December 23, 2014

REVIEW: Untouched (Florence, Arizona #1) By, Lauren Hawkeye

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Some secrets are best left locked away in the past…. 

Alexa Kendrick has no recollection of the car accident that left her scarred and sent her life careening wildly off course. When the half-sister she thought she’d never meet shows up at her door with an invitation to a new life, Alexa finds herself in Florence, Arizona, a town notorious for being populated with more prison inmates than actual citizens…a town that has done its best to hide its own dark secret.

After Ellie is called out of town, she leaves her sister with the keys to her flower shop and Alexa finds herself swapping lives with her sibling: running Ellie’s business, living in the house left to them both by their absentee father…and forging a smoldering relationship with sexy-as-sin penitentiary officer, Nate Fury—a man with his own demons.

But arranging flowers by day and tangling with the only man who has ever seen her real self by night isn’t enough to silence the mysterious panic that fuels Alexa’s dark dreams. When Nate brings home a book written by an inmate, one describing an unspeakable crime, the shackles binding Alexa’s own lost memories begin to shatter. And as the devastating truth comes to light, she realizes that Nate holds the key to unlocking her past, as well as her heart.

This is technically the first book in the Florence, Arizona series. This series also includes a prequel novella that is about Ellie. This is Alexa’s story. I have not read much from Lauren Hawkeye. But I did enjoy this sweet, slightly dark, romance.

“They were strangers still, and yet each soul recognized, yearned form needed the other.”

Alexa has been in a car accident that she can’t remember. It has left her the only survivor and she has lost the want to do what she used to love. When a woman claiming to be her sister finds her the creative juices start flow and she realizes she needs to go to Florence to see what there is for her there. She needs to be a peace with the whole the accident has left in her memory. When she gets there strange things start happening. She starts remembering snippets of her father and grandmother and for some reason the prison she drives by on the way in is starting to break through some of her minds barriers. Then she meets Nate.

“They were at the point of no return- one more kiss, and that indescribable things between them would become a link that couldn’t be broken.”

Nate has been through his own turmoil that has left him in a depression he has just now fought to free himself. Once a cop in Los Angeles he moved to Florence to get away from the memories. Now he works at a corrections officer at one of the many prisons. What he doesn’t expect is to meet Alexa. Someone who brings light into his dark world. Nate’s character was a bit of a mystery. Even though it was told from his POV at points we still don’t get the chance to really connect with him.

“He loved this woman. He was hers, as much as she was his. And he was never going to let her go.”

The plot was interesting. Everything was really focused on Alexa and her memories. She was doing everything she could to figure out her father as well as the things she started to remember about the accident. I loved how the author gave us visuals of Alexa’s paintings. It gave us more of look inside her head that we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. I really wish we had gotten more from Nate. Even towards the end Nate was a stranger to us and pretty much Alexa as well.

“But when I was inside of you, when I had you in my arms, I just thought… there she is. The piece that I’ve been missing.”

The author got right down to the point. She didn’t waste time on unnecessary words or scenes. She kept the story and the romance pretty straight forward. If you don’t like insta-love this book isn’t for you. I recommended this book to people who are looking for straight-forward, short, and sweet romances. Overall I was really into this book and I can’t wait to read the next installment in this series.

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