Publish Date: Jan 21
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley
Having never left the family ranch, Lark Mitchell needs a little adventure—or at least a romance that isn’t confined to the internet. Her older brothers Cole and Cade have always been too good at protecting her innocence, but even they can’t stop her from taking a second job—where her boss just so happens to be the kind of bad boy she craves. Too bad he’s also the one guy in Silver Creek she should never touch…
When Quinn Parker introduces himself, Lark tries to quit on the spot. Everyone knows Quinn was behind the accident that ended Cade’s rodeo career. But when he holds her to her contract, she can’t help wanting to get even closer. As she begins to see the man behind the gossip, she sees that not all of the things people say about him are true…even if there’s plenty about this bad boy she has yet to discover.
This blurb came from the author’s website.
I have been a fan of Yates’ Silver Creek series since I read the initial novella. The first novel, Unexpected, focused on one of Lark’s brothers, Cole, leaving me with the impression Lark was mostly quiet and needed sheltering. I also heard about a certain rodeo rival whose actions crippled Cade and therefore was the man everyone hated. Reading the blurb I found myself very curious to see how Yates was going to balance the quiet sheltered woman with the extreme bad boy Quinn.
Lark surprised me. Yes, she was relatively sheltered and pretty innocent but she was a woman with unexpected strength, caring, and stubbornness. She certainly showed me how she belonged in a family of strong stubborn men; she just needed a reason to demonstrate her strength. Lark ended up being a treat to watch as she refused to allow Quinn to steamroll over her. He didn’t manage to scare her away or seduce her into forgetting who or what she was or shift her loyalties. Instead, overtime she refused to believe he was only bad. I didn’t necessarily agree with her logic all of the time but even those things I didn’t agree with went too perfectly with her character so all I could do was hope everything would work out.
Quinn, on the other hand, I alternated between cussing at him, wanting to rage across twitter about him, and my heart breaking over the events that formed the man. Somehow Yates created a perfect anti-hero. Even as I condemned his thoughts and schemes, I really wanted him to look through Lark’s eyes and see himself as a person who didn’t have to meet the worst expectations of those around him. At first, I was afraid he was unredeemable but every time his conscience poked him, my hope grew a little stronger. I also grew to understand why he viewed people the way he did, not that my understanding excused his behavior but he did give a good grovel.
In addition to the primary romance between Lark and Quinn, Yates continued to flesh out the supporting characters. I loved seeing how their interactions had an impact on both Lark and Quinn, sometimes in a positive sense and other times to bring out the daredevil. I will admit I was a bit thrown by one piece of information Lark discovered because I didn’t recall any hints leading up to it from the first installment. This piece of information is probably going to set Silver Creek on its head and I can’t wait to see the results.
I found Untouched a very compelling read. Lark continually surprised me with what she was strong enough to do and how she made her points. Quinn was a very polarizing character; one I was unable to hate despite his initial intentions. Yates provide angst, sexual tension, guilty consciences, mystery, and the reminder that you have to keep working to keep love alive. I am thoroughly hooked on the Silver Creek series and the characters in the area. I can’t wait for Cade’s story and to find out what other secrets exist along with what their reveal will mean.
I give Untouched a B+
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