My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I lost a lot of sleep because of this book. I could not put it down. I read Before I Go last year, so when I saw that Colleen Oakley had a new book, I requested an advanced copy. Boy, am I glad I did. Close Enough To Touch is great!
Jubilee Jenkins is allergic to other people. A touch makes her break out in a rash and a kiss can kill her. After almost dying from a kiss that was part of a schoolyard bet, she has carved out a tiny life herself holed up in her house for the last nine years. Then, her mother dies and the checks she had been sending Jubilee stop coming in the mail. Jubilee has to rejoin the outside world and risk being touched.
Eric is a mess. He has adopted Aja after his parents are killed in a plane crash, he and his wife are newly divorced, and his teenaged daughter won’t speak to him. He is just making it through the days until he meets Jubilee. She intrigues him like no one else and he can’t stop finding reasons to see her again.
Close Enough To Touch is the kind of romantic story that I love. There isn’t a sappy scene in the whole book. When Jubilee and Eric are together the tension is palatable but in a very real way. Both of them have so much to lose by letting down their defenses, yet I was rooting for them to do just that. The subplot of Aja’s grief and fantasy life deepened the main plot and made me want to reach into the book and hug the little boy. All the secondary character were great actually.
Loved it, loved it, loved it. I am sure we’ll be hearing much more from Colleen Oakley and I would not be surprised if this book becomes a movie someday. Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for an advanced copy of the novel.