Thursday, June 23, 2016

Book Review: "When We Touch" by Brenda Novak

When We Touch (Whiskey Creek #0.5) Brenda Novak
Published: August 1, 2012
ISBN: 9781426875793
Genre: Romance (Contemporary, Novella)
Source: Publisher

You might enjoy this book if you like: Contemporary small-town romance, people who aren't what they first seem, sisters from hell

You’re invited to a wedding in Whiskey Creek, Heart of the Gold Country

Unfortunately, it’s the wrong wedding. Olivia Arnold is arranging the festivities—and it’s the hardest thing she’s ever done. Because she should be marrying Kyle Houseman. They were together for more than a year…. But her jealous sister, Noelle, stole him away—and now she’s pregnant.

All their friends in Whiskey Creek know as well as Olivia does that Kyle’s making a mistake. His stepbrother, Brandon, knows it, too. But Kyle’s determined to go through with it, for his child’s sake.
Olivia’s devastated, but surprisingly Brandon—the black sheep of the family—is there to provide comfort and consolation. The intensity between them, both physical and emotional, shows Olivia that maybe Kyle wasn’t the right man for her…

But is Brandon? 

My Thoughts:
I had never read anything by Brenda Novak before--she had been on the periphery of my radar, but I just hadn't taken the next step.  So, when the opportunity came to read this novella, I thought it would be a low-risk way to try this author out.

Romance novellas are interesting in that they are incredibly focused.  Novak gets right down to business of Olivia dealing with the situation of having to plan her ex-boyfriend's wedding to his sister and her budding relationship with Brandon, her ex-boyfriend's brother.  Novak is especially successful in developing the characters of Olivia, Kyle, and Brandon in such a tight narrative and I have to admit that I wish that this had been a full-length novel.

Because this is a novella, there were things that bothered me that I am willing to forgive.  The character of Olivia's sister, Noelle, is very stereotypical and I never really understood why she had such animosity towards Olivia.  On the other hand, I accept that Novak just didn't have the space or time to round out Noelle's character (and I found out that these characters make an appearance later in the series, so I'm hoping that we get some more depth there).  Also, Olivia and Brandon's relationship is very straightforward, but--again--I realize that Novak just didn't have the real estate here to thrown in a bunch of twists and turns.

The purpose of a prequel/novella is much like that of an appetizer.  It is an invitation to go on with the series.  Considering that I downloaded the first full-length novel in the series just minutes after I finished this novella, I'd say that this story was a success.

I was given an electronic copy of this story with no request for a review.  I received no compensation for this post.

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