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Publisher's Summary

Four friends. Four college grads. Four people figuring out that life doesn't always turn out the way you expected.

Brielle Reyes may not have post-college life planned out like some of her friends do, but she figures she'll work for her mother's home cleaning service while job hunting for something that makes use of her history and philosophy degrees. It'll work out as long as she doesn't fall in love. Her last relationship was a disaster and she has no idea where she'll be in a few weeks, let alone the rest of her life. Since the only guy in her age range she sees now on a regular basis is cantankerous if handsome client Archer Ward, she probably won't have a hard time sticking to that vow. Probably.

Archer Ward likes very few things: illustrating as a somewhat-celebrated comic artist and his privacy. When his meddling mother hires him a cleaning service on an almost daily basis because she doesn't fully trust her son to live on his own with his disability, he's at first annoyed - even if his house cleaner is the most beautiful woman he's ever spent more than a few minutes with. When he realizes her dreams may take her far outside of his restricted orbit, he has to decide whether to stifle his interest in her or risk messing up her plans to explore if there's something more between them.

Neither can deny they're growing a little fond of each other, even if falling in love just now makes no sense whatsoever. But how often does love ever make perfect sense?

©2017 Amy McNulty/Joy Penny (P)2017 Amy McNulty/Joy Penny

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

I read hundreds of books each year but this is the first book I've read where someone in a wheelchair is a main character, there's something quite sad about that. I loved this story, it deals with the topic of disability is a very normalising and respectful manner.

Archer and Brielle are interesting because of their interaction. Other than Archer's disability both are very normal and yet the people around them help create some odd and trying situations.

The book is very well written, the story flows and is engaging and I really enjoyed listening to it.

The narration was excellent, smoothly delivered and with great character voices.

This book was supplied free by the author/narrator/publisher and I voluntarily wrote this honest review.

If you found this review helpful would you please take a moment to click yes below, thanks

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A cute, easy listen-More YA than adult romance

Touch of Fondness by Joy Penny was a sweet, easygoing listen. Contrary to the first few lines of the publishers summary, this book doesn't focus on the four friends at all. This is the story of Brielle and Archer, and the beginnings of their romance. Brielle has just finished college and hasn't found a job in her degree area. She starts working for her mom's cleaning company in the mean time. One of her first clients is Archer, a super cute, successful comic artist who happens to be wheelchair bound. At first Archer is kind of a jerk, but the end up connecting and start a romance full of ups and downs as Brielle struggles to determine if there is a possibility of a real future for them.

First off, let's just put it out there. This reminded me of Me Before You a bit. Same general premise, and though this was a perfectly decent listen, Me Before You is by far the better of the two. I know this book is supposed to be a sizzling romance, though it felt a bit more like a YA romance novel with a few non-graphic sex scenes. Again, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but if you're expecting something more graphic and/or hot, you won't find that here. It's a cute, sweet romance story.

Susan Marlowe did a good job with the narration. I have no complaints and I'd happily listen to another of her performances. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very Enjoyable

Any additional comments?

Really enjoyed this book. It was an entertaining, engaging and enjoyable story that pulled me in immediately and held attention from start to finish. It was creative and a bit different from anything else I have read lately. It has been a long time since I have read a story where one of the main characters is disabled.

It was a sweet, endearing, feel good love story. Not to say there isn't a bit of angst and conflict, there is, it's just not over the top and drawn out. The situations Archer and Brielle find themselves in feel real, normal, authentic and believable. Their relationship runs the gamut of emotions from dislike, to avoidance, to tolerance, to understanding, to friendship and finally love.

Great characters. Even the secondary characters were really good. Even though he starts out very rough around the edges Archer is immediately likable. You can't help but feel for him surly attitude and all. It's not often that you come across the H in the book being more vulnerable in many ways than the h. Brielle was also immediately likable.

Susan Marlowe did a good job with the narration. She has a pleasant voice that is easy to listen to for long periods of time. Her in character narration is good. The out of character narration though is too monotone/flat at times. Especially in the beginning. As the story goes on her tone evens out and has more "life" to it. Her character voices are really good. Both male and female. I have listened to another book that she has narrated and her narration was much more lively so I'm thinking the flatness was intentional to reflect how each character was feeling at the time. I would definitley listen to other books she narrates in the future.

I did notice a mispronounced word or two but this may just be a difference of how people pronounce different words.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily provided this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I Like Different!

