like an incompetent girl, for not knowing how to do these things. And the thing is, it's not hard to learn to do even pigtails and know how to brush hair with a little bit of effort. You know what would have been much better? Much more endearing? Imagine if instead, Dex has put effort into learning how to french braid because his daughter's liked it. Imagine if he practiced on their dolls. That would be so much more wonderful, but no, even in this day and age we still glamourize these men's weaponised incompetence. He's half-assing it and he knows it.

Dex is bad at cooking and burns everything so he always feeds the girls take-out. Same thing as the hair. Seriously, you can learn to not burn food if you just put in a little bit of effort. He also gives them desert before dinner and shit so he's known as the cool parent idk, and it's just so unfair.

He listens to heavy metal around the girls. That's fine, but I would just love it so much more if characters like him stopped adhering to toxic masculinity, and instead did something like sing disney songs with his girls in the car. See how much better that could be?


Anyway, that was just one aspect that bothered me but I wanted to go into detail about it so that other people can understand my point 😭.

Anyway, about Dex's toxic masculinity, it's rampant. Again to his wallowing in self-pity, he talks shit about not beleiving in happily ever afters *yawn*. He's also so manly because he talks about not liking romance movies and thinking that thrillers are way better 😐. He's also apprently different and has "bad manners" because he thinks he's super freaky and savage in bed (he's not) because he's old and knows better than the "little girl" (yep).

"No one's ever torn my clothes off before. Or pinned me down that way. Or said those kinds of things." [eugh look at her being all virginal]

"I guess even selfish assholes have better manners than me." [yeah you're so quirky dude]

She smiled. "I guess so. But it's okay, because I'm not looking for a boyfriend this time, remember?"

"That's right." I recalled what she said last night. "You're in rehab for your love addiction."

"Exactly. So you can go right ahead and rip my clothes off and pin me down and say all kinds of filthy things to me."

I growled again gripping her sides. "Don't tempt me little girl."


Um anyway. So on the topic of "little girl" are we going to talk about how he's always on about her being so so young and how he's so so old and he literally compares her to his daughters? I really don't mind age-gaps (usually) but they tend to annoy me sometimes. Either because A: there's an annoying conflict of "ngh! we can't be together, it's not right" or B: constant mentioning of the age difference. Here it was kind of a mix of both. But the worst aspect by far was the way he was constantly talking about how young and childish she is. So how does he get passed that, you ask? He just decides that he's attracted to her childishness 😊😘😉😍. How quaint. Oh, and the fmc is childish as fuck so it's also concerning that he's attracted to her in general.

More on why I hate Dex now 😉😊! There is no romance on his part. From his first interaction with Winnie, all he does is sexualise her. That is just so gross to me, am I alone on this, what? 😭 But wait, I'll state the facts.

Already 15%, we are told that he masturbates thinking about her body. They have barely even talked. I just find that so disrespectful and violating what 😭

They have this one hot moment where Dex rubs the tip of his beer bottle on Winnie's lower lip while making eye contact. Pretty hot right? But then we get his (disgusting) inner monologue about him imagining it was his c0ck and like 😐. That's just so degrading imo.

Dex was thinking about how pretty Winnie's nails were and I thought that was so cute because men rarely acknowledge things that women put effort into like hair, makeup, outfits etc. but then he just talks about how he imagines them wrapped around his dick. Must he sexualise, everything? It's like he only imagines Winnie as a sexual object. Even in a friends with benefits situation, characters can be (and have been) respectful of the other one. But here, it's clear that Winnie is just a sexual object to him.


Now, I think I'm close to reaching the world limit so I'm going to be a bit more brief with these next comments. The third act conflict started at 75%, pretty early and it dragged. I also hated the "moving away" conflict too. Why is that so common? As you can probably decipher, the male perspective was repulsive, not an ounce of tenderness or adoration, only sexualisation and it was gross. It was even worse to be in it during sex scenes too. Dex is always forgetting condoms so Winnie gives in and goes on the pill which is a load of bullshit to me. I'd rather he choose to get a vasectomy or some shit, so much more romantic. Rather than the suffering and responsibility all being placed on the woman, like it always is. Particularly because of Dex's irresponsibility. When the moving away drama takes place, he doesn't talk about missing her presence and her personality, he only talks about how he will miss how helpful she was and basically just the purpose she served to him. Yuck. When they had their mini breakup, Dex was all huffy puffy and angry and he took it out on the athletes he was training by making everything harder and harsher. That's abusive and so bad lol. It's giving Ryle, sorray.

The kids were cute, if unrealistic. They were angels but kids are rarely like that so meh. I don't really know. To me this was just awful and I would not recommend it to anyone. I also doubt that anyone even got this far into my review so that's fun 😍. Anyway, this book was so disgustingly hetero, I don't even know how to explain it. Toxic masculinity, double standards for women, and gross men.

