Book Review, Contemporary, Enemies to Lovers, Romance, Series

Reasons Why Not to Date Your Nemesis (Shell Grove #2) by Melanie Munton


There’s a new sheriff in town… And he’s her worst nightmare.

Reason #1: Ben Crawford is Olivia Knight’s long-time arch rival. They’ve been sworn enemies ever since she wore overalls to school one day, and he asked her in homeroom where she parked her cow. Now that he’s back, it doesn’t appear much has changed. He’s still arrogant. He’s still trouble. And this time, he’s got a badge and handcuffs. Which will make murdering him and disposing of his body much more challenging for her.

Reason #2: Sheriff Ben has done a lot of growing up during his time away from Shell Grove. He went and got himself some muscles and tattoos, and has the nerve to wear that sheriff’s uniform absurdly well. For some reason, that’s all she can seem to focus on whenever they cross paths. All the nice changes he’s made, instead of how vehemently she’s vowed to hate his guts for all eternity.

Reason #3: The complicated connection that has forever entwined their lives doesn’t have a pleasant backstory. As adults, they should be able to forget what happened when they were teenagers and move on. But in a small town where everyone has long memories, there are reminders everywhere of the nasty events that destroyed both of their families years ago. And she’s not sure their growing feelings for each other are enough to forgive the sins of the past and carve out a future…together.

Ben has a secret. A big one. The longer he’s in Shell Grove and surrounded by people who know his sordid history, the more likely that secret is going to come out. But if it does, Olivia will never speak to him again. Which will not do. Because he’s finally realized that Olivia is the reason why he came back to town in the first place. And if he doesn’t want to lose her forever, he needs to correct the mistakes he made a long time ago and prove he’s not the NEMESIS she’s always thought him to be.


I have been a big Melanie Munton fan for a few years and I’m never disappointed with her sexy hot romances. Her latest book in the Shell Grove series is about unfortunate teenagers caught up in their parents’ drama leading to hatred of each other. Twelve years later they meet again only to be confused by their unexpected attraction to each other even though they can’t forget the past. 

Olivia Knight wants to take over her Aunt Rita’s Bed and Breakfast, but it’s contingent on her meeting face-to-face with the father who abandoned her and destroyed her life 12 years ago. And she had no time for her archenemy, Ben Crawford, to return to Shell Grove as the new sheriff in town.  He’s still the smirky asshole she knew in high school, but he’s oh, so gorgeous with his filthy mouth and nice tight ass. He wasn’t going to rip her life apart again.

Ben Campbell has come back to Shell Grove to try to make things right. He wasn’t a rebellious teenager anymore. He was a decorated marine and the new sheriff in town. But the minute he saw Olivia again he reverted back to that teenager and used words to her up. She made his blood boil in more ways than one, but she deserved a good man and he was far from it. He’s carrying a secret that destroyed her life and she would never forgive him. Unfortunately, his heart couldn’t handle it.

Enemies-to-lovers tropes are my jam and Ms. Munton writes them so well. When the boy from the wrong side of the tracks and the goody two shoes come back to the town that knows all their dirty secrets, it’s a battle of wills. They both come back to prove themselves. He to right all the wrongs he made and she to earn respect and not be “just the child left behind by her philandering father and grief-stricken mother”.  Olivia is beautiful and stubborn as she holds grudges and denies her heart. Ben’s guilt is killing him. The secret he carries will certainly lose the woman he has fallen for and unfortunately, he’s not the one that tells her.  This leads to anger, self-reflection, mending fences, and looking forward. I loved the word porn between these two. The slow burn of attraction is such a turn on and when they finally seal the deal, it’s very hot and very rewarding. 

Olivia and Ben’s supportive friends are a great addition to the story and I can’t wait to read Maggie and Finn’s story because I also love friends-to-lovers tropes. Also, the story of Ben’s and Olivia’s parents is very sad and made me cry when the truth came out.

I highly recommend this delightful romance with a perfect blend of tension, redemption, and spicy sex.  Pick up this book; I guarantee you’ll love it.

Thank you to Ms. Munton for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.  


Reasons Why Not to Date Your Nemesis

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Melanie MuntonMelanie is an Amazon bestselling author who prefers all her romance to come loaded with wit and heavy doses of steam. She’s all about fictional escapism, the beach, a tall glass of wine, and a guaranteed happily ever after. She wishes she could be as cool and clever as even half of the characters she creates. Unfortunately, 100% of her creativity goes into her writing, so there’s zero left over for real life at the end of the day. 

Melanie grew up in a super small town in the Midwest but now lives in Savannah, Georgia and adores it. Her daughter and husband are her entire life. She and her husband met while earning their anthropology degrees (random, right?), and their shared passion is to travel the globe. She has a horrible chip addiction, and she gets sad when her wine rack is empty.

At the end of the day, she is a true romantic at heart. She loves writing the swoony and spicy of romantic comedies, and the sexy and dangerous of suspense. She aims to make her readers weak in the knees, laugh out loud, maybe sweat a little, and above all, fall in love.

Follow Melanie on her websiteFacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreadsPinterest, and Bookbub.