(Silver Creek #3)
by Laura Moore
Published: November 24, 2015
Publisher: Ballantine Books
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For fans of Linda Lael Miller and Diana Palmer comes Laura Moore’s breathtaking final installment in her Silver Creek contemporary romance series.
The youngest of the three Knowles siblings, Quinn has in her blood the love of the land and its beautiful creatures. Raising enough money to build an animal sanctuary is a dream Quinn lives every day—while fending off her family’s well-intentioned matchmaking schemes. Though harboring secret fears about intimacy, Quinn soon realizes she cannot fight her growing attraction to a man who has suddenly entered her life.
Scarred by his months in Afghanistan and the violence he witnessed there through his camera lens, photojournalist Ethan Saunders throws himself into hard ranching work as a prescription for healing. But falling for Quinn has given him the one thing he thought he’d lost forever: hope. Ethan discovers that Quinn, like the innocent animals she rescues, is shy, and afraid of entrusting her heart to a man. Passion soon awakens Ethan’s strength, and his tender seduction may be just what Quinn needs to believe in herself—and in his love.
My Thoughts: Once Touched is my first book by Laura Moore and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I quickly fell in love with the Knowles family and Silver Creek. While this is the third book in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone, though I now want to go back and read the first two books in the series as well. Quinn Knowles is the youngest of the Knowles siblings and the only girl, though she works just as hard if not harder than the men on the ranch. She loves animals and can't resist taking in an injured or orphaned animal in need. The only thing she has a problem with is all the "couples in love" that are around her. She's convinced that this just isn't meant for her, especially with her less than successful track record.
Ethan Saunders is a photographer/photo journalist who used to spend his summers at Silver Creek when he was younger. After an extended assignment in Afghanistan, Ethan has returned to the States after being severely injured in an IED explosion. He has requested to come to Silver Creek while he recovers. Being 10 years older than Quinn, he still remembers her as a little girl with pigtails, which he soon discovers she so is not anymore. Ethan is not in the best of moods and is still harboring a lot of anger and bitterness as a result of what happened, but Quinn doesn't allow him to get away with his attitude, and gives it right back to him.
As they spend more time together, their relationship progresses as does their romance. What starts off as something casual soon becomes something so much more. Ethan's physical wounds have healed, but his emotional wounds are still very present and very raw. Quinn faces the tough choice of doing what's best for Ethan, even if it means losing him in the process.
I loved both Quinn and Ethan's characters, as well as all the secondary characters as well. Laura Moore is a very talented and gifted writer who just made the characters, the setting, and the animals come to life. The story was touching, romantic, sexy, heartbreaking, heartwarming, and just an overall good read.