━━━━━━━━━━━ ♡ ━━━━━━━━━━━
Profile Image for Giorgia Reads.
1,010 reviews1,962 followers
January 5, 2022
4 stars

Single dad tropes are not something I indulge in very much when it comes to romance. I’m not into ex drama, or broken trust and inability or try again - cause usually we get those elements in most of those novels.

This one broke the mould. Ok, so maybe it didn’t really break it but I enjoyed it a lot nonetheless.

It was kinda wholesome and I truly felt like the hero and heroine had chemistry. (Towards the end it got really cheesy but I managed to overlook it) Both leads were likeable as individuals but even better together.

The heroine - was a hopeless romantic looking for her perfect HEA and she had no trouble saying it to anyone who cared to listen. She was just so unapologetically herself and also had a good dose of confidence which was the perfect combination when dealing with a guy like the hero in this book.

The age gap they had - I honestly could barely tell. It’s weird cause it was obvious but at the same time insignificant because they just fit so well together.

The hero was hardheaded and one of those guys that’s just kinda tired of it it all. His last marriage didn’t work because he clearly wasn’t in it 100% and he knew it. His overall moodiness was kinda understandable in my opinion- it’s kinda like when someone does all the right things (or so they think) but the pieces just don’t end up fitting very well - and that’s when some self reflection and self awareness would come in handy - Enter the heroine.

I also really loved the hero’s relationship with his kids. For one - he didn’t get all fake lovey dovey and spoke to them like they were some fragile unicorns. It was more relatable than most parent child relationship I read in romance. And second - the co-parenting relationship he had with his ex and his attitude towards her and hers towards him, it had again, such a realistic vibe. They were both flawed and were trying hard to not hate each other and to make concessions where possible. It was a series of ups and downs and I loved reading it.

I don’t know what else I should add, because apart from the already mentioned issues - this was an overall great little story.
Profile Image for Madita.
523 reviews19.1k followers
March 9, 2023
Okay this was my own damn fault.
I went into this excited for the single parent trope not knowing is was with a major age gap 🧍‍♀️.
But we all know how I am, once I start a book I cannot finish… it’s a curse.

Okay this girl is 22. As a fellow 21 year old girl I would say that I am capable of choosing who I want to date rn.

Now what I don’t like is when the make love interest who is btw in his 30s keeps saying
“oh no I shouldn’t date her like she’s wayyyy too young for me and oomph I’m so attracted to her but I shouldn’t be. I shall suffer and die alone but still make her mad. “

SHUT UP OKAY. WOW HE WAS ANNOYING.
Here are some quotes from mister old man:
1. “ she even moved like a kid.”

2. “Were you even in school when we graduated?”
“Barely,” she said, giggling again. “I was in kindergarten.”
Jesus.”

3. “She was twenty-fucking-two, and I was thirty-four with two young daughters, and I had no business putting my hands on her. For fuck’s sake, she was nearly closer to Hallie’s age than mine.”

4. “Don’t tempt me, little girl.”

Now here is the quote that made me give this book a whopping 1 star with the urge to never read again:

“You have a crush on Dad, Winnie!”
My spine snapped straight. “I do not!”
“Yes, you do—ex-military, divorced single dad with daughters, swears too much.” She leaned back in her chair and kicked her feet. “It’s totally Dad. And you’re Frannie, complete with gigantic age gap! Just don’t let his daughters find you guys making out in the closet like we caught them.”

🧍‍♀️ goodbye
February 4, 2022
4.5 ⭐️!!!! I love the neighbor/single dad/age gap trope so I knew i’d like this but I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. It was one of those that had me excited & giddy to pick back up. LUNA AND HALLIE WERE ITTTT FOR ME!!!! they were hilarious and brought so much depth and fun to the story. I loved how Winnie & Dex complimented each other’s different personalities so well. They gave me very much Pike & Jordan energy from BG & y’all know I live for that. The man who doesn’t believe in happily ever afters & the woman who always wanted a fairy tale finding each other. ALSO LET ME VOUCH FOR THE FACT THAT I TRIED READING 3 OTHER BOOKS BEFORE THIS AND NOTHING CLICKED BUT THIS ONE SOOOO 🧍‍♀️ & did I mention i’m so fcking excited for Ellie & Gianni’s story??? i’m already in love.

the princess & the ogre <3

“that’s how I want to be loved— big & crazy. because that’s how I love.”

“you ignited a fire in me I couldn’t put out.”
Profile Image for Leticia (jerseygirlsbookshelf).
351 reviews159 followers
February 6, 2022
"(...) you’ve taught me something incredible. (...) To believe in happily ever after."
Confession time: I have 6 books by Melanie Harlow on my Kindle, but this is the first one I've read. The cover drew me in because Andrew Biernat OMG, and then the blurb... I'm all about the grumpy, growly heroes with a heart of gold. Dex checks all my boxes. I finished this book at 5:10 am because I couldn't stop reading.

