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Stay in Touch #1

Touch of Fondness

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Four friends. Four college grads. Four people figuring out that life doesn’t always turn out the way you expected.

Brielle Reyes may not have post-college life planned out like some of her friends do, but she figures she’ll work for her mother’s home cleaning service while job hunting for something that makes use of her history and philosophy degrees. It’ll work out as long as she doesn’t fall in love. Her last relationship was a disaster and she has no idea where she’ll be in a few weeks, let alone the rest of her life. Since the only guy in her age range she sees now on a regular basis is cantankerous if handsome client Archer Ward, she probably won’t have a hard time sticking to that vow. Probably.

Archer Ward likes very few things: illustrating as a somewhat-celebrated comic artist and his privacy. When his meddling mother hires him a cleaning service on an almost daily basis because she doesn’t fully trust her son to live on his own with his disability, he’s at first annoyed—even if his house cleaner is the most beautiful woman he’s ever spent more than a few minutes with. When he realizes her dreams may take her far outside of his restricted orbit, he has to decide whether to stifle his interest in her or risk messing up her plans to explore if there’s something more between them.

Neither can deny they’re growing a little fond of each other, even if falling in love just now makes no sense whatsoever. But how often does love ever make perfect sense?

250 pages, Kindle Edition

Published May 2, 2017

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About the author

Joy Penny

6 books90 followers
Joy Penny writes books, devours stories, and geeks out about everything from classic romance books to manga. When she's not working as a freelance writer and book editor, she's probably immersed in her favorite TV shows, period dramas, and anime series. She also writes YA speculative fiction as Amy McNulty, and one of her books, Nobody's Goddess, won The Romance Reviews' Summer 2016 Readers' Choice Award for Young Adult Romance.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 54 reviews
Profile Image for Annika.
450 reviews101 followers
April 17, 2017

Aaaawww, that was so cute.
I wasn't expecting this to be cute at all.
All the other romance books involving a disabled hero I've read so far were incredibly angsty and full of drama and push-and-pull, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that this one was refreshingly charming.

Archer and Brielle were such endearing characters.
Archer, a 25 year old comic artist in a wheelchair with mommy issues, still a virgin but not due to lack of hotness but to his grumpiness, shyness and low self-esteem.
Brielle, an unambitious college graduate who doesn't know what to do with her life and ends up working for her mother as a cleaning lady.
After a rather bumpy first encounter, both of them quickly become attracted to one another, but life and insecurities keep throwing themselves in the way of their happily ever after.

In my opinion, the author did a great job of portraying both their struggles and challenges regarding Archer's disability - his, Archer's, in particular.
It made me sad to see how matter-of-factly he accepted that a girl like Brielle wouldn't be interested in someone as non-independent as him, and that he had nothing to offer her except for slowing her down. The most saddening part was that he wasn't even pitying himself when those thoughts were taking over. He just took them as facts, resigning himself to his fate to be alone.
But then Brielle would barge in and light the mood again in that bold and awkward way of hers and all depressing feelings would just disappear and be replaced by giddiness and swooning.
(My favorite scene: their park date)

What's more, they felt incredibly real. Their interactions, their aspirations and actions - nothing about them was smooth or even well-controlled. They tended to act on the fly, not only in their everyday lives but regarding their relationship, too. Sometimes a little clumsily, rarely thinking about the consequences, and that made both of them all the more endearing.
I also loved the little details the author threw in here and there, concerning all the challenges that someone with the ability to walk freely doesn't even think about, but not making it the main issue of the story.

Two little points of criticism, though:

I really would've liked to know what exactly Archer's condition/ diagnosis was. Was it some sort of deformity that made it impossible for him to walk? Was is an illness? He once mentioned that he'd been born that way, but that was hardly enough to quench my curiosity.

Also, and I think this a first for me, I thought there was too much showing and too little telling. Yeah, you read that right. Let me explain.
Even though they acted differently, Archer and Brielle both only ever thought about their physical attraction towards one another. While I did feel their growing feelings, the fact that neither of them ever actually mentioned them (not only to each other but also in their own heads) was a little disappointing. I would've loved to read what was going on inside of them. Less libido, more heart.

Still, this was an adorable, easy read and, while it certainly did have its flaws, I could hardly put it down.

