Melt (The Steel Brothers Saga #4)
Waterhouse Press / December 20, 2016 / $15.99 print, $6.99 digital
Helen Hardt continues the Steel Brothers Saga with Melt. Though Talon and Jade’s story is woven into Melt, our main focus is the relationship between the oldest brother, Jonah (aka Joe), and Dr. Melanie Carmichael. For me, Melt is probably my next favorite of the four books released thus far, the favorite being our introduction to the Steel Brothers with Craving.
Dr. Melanie Carmichael is Talon’s therapist. When Joe finally recognizes he might need help, he decides to book an appointment with the psychiatrist. Upon his first appointment, they both become rattled by the chemistry sizzling between them. Several problems…
One: She’s his therapist.
Two: He’s not ready to discuss his guilt over not protecting his younger brother, nor does he want to continue therapy.
Three: The only way to continue seeing her? To book another appointment.
“I was surprised to get your call,” Melanie said.
I let out a breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding. I squirmed in the leather recliner. What to say? I wanted to see you again, so I made an appointment for therapy I don’t want? Nope, that wouldn’t do.
For Melanie, she’s not experienced this level of attraction in, well, never. But she can't be with Joe. So many complications including the fact that she’s both Talon’s and Joe’s therapist. The ethics of having a relationship with a patient are clear. You don’t do it. So when their inevitable kiss happens, Melanie finds herself in an unfamiliar place.
Unprofessional, yes, but that was my last thought when his firm lips opened beneath mine.
He returned my kiss, swirling his tongue into my mouth. He tasted of sweet mint and cloves—so perfect and so right. I had dreamed of kissing him when I saw him at that hotel bar months ago. He was so out of my league, but right now he was responding to me. He pulled me closer, ground his hardness into my belly…
“I’ve wanted to kiss you like that since I first saw you,” he whispered. “And today, sitting across from you, I could hardly think of anything else.”
I melted against him.
Despite the unprofessionalism of this scenario, I don’t care. I want to see them together, to see her let down her hair, to see him finally trust someone. And rest assured, she makes the professional and ethical decision to no longer be his therapist. Though she also decides that she’s not in an emotional place to have any kind of romantic relationship, even with our squee-worthy hero, Joe.
If only this could be. If only I could take what he was offering and escape—escape…everything else that had gone wrong in my life. But again, reality prevailed I knew better, better than anyone, that I couldn’t run away from my problems.
Good thing Jonah doesn’t agree with Melanie about axing their relationship. No, he’s not asking for marriage and 2.5 kids, but he does want to see where things will go.
And here’s when the good stuff gets even better. Hardt is a master wizard at weaving in twists and surprises into the plot, bridging connections between characters, and luring us deeper into the mystery of a crime from years ago. With one abductor behind bars, the Steel family continues their search for the other two abductors. Without giving away any spoilers, we learn more of Melanie's history—specifically with another client—as well as foreshadowing that points to our second suspect. Finally, Hardt slays me by ending Melt with an evil cliffhanger, where Melanie’s connection with this past client puts her at more risk than anyone would ever suspect.
Will Melanie and Jonah have their HEA? Not yet…But I know Ms. Hardt won’t let me down. There are two more books chronicling their love story as well as more mystery to unravel. For now, my neurons are rapid-firing as I mull over the possibilities of what will happen next. Brilliant storytelling.
Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Melt by Helen Hardt, available December 20, 2016:
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Tanya is a fanatic of all things romance, dabbles in Happily Ever Afters under the pen name of Lily Kay, and teaches sociology part-time. You can follow her on twitter @tamushamu, @AuthorLilyKay, or on facebook.com/Authorlilykay.