"I could easily start to crave the way he’d made my heart pound, the way he’d given me butterflies, the way he’d stolen that kiss from me like he knew he couldn’t afford it but he had to have it anyway."
Dex really is something else. He's everything you already know I like if you follow my reviews: grumpy, growly, doesn't talk much, doesn't laugh easily, and is hot as hell. And a dirty talker. Which brings me to: do these guys really exist in real life, and, if so, where are they? Dex is also adorable with his two girls, and he's trying to be the father he never had. I'm a character-driven reader, so yes, I loved him.

"I didn’t want to get used to her. She wasn’t mine to protect."
I think I tend not to like most heroines these days, but I really liked Winnie. She's only 22, but she's driven and she's mature for her age. She's the best with her friends, and she's sweet and funny. OK, she's insecure and she doesn't own who she is or what she feels as much as she should, but she's definitely relatable. I love that she feels so much: it's adorable, and sort of frightening at the same time because someone like this opens herself up to heartache very easily.

"You should stop."
"Why?"
"It’s dangerous to play with fire. And with firefighters."

Dex is 34 years old, Winnie is 22. He moves in to the house next door to hers. Of course she feels attracted, and weirdly, so does he. There's all sorts of reasons why they shouldn't even try, but the chemistry and the pull between them is stronger than all of those.
Their first kiss? Damn. The beer bottle scene? That was off the charts. You need to read it to know what I'm on about but I think you won't be disappointed!

"You’re going to torture me until I break, is that it?"
"I’m going to fuck you until I come, is that the same thing?"

Unable to deny what's going on between them, they give in. There are plenty of steamy, hot AF moments between them. I loved that Winnie takes charge, I like to see my heroines knowing what they want and not being afraid to go get it. And Dex... I would buy shit loads of dresses just for him to rip them to shreds if he wanted to. Every day. With a smile on my face.

"This was something special, this was something different, this was what love songs were written about. This was it."
The plan was always not to fall in love. The plan falls through for both of them. They're so different: she really brings the sunshine to his grumpy life, and she becomes part of it, and his daughters'. It's so seamless, like she just fits. It takes them both a while to understand what's going on, and I love their internal turmoil and their thoughts.

"Let’s call it even."
"Deal." Leaning close, he whispered in my ear. "As long as I can call you mine."

She's a romantic and a fan of big gestures. He's the guy who doesn't believe in happily ever afters. Love means different things for both of them. Until love sets their world on fire.

Can't wait to read more of Melanie's book, and definitely more of this series!
Profile Image for Christy.
3,818 reviews32.4k followers
March 29, 2023
4 stars

After reading (and becoming obsessed) with Tempt last year, I decided to go back and read some of the other books in the series. Ignite is Winnie MacAllister's story, along with single dad/firefighter Dex. Dex and Winnie become neighbors and there is a connection and chemistry there, but Dex isn't looking for anything serious after his divorce. And Winnie is younger than him. I loved Winnie and Dex's girls together. That was definitely the highlight of the book for me. Overall I liked this one a lot. Grumpy/sunshine, age-gap, single dad, and small town romance.
Audio book source: Audible
Story Rating: 4 stars
Narrators: Stephen Dexter & Kirsten Leigh
Narration Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 10h 5m
Profile Image for MELISSA *Mel Reader*.
1,347 reviews1,419 followers
December 5, 2021
5 Stars!
(ARC provided by author)

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Winifred MacAllister moved back home to northern Michigan after college where she works with her family at Cloverleigh Farms. She’s twenty two and single, but taking a break from relationships because she’s a love junkie. She’s a hopeless romantic who loves with her whole heart. Being so addicted to love hasn’t done her any favors, so she needs to rehabilitate herself. Then a hot firefighter moves in to the condo next door. The former Navy SEAL is grumpy, broody, but irresistible. One kiss and she forgets all her new rules. They are two people in different places in their lives, but they just click.

Dexter Matthews is a newly divorced single father of two young daughters. He’s a firefighter in Traverse City looking for a fresh start when he meets Winnie, the beautiful girl next door. She’s pure sunshine, and easily the prettiest woman he’s seen in a long time. He wanted her, but needed to keep his hands to himself. She was too young and sweet, and off limits, but soon he can’t resist her. Will they keep things casual, fun and uncomplicated, or will she be the one to finally make him believe in happily ever afters?

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-“I want to be loved- big and crazy. Because that’s how I love.”

-“It’s fine,” I told myself. “It’s fine that my new next door neighbor is a hot firefighter and single dad with muscles for days and dark, broody eyes. It’s fine, because I am the boss of my feelings.”

17748E6B-F391-4FDC-A676-23780066A07A

Ignite (Cloverleigh Farms #6) by Melanie Harlow is a sexy, opposites attract, small town, single dad, age gap, friends to lovers, neighbors romance full of passion, humor, emotion and undeniable chemistry. The author takes us back to the Cloverleigh Farms world with the next generation, and I couldn’t be happier. This is the story of Winnie, one of Mack & Frannie’s daughters all grown up. I loved getting more of all the characters I’ve missed. Dex and Winnie were pure fire together, and this book was amazing! It will definitely be in my top reads of 2021. I couldn’t put it down, and I adore this series so much! I need more!!!