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Cristina (My Tiny Obsessions).
470 reviews96 followers
April 29, 2017
Read full review HERE


So… this was another huge miss for me. I was excited about the blurb, because I really want to see more diversity in NA books, and I’ve read some fantastic books with characters with disabilities, so I was expecting a good thing here. What I got? A badly written, badly plotted and slightly (to majorly) offensive book.

I’m warning now that I might drop some SPOILERS during this review, but there are some thing I feel I need to mention, so I can explain to you why I disliked this book so much, ok?

I have to start by saying that the writing was not good. The book is told in dual POV, through Brielle and Archer’s point of views, but it is told in the third person. The voices weren’t different enough to distinguish them, and a lot of their inner thoughts were too focused on other people or minor things that didn’t actually allow me to get to know the person behind such thoughts that well.

Which leads me to the characters. It was honestly impossible to actually like any of the characters in this book.

Brielle just finished college and she has no idea what she wants to do with her life. I’m ok with that, I think it’s not a big deal to not have your life figured out right out of college. But it sort of bothered me that she had no ambition whatsoever. It also really really bothered me that she was so willing to accept any scrapes that anyone would throw at her. Look, I’m not saying that she should be all proud and not accept help, what I’m saying is that I truly felt like she couldn’t care less about trying. She had been job hunting while finishing college, but after she finished, she admitted that she hadn’t done much of it, but she was still saying how rejections sucked and all of that. Yeah, they do, but I honestly felt like she wasn’t even trying.

Ok, second issue with Brielle… I felt she was too judgmental. She spent most of her time thinking about her friend’s issues, but she had some major issues herself. And that it’s even more clear when she meets Archer, because during the whole book, she never sees him beyond his disability. She’s always self chastising for even thinking certain things, but she keeps doing it throughout the whole book, and she’s never able to think of it beyond how it’s different and how it impacts HER life.

“Wow. Suffer from self-confidence issues much? Brielle felt bad for thinking that. He was disabled, after all.”

“Brielle felt stupid for wondering why there wasn’t a desk chair in front of the desk at first.”

“Despite his top half being rather buff — his arms especially — his legs were awfully thin. So skinny, he looked sickly. Brielle immediately felt dumb for even thinking that.”

“She’d spent the evening Googling how to interact with disabled people and felt stupid doing so.”

Then we have Archer, who I’m going to be honest here, is kind of a douchebag at first. He treats Brielle with disdain and is super rude to her. He’s also one of those guys who thinks girls have no business liking comics, and are fakes, you know?! That on its own was a huge letdown to me.

“He felt a stab of guilt for ever even thinking she might be one of “those”girls with just a passing interest in comics thanks to hunks in superhero movies. That didn’t seem to be the case — and even if it were, who cared?”

“Why the hell would she want to go with you to a comic shop? Not exactly the most welcoming place for a woman — particularly a woman this hot.”

Now, if you’ve read the blurb, you know Archer lives with a disability. Which one? Good question, I have no clue. He uses a wheelchair and is also able to use braces and canes on occasion, and the author says this:

“I never outright mention his condition in the text, but I used Becker muscular dystrophy as the reference. I live with a disabled person and used a lot of what the person goes through for reference.”

I have to say that I feel conflicted about the not mention of the cause. On one hand, I think the person is what matters and not his disability, but on the other hand, most muscular dystrophies have other consequences than just the weakening of the legs and pelvis muscles, and those might be important for the story and the character. For instance, at some points Archer is out of breath when he tries to stand up, is that because of just the effort he’s doing, or because his lungs are affected (like they might be in some of these disabilities). You know what I mean? It felt to me that the only thing mentioned about his condition was how he needed to use a wheelchair, and not much more. I wanted to know more about him, and I wanted to see how he dealt with it, and to be honest, I didn’t feel like he had come to terms with his condition.

I had issues with all the other characters in this book too. Archer’s mother babies him to an extreme, thinking that he isn’t capable of living on his own, or take control of his own life. Sad thing? His own “friends” think the exact same thing. Her friends are all judgmental and self absorbed.

“But with me, you decide it’s necessary to call in the bomb squad?”
“You, you’re…”
He nodded at him and looked him once over, as if taking in his form in the chair for the first time.
“I have a disability; I’m not dying.”

