From the blurb:
A passion that runs soul deep…
Zoe Sutherland can’t stand the pushy, arrogant architect Dale Cavallo. He was just too damn sure of himself, too handsome, too…everything. Maneuvered into working as the interior decorator on his latest project, a glamorous new hotel, Zoe can’t keep her mind on the job. And worse, the strange man won’t give her access to the hotel’s floor plans. How is she supposed to finish the design when she doesn’t have the plans? And when the obnoxious man distracts her with every smoldering look, every touch…
Dale has one goal: get rid of the pesky interior designer. Since he’s been forced into close proximity with the beautiful Zoe, everything’s gone downhill. And to make matters worse, she’s only out to further her own career—and he’s not about to give her the hotel’s plans so she can steal his ideas. He needs to get her out of his system, and sleeping with her seems like the best way to do that. When it comes to women, he’s found the best way to handle them is to love ’em and leave ’em. But something strange is happening…because after a night of loving Zoe, he’s finding it harder than ever to leave…
I thoroughly enjoyed Elsa’s book Touched to the Heart, and so I picked up this book excited to immerse myself back in this story world. The book did not disappoint at all: I was delighted to meet Zoe and Dale and follow their journey in love.
A real strength of this series is the family aspect. Zoe is one of the Sutherland sisters, and Dale one of the Cavallo brothers. In the first book, Touched to the Heart, these two families are united by one of the Cavallo brothers and one of the Sutherland sisters falling in love. Which leaves the other Cavallo and Sutherlands in close proximity to each other, and fighting their feelings!
I love that we see the characters of Touched to the Heartin this book, both those who’ve already found love and those who are yet resisting it; it was like visiting with old friends. I especially love how the sisters and brothers contrast; they each have their own foibles and flaws and drivers, and are quite different in outlooks and personalities, which makes for interesting reading.
I must especially mention the Sutherland mother – a romance novelist with a passion for happy-ever-afters. I love her character the most; she reminds me of myself.
In this book, I found the story really compelling. We launch straight in with smouldering attraction between Zoe and Dale, but both are determined to resist the other, due to deep-seated trust issues. The chemistry between them is fiery and vivid, and I was soon rooting for them to find away to be together. A dramatic incident breaks down the wall between them, but it is too easy to erect it once more. Ultimately, the characters must let go of their inner demons before they can be truly ‘touched to the soul’.
Speaking of soul, there is so much in the setting as well. I really enjoy learning a little about this part of the world, and imagining the characters living there; it makes a refreshing change to visit South Africa.
The wonderful ending left me happy and smiling – and eager for the next book. As I read, I kept wondering about the other Sutherland sister, who appears to be in the midst of some kind of ominous drama we don’t fully understand. I am very keen to read her side of the story next.
In all, a fabulously passionate, evocative read, with loveable characters, a true-to-life story and all the drama, emotion and smouldering tension one could wish for in a romance novel.
Touched to the Soulis available now from Amazon; click on the book cover below to visit the store.