708800B6-901E-4A2B-8B1A-C8DCD774F259_zpsqkbfrd0n

***NOW AVAILABLE***
https://amzn.to/3remxgP
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,078 reviews13.3k followers
February 9, 2022
Single dad? Grumpy hero? Neighbor romance? Age gap? This had so many amazing tropes and this book was so cute! As a single dad romance, the daughters were such a fun part of the story and I really loved their characters. Dex and his daughters move in next door to Winnie and his daughters take an instant liking to her. They have a few funny moments together and then run into each other at a family/friend event, realizing their lives are more intertwined than they thought. Dex is used to not being enough in a relationship though, and isn't look for anything serious. But sparks seriously fly between Dex and Winnie. I was a bit annoyed at Dex as the story went on, which is why this is getting four stars instead of five. I did really enjoyed Winnie's character and how she was trying to figure out her life and dreams throughout the book while falling for someone who she knew would tie her down. This was such a sweet single parent romance that I would definitely recommend! And now I want to go back and read some of the previous books in the series...
Profile Image for Sonia.
879 reviews659 followers
November 2, 2022
5 nose-wiggling, naked-falling, nail-painting, I-don’t-love-you Grumpy/Sunshine Stars

Gahhhh. I swear. Melanie Harlow could write directions on how to use a spatula and I would devour it like it’s my next meal. Her books always manage to make me laugh, swoon, melt, facepalm, but especially FEEL THE STEAMINESS, and I can never get enough.

Winnie’s (22) in love with love; in fact, she’s been in many relationships, was even engaged once, and she still believes in it. So her best friend, Ellie, bets that she can’t help falling in love before the end of the year, and Winnie takes the challenge. She gets a new neighbor, Dex (34), and she’s instantly attracted to him. But he’s a divorced grump, single father to two hilarious daughters, and doesn’t want a relationship. He hasn’t even had sex in over two years, since way before his marriage ended.

Enter Winnie, Winnie who’s “young” yet has very knowledgeable eyes, has charisma and an uplifting demeanor, which is definitely different from his ogre-a$$, makes him rethink his life-choices. Dex’s a fireman, part-time coach, and is coparenting with his ex-wife, who’s newly engaged to the man of her life. He doesn’t have time for a relationship, but since the first time he sees her naked, unintentionally, he can’t stop thinking about her. As soon as they’re left alone on their porch, all bets are off and their chemistry sizzles 🔥.

Possible spoilers ahead:

Side note- THE NAKED FIRE ALARM SCENE 😂😂😂😂😂. I was DYING!!!! DYING!!!! I was so MORTIFIED for Winnie. And the way she crawls away in embarrassment had me GASPING in sympathy 🙈🙈🙈🙈🙈. I can’t 😂😩💀🙈.

Back to the review lol (I HAD to mention it lol it was one of the first interactions between Winnie, Dex, and his girls… but I digress). Dex might *think* there’s nothing between him and Winnie, but all it takes is a dimly lit porch, some conversation, and a shared cupcake to change all of that. HOLYYYYY JEEEEZUS 🔥🥵. The intensity goes from 0 to 100 in a blink of an eye! Even the beer bottle scene 🥵 NOTHING HAPPENS but, my gosh, I felt that in my nether regions 😅. And then the way Winnie took ownership of their chemistry 👏🏻. Dex didn’t stand a chance. And dayummmm does he get alpha in the sheets. I LOOOOVE
It when a man holds his woman’s hands down… and Dex does this plenty of times 😉🔥🥵. Even the chasing scene *chef’s kiss* 💁🏻‍♀️😈🔥. I see you Dex. I see you 😉🥵😅.

OMG AND DEX’s DAUGHTERS are perfection! 😂😂😂 they had me busting up so many times 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻. From the nose and chest hairs, to the innie talk, to the chip dust, to the swear jar and the increase fee on Jesus’s day, to the wiggling of their noses, I ADORED THEM!!! ❤️❤️❤️.

And, FOR ONCE, the ex-wife isn’t a B. They co-parent the way it should be done ❤️.

I Floved this book! I needed some feel-good reading after so many dark books ❤️.

And the EPILOGUES are like the best EVER! Since I’m already subscribed to her, I always read her extended epilogues. I looove them

⚠️safety squad⚠️
-no cheating/sharing/owd/omd
-H’s ex-wife is in his life but they’re divorced and she’s engaged to someone else; no drama from it
-c@nd@ms/then none cause she’s on the pill
-chasing 😅 (light primal play)
-death of parent (cancer- past/present)
Profile Image for Ms reads a lot.
403 reviews
November 25, 2021
Adorable

I went into this not knowing that it was a “next generation” story, which I tend to avoid like the plague.