I enjoy romance stories that go outside the standard trope and Touch of Fondness is one such story. Archer is a brilliant artist but his disability has left him somewhat isolated. Brielle has just graduated from college and is unsure of what direction she wants to go career wise. She heads back home to help out her mother’s cleaning service, that’s when she meets Archer and their relationship slowly begins to bloom and evolve into more.

I enjoyed how this story unfolded. There’s conflict, uncertainty and misunderstandings, but the situations they found themselves confronting felt true and realistic.

Susan Marlow narrates this audiobook in just under 8 ½ hours. I think she did a good job in this fully voiced production. The voicing of some minor characters was a little uneven at times but her pacing was perfect.

If you’re looking for something a little different Touch of Fondness just might do!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An Absolute Gem of a Read

I loved this book! At turns sweet, uncertain, occasionally with angst (but not self pity), I fell for Archer and Brielle's story. Well written and authentic, I really appreciate the inclusion of a disabled male lead, but also how honest the book is with struggles and relationships. (Not simply with Brielle, but with Archer's parents) This is a lovely and adorable read. The narration is wonderful as well, and I tore through the audiobook as quickly as possible. When I reached the end I was sad to say goodbye. This is my first book from this author, but I'll be looking for more of her work. The maid characters aside, I enjoyed all the secondary characters as well. We're just given a taste of Brielle's 3 friends, but I want more. The parents are all great as well. (Even if Archer's mother drove me nuts) All around, this is a very, very good, heartfelt book. Highly recommend! This is a voluntary review of a copy gifted by the author.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't Put It Down!

Brielle Reyes just graduated from college with a degree in history and philosophy, and no idea what to do with them. She takes a job at her mom's cleaning company while she hunts for a job. Brielle's mom assigns her a cantankerous new client to clean for, Archer Ward. When Brielle arrives to clean his home, she and Archer immediately get off on the wrong foot.

For Archer, Brielle's presence is more than an annoyance, it's a reminder of something he can't have. He doesn't believe he can be with a beautiful woman like Brielle with his disability. The last thing he wants to do is to hold her back, and since Brielle doesn't know if and when she'll be forced to move for a new job, she doesn't want to start something with the vulnerable Archer.

I absolutely loved this book! I loved Brielle and Archer from their first adorably awkward meeting. There was just something about Archer that made me fall for him each time he appeared. He was the perfect mix of vulnerability, shyness, and sweetness. Brielle had her feelings reined in so hard she wouldn't even allow herself to imagine a future with Archer. I thought their relationship was fleshed out really well, and was surprised to think back to realize it was only a few weeks. So much happened between them, it felt like it developed over a longer period of time.

The book was told alternately from Brielle and Archer's point of view, and whenever something amazing happened I just couldn't wait to see it from the other person's point of view. That first kiss! So sweet, so perfect. It gave me butterflies.

I enjoyed the narration, Susan Marlowe performed subtle speaking voices for each character. She had a calm delivery and didn't dramatically overact. I received a copy of the audiobook, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review. This is definitely on my reread list, and I'd 100% recommend it!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

More young adult than romance.

I feel that the book was well written however it lacked the romance I was looking for. Narration was very monotone and dry.
“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great read

Any additional comments?

Touch of Fondness by ahoy Penny was a great Read. Brielle's life hasn't gone as she planned since she graduated college. She is currently working at her mom's cleaning company. One of her clients is Archer Ward, a comic artist who is in a wheelchair. I loved reading their story, it is a must read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exciting Story dull Narrator

The story was well written but the narrator put me to sleep three times. She speaks in the same monotone no matter who is talking. This is a love story that defies all odds. Both are fighting things that they feel they can't overcome but are drawn to each other in such a way that they can't help themselves. I love the way the disability was overcome. His Mom was hilarious and his dad just made me proud. He had a way of moving his Mom away so the son could be the man he was supposed to be, Those friends each need their own book. They were just too funny for words. If the narrator was not so laid back or if there was a male and female narrator this book would be a home run. I have listened to this narrator before and it struck me the same way.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting

Any additional comments?

It was interesting. More New Adult than Romance. I don't have a physical disability, but I would've liked it Archer would've been smoother and more confident, especially if it was meant to be a romance. It wasn't as steamy as I'd hoped, but the book was entertaining. The narrator's voice was a little lifeless though. I struggled with giving a 3-4 but ultimately chose a 4. I received this book via Audiobook Boom!