Untouched (Florence, Arizona #1)
by Lauren Hawkeye
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.
Lauren Hawkeye is a new author for me and I'm so glad I came across her work! I had been looking for something a little different to get me out of a reading funk and Untouched did just that.
Alexa Kendrick is struggling to find her place in the world after an accident that happened a year ago that nearly killed her, left her with no memory of the accident itself, and no desire to do the one thing that she's always loved... Paint. So when a woman shows up claiming to be her half sister, she believes that visiting Florence, Arizona, the town where her sister lives, is just what she needs.
On her first day in town, Alexa and Nate meet and feel an instant connection towards each other. Nate is struggling with depression and survivors guilt and has trouble just getting out of bed in the morning... Well, that is until he meets Alexa.
Both a little lost and a little broken, Nate and Alexa are absolutely perfect for each other. Through their connection they help each other heal, until Alexa's world is rocked by a HUGE twist in the story. Alexa finds a journal, that she believes retells something horrific that happened to her sister, Ellie, and while I wasn't fully convinced of that, I went with it for the most part. Now I can't say what happens without ruining the story but I will say this... Prepare to be shocked!
Alexa and Nate definitely have some obstacles to overcome, but I was so glad to see Nate push aside his issues to be there for Alexa when she really needs him. Realizing how much baggage she comes with, I expected him to walk away and then eventually come crawling back but that's not how it played out. Nate is Alexa's rock, he stuck by her even when she didn't expect him to, and although I wish we got to actually see her struggles rather than just have them told to us in the span of a few paragraphs, I was happy with the way it turned out.
Untouched was a mysterious and intriguing romance and I would highly recommend it if you're looking for an escape from the typical, angsty reads. Alexa's sister, Ellie, has her own story in the prequel novella to Untouched and I just might read it, not because I feel that I need to to better understand the story, but because I'd like to know more about Ellie and Gabe.
Lauren Hawkeye/ Lauren Jameson never imagined that she’d wind up telling stories for a living… though when she looks back, it’s easy to see that she’s the only one who is surprised. Always “the kid who read all the time”, Lauren made up stories about her favorite characters once she’d finished a book… and once spent an entire year narrating her own life internally. No, really. But where she was just plain odd before publication, now she can at least claim to have an artistic temperament.
Lauren lives in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada with her husband, toddler, pit bull and idiot cat, though they do not live in an igloo, nor do they drive a dogsled. In her nonexistent spare time Lauren can be found knitting (her husband claims that her snobby yarn collection is exorbitant), reading anything she can get her hands on, or sweating her way through spin class. She loves to hear from her readers!
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