I read Irresistible a few months ago and adored it. That was the story of Frannie and Mac. Frannie was a 24 year old whose parents owned Cloverleigh Farms and Mac was a 34 year old single father of three girls. One of those girls was the adorable 4 year old Winnie who was scared of the monsters under her bed. Fast forward a few months and here I am reading about Frannie, who is now in her 40’s, Mac who is now in his 50’s, and cute 4-year-old-Winnie, who is now 22 years old and getting diddled by her next door neighbour…. and that, right there, is why I don’t like next generation books!

Aside from that, this story was super cute! There were quite a lot of similarities between this book and Irresistible, but since I loved that book, I loved this one too. Despite the fact that all of the characters from Irresistible were old now, it was still really nice to catch up with them all. I loved Dex and his daughters. They were adorable. The ending was just over the top corny, which obviously meant that I loved it!
Profile Image for Kristina.
649 reviews185 followers
October 3, 2022
She’s 22, he’s an asshole to her and she gives up her dream job to be saddled to his grouchy ass with his 2 kids and shit-tonne of baggage.
Melanie Harlow crafts a good story, with a hilarious grand gesture gone wrong, but boy oh boy I will say it again, her male protagonists are immature assholes 80% of the time. It was nice to revisit some characters from the Cloverleigh Farms series but this book was just a rewrite of Frannie’s book except Winnie was even more wide eyed and innocent and Dex a way bigger asshole/man baby then the originals.
Profile Image for Misha.
338 reviews92 followers
January 17, 2022
This was… good. Extremely, very, in all respects good. No less, no more.

Dex and Winnie’s love story was almost depressingly realistic. They had good chemistry and Melanie Harlow is a good writer, but this just isn’t the type of relationship I’d swoon over.

The best way to describe it is: I could totally see this couple, five years down the line, getting an amicable divorce. They were not soulmates, they didn’t give me ‘forever’ vibes.

Let me explain.



Winnie
I loved Winnie and I never love heroines like her.

She wore her heart on her sleeve and was the type of girl who ‘loves love’ and wants to be ‘swept away’.

She was a little naive and had her own complexities, but she was self-aware and behaved like someone who loved and respected themselves. She was a ‘fall fast, fall hard’ type of girl, but she knew she was doing it and handled the consequences with respect for others and compassion for herself. She didn’t beg anyone to love her, and she didn’t shame herself for wanting to be loved more than the average person.

I was totally impressed with her. Her whole demeanor was so attractive to me. I know she has a fantastic therapist. That Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO coverage $450 an hour caliber of therapist.

Dex
Dex is the type of guy who warrants the ’if he wanted to, he would’ advice from all of your friends.

We’ve all known this guy. I’ve been in this relationship. My friends have been in this relationship. My coworkers have been in this relationship.

There are so many instances of him debating whether or not to call her— or apologize to her, or ask her to spend the night, or ask her not to move away, or suggest long-distance dating, etc— and every. time. he decides not to act.

Sure, he’s a good man and he likes her a lot, but we’ve all known guys who ‘liked us a lot’… just not enough to inconvenience themselves with any sort of self-appraisal or compromise.



This just felt too real to me. And, sure, ‘real’ is good— but, we also don’t read fiction because we haven’t had enough of the real world and are dying to experience more of it. I wanted something a little more ✨inspiring✨.



If you’re interested in the book, you should read it. It definitely wasn’t bad. Melanie Harlow is a good writer. She wrote Dex’s five and eight year old daughters so flawlessly. Best portrayal of kids I’ve ever read. The dialogue, the female friendships, the fights, the texts— it was all so realistic. I loved that about this book. The central romance was just a little too realistic lmao. Like, give us a bit of fantasy, girl.
Profile Image for shush.
840 reviews260 followers
January 15, 2022
another dnf

truly the only part i liked in this book :

”Is it time to get up now?” Luna asked hopefully, scratching her belly.
“Yes,” I said. “Get dressed and we can go for donuts on the way to Aunt Bree’s.”
“Mom doesn’t let us have donuts,” she said.
“Mom’s not fucking here,” replied Hallie.
“Hey!” I gave my older daughter a sharp stare. “No cursing.”
“But you do it all the time.”
“That’s because I’m a grouchy old man, and I earned the right.”
Hallie stuck her hands on her skinny little hips. “How come Mom says she’s still young and you say you’re old, but you’re both thirty-four?”
“Mom says she’s young?” Luna sounded surprised as she tugged off her nightgown.
“Yes,” Hallie answered, spying the mattresses I had propped against the wall. She began running at them full speed and bouncing off again. “Last week when she told us she and Bryce were getting married, I said I didn’t know brides could be as old as her, and she said brides could be any age as long as they believe in happily ever after.”


