Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2
“I always felt understood with Henry. Accepted for who I was, faults and all.”
I think we all seek acceptance and strive after finding people in our lives who love us simply as we are. This truth is strong in Melanie Harlow’s newest book, Unbreakable. As Sylvia and Henry’s romantic journey plays across its pages, you are reminded of the power of loving all the parts of a person, even the broken ones.
From its first page, I was all in with Harlow’s Unbreakable. To be honest, I was dying for this book because I needed a happy ending for Sylvia Sawyer. During the last book in the Cloverleigh series, Insatiable, it became clear that Sylvia’s marriage was in trouble. After reading the blurb for Unbreakable, I knew this story could be a difficult one. Sylvia Sawyer’s marriage is ending. Her husband is divorcing her for his mistress, who happens to be pregnant. Broken and needing a change, she moves her children to her childhood home as a way to heal. There, she begins a friendship with Henry, the winegrower for Cloverleigh Farms. From their first moment together, it’s clear that they are attracted to each other. They also share the same heartbreak: the ending of a marriage. Trying to deny their attraction and cling to friendship, these two struggle with their feelings. Are they moving too fast? Is it possible to love again after the devastation of a divorce? Is another relationship the answer? Are happy endings feasible? These are the stark questions of Unbreakable, and Harlow has crafted a beautiful story of finding love after the storms of life.
To be honest, I loved Unbreakable more than Insatiable. There is something heartrending about this story that captured my heart and pulled me into Sylvia and Henry’s story. Thankfully, Harlow saves us the gory details of Sylvia’s ex’s infidelity, but there is a great scene at the beginning that allows us to see the depth of devastation of Sylvia’s hurt. This is important because it makes it easy to understand why she tries to put Henry at arm’s length throughout the story. There is so much gravity to Henry and Sylvia’s story.
Henry is my favorite type of hero: kind and compassionate to the heroine, but a dirty, alpha-side in the bedroom. There were times when I was hoping for his alpha out of the bedroom, for him to stand up a bit more for their burgeoning relationship. Yet, this is careful planning, I think, by Harlow to invest us more deeply in Sylvia and Henry’s story. Had he come on too strong with Sylvia, Henry could have lost his chance with her. Instead, Harlow shows us Sylvia’s emotional evolution toward acceptance. Yes, there is an important moment when Henry pours his heart out to Sylvia. It, along with a scene between Henry and Sylvia’s daughter, Whitney, are my two favorite parts of Unbreakable. You easily fall in love with Henry and Sylvia together because they fill in each other’s broken parts, making themselves whole again.
Every moment of Unbreakable is a treasure. Divorce is devastating, as we see in this book. People oftentimes lose their way, but Melanie Harlow shows us that the compass for finding our way back lies in true love. Whether it’s the love of your family, your children, or a romantic interest, true love can help us find our way back to ourselves. Getting a chance to love again is Melanie Harlow’s promise in Unbreakable.
In love and romance,