From the publisher:


When little-known writer Taylor Scott is granted two weeks to interview a famous reclusive author, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. So is the chance to rekindle her friendship with Mike Greene, who happens to be the author’s assistant. But as feelings deepen and time winds down, Taylor will have to choose between the story that could launch her career and an unexpected chance at love.

A Touch of Heaven

As Regan Amerson makes the emotional decision to sell their family home, her mother wins a home makeover from a reality TV show. Regan is furious, and jaded host Sawyer Bennett isn’t thrilled either. That is, until he meets Regan–and finds himself enamored by the fiercely independent beauty. She may want nothing to do with him, but Sawyer isn’t one to give up easily…

This book is a reissue of two previously published stories by Samantha Chase: Exclusive and A Touch of Heaven.  I enjoyed Chase’s Shaughnessy Brothers series and eagerly awaited each new title.  However, her other works have tended to be hit or miss with me.  Unfortunately, this collection was a miss.  Each of the stories is more of a novella length.  I find the novella to be a difficult format for romance.  The compressed nature of novella doesn’t really give enough time for the characters to develop or the story to breathe.  Both Exclusive and A Touch of Heaven shared this issue with both relationships feeling superficial.  The plots felt rushed and there was really no pay off with the couples in either story.  Both just sort of instantly fall in love and it’s a little unclear to the reader why.

Of the two stories I enjoyed Exclusive the least.  There was little tension to the plot and the mystery was very straightforward and easy to guess.  While neither Taylor nor Mike clicked with me as characters, I found Mike to be a difficult romantic lead to like.  He came across as very manipulative of Taylor and petulant when he didn’t get his way.  Taylor is passive throughout the story and one dimensional.  The story also wrapped up much too quickly with a tidy ending that did not seem earned.  A Touch of Heaven is slightly better, if only because neither lead is as unlikeable as Mike.  The premise of Regan and her mother appearing on a home makeover show had potential but again the plot felt underdeveloped and very straightforward.  Regan and Sawyer fall in love instantly, but do not seem to communicate well.  They talk about what a deep connection they have, but this is told to the reader not shown.  Like Exclusive there is a rushed and tidy ending to the story.

Overall, skip this collection as the stories lack substance or likeable characters.  Try Chase’s Shaughnessy Brothers series instead.

1/2020 Caitlin Brisson

EXCLUSIVE/A TOUCH OF HEAVEN by Samantha Chase. Sourcebooks Casablanca (November 6, 2018). ISBN 978149262268. 416 p.


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