Review – When We Touch by Brenda Novak

Publisher: Harlequin
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: NetGalley


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?
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I absolutely love and adore Novak’s romantic suspense books, so when I heard about her new contemporary romance series, I knew I would have to read it immediately. While I didn’t love this novella as much as her RS books, I am excited to read more in the series.

Olivia is home for the wedding of her younger sister, to her ex-boyfriend. Not only is she having a hard time just being home for the wedding, but she also has to plan it. Olivia struggles with keeping her good sister image in tact while dealing with her conniving and jealous sister, her ex who still obviously pines for her, and the attraction to her ex’s step-brother that sprang up as quickly as their long ago high-school crush. But as the wedding looms closer and closer, how will Olivia be able to deal with her growing attraction to Brandon and the drama surrounding the wedding from hell?

I am not a fan of the jealous sister hitting on the current or ex-boyfriend trope. I don’t know why, but I really just hate it. So I had a really hard time enjoying this book for that alone. I don’t know why, but the whole thing just seems kinda sleazy and cheap to me. 🙁

I have to say though, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the romance between Olivia and Brandon. It was obvious from page one that these two had a serious attraction way back in high school. It was also obvious that they both could still feel the pull, and for that reason alone, I was able to buy into the whole romance between Olivia and her ex-boyfriend’s step-brother.

I have to say, Kyle and Noelle both drove me absolutely crazy. Noelle was a raging beotch, and there was never a moment in the entire novella that endeared me to her. Had she been my sister, I would have shoved her face in wedding cake and given her a piece of my mind. Likewise, Kyle was kind of a jerk as well. He was so focused on living up to his duty after knocking up Noelle, but he also wasn’t able to let Olivia go. He was totally unfair to Olivia, wanting to take care of her and be with her despite his impending marriage to her sister.

I really liked Brandon though, he made up for everything else. He was sweet and caring toward Olivia, and it was plain to see that he was crushing hard on Olivia and desperate to have his chance with her. He was also so tortured with his professional career, I just wanted to hug him and tell him that everything would be okay. When he made his big gesture toward Olivia at the end, I wanted to melt into a puddle of good, I adored it!

All in all I didn’t absolutely love this novella as much as some of Novak’s other works, but I am excited to see more in the series. I enjoyed the hero and heroine and liked their romance, but the circumstances of the story somewhat ruined the rest of it for me. I am definitely anxious to see more from Novak in this contemporary genre.
I give When We Touch a C+

Kindle eBook

4 thoughts on “Review – When We Touch by Brenda Novak”

  1. The latest Lisa Kleypas book has the same theme: Spoiled younger sister steals the fiancée. But luckily heroine finds a much better man and kind of has her revenge when the relationship between her ex and her sister does not keep.
    I don’t mind this trope, I have read more often about it, and how the “jilted” sister has to do her best to stay nice and be the good one. Me? I would have broken all ties to them.

  2. I have to say I really disliked her sister and her ex but loved loved loved Brandon. I mean hello… LOL. I loved that he wanted her back in HS but didn’t think he would be right for her so left it alone. I loved that when he made the gesture at the end she supported him. In general I just loved them together.

  3. This is currently available for free from the Harlequin ebook store. I’ve downloaded it but haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

  4. @aurian: I would have broken ties, and noses. LOL

    @Steph C: Yeah, Brandon definitely made up for the rest of the somewhat BLAH story. <3

    @KatieF: Oh cool! Thanks for letting everyone know!

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