Then we have the plot, and it is all over the place. The rough plot is she’s kind of lost, they meet, they fall in “love”, she’s afraid to get all in because she doesn’t know how her life is going to be, they fight, she finds her way, they make up.

But my biggest issue with all of this was the romance and falling in love part. They meet, and within a week he’s totally smitten and she’s using him. Yep, I said it, I felt like she used him. She thought he was hot, he told her he had never kissed anyone, she decided she was going to be the first. After that she came on to him – hard – and they had sex. Look, I’m all for a strong and independent woman, but she had no consideration or gave a second thought to his feelings and how the experience would impact him. Later on she says she hadn’t realized he was a virgin, but come on… he had said the day before that he had never kissed anyone!!! Then her only concern is if he’s going to get clingy, like so many people get to their first lover. Am I the only one that has an issue with this?

“Because she knew from experience that former virgins tended to get a little too attached to their cherry-poppers.”

The romance was way too fast and way too little substance. And let’s not forget the the way the intimate moments were written were weird as hell, given that Brielle was actually thinking about her lack of job, her friend’s issues and her ex-boyfriend during it. I mean, I’m going to believe she WASN’T thinking about those things, but if that’s what the author mentions while describing a sex scene, it is weird, right?

In the end, all their issues are resolved when a job and a house fall into her lap, without her having to work for it at all. I… I didn’t like it at all.

Within Brielle’s circle of friends, there are a few storylines trying to emerge. And I have to say, I’m not ok with them at all. Her gay best friend ends up in a relationship with a guy that was supposed to be hooking up with his roommate. Her other friend was almost sexually assaulted by her boss. The third friend ends up dating Brielle’s douche ex-boyfriend, shuts her friends out, and later announces she might be ace. The author messed up royally on the disability representation in this book, so I’m scared as to what might come out of the next three books.

I hope I explained myself well enough as to why this book didn’t work at all for me.

