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Age gap, Book Review, Comedy, Contemporary, Grumpy/Sunshine, Military, Opposites Attract, Romance, Series

Ignite (Cloverleigh Farms Next Generation #1) by Melanie Harlow


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 make my breath come faster. Even former SEALs with broad chests and strong hands 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?

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After having a dry spell with my TBR pile I finally found a fun grumpy/sunshine romance between a Navy SEAL single dad with a resting grump face and a recovering love junkie. 

Dex’s new next-door neighbor is blonde, beautiful, and way too young. He’s a firefighter and a divorced single dad trying to raise his precocious young girls and appease his nagging ex-wife, so he has no time for a relationship. Try telling that to his daughters who have wheedled their way into the lovely neighbor’s home and her heart. And try telling that to his libido which has him acting like a teenager.

Winnie watches the new hot single guy with the surly demeanor and his adorable daughters move in next door and she is intrigued. Being the naturally friendly person she is, she introduces herself and makes quick friends with the girls. Their dad, not so much. But what does she know? Winnie is not a good judge of character considering her ex-boyfriends and one fiance all dumped her. She’s a hopeless romantic who doesn’t know how to pace herself so she’s made a bet with her best friend to not fall in love before Christmas. Sounds easy, right? Lady luck is not on her side.

I love when the hard-headed grouchy sailor falls hard and fast. He ends up being the one who can’t control his feelings around Winnie who knows what she wants and has the confidence to back it up. I’m not an age gap fan especially when it’s 12 years. However, the more they spend with each other, the more I like them together.  There are many funny and very hot moments between these two. The smoke alarm incident is embarrassing and funny, and Winnie’s seduction of Dex on the patio is smokin’.  In addition, Dex’s little girls, Hallie and Luna, are freakin’ adorable with their early morning shit talk about their dad calling him hairy and a snoring ogre. And the swear box is a great idea because their dad, a former Navy SEAL, has a sailor’s colorful vocabulary. There is some angst and denial of feelings as Winnie gets a job and moves away, but Dex finally realizes what he could lose and performs one of the funniest grand gestures gone awry that I’ve seen.

Dex and Winnie’s friends and family are important in the story as they give support and advice to two people truly meant for each other. And I can’t wait to read Ellie and Gianni’s story which will be a hoot with all the hate vibes going on there.

If you love grumpy/sunshine stories with angst, off-the-charts chemistry, and endearing characters, give this book a try.

Cloverleigh Farms Next Generation Series:

1. Ignite (2021)
2. Taste (2022)
3. Tease (2022)
4. Tempt (2022)



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Melanie HarlowMelanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. Her stories are about modern couples falling in old-fashioned love, and even though romance is a fantasy, her heroes and heroines are everyday people with real problems who stumble on their way to happily ever after. She lifts her glass to readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.

Follow Melanie on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads

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