Book Review: One Touch More by Mandy Baxter

Because I’ve done a fairly good job of scheduling ahead, it hasn’t been noticeable, but I haven’t written a blog post for about 2 weeks. There was a road trip, a visit from my mom, and some other things that kept me off the computer. However, with Nanowrimo getting ready to happen and my lack of self control when it comes to requesting books on NetGalley, I not only need to get some more posts up, but I also need to start reading more books. November’s theme? Book time management.

One Touch More

I received an ARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One Sentence Synopis
An undercover marshal trying to find a big name drug lord becomes involved with local drug dealers and the hotel assistant manager who helps them to keep her brother out of prison. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Good Stuff
Talk about a strong start. I was pulled in right away with this one, intrigued by Tabitha’s situation and excited for the interaction between her and Damien. Though I don’t read a lot of romantic suspense, I do like danger in a novel once in awhile, and this one brought it. I was on the edge of my seat through most of this book, especially towards the end when things got crazy.

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Things That Made Me Go Hmmm
I didn’t get a clear picture of Tabitha until the end, and I’m not sure if that was due to lack of description or if I just had an image from the start that didn’t match up with the one later in the boom that described her as edgy.

I never agree with heroine’s who are attacked, but then don’t want their attacker to get hurt. Maybe I’m just a horrible person, but if I were on the verge of getting raped and someone saved me and started punching my attacker, the only reason I’d stop that would be to make sure I got a few kicks in.

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The Romance Factor
Though not insta-love, Damien and Tabitha’s relationship seemed to move fast. Yet somehow, the author was able to add enough emotion for it to seem realistic. 4/5

The Steam Factor
The sexy times were not as frequent as I thought they’d be, but they were intense when they did happen. 4/5

Final Thoughts
The intensity kept up through the whole book and ended up being a very entertaining read. There were some gritty themes, but the romance still held its own.

How Forever Feels by Laura Drewry

Sometimes you just need a sweet romance that doesn’t put your hormones in overdrive. NetGalley suggested I read this one since I’d read and liked its predecessor, and I think it’s safe to say that Laura Drewry is definitely a go-to for a mild contemporary that still delivers on the feels.

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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A game developer reunites with his ex-sister-in-law only to discover he still has feelings for her, despite the fact that he’ll have to choose between her and his family. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Good Stuff
I love an awkward hero, and Jack is awkward, not only because he has long held feelings for Maya, but because he knows his family wouldn’t approve. While this type of family dynamic annoys me, I thought Jack’s reasons for being loyal to his family were solid, and his backstory only made him that more likeable.

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The catty woman in me liked how Maya unwaveringly and unapologetically referred to her ex’s new fiance as Skank through the entire book. It cracked me up and felt all too real.

Things That Made Me Go Hmmm
I hated Will (the ex) and I didn’t like Stella (Skank), and I think that speaks to just how well the author put me into Jack and Maya’s mindsets. There are moments when both have a redeeming quality, and other than being Will’s other woman, Stella wasn’t a bad person. But I appreciated that the author didn’t try to make me like either one of them.

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There’s a huge amount of exposition at the beginning in the form of Maya telling her friends the backstory of her and Jack. I prefer stories to unfold over time, as scenes like this often feel forced as a way to bring the reader up-to-date.

The Romance Factor
Not only is this a sweet, slow burn romance, but it’s one that has to overcome a lot of obstacles. Even though the two admit their feelings early on, there’s a lot more at play than the “Does he/she love me” conflict. 5/5

The Steam Factor
As I said before, sometimes you just want romance. While there are a few sexy times, the scenes aren’t detailed or scandalous. 2/5

Final Thoughts
This series is cute, and while sometimes fun, it doesn’t shy away from some of life’s real challenges when it comes to romance.