Title: The Need to Touch, 2nd edition
Series: Stay True, #1
Author: , Natalya Parks
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel (282 pages)
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 25th, 2015)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts
Blurb: 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.
Product Link: http://www.amazon.com/Need-Touch-Stay-True-Book-ebook/dp/B00V6IVRHU
Review: The Need to Touch is the story of Ryder and Ben, college roommates turned lovers practically from day one. Ryder is forced to attend college by his grandfather, but once he’s there and forms a bond with his roommate Ben, Ryder never wants to leave. This doesn’t bode well with his grandfather who had counted on Ryder returning and running the family Ranch one day. Since Ryder lost his mother, his pops is the only family he has, and he doesn’t want to alienate him. But Ryder also wants to be his own man and make his own decisions.
Ben’s life is far different from Ryder’s. His parents are both alive and kicking, but Ben has little to no contact with them. The only reminders he has of his absentee father are the nightmares he still has over the abuse he suffered when he was younger at the hands of his father, and a fat bank account from monthly checks his father sends. It’s well into six figures, but Ben refuses to touch it, unless…
The two are inseparable from the start, unsure of how the relationship will progress, uncertain how long they will be together.
But as time progresses they both open up to each other more and more sharing secrets, truths and eventually, love. But Ben still holds back a bit, mostly out of fear of admitting he loves Ryder, then to have to watch Ryder walk away. Everyone Ben has ever trusted or loved has hurt him, so he’s understandably skittish. Then there is Ryder’s pops and his ex-best friend slash ex-boyfriend of sorts that seem to be shadows, forever looming over Ryder’s head.
Ryder and Ben will have to be completely honest with themselves and each other if their relationship is going to last long-term. The odds are already stacked against them. They are very young, Ben is Ryder’s first real relationship, and they don’t have the strongest support system at the moment. But if they want to build a life together strongly enough to fight for it, they will find a way.
I really enjoyed the concept of this story, the coming of age and figuring out who you are aspect. There were some ups and downs and while Ben and Ryder latch onto each other quickly, they still have to navigate the rough waters of a relationship. It’s not insta-love by any means. There is a lot they have to figure out first.
At times the story was a little choppy, didn’t flow from one chapter to the other as well as I would have liked. And the Landon thing, saw that coming a mile away and it kind of conveyed a little forced, enough so that it pulled me out of the story.
Overall I really enjoyed this story to spite the few issues I had with content and cohesiveness. I was really rooting for Ryder and Ben and wanted them to figure things out in whatever way made it possible for them to stay together. The story ends on a cliffhanger and I’m so happy I already have book 2 to sink my teeth into, I don’t have to wait for it.
If you are a fan of coming of age stories, finding yourself, those hard-fought happy ever after’s, then you’ll enjoy this one as well, I’m sure.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *