This is where I normally show the cover of the book I’m reviewing. However, due to the discomfort, agitation, and aggravation I felt after reading “Her Touch,” I decided not to show the otherwise sexily photographed and beautifully laid out book cover. The book cover belies what’s inside.
I’ve read all of Alexa Riley’s books. These two women know how to write smut. Good smut. But I guess this one crossed a line that I never thought existed for me.
Ms. Riley pushes the boundaries in the romance genre. Taboo is her specialty. It’s inherent in all her stories, which, like I said, I’ve read. The theme of “daddy and his little girl” – that one I don’t like at all, especially the Innocence series, but it’s, to a certain degree, tolerable (still DNF’ed it). Virgins having a ruddy good time? They’re also part of Riley’s repertoire. Case in point, Shielding Lily, continues to be one of my favorite AR books. I also even like Coach, which was my first Riley-authored book. Teenaged girl and dad’s friend falling in love, with a 12-to-18-year age gap between them? Okay, I can find that hot – but only if the fictional parents approve the relationship.
But in “Her Touch?” I got the heebie-jeebies. A lot of ants metaphorically crawled all over my skin, just because I had the audacity to read this after all of the authors’ warnings in their social media feeds. In my defense, I ignored them because I thought I could handle whatever new taboo AR is dishing out.
As the book’s blurb indicates, it’s primarily the story of how Maggie and Eli met and fell in love. In the middle of this full novel, Eli gets parental custody of 17-yo Maggie, as her dad, Thomas (Eli’s friend and mentor) went missing while on an official mission for the USMC. Maggie’s upset, sure, but her best friend, Alice? Well, she lost it. Turns out she was secretly boinking Maggie’s dad, while she was living with them during her senior year of high school. When Thomas went missing, Alice cried unconsolably and repeatedly, because… well, she’s preggers. That’s right. Eighteen year old Alice, best friend to 17-yo Maggie, is secretly pregnant with her friend’s half-sibling, thanks to Maggie’s 39-yo father. *VOMIT*
There were other overused elements that annoyed me to no end in “Her Touch” (i.e., Eli was apparently so handsome and macho, all the women around him hit on him non-stop, including a teacher who threatened to report his taboo relationship with Maggie if he didn’t go out with her [the teacher]). However, it was the secretly pregnant Alice that broke this camel’s back. The very thought that Thomas impregnating his daughter’s high school best friend is a sexy plot twist?! And Maggie is okay with that, because Alice was a perpetually tearful wimp who was her only friend in her new school?! *EW* Excuse me while I go throw up again.