Monday, December 29, 2014

Untouched (Florence, Arizona #1) by Lauren Hawkeye

Alexa Kendrick has no recollection of the car accident that left her scarred and sent her life careening wildly off course. When the half-sister she thought she’d never meet shows up at her door with an invitation to a new life, Alexa finds herself in Florence, Arizona, a town notorious for being populated with more prison inmates than actual citizens…a town that has done its best to hide its own dark secret.

After Ellie is called out of town, she leaves her sister with the keys to her flower shop and Alexa finds herself swapping lives with her sibling: running Ellie’s business, living in the house left to them both by their absentee father…and forging a smoldering relationship with sexy-as-sin penitentiary officer, Nate Fury—a man with his own demons.

But arranging flowers by day and tangling with the only man who has ever seen her real self by night isn’t enough to silence the mysterious panic that fuels Alexa’s dark dreams. When Nate brings home a book written by an inmate, one describing an unspeakable crime, the shackles binding Alexa’s own lost memories begin to shatter. And as the devastating truth comes to light, she realizes that Nate holds the key to unlocking her past, as well as her heart.

Type: Contemporary Romance, Novella
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 3 out of 5

Amazon | All Romance | Goodreads
Untouched was a curious little read as Alexa--who has been in a horrible car accident and lost her memory--discovers a sister she never knew existed and while on a trip to get to know her sister finds herself undeniably pulled towards a dreamy prison guard and discovering that there are secrets from her past that have been hidden from her by those she loves.

I loved the set up of Untouched. A woman uncovering the past, fighting to remember what she'd been through and finding her passion for life again. There was enough mystery and eyebrow raising moments to keep things interesting though it was fairly easy to see how things would end. It was just slightly creepy as flashbacks and memories started haunting Alexa. As bits of the town she was visiting sparked feelings and emotions that made no sense to Alexa. It really was curious watching it all pull together and seeing her deal with things. Some of the scenes were pretty hard to watch unfold and you could feel her anguish and frustration. But they were also rather sweet because Nate was there. A solid support even though they'd just met.

The romance was insta...pretty much everything. Connection, lust, sex, love. Alexa and Nate powered through everything pretty dang quickly. I liked both of them though and they made a sweet pairing. The book moved so quickly though it was hard to really get to know either of them other than on the surface which was unfortunate since they really seemed like interesting characters--an artist, an ex-cop who had his own troubled past and was a vegetarian, etc.

Overall, that was my big complaint about Untouched. It just was too quick. It says on Amazon 251 pages but it felt like much less than that. Everything kept pretty close to the surface and didn't feel as fleshed out as it could have been--characters, romance, mystery. There were parts as well that I actually stopped and flipped back thinking I'd somehow missed chapters. Coupled with some rather large editing errors--hopefully fixed in the final product--I found that while I did enjoy Untouched I wasn't completely wow-ed by it or surprised by the discoveries that Alexa made about her past. Hopefully as the series goes it will become more fleshed out and dig a little deeper. There was a lot of potential but unfortunately it fell a little short for me. It was entertaining though. It'd be good for an afternoon in if you want something quick slightly, hot and slightly mysterious.

Oh. One pretty neat thing. The heroine is an artist and in a couple spots she's working on pieces and the final images are shown in the book. I liked that quite a bit.

Have you read Hawkeye? What did you think?

More Hawkeye on herding cats
Review--Fling anthology
Review--Linger (as Lauren Jameson)

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