A guest review by Tj
Summary Review: A heart warming story wherein love heals a scarred and fragile young man.
Always hiding his tormented past along with his scarred body, Kaden James finds it difficult to keep a job. Luck finally turns his way when he finds work as a cook on a Montana ranch, where he meets terrifyingly handsome Logan Michaels. Logan is different from any man Kaden’s ever met, and before long, he finds himself falling in love with the big cowboy. But Kaden’s nightmares won’t let go of him so easily, and he’s not just jumping at shadows. He has nearly a lifetime of abuse, horrifying memories, and pain addiction to overcome. Can Logan’s gentle touch help Kaden heal inside?
Kaden James suffers from crippling anxiety attacks. As much as he tries to bury his past, his demons live in nightmares that interrupt his sleep. During the day, he is a skittish and frightened young man, whose neuroses rule his life and his biggest fear, that of large men, costs him every job he lands. When he loses his latest job after a panic attack, the employment agency offers him a three month stint as cook at a ranch in Montana. Somehow, this appeals to Kaden, who hopes the quiet will calm his fears. Unfortunately he didn’t think this plan completely through and upon arriving at the ranch, sees all the men, the scariest being the very large and very male Logan.
After observing Kaden’s skittish behavior and witnessing a panic attack, Logan and his sister Shea quickly realize how troubled Kaden is, and try to help and protect him. Kaden’s issues will absolutely tug at your heart strings, and the gentle way that Logan and Shea deal with him will make you smile. It was heart warming to watch as very slowly, Kaden starts to trust them both, and I especially loved how sweet the big cowboy was with this fragile young man. I really enjoyed the building of their relationship which was nicely paced and not rushed, and the obstacles that they had to overcome flowed from the characters and story nicely.
There were a few things that didn’t completely work for me. Firstly, Logan was supposed to be strictly heterosexual prior to meeting Kaden, and although he did wonder about his feelings a few times, he seemed quickly comfortable with this newfound love for a man in and out of bed. A big part of the problem for me was that his acceptance was relayed to the reader as a conclusion that Logan had come to after some brief internal dialog, rather than having us work through the process with him. As a result, Logan’s acceptance seemed too easy.
Secondly, considering Kaden’s history and the panic attacks that he suffered from, he acted only briefly frightened during their love making, and was able to “tell” himself to calm down. This didn’t seem possible after so little time had passed in light of the severity of his abuse.
Lastly, towards the end of the story I was confused when a new plot line was introduced. This took the story on a tangent that seemed unnecessary and detracted from the main story. Other readers may not take issue with this development and may actually enjoy it. Luckily this comes quite late in the story and the issues are resolved so that Kaden and Logan can have their HEA.
Overall, despite the issues that I had, for the most part Touch Me Gently was well done with an interesting and heart warming look at the healing power of love. I think this would definitely be of interest to readers who enjoy this theme.