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When We Touch (A Whiskey Creek novella) (edition 2012)

by Brenda Novak

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11710103,116 (3.97)1
Member:arlenadean
Title:When We Touch (A Whiskey Creek novella)
Authors:Brenda Novak
Info:Mira (2012), Kindle Edition, 102 pages
Collections:Finished Reading
Rating:*****
Tags:contemporary romance, chick lit, novella, whiskey creek series

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When We Touch by Brenda Novak

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This is actually a novella with an approximate page count of 100. I normally do not read novellas because I haven't had great experiences with them. The limited page count often translates to a limited story and limited romance. While this is certainly true with this story I did actually enjoy it.

What Worked: The romance was actually quite believable despite the limited pages. Having the characters with a dating past and knowledge of each other was a pretty smart move on Novak's part. When you create two characters who don't know each other and have them fall in love within 100 pages we end up having to believe in insta-love. Typically, romances readers do not enjoy or believe in insta-love. So, thank goodness for no insta-love!

This novella is listed as #0 (zero) within the series and should be read before starting any of the other books because it is an excellent introduction to characters that keep cropping up within the series. One of those characters, Kyle, is not portrayed in a positive light in this novella but the reader does get a glimpse of intelligence, humility and regret which is a good thing to keep in mind because eventually, Novak will give Kyle another chance at love because this wedding is obviously doomed to end in divorce.

In addition to the negative image Novak created for Kyle she did a doozy of a job on Olivia's sister Noelle. There is absolutely nothing to like about her. If you ever wanted a fictional woman to hate, Noelle is it.

What Didn't Work: Although I really enjoyed hating Noelle she really does come across almost as a caricature of an actual person. She is over the top nasty and if I didn't recognize this as a flaw I'd be a bit remiss in my review.

Speaking of the series as a whole, I think it is important to read them in order. I tried reading the 3rd book first and found that the large cast of secondary characters had very little meaning to me without reading some of their stories first. Because the order in which the series should be read is important I've included it in my 'what didn't work' section. I really think romances should be able to stand-alone even if they are part of a series.

In a Nutshell: Overall this really was a great story. I really enjoyed that Brandon had been in love with Olivia for years and finally was able to act on it. Olivia and Brandon make sense to me. Kyle on the other hand is on my short list of anti-heroes and I'm just wondering what exactly Novak has in store for him. ( )
  ChristinaT. | Dec 3, 2016 |
What a heartfelt and emotional read. My eyes were all misty by the end. This is a great start to a new series that I cant wait to get my hands on all the future books.

Can you imagine the guy you were with for years but asked to take a break from to start up a wedding planning business in another city is now going to marry your sister and she is pregnant on top of that. And to throw more salt on the wound she is the wedding planner for the nuptials.

Olivia Arnold is trying to hold it together but breaks down before reaching her parents. Said breakdown is observed by her ex's step-brother Brandon, someone who she had a crush on in high school. Brandon never thought he was good enough for Olivia so after attending Prom together he acted like he wanted nothing to do with her when that was the farthest thing from the truth.

I know this was supposed to introduce us to the future characters of the upcoming Whiskey Creek books (which it did) but I fell in love with Olivia and Brandon and pouted a little at the end wanting more of there story. Now don't get me wrong - we are given a as close to a HEA as possible for a novella but I wanted more and more and more :) Yes I am being greedy.

I dont normally give 5 stars for a novella but the way I felt at the end of reading this - the emotion I felt - it deserves its 5 star rating. ( )
  CindySnS | Oct 26, 2016 |
Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over

When We Touch is the introductory novella for the Whiskey Creek series. As such, it offered a fun glimpse of this small town and the underlying conflicts within it. But more than that, the novella tells a lovely story about overcoming your doubts and giving love a chance.

That summary might seem odd when the base premise is of a sister stealing the main character’s boyfriend by getting pregnant, but it works. The boyfriend, in a weak moment with Olivia away for a year, steps into the pile of mud that characterizes Olivia’s relationship with her sister. This puts in motion a wild set of events that could so easily have been disastrous but instead open Olivia’s eyes.

When We Touch uses a few of my favorite themes, from the long-term unrequited or unrecognized attraction to the importance of being truthful. The attraction between the characters was beautifully described, while the intimacy is on the light end of contemporary romance.

For a novella, it packed in the complexity. Dysfunctional families is the baseline driver for this story, from how Olivia’s sister behaves to how Brandon (the male lead) has felt second best since his mother remarried, a state he encourages by not speaking up to counter false assumptions even now that he’s an adult.

I love the character development in each one who got a “speaking” role, though I found it odd when Kyle, the cheating boyfriend, grabbed center stage.

At the same time, it was a lovely description of Kyle’s internal battles and succeeds in piquing my interest about what’s going to happen to him now. He’s ultimately a good guy who did something stupid but plans to live up to his mistakes, a conviction hard to see from the outside, and opening the potential for more to the story.

I enjoyed how the people in this town look out for each other and influence each other for the better. I did feel the novella ends a bit abruptly, and this is another entry in the blackmailing pregnancy (though a twist in that it succeeds). However, there was a lot of value to overcome both these elements. There are several life-altering “maybe” moments that upped the tension, places where the main characters have to make a choice that will directly affect the whole story.

I had fun in Whiskey Creek. With the, sometimes misguided, efforts to support demonstrated by practically everyone I met in this town, I can see how it provides a fertile ground for the whole series. ( )
  MarFisk | Sep 19, 2016 |
  fromjesstoyou | Mar 21, 2016 |
When We Touch by Brenda Novak
#.5 Whiskey Creek

Olivia Arnold owns her own wedding planner business out of Sacramento. She's forced back to her hometown after three months in order to plan her sister, Noelle's, wedding--a shotgun wedding with Olivia's own (current) boyfriend, Kyle. She's offered the shoulder of Kyle's stepbrother, Brandon Lucero, an extreme sportsman and professional skier who is home recovering from his last injury. Brandon is considered the black sheep of his family, but Olivia has always known there was more to him than people could see.

It's hard to imagine how forgiving a person would have to be to even speak to her sister and her boyfriend again after such a betrayal. Then add insult to injury by her own parents forcing her to plan the wedding. Horrible people.

Great story packed into a short novella. ( )
  AddictedToMorphemes | Dec 29, 2015 |
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Book description
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?
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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?… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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