these 3

the romance was a no from me
Profile Image for Salma.
347 reviews3,566 followers
January 3, 2023
4.5⭐️

absolutely loved this book ! this was my first ever melanie harlow book & for sure won’t be my last.

this has single dad, grumpy, age gap !! everything i love in one book!!

the little moments were my favourite
Profile Image for becca ୨୧.
69 reviews224 followers
April 15, 2023
3 stars ✰

i tried so hard to like it but i just couldn't. my expectations were so high going into this book but i was so disappointed. all rhodes lead here will always be number one for the best single dad trope and nothing, especially this book, will ever compare.

the amount of times i cringed and rolled my eyes throughout this book is outrageous. this was so fast paced, like him masturbating to the thought of her body 20% in type of fast paced and they barely had a conversation!! some people might like that but i find that so icky and disturbing.

both main characters were immature af, i had to take a deep breathe whenever one of them said or did something stupid. they both had no common knowledge and acted like teenagers. i don't really know what's so good about it that i gave it three stars but i don't think it deserves two or one either.

winnie was annoying and quirky. the sunshine x grumpy trope was done so poorly. she'd act like a child and this might be selfish of me but i found it annoying when she'd complain or cry about dex not loving her back. i mean, i get it, it sucks but weren't you the one that swore of men until december and when you decide to only keep it as friends with benefits, you knew you'd fall in love but you kept doing it anyway.

dex was useless and rude. he would shout at naomi, his ex wife, for checking up on her child when she hears luna had an allergic reaction. every page he would brag about winnie's age. i've read a book where the girl is nineteen and the guy (dad) is thirty eight and i was eating that shit up!! (birthday girl by penelope douglas)

he would also complain about burning the food because he doesn't know how to cook. he's a thirty four year old man with kids and he doesn't know how to cook even a simple dish like pasta??? couldn't you try to learn or something instead of getting take out everyday?

this isn't love. if this is 'love' then i don't want it lmfao. it's just sexual attraction. the amount of times i read the word hairy omg. they had no swoon worthy moments, no tension, and the sex wasn't even good. the miscommunication in this book was pathetic. there were multiple times where things could have been solved but they both refused to talk about it until dex decides to say sorry, which wouldn't of happened if bree, his sister, or justin, his brother in law, didn't talk sense into him.

now moving onto the best part of the book. luna and hallie carried!!! they were so cute and funny. hallie, i'm gonna read your book one day <3 and luna, i'll start wearing cute, pink band aids just for you <3 i loved it every time dex woke up to them shit talking him. i only liked winnie when they were interacting. them always asking for winnie was so adorable. the three stars goes to them tbh and everyone else that has common knowledge.

anyway, i didn't love nor hate this book so i wouldn't recommend it but you might like it!! i just had such high expectations so i thought i would love it but sadly i didn't.
Profile Image for Jeeves Reads Romance.
1,400 reviews496 followers
November 23, 2021
Hero problems

I wanted to love this, I really did. And the writing IS great… but I just didn’t like the hero. I didn’t find his particular brand of grump appealing, and the neighbors with benefits storyline didn’t do much to endear him to me. The writing is excellent as always; the physical chemistry is most definitely there, and I loved some of the softer moments. It’s a return to Cloverleigh with nostalgic vibes and a younger feel. If you’ve been following the series for awhile, you’ll love the characters. If you’re new to the series, then this is the perfect place to dive in - it almost feels like a spin-off. While this single dad, age gap romance wasn’t a home run for me, it still leaves me excited for future books.

The story follows Dex, a 34-year-old dad whose divorce has left him feeling jaded. While Dex was never the true love kind of guy, the disappointment of his marriage has convinced him that being single is the way to go. So when Dex discovers that his new neighbor is a sweet and sexy 22-year-old, he’s sure of two things: 1. she’s way too young for him. And 2. there can never be anything real between them. Dex can deny it all he wants, but the chemistry he shares with Winnie is difficult to ignore. As they give in to the sparks that fly between them, both intend to keep feelings out of the equation… but that’s easier said than done.

This has some smokin’ hot chemistry and plenty of steamy moments. While it’s a slow emotional burn, these two run hot from the start. I also loved the moments with Dex being a sweet dad, though those are his only instances of softness. I found his personality to be very unappealing (he’s a jerk, but not a lovable one), and in the bedroom he was aggressive and a little unkind. That also made the age gap feel uncomfortable sometimes, which didn’t help. Neither did the “no feelings” relationship style and lack of communication. Had there been more to love about Dex, this book would’ve been great. I love the overall writing style and the storyline has plenty of depth - there were just too many off-putting elements for me to say that I really enjoyed the romance.
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,903 reviews636 followers
May 19, 2022
Iginte is similar to Irresistible, also by Miss Harlow. The whole plot is very similar. The only different is Ignite is the story for the next generation from Irresistible. At first I wonder why Miss Harlow doing another book that have very similar plot.
I never know the answer.