Profile Image for Maria.
1,739 reviews30 followers
April 27, 2017
"Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review"
This is a story of instant attraction and it totally worked for me, even if usually I don’t like this kind of romance. But there’s something so endearing about this hero, who has no idea that he’s super yummy and gorgeous and he’s all there in his naked wholeness, vulnerable and strong, sweet, a bit clumsy and self-deprecating, but so human.
I really loved how the author wrote Archer. And what a great heroine she created to be his match! We get part of Archer’s charm through Brielle’s eyes and her reactions and – wow! – it was such a lovely way to connect to both characters. I remember that moment, in the beginning, when Archer runs his hand through his hair and over his face and Brielle finds the movement “surprisingly alluring, like he’d casually flicked on the light switch to her libido” (20%). Such a good description of chemistry, and there’re lots of moments like this one.
I admit there’s a sense of incompleteness about the story, it’s like we could have another book after the end of this one, but it didn’t disappoint me, I think it’s part of its appeal, that feeling of all the things that might still happen to these two very young people who are so good together.
Even the non-identifying of the hero’s condition didn’t bother me (and I’m usually a tad picky with that), I guess because, despite that, the challenges are well conveyed.
I'm grateful to the publisher, Snowy Wings Publishing, and NetGalley for providing a free copy.
Profile Image for Laís Arjona.
354 reviews
April 27, 2017
[I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review]
There were a lot of things I didn’t like in this book. I had issues with it since the first chapter, but I just kept reading because I don’t like to just give up with a second chance.
The first thing I didn’t like was the narrative, I don’t think it was a good choice to tell this story in third person, it made everything too impersonal, and this is a love story after all, it cannot be impersonal, we need to know what the characters are feeling from their own perspectives, and it made me really not care about them at all. The second thing, I hate instalove, and the entire book happens in something like a week or two, way too unrealistic.
The other problem was that the male characters was really sexist, and I know that he changes his mind at some point, but even then, it was like the author was trying to teach me, the reader, that girls can like comics too, but the reader is not the one who’s sexist here, the guy is, so no need to use an educational voice with me, Archer was the one who needed to hear some truths, and not in a condescending voice, and this never happens, even when he stops being a sexist idiot, it’s from nothing, he just wakes up one morning being a decent human being.
And what about Brielle, the young woman without any dreams, ambitions or desire of a good future that spends all her time thinking about how terrible her friends are but is herself a terrible friend, and let’s not forget about her terrible mother who’s a very tired woman that doesn’t have money to afford her adult daughter living home and wants her to find a good job but still gives her a home and a temporary job, what a terrible mother. And Brielle’s sister that is so ridiculous that wants to know more about her Puerto Rican heritage, such a spoiled teenager! And yes, there's racist comments in this sotry, and as a Latino American I did feel offended.
In the end, none of the characters grows, even Archer, who stops being a sexist idiot still does this without any character development. In fact, this was a very poor book.
But the Worst Representation Winning Prize goes to the guy in a wheelchair, of course. The author claims have written Archer based on her own experience living with a person with disability but, in fact, in the entire book, no one knows how to live with a disabled person, not his mother, not his father, not his friends (not that he has any friends, because aparently a disabled people doesn't have friends).
I would never, ever, recomend this book for a disabled person, no one deserves been represented so poorly or read that other people see them as a burden. As an abled-bodied person, I cannot talk for disabled people, but I know that this book is not for them, this book is for prejudiced people feel better for being ignorant and prejudiced.
in the end, it iss implicit that there will be an assexual character in a romance with a non-binary character in one of the next books and I don't even want to see how bad this is going to be.
God, I am so angry.
Profile Image for Nadwa.
187 reviews28 followers
April 10, 2017
[I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review]
This book was light, funny and heartwarming. The originality of the plot was so captivating; it's actually become hard to find an original contemporary. Archer's disability was so interesting to read about. And I loved the way he dealt with everything and built an almost-normal life for himself despite his disability. His insecurities and the fact that he was always doubting himself through every move he made -especially around Brielle- was heartbreakingly beautiful; he wanted to be better for her, and that alone made me want to sob and sink into a puddle of my own tears.
I found Brielle to be a little annoying at times. It just felt like she was somehow overreacting about Daniel and her former relationship with him. And for some reason, it honestly felt like she was sometimes a little superior when dealing with Archer, especially when she was over-thinking the fact he's getting too attached after their 'moment'.
Their first date was so lovely; picturing Archer holding a tote bag filled with homemade sandwiches literally turned my insides into goo.
Gavin was hilarious. And the way Lilac put it: "… right before I hop over to Disney World and tell Gaston how my best friend back home first thought he might be gay when he fell in love with his two-dimensional six-pack." made me laugh so hard. Gavin was hands-down my favorite among Brielle's friends. I still have a lot of mixed feelings about Lilac and Pembroke.
All in all, it was a pretty interesting book. I really wanted more Archer-Brielle, especially in the epilogue. Like probably fast-forward to 10 more years? But that's probably only because I really really want them to, like, get married and have kids and grow old together; anything less wouldn't be satisfying.
Profile Image for Kento Bookworm.
29 reviews55 followers
July 5, 2017
Touch of fondness by Joy Penny.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
It's mediocre romance book. i'm not sure what i expected to get from Touch of fondness, but I ended up disappointed anyway. I have read much worse before but i have also read much better.
There's no heavy angst.It would have been better if it more focused on the main characters growing feelings. Their relationship seemed too rushed. Because of that I couldn't really connect with this book. Your reader should feel and live within the character and the character should be able to be brought to life.
Although the story telling was normal, it needed more details. It could use a little more work. There was not a development from heroine. Brielle Reyes was unambitious and judgemental. In my opinion she didn't really care for Archer Ward (hero). If she really cared for him she wouldn't have treated his first time casually.
Archer Ward was a considerate and kind man. Despite his disability he works hard for his life than Brielle, who doesn't appear to work hard for her goal. I was glad he overcame with his self-consciousness. Though Archer tried to be independent, his mommy issues in this book didn't fully resolved in the end. So i hope i explained why it was 3 stars book for me.
14 reviews
April 9, 2017
I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!
I was thrilled to be approved read this one, because of intersting blurb and not so common characters so it read it all at once in one evening.
So our protagonists, Brielle and Archer are in their 20-ties,just looking for their place in this world.
Brielle, collage graduate, is looking for job but is forced to help out her mother with cleaning business and this is way she meets Archer.
Archer, artist, who works from home and doesnt interact with so many people is not so pleased with such young and beautiful girl to help him. He is shy, vulnerable and wheelchair-bound due to his disability, which was not explained in my opinion at all, it would be nice to know more about this one matter.

