- Author Jo Goodman
- Release Date June 4, 2019
- Publisher Berkley
- ISBN/ASIN 9780440000648
- Our Rating
- Reviewed by Dorine
A TOUCH OF FOREVER is the best meet-cute I’ve read. It’s easy to root for this couple because they’re adorable, and their flirting made me smile.
Roen Shepard’s family encouraged artistic talent, but his yearning is numbers. That talent earned him an engineer surveyor position with Northeast Rail. His calculations and negotiations pave the way for the railroad’s expansion. That’s what brings him to Frost Falls.
Widow Lily Salt and her four children do what they can to make ends meet. Lily sews, and her oldest son Clay is an “odd jobber.” Together, they mind the three younger children. These children really add to the story with their quirky antics and conversations.
From the very beginning, I was enchanted by Lily and Roen. I don’t remember ever reading a romance about a widow with four children as the heroine. This was a pleasant surprise, especially that a man would even consider her. Roen is smitten with Lily from first sight, and I loved that he didn’t fear an instant family, but welcomed it. I really enjoyed Lily’s son Clay’s interactions with Roen. They’re both ornery characters with fun-loving hearts.
Lily is peculiar, quiet, and not one to give an inch in relationships. Her past makes her fearful of people in general, but she can’t resist Roen. His wit and persistence tear down Lily’s walls. By the end, we realize what makes Lily so standoffish and stubborn, but while she’s pushing Roen away, it’s hard to fathom why.
Roen is not without insecurities, even though he hides them well. Lily is a great companion whose attributes are exactly what Roen wants in a wife. Getting them to the altar is convenient, but will they fall madly in love?
Roen is good friends with Ben, the sheriff and hero from book two, A TOUCH OF FLAME. Ben and his doctor wife, Ridley, play an active role in this story. This book easily stands on its own, but I like this couple so much that I can’t wait to read their story. The repartee between Ben and Roen is comical, proving they don’t take life too seriously.
Lily and Roen are adorable together. Their dialogue and instincts toward one another are very enjoyable to witness. They made me laugh because they’re so darn cute.
Part of the storyline involves fighting racism toward a young Chinese woman who works at Ben’s mom’s hotel restaurant. She’s pivotal to the plot but also has a charming romance brewing.
Author Jo Goodman is very good at illustrating with her words. I love her details, the way she describes the slightest movement and expression that tells a story as much as the dialogue. This detail can seem like it slows the story down, but I never rush through it or skip it. I love the nuance it gives the story, making it come alive visually. Goodman is a master at using simple dialogue, short and sweet, sometimes with barbs, to engage the reader in her characters’ personalities. I love that.
Although a lot is happening in this book, you still get to stroll through the town with the characters and get a feel for what it was like to live in the West in 1901. I related to the characters, and they kept me entertained. There is some suspense mixed in with a very macabre villain. I don’t remember his fate getting tied up completely, so I wonder if he’ll influence a sequel? That guy is creepy and I’d love to know he got his due.
A TOUCH OF FOREVER is unique in many ways, including the last chapter. I love Goodman’s style, and I can’t wait to dig into my ever-growing pile of her backlist. Don’t miss reading A TOUCH OF FROST, the first book in THE COWBOYS OF COLORADO series, my recommended read at Romance Junkies.