What I know is that I like Ignite very much. The banter and the chemistry between Winnie and Dex is more energetic. I saw several readers mentioned how sulky and rude Dex is, but I think his character needs to be sulky in order to balance Winnie's sunshine character. The kids are adorable. Miss Harlow done a good job bringing same old plot into another story.

4 stars
Profile Image for dani meg ♡.
85 reviews
May 22, 2023
this book served… as a lovely reminder to take my birth control and to run far, far away from men who are just unapologetic about being assholes.
Profile Image for Nina.
359 reviews7 followers
November 25, 2021
I get that some authors have similar themes in their books and I’m actually fine with authors writing similar stories but there has to be SOMETHING different in each story an author writes.

Ignite is literally just Franny and Mac’s story again with diff names. literally the exact same sexual dynamic, sex scenes, fights, conflict, everything. It comes off as lazy on the author’s part.

I’ve read a few books by this author and I’ve noticed that she doesn’t really care to write swoony or worthy heros. Her heros always do the bare minimum for their girl and it is usually the heroine who ends up sacrificing so much (In Ignite, Winnie gives up a great job opportunity to be with him). It’s one thing if the man was actually worth it but these girls throw away their lives for these men who do the bare minimum for them.

In all of this author’s books, I’ve noticed that the hero is anti-relationships, anti-romance, and doesn’t do love. that’s fine and all, but the reasoning for this logic I always find either unsatisfying or nonexistent. I’m sorry but I can’t be with you bc I have kids bc I’m grumpy bc you’re too young bc I’m an ogre (geez they really ran that into the ground) is just not convincing enough for me.

The plot of the book is literally: something sexual will happen b/w the h and H and then the next chapter will be either h or H telling a friend or acquaintance about this instance and that person offering advice which is basically just telling the h or H to “go for it”.

Winnie and Dex “love” story was hardly romantic or swoony and I wasn’t convinced of their love at all.

Overall, I don’t think these type of romance books are trying to do anything new or revolutionary, and that’s fine, but if you’re gonna write these type of basic stories then can we at least have some interesting characters or scenes?
Profile Image for babygyalreadit.
344 reviews573 followers
January 18, 2022
If I ever say I don’t like the single parent trope from this day forward, I give you all permission to slap me.

_______________________________________________

I guess I can’t say I hate single parent anymore because I definitely ate this all up and left no crumbs🥴

This book gave me everything I was looking for. It’s also a new to me author so I’m actually thrilled I enjoyed the book and her writing so much. The story follows Winnie a 22 year old ray of sunshine and her new grumpy ass neighbor Dex. He’s freshly single from a divorce that granted him 2 beautiful girls and out of the military. His biggest flaw is that he’s trying to be the father to his girls that his father WASN’T to him and that sets him back a bit.

Winnies ‘flaw’ is that she is addicted to love and she loves way too easily & too fast. She made a bet with a friend to go 6 months without falling in love but what happens when she agrees to be friends with benefits with her hot new neighbor and tries to keep her heart out of it. God these two were so cute. They had a running joke at the end of each night to say “I don’t love you” 😩 until shit got too real. I was actually laughing out loud at the banter in here from both our MCs & his daughters it was just so funny.

I got all the heart butterflies and kitty butterflies while reading this story. I also felt called out by some of the knowledge that was being dropped in here with vulnerabilities & forgiveness. Honestly I loved it sm, the ending was SO SWOONY UGH MY HEART JUST ABOUT BURST I also just realized that I read this out of order so I will be rectifying that right now.
Profile Image for Rose.
326 reviews946 followers
December 24, 2022
I am absolutely obsessed with this book. A grumpy single dad and his cute sunshine neighbor. I loved every single
moment in this book, the kids were amazing and I adored them so much.

I love how Winnie brought out this different side of Dex that not many people get to see. I love this small town, characters, and series so much. I can’t wait to continue this series.

“I know you could find someone better for you. But you won’t find someone who loves you more. Or wants to be with you the way I do.” 💛
Profile Image for Melanie Harlow.
Author 56 books16.3k followers
March 4, 2022
✮ ✮ 𝗔𝗩𝗔𝗜𝗟𝗔𝗕𝗟𝗘 𝗡𝗢𝗪 ✮ ✮

My new neighbor is a firefighter--and 𝐚 𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐨𝐭 𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐝--but I swear I didn’t set off that smoke alarm on purpose.⁣

(And I was beyond mortified when he rushed in and saw me naked.)⁣

Who's ready to meet Dex and Winnie?⁣

𝗚𝗿𝗮𝗯 𝗜𝗚𝗡𝗜𝗧𝗘 𝘁𝗼𝗱𝗮𝘆!
✦ Amazon → https://harlow.pub/Ignite-amazon
✦ Amazon Worldwide → http://mybook.to/IgniteHarlow
✦ Paperback → https://harlow.pub/Iginite-pb
✦ Audio → https://harlow.pub/Ignite-audible

