Title: Once Touched by Laura Moore
Silver Creek Series Book Three
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
For fans of Linda Lael Miller and Diana Palmer comes Laura Moore’s breathtaking final installment in her Silver Creek contemporary romance series.
The youngest of the three Knowles siblings, Quinn has in her blood the love of the land and its beautiful creatures. Raising enough money to build an animal sanctuary is a dream Quinn lives every day—while fending off her family’s well-intentioned matchmaking schemes. Though harboring secret fears about intimacy, Quinn soon realizes she cannot fight her growing attraction to a man who has suddenly entered her life.
Scarred by his months in Afghanistan and the violence he witnessed there through his camera lens, photojournalist Ethan Saunders throws himself into hard ranching work as a prescription for healing. But falling for Quinn has given him the one thing he thought he’d lost forever: hope. Ethan discovers that Quinn, like the innocent animals she rescues, is shy, and afraid of entrusting her heart to a man. Passion soon awakens Ethan’s strength, and his tender seduction may be just what Quinn needs to believe in herself—and in his love.
Once Touched, the final novel in Laura Moore’s delightful Silver Creek series, is another well-written and engaging romance between two very appealing protagonists.
Quinn Knowles is a kind-hearted and giving young woman. She has a soft spot for abused animals and she is passionate about rescuing injured or abandoned animals. In her mid-twenties, she has never had a serious relationship and now that both of her brothers have fallen in love, she fully realizes what she is missing out on by not having a special person in her life. But her few attempts at intimacy have left her with plenty of self-doubts so Quinn has decided to take a break from looking for Mr. Right.
Ethan Saunders is a photographer in need of a quiet place to recover from the wounds he sustained in an IED attack during his assignment in Afghanistan. Not only does he have fond memories of the time spent on Silver Creek Ranch but it is on the opposite side of the country from his well-meaning but smothering friends and family. Although he is still recovering from the physical injuries he sustained during roadside bombing, Ethan is struggling with survivor’s guilt and grief over the deaths of the soldiers who lost their lives in the attack.
Quinn and Ethan get off on the wrong foot at their first meeting and both are a little dismayed when they must work together on the ranch. But as their paths continue to cross, a surprising attraction begins to grow between them. However, Ethan is convinced that he is too old and too broken for someone as sweet and innocent as Quinn, so he tries to keep his distance from her. Meanwhile, Quinn is charmed by Ethan’s instant rapport with her beloved herd of goats and she slowly begins to appreciate his sharp intelligence and keen observation skills.
Passion flares between them after Quinn reveals a rather shocking secret and they embark on a no strings fling. Desire slowly turns to love but Quinn knows Ethan will have to confront his painful past before they can fully commit to a future together. She devises a plan that will leave him with no choice but to deal with everything he has been avoiding but will Ethan forgive Quinn for her deception?
Once Touched is a captivating addition to Laura Moore’s heartwarming Silver Creek series. The romance between Ethan and Quinn develops at a leisurely pace but it is an absolute joy watching them truly get to know each other before they act on their mutual desire. As always, the Knowles family is in the middle of the action as they offer their advice and support to both Ethan and Quinn. A heartfelt and passion-filled romance that I highly recommend to old and new fans of this wonderful series.