This romance should work for me, i liked everything in blurb, but in reality it didnt so much, I dont know why, but i feel like there should be more of H/h interacting between each other, there was a lot of family drama on both sides and I felt, like it was slowing down romance.
I was also very dissapointed by epilogue, where this was even more presented.
3.5 stars
September 8, 2017

This book left me undecided to be honest. I liked the plot and the characters basically. The writing was also good ...


I think the leads both were acting to young and immature for their age. Especially Archer, which made me wonder if he had other issues than the ones that were the obvious subject of the plot. But if so they were never mentioned so I felt like the age of both characters was chosen wrong for their behaviour.

But worse was actually his mother - it seemed like the character was developed to have a son that had an accident lately that left him with a disability when in fact he had it all his life. Also her moodswings made me feel like she might be unstable in a way.


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Profile Image for thai.
335 reviews29 followers
May 28, 2017
Brielle Reyes just graduated in history and psychology, a degree most people consider useless to anything other than teaching, which she doesn’t want. So she finds herself out of options for a future career, meaning she has to work at her mother’s cleaning company while she figures out what she wants to do with her life and find a job.

Twenty-five years old comic artist Archer Ward is whiling to do anything to keep his overprotective mother out of his hair, so if having a cleaner coming in daily is the way to do it, so be it. After running out his first “cleaning lady” he gets a lovely surprise when the next one arrives, and she’s nothing like he expected.

This book was adorable and I really enjoyed it. With that being said, I did have some problems with it, I was a little unsure with the instant attraction thing, but it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. The pacing was maybe a little too fast at times for me, I think the characters just sort of jumped into this “relationship” without thinking about the consequences and what they wanted, which annoys me a little too.

I had a love/hate relationship with Brielle to be honest, I liked her at first, but she managed to annoy me so many times that I’m not so sure about her anymore. She was a little too judgmental, indecisive – which I’m okay with, but not when it messes with other people’s lives too -, and she’s made so many poor choices that it made me uncomfortable being in her head at times. Also the fact that I’d just roll my eyes at her way of thinking way too much.

I did like Archer a lot though, I found him somewhat relatable, even though I have close to nothing in common with him. He was probably my favorite part of the book and I loved reading from his point of view. Pembroke was another plus for the book, I was surprised that I actually liked her a lot from what I’ve seen, and I really want the next book to be about her.

Overall this story was really enjoyable, very fun and easy to read. I liked how Archer’s deficiency wasn’t used as a plot device and even though this could be an angsty romance, it was actually pretty light and cute.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Review also posted at Read. Breathe. Repeat.
Profile Image for chloegirl.
602 reviews
May 7, 2017
Very disappointing. I read the blurb and the plot sounded so promising however the author just did not deliver. The heroine was very unlikeable, her friends except for Gavin, were equally as unlikeable, and the family of both hero and heroine left much to be desired. The only decent character was Archer, but even then the author totally made him a wuss when Brielle came back offering the weakest olive branches ever. The whole disability thing was never fully explained or well represented (ummm hello how was Archer able to perform? No explanation given) and I finally got to the point of skimming through just to get to the sorry end of the book. Very disappointed because this could've been so much better had the author better developed her characters and been true to the disability representation that was so horribly portrayed.
Profile Image for Janai.
18 reviews
April 22, 2017
received an ARC for honest review via netgalley

I wanted to like this book. Positives are, it is a quick read. The author approaches a new love situation and MC challenges, that is being disabled. I love how it brought to light those growing up in a wheelchair and the insecurities the MC, Archer had.

The negatives: I felt the book was all over the place with the storyline. I was left with so many unanswered questions at the end. The time line jumped and no details were given of a previous situation, it magically disappeared. The love story was a fast track one. Which I often find it difficult to believe. Finally, I would say the characters, except for Archer's father and Pauline, were difficult to like.
Profile Image for Felicia.
6 reviews
July 12, 2017
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Topic Of Fondness (Stay In Touch)
By: Joy Penny

Brielle Reyes has just graduated college, where she studied Philosophy and History.
Although she was close to her friends Gavin, Pembroke, and Lilac, they have all moved on to start their own seperate journies.

Brielle being lackadaisical about what to do, ends up working for her mother's cleaning service, "scrubbing Cherubs." As, she persues a job utilizing her field of study.

