"Close Enough to Touch" is an adequate start to a new series by Victoria Dahl. I was eagerly anticipating this book as a start to a new series, and be"Close Enough to Touch" is an adequate start to a new series by Victoria Dahl. I was eagerly anticipating this book as a start to a new series, and being set in Jackson, Wyoming.
Grace Barrett is a makeup artist from LA that moves to Jackson when she is fired from her current job. With no money and no place to stay she accepts her great aunt's invitation to a free apartment in a building that Rayleen owns, right next door to her bar. Rayleen is a fun, crabby, and somewhat eccentric lady. She only likes to rent her apartments to men because they are easier to deal with as tenants and are easy on the eyes too.
Grace has had a hard life, as a runaway she lived on the streets doing what was necessary to survive. She picked herself up and found a talent that she was good at. Unfortunately she later met a guy who pushed her to do more prestigious jobs in the industry. She wasn't happy and eventually left. There is a misunderstanding between the two ex-lovers concerning money and this prompts Grace to run to Jackson. Running is something that Grace has always done from Her problems.
Convinced she is staying just for a short while until she can get money together for a job in Vancouver, Grace sets out to find a new job. She does through a local photographer that also is working as a scout on a new cowboys and aliens movie. The first person Grace meets is her neighbor and cowboy, Cole Rawlins.
Cole is a foreman at a ranch near by, but suffering from an accident, he is put in limbo with the direction he wants his life to go. Trying to heal and work part time is driving him crazy. He wants nothing more to go back to work full time and eventually buy the ranch outright where he is working. Grace, just happens to be a nice distraction from his problems. The two are just acquaintances but decide to become friends with benefits. Dahl's love scenes are steamy, but this reader never felt a connection between Grace and Cole. Maybe because there was no sort of commitment. Anything physical shared, seemed hollow.
Cole's past meets up with him, he did get sucked into the Hollywood lifestyle briefly and hated himself for it. A person from his past returns and Cole is furious. He takes it out on Grace. There are lots of misunderstandings between these two. They are quick to anger, and are not very mature about it. This is consistent for both the hero and the heroine through out the book.
Cole learns that sometimes you get exactly what you need from life even when there are so many obstacles in your way. He learns to let go of past guilt and focus on the future. Grace learns not to run away, and to truly allow herself to soften up and not be scared of what she wants emotionally. These to characters are redeemable in the end.
I recommend this contemporary romance to fans of the author with a caveat, readers looking for Dahl's trademark wit will not find it in this book. There was a more serious tone to this book, but more love scenes between the hero and heroine. The pacing was extremely slow throughout the book and I would have loved an epilogue. There is an HEA but not until the very end of the book. I just hope the next book in the series will let readers see a glimpse of Cole and Grace together. I am interested in reading the next book.
*This book was provided to me by Harlequin through NetGalley. ...more