Saturday, March 26, 2011

Danielle's Touch

Danielle’s Touch by Lisa Alexander-Griffin is a lovely story about two people finding their happily ever after. The author provides readers with multi-dimensional, well-developed characters that could easily be people right in our everyday world. So realistic, it made it simple to fall into the story of Danielle and Ethan.
Danielle is working at rebuilding her life after finding the strength to divorce her abusive husband when she first meets Ethan. Needing assistance with restoring his newly purchased Victorian home, Ethan walks into Danielle’s decorating business. The handsome cowboy finds more than just a decorator when he meets the sexy woman behind the counter. At first not sure what to think of the old shop but intrigued by Danielle herself, he sets up an appointment for her to come see his home. And though the last thing on Danielle’s mind is falling for another man, she can’t resist Ethan. (Dare I say that it was love at first sight, whether they admitted to it or not.)
As they develop a relationship – more him pushing, her pulling at first – they find trusting to be their biggest obstacle. While their desire for one another is present, Danielle is still coping with her ex-husband who won’t seem to go away. Her tenacity in reclaiming her life is near heroic, and her strength admirable as she refuses to be sheltered but takes responsibility for her own well-being. The reader will find themselves drawn to Danielle’s resiliency.
Domestic violence is a brave topic for any author to take on and Griffin does it well. Allowing Danielle’s victimization to be part of the story without allowing it to define her was done with perfection. The scenes written in her ex-husband’s point of view gave a frightening look into the mind of a terrible man and allowed readers to see just how he affected Danielle. Clearly her hesitancy in developing a relationship with Ethan was caused by how her ex-husband treated her. Because of those experiences, she has to learn to trust again and through trusting Ethan, she can believe again in love. What a beautiful premise for a book, right?

Ethan is patient with Danielle, even though he’d like nothing more than to shelter her. Dealing with his own fear of loving and losing, Ethan finds he cannot help but fall in love with Danielle. And when he tells her he loves her, he is amazed that it feels right even though he’d believed that impossible since losing his parents. Personally, I think his ability to love was born again from his friendship with Grady, a sweet man (and also a great secondary character) who took Ethan in when his parents passed away. And though readers will like Ethan from the beginning, when Ethan comes to her rescue you fall in love with him.

When Ethan takes Danielle away to an inn, the romance kicks up and the time away allows them to develop a connection that couldn’t happen as quickly in their ordinary lives – good choice by the author.  And while taking them out of their environment was a nice change of pace, the storyline involving the special visitor at the inn was a bit odd and didn’t weave into the rest of the story. Returning from the inn, Griffin doesn’t make it easy for Danielle and Ethan as they are watching over their shoulders for her ex-husband, worried he will continue to try to hurt her. Sure enough there are some tension-filled, suspenseful scenes that have readers flipping pages quickly to find out what happens.

My only real concern with this book is the passage of time. There were scenes when the author took us from morning to evening in the blink of an eye, one week to one month in a page without warning. I found it distracting at times but not enough to deter me from the story because Danielle’s Touch is a beautifully crafted love story with two characters that readers cannot help but fall in love with themselves.

This is a four strawberry book. It's a nice read.

This review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can be seen by clicking on:

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