Brielle's clients are Mrs. Tanaka, who demonstrated how to clean her apartment, as she wants things done her way. Her other client is Archer Ward, who her mother says is a "handful."

Brielle's and Archers first meeting does not go well! Their attraction for each other takes
Several days, and even though Archer is disabled and in a wheelchair, she finds Archer very attractive.

Archer who at 25 years old is quite mature, and constantly Persues his independence, is
A comic book artist. Brielle however, is quite immature, and always unsure of her life
And jelous of her friends accomplishments.

Brielle's and Archer's relationship seems to
Lack much true feeling, mostly sexual tension. Brielle is Archer's first kiss and sexual partner, there are no fire works, or real chemistry. Will this relationship develop
Into love?

I love Archer Ward, he was very sweet and caring toward Brielle, even though he had challenges of his own. I wish Brielle had been more understanding, and compassionate to Archer. He truely needed someone sympathic to his needs as a disabled man, and a love interest.

I gave this book 4 stars, because really loved Archer Ward's character, and Joy Penny's writing style.

I would recommend this book to anyone
18 and older.

142 reviews
June 14, 2017
Profile Image for Lisa Aiello.
917 reviews22 followers
April 24, 2017
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review

This was a perfectly fine, sweet, quirky romance. There has no heavy angst or crazy push/pull, or anything over the top. It was an enjoyable way to pass a few hours.
Profile Image for Vivean.
226 reviews16 followers
April 20, 2017
[2.5 stars]

I was given an ARC by the author in exchange for an honest review, and I was more than excited to actually dive into my first ARC.

I had my expectations, knowing it is a new adult book. However, the story didn't exactly exceed or even meet my standards. I found it to be pretty okay, with lots of room for future improvement.

I appreciate that the book tackled the issue of having to love someone beyond their disability. I've seen many couples break up when it gets really hard to care for the disabled party. I love that the author presented a book that deals with the idea that it shouldn't be a problem if you really love the person, and for that I somewhat enjoyed the book. Still, it doesn't excuse the transitioning between scenes, it could use a little more work. I wished there would be more background for Gavin, Pembroke, and Lilac. They're storylines seemed significant, however we didn't get to see much of them. I also wished there would be more proper development regarding Archer and Brielle. Their relationship seemed too rushed, and it did lack a little angst.

Aside from that, it was a pretty quick, good read. I literally flew through it within three hours. I like the plot of the book itself, however the totality of it needs a little more extra detailing.

Full review in the blog here: https://viveanmikhailova.wordpress.co...
Profile Image for Anna Marie.
1,107 reviews2 followers
June 27, 2017
DNF 51%. I actually stopped reading at 24%, but forced myself to skim/read further, and I wish I had that thirty minutes of my life back.

The characters are cliched. The writing is flat and juvenile. The story is jerky and over-dramatized. This felt like it was written by a pouty 19-year old. I just don't have much patience with twaddle, and when the characters in a book spend all of their time overreacting and the author creates contrived situations that are awkward and ill-placed to *make* what they want to happen, happen? It's bad.

Another one of those situations where I'm glad I waited until it went 99¢ on Amazon. Although this mess ought to have been free. Wouldn't have changed my rating, but I wouldn't have lost a buck on it, either.
Profile Image for Kelly (Simply Kelina) C..
1,102 reviews8 followers
August 17, 2017
I was sent this audiobook as part of a blog tour.

Chapter one throws several characters at you with no introduction. It was a lot to take in since it is hard to sort through characters when you are listening to the story. Once you get into though, you find Brielle is the main character and you get to know her story pretty quickly after the intro of the story.

I never connected with this story. I could not get into the narrator, the plot, or the characters. I found myself drifting when listening to the story as nothing was really catching my attention. I thought the idea of Archer was great, but I was not impressed with what the author did with his important role within the story.

Overall, this was not for me.
Profile Image for Fay Tannerr  .
290 reviews43 followers
December 21, 2017
Touch of Fondness was an intriguing contemporary novel about how post-college life doesn't really turn out how you imagine it would.

I found the plot to be interesting and captivating. I liked the characters; Archer was strong and determined. He never complained about being in a wheelchair and really gave everything his all. Brielle was trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life and if there was room for a relationship. And Gavin was a really nice and supportive best friend. I liked most of the character but found Nora to be really annoying and selfish.