Profile Image for Hayley.
Author 2 books4,083 followers
Read
May 7, 2023
tho i didn’t love the writing, this was very cute and made me emo and i’m happy to say i’m getting into my romance era
Profile Image for The Romantic Rush Blog.
1,672 reviews818 followers
November 22, 2021
Pure perfection- my heart is exploding with happiness! What a treat to be back in the world of Cloverleigh. Ignite is rich with nostalgic charm, but never reliant on it. This second generation story has all the swoony charisma and effortlessly emotive sincerity of the original Cloverleigh series stories, but it also sparkles with it's own heartfelt allure. Winnie and Dex captured my heart from the first page until the last- I was completely enchanted. Heart, heat, humor, and all the sweet- a new Melanie Harlow favorite!

This couple has some of the best chemistry Melanie has ever written- and it's just so delightful since they are so different. The sunshiney, goofy, light hearted young Winnie contrasts so beautifully with the grumpy, firefighter and single dad Dex. Dex is recently divorced and ex-military, a father to two (scene stealing) little girls, and he’s sworn off any romantic attachments- he’s got a bad taste in his mouth for commitment thanks to his failed marriage. And sweet Winnie is a hopeless romantic- not only has she romanticized relationships to the point of impossibility, but she’s so delighted by the concept of that epic love that she falls in love at the drop of a dime- unfortunately with total jerks. She’s on a love detox- a quest to break her emophilia once and for all. Until sexy Dex literally barges into her life in what is one of the most epically memorable, deliciously sexy, and laugh out loud funny first meetings ever.

Their differences are many- and real- but there is an undeniable spark. Something IGNITES- and I could not stop turning the pages watching these two fall into each other. Their connection feels so authentic- like two old friends. Age, life experience, baggage all seems to vanish. And the story unfolds with such ease- Dex melts my heart, and Winnie’s love and optimism is so endearing. They find vulnerability and connection so easily- and soon the safety to lean into love, when it has both hurt them. And they are HOT AF together- yowzers. An ember turns to a spark- and a BIG love ignites. The kind of big love that scares Dex, the love that Winnie has yearned for. We’ve got a smidge of drama, but mostly tender hearted romance.

As always, the secondary characters are stellar. Winnie’s parents are Cloverleigh favs Mack and Frannie, many other Cloverleigh friends top by and a great cameo, not to mention Winnie’s best friend is a delight. But Dex’s morning-heckling, relationship meddling, big hearted daughters steal the show. This entire ensemble is one of my all time favorites, and I just love every moment I get to spend in the amazing world of Cloverleigh. But what I love most is the profound, yet simple, way Melanie uplifts the power of taking a risk on love. Our happily ever afters never come just where we expect them to- but that is what makes finding them so special. Cloverleigh is a sweet and sincere reminder to lean into them when you do- when you find that special, so dive in head first. Because love- and Frostys- are worth the risk.
Profile Image for Dali.
1,805 reviews458 followers
November 25, 2021
Melanie Harlow continues her Cloverleigh Farms series with this grumpy/sunshine hot fire fighter next door romance.

🔥Hero: Dexter Matthews is a former Navy SEAL, divorced father of two very cute and precocious little girls. He’s a grumpy 34YO fire fighter who doesn’t believe in HEA.

🔥Heroine: Winnie is a 22YO who can’t help but fall in love. She even bet her BFF she wouldn’t fall for anyone until after Thanksgiving.

🔥Plot: When the gorgeous fireman rushes into his next door neighbor’s house to check why the fire alarm went off and sees her naked, smoking hot sparks fly, because Winnie had been checking him out as well.

But because of their age difference and his failed marriage, Dex believes they shouldn’t have a relationship. When they give into their attraction, they both promise not to fall for each other. As they spend time together, the line they drew regarding feelings gets blurred.

Dex and Winnie’s story is fun, sweet and sexy. He’s a bit too gruff and explosive for my liking, especially next to Winnie’s sunny and caring disposition. I loved how much he adored his daughters though and Hallie and Luna were adorable and stole every scene they were in.

I’m also just finding out that this is a return to Cloverleigh and a second-gen story which indicates that this book can be perfectly read as a standalone without missing anything. Of course, I’m sure fans of the series will love the return characters I know want to get to know more of.

By the numbers quick review:
🔥 World building: 💌💌💌💌💌
🔥 Character development: 👤👤👤👤
🔥 Plot: 📚📚📚📚
🔥 Romance: 💕💕💕
🔥 Sexiness: 🔥🔥🔥🔥
🔥 Overall Rating: 4.0

Ignite book #6 of the Cloverleigh Farms series by Melanie Harlow. A standalone contemporary romance, told from both points of view, with a happy ending. Tropes: Sunshine/Grumpy | Firefighter | Former Navy SEAL | Next Door Neighbor | Single dad | Age gap | Naked meet-cute

Amazon -> https://amzn.to/3l6secL

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