Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
I’ve been trying to find the words to match the feelings that Melanie Harlow’s newest book (and series), Drive Me Wild, elicited in me. It’s so hard because her books are ebullient even when her hero and heroine’s journeys aren’t easy. There is a promise belying her stories that the world will be set straight once her characters reach inside themselves and reconcile within. And there is something heady in that truth.
This axiom entwines its way through Drive Me Wild. Interestingly enough, the person who must find peace isn’t the heroine, Blaire, the obvious choice based on Harlow’s blurb. The character with the greatest growth is her hero, Griffin, which was surprising as I began reading this book.
Everything I adore about Harlow’s former series, Cloverleigh Farms, is found in Drive Me Wild. I realized quickly that community is character in Harlow’s books. Just as we saw her former series, the people of Griffin’s town, Bellamy Creek. The members of Bellmany Creek function as the impetus for change in both Blair and Griffin. For Blair, she finds her peace there. For Griffin, he reconciles his past with his present. It’s a powerful truth that feels lost in our own society. How much of our own communities influence our identity? In Harlow’s books, the influence is great, and it humanizes her fictional characters.
The chemistry between Griffin and Blair is my favorite part of Drive Me Wild. For one, I am a sucker for a grumpy hero. Pair that type of hero with a heroine who is the light to his dark, and your story captures me. Griffin and Blair are light and dark throughout the entire story, and you ache for them to find their happy ending because they are the completion of each other into one entity. However, grumpy heroes begrudge a happy ending, so Harlow brilliantly keeps us suspended. You never quite know if they will earn that “happily-ever-after.”
And once again, Harlow’s storytelling is seamless. It flows; it engages the reader. As such, it’s an engaging read from the beginning to the end. I loved the characters, the plot, and the evolution of the story. There is humor and there are tears. In her journey to find an independent life, Blair is the most self-contained, while Griffin is challenged over and over again by her resiliency. I simply loved their spirit.
I am so thankful for books such as Melanie Harlow. They teach us a little about life, and our need to live abundantly. Love becomes the lesson of how to do it, and you can’t help but fall deeply into her stories. When life can sometimes look bleak and gray, honestly, a Melanie Harlow story such as Drive Me Wild will set you on a path towards happiness.
In love and romance,