I really liked Archer and Brielle's relationship. It was awkward and cute! Touch of Fondness was a fun and exciting novel!
Profile Image for Alexis The Nerdy Bruja.
727 reviews83 followers
April 25, 2017
*recieved as an arc from NetGalley for an honest review*

Honestly I give this book 2.5 stars. I liked the plot well enough. Some parts reminded me a lot of the book me before you. Girl needs job, works temporarily for someone with a disability. They meet, he insults her and then they try to get along. It wasn't a bad book, but it was missing something. Unfortunately it just missed the mark for me.
Profile Image for Stephanie Colyer.
424 reviews
December 11, 2017
Very good story

I really enjoyed this story. It was a great story but for me the writing style wasn't my favorite. BUT I would recommend this book to others.
Profile Image for Jani.
36 reviews1 follower
January 14, 2020
3.5 stars

Brielle is a girl who just graduated from college and doesn't know what she is going to do with her life after college. Therfore, she decides to work for her mum's cleaning company. That's how she meets Archer, when his mum hires the company to clean his house. Their first meeting is a mess, Archer doesn't know how to act in front of a beautiful girl as being in a wheelchair put a lot of obstacles in his dating life and Brielle doesn't know he has a disability until she gets to the house and keeps screwing up. Later they decide to become friends and that's where the real story begins.

I liked it, I actually did, which was kind of unexpected. I loved the blurb, because I love the shy/virgin hero thing. However, I read all of this bad reviews that said that the book was insensitive and the characters weren't realistic.

I understood where they came from because I read the same expressions they did. However, it was easy for me to let it go because all of the comments came from a lack of knowledge of what being disabled meant, rather than her being cruel. I also read reviews that said that the characters seemed younger than they were and it might be true in Brielle's case as she is way to positive, sensitive and inmature but I totally thought that it made sense that Archer was a little inmature as it was due to his inexperience in social and dating situations.

What I really like about this book honestly was Archer, he was really cute and shy and very protective of Brielle. He was overall a good guy you just wish you found in real life. I also liked the relationship between Archer and Brielle a lot, especially the beginning with Archers first kiss and the flirting stage of their relationship.

What I didn't like: Archers mum. I didn't like Brielle's mother or sister either but her mum at least apologized and her sister was a teenager (a way over the top teenager, but a teenager nonetheless). However, Archer's mum was way too overprotective. She lived with a son with disability her whole life and should have already got over the stereotypes that come with being disables and she should have got over her anxiety issues, or at least aknowledged them. Her son kept trying to tell her she was asfixiating him and she just wouldn't listen.
Profile Image for Lori.
529 reviews3 followers
September 16, 2017
Really enjoyed this book. It was an entertaining, engaging and enjoyable story that pulled me in immediately and held attention from start to finish. It was creative and a bit different from anything else I have read lately. It has been a long time since I have read a story where one of the main characters is disabled.

It was a sweet, endearing, feel good love story. Not to say there isn't a bit of angst and conflict, there is, it's just not over the top and drawn out. The situations Archer and Brielle find themselves in feel real, normal, authentic and believable. Their relationship runs the gamut of emotions from dislike, to avoidance, to tolerance, to understanding, to friendship and finally love.

Great characters. Even the secondary characters were really good. Even though he starts out very rough around the edges Archer is immediately likable. You can't help but feel for him surly attitude and all. It's not often that you come across the H in the book being more vulnerable in many ways than the h. Brielle was also immediately likable.

Susan Marlowe did a good job with the narration. She has a pleasant voice that is easy to listen to for long periods of time. Her in character narration is good. The out of character narration though is too monotone/flat at times. Especially in the beginning. As the story goes on her tone evens out and has more "life" to it. Her character voices are really good. Both male and female. I have listened to another book that she has narrated and her narration was much more lively so I'm thinking the flatness was intentional to reflect how each character was feeling at the time. I would definitley listen to other books she narrates in the future.

I did notice a mispronounced word or two but this may just be a difference of how people pronounce different words.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily provided this review.
Profile Image for Heather.
439 reviews2 followers
September 26, 2017
Brielle Reyes just graduated from college with a degree in history and philosophy, and no idea what to do with them. She takes a job at her mom's cleaning company while she hunts for a job. Brielle's mom assigns her a cantankerous new client to clean for, Archer Ward. When Brielle arrives to clean his home, she and Archer immediately get off on the wrong foot.

