Review: The Need To Touch (Stay True Series #1) by Natalya Parks & Brooke Johnson

Ryder and Ben, college roommates from separate backgrounds, collide in this emotional book. Both are determined to fight for their love, but their family and friends may make things more difficult than either imagined. Will they be able to stand strong together, or will those around them try to destroy their plans.

You can only win someone’s heart once you’ve captured it.

Nineteen year old Ryder Harrison grew up near a small town in Montana, working on the family’s ranch and in love with his best friend, Landon Pennington. That was until his Grandfather decided he needed to go to college in California. Ryder promised his Mom before she died that he would finish his education. Staying true to his word, Ryder packs his clothes, and heads to California, confident that it would all be one big disaster. The only thing he hadn’t planned on was meeting Bentley Carter.

Twenty year old Bentley Carter has enough emotional issues to write his own ‘How to Cope’ manual. Surviving an abusive childhood, he made a personal promise to always stay true to himself, and never let emotions overrule his common sense. Content with his current life and friend with ‘benefits’, Ben is determined to not let his new roommate affect him.

Uncertain about their places in the world, and with each other, Ryder and Ben struggle to understand the person who is not what they thought they wanted, yet who they are unable to live without. Living in a sometimes cruel and unforgiving world they are determined to embrace the reality of falling in love and the challenges that follow.

What did I just read? This is by far one the zaniest contemporary romances I've ever read.

I'm not even sure where to start....

First let me say there were parts of this book that I loved. They are what drove me to keep reading. Every time I wanted to give up another good chapter would keep me from doing so. The bones of this story are good. Really good. The execution, not so much.

This read like a daytime soap opera in more ways than one. A daytime soap opera never ends and that's the way this book felt. It seemed to go on and on and on. Amazon says 169 pages. It felt like 369. I feel a good content editor would have helped tighten this up quite a bit. There was too many unnecessary details and conversations and scenes that did nothing to enhance the story and at times really detracted from it.

This also needed a line editor. Sentences like this really pulled me out of a story I was already struggling to finish: "It had been awhile since we had sex and once the close were gone...." Ummm, yeah. I started highlighting spelling and grammar errors but somewhere around 25% I gave up. Also see blurb.

If you've ever watched a daytime soap you know how ridiculous the plot can get. Unfortunately there were several instances of that here. Perhaps the most bizarre, a video chat with one of the MCs and at the other end his mother's tombstone! I'm not joking here, it happened.

There was lots of sex in the story. It seemed excessive but that may be just me. Some of it was really well written and made me sit up and take notice, so to speak. And then there's stuff like this: "I felt every burst, every drop of cum that filled my ass as his body convulsed under me." Say what?

There's also a really big cliffhanger at the end, just like the Friday episode of the daytime soap. Not sure I'll be there for the next installment of this one unless a trusted friend reads it first and gives the green light.

There was some humor here that I enjoyed. There was some sweet and romantic times that made me swoon. I didn't dislike the book and I've seen much worse as far as editing. I guess I just had really high hopes after seeing all the great reviews and felt very disappointed and let down with what was here.

If you like daytime soaps, this may be right up your alley. For me it was Days of Our Lives meets Beverly Hillbillies. Toss in the editing, or lack of, and it just didn't work out so well.

I have to point out there are lots of 4 & 5 star ratings and reviews on Goodreads and Amazon so it's entirely possible that this is a case of "it's me not you". I desperately want one of my friends to read this just so I can see if there reaction is similar to mine. Hummm, who wants to volunteer and take one for the team?

Find more info on Goodreads!

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