For Archer, Brielle's presence is more than an annoyance, it's a reminder of something he can't have. He doesn't believe he can be with a beautiful woman like Brielle with his disability. The last thing he wants to do is to hold her back, and since Brielle doesn't know if and when she'll be forced to move for a new job, she doesn't want to start something with the vulnerable Archer.

I absolutely loved this book! I loved Brielle and Archer from their first adorably awkward meeting. There was just something about Archer that made me fall for him each time he appeared. He was the perfect mix of vulnerability, shyness, and sweetness. Brielle had her feelings reined in so hard she wouldn't even allow herself to imagine a future with Archer. I thought their relationship was fleshed out really well, and was surprised to think back to realize it was only a few weeks. So much happened between them, it felt like it developed over a longer period of time.

The book was told alternately from Brielle and Archer's point of view, and whenever something amazing happened I just couldn't wait to see it from the other person's point of view. That first kiss! So sweet, so perfect. It gave me butterflies.

I enjoyed the narration, Susan Marlowe performed subtle speaking voices for each character. She had a calm delivery and didn't dramatically overact. I received a copy of the audiobook, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review. This is definitely on my reread list, and I'd 100% recommend it!
Profile Image for Elsa Carrion.
615 reviews89 followers
July 13, 2017
Stars: 4
Chapters: 23 chapters & Epilogue
Length: 334 pgs.
Tense of Story: Third person
Genera: New Adult Contemporary

Good story, good flow not in first person like I usually read, but in third person. Touch of Fondness is the first novel I’ve had the privilege of reading from this author. I truly enjoyed her writing style, and I’m looking forward to reading more from her.

Another good story that deals real problems. Although it mentions that there are four friends, the story is really about one of them and her life back home. The others are mentioned when they contact each other through text messages or calls but they never are reunited after collage. This might be a series where the next book will be about one of the other three friends and their life where they ended up. But in this story it’s about Brielle a recent college graduate unable to locate a job in her field and having to move back in with her mom and Archer, bitter and hateful bound by a wheelchair.

It’s an NA novel so there’s one scene/section for mature audience. I felt that it was rushed but that’s just me.

I would like to express my Gratitude and Thanks to Joy Penny, who provided this e-read for an honest review.
Profile Image for Stephanie (Between the Coverz).
578 reviews4 followers
September 14, 2017
A sweet and cute romance!

Touch of Fondness was a unique, sweet and well-written story. This story will capture your attention from the very beginning. Joy Penny did a good job of pulling at several of your emotions. It gives you all the ooohs and aahhs that you like in a good romance. This was a very thought provoking story with lots to learn from all the characters. The characters are relatable while showing us that there is a special someone for every one even when you least expect it to happen. The author did a good job, in my opinion, of depicting the difficulties and struggles that can come with having a disability. I enjoyed this delightful read immensely.

Susan Marlowe did a good job with the narration. She had a clear and crisp voice that was easy to follow. The voice did not fit for the age of the characters however for me that did not take away from the listening experience. The narrator kept a good pace at reading therefore the story did not feel like it was being rushed or dragging.

This is the first book that I have read by Joy Penny and will not be my last. I recommend Touch of Fondness to anyone that enjoys reading a sweet heartwarming romance that is unique with the happy-ending that we enjoy.
Profile Image for MaLoBe.
482 reviews2 followers
May 6, 2019
Beautiful, bittersweet and romantic love story

At the very beginning of the book it was hard for me to connect with the characters, any of them. Hard to say why, I just simply didn't feel it. But I decided to give this story a chance and when the hero finally emerges in the story line all just fall in the right place. Loved the dual POV and the sweet story of Brielle and Archer. It was kind of heartbreaking but also heart-warming at the same time. The circumstances in which both of them find each other are quite special but not so unusual.
I really liked the way author described with the words the specific life situation of Archer but also all the mess in Brielle's life. Sometimes I was so mad with heroine I wanted to jump right to their world and shake some sense into her but in the same time I know not everything in life is so great and fantastic and not everyone is able to leave in fairytale. Maybe only few of us...
Very well written, great plot and development of the story with fantastic characters. I can't wait to read more stories from the life of the four friends featured in these series.
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