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Once Touched by Laura Moore
Once Touched

Book Three of the Silver Creek Series

Ballantine Books (November 2015)
ISBN-10: 0345537025
ISBN-13: 978-0345537027


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"
Simply put, Once Touched is a feel-good-story that you won’t want to miss!"
Scarlett Leigh - Heroes and Heartbreakers

  



Three siblings, an extraordinary family, a lasting heritage—in the irresistible Silver Creek Ranch trilogy, they’ll fight for the land and the people they love.

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.


The Silver Creek Series
Once Touched by Laura Moore Once Tasted by Laura Moore Once Tempted by Laura Moore
Book Three Book Two Book One


 

The Rosewood Trilogy
Trouble Me by Laura Moore Believe in Me by Laura Moore Remember Me by Laura Moore
Book Three Book Two Book One



Past Releases
In Your Eyes by Laura Moore Night Swimming by Laura Moore Chance Meeting by Laura Moore Ride a Dark Horse by Laura Moore





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Reviews

 

"ONCE TOUCHED is a very sweet and beautiful story of hope, healing and love and I really enjoyed it.

 

The youngest of the Knowles siblings, Quinn is a born nurturer, with a very large heart and a passion for the land and animals, especially abused and neglected ones, some of which she has personally rescued. But Quinn fears that loving her animals may be all there is for her and her experiences have only reinforced that belief. But when a damaged man takes refuge at the ranch, will Quinn take him on as one of her projects or will she open her heart up to the possibility of love?

 

Ethan Saunders has very fond memories of the time he spent on the Silver Creek ranch and when he needs a place to recuperate from injuries sustained in Afghanistan, Silver Creek is his first choice, especially with the added bonus of being far away from his well-meaning but hovering family. The ranch and Quinn are exactly what Ethan needs to begin healing and letting go of his survivor’s guilt and maybe return to his career as an accomplished photojournalist, but not before attraction between them blossoms into an intense love.

 

I love Quinn. She’s a wonderful character, beautiful on the inside as well as the outside, but what makes her so appealing is everything that makes her who she is – her fears, her hang-ups, her big heart, her selflessness and her willingness to risk it all for love.

 

I love how patient and gentle Ethan was with Quinn, taking the time to earn her trust and ease her fears, just letting her move at her own pace. Ethan and Quinn together are so good and the tender moments, the passion, the sweetness combine to make this a very heartwarming and romance. My favorite quote is simple, but says everything: “…you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, Quinn. I like the way you make me feel— any time of day, anyplace we are.

 

Catherine

 The Sassy Bookster

 

***

 

"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."

 

 Ellen

Always YA at Heart

 

***

 

 

"I loved this book. I read it in one setting. I couldn’t believe how much I loved Moore’s writing. She made Quinn into the kind of character that I love. Strong-willed, independent, quirky and hilariously intelligent.

 

I loved how adamant she was that she didn’t want to get married. That she wanted to be wild and free. Ethan her love interest in the book spent his career being wild and free. Are they both able to settle down together? Can Ethan be happy with a slower paced life? I just wanted to read faster to find out. Quinn had such a kind heart that really wanted her to have her happy-ever-after even if she didn’t want one.

 

Ethan is the kind of man I fall for. Very smart in all aspects of life. He isn’t lacking in courage or chivalry. Except his life is forever changed and is no longer the same man. I really liked how Ethan evolved throughout the book. He became a different that had even more integrity and grit. I really liked that Ethan was so broken and needed fixing and to find himself.

 

I’m beyond excited that I have a new author to love other than my usual cowboy romance authors. I really love the humor that Moore puts into her dialogue. It makes the story more real for me. I definitely need to get the first two books in this series."

 

Aubrey

Romancing the Book

 

***

 

"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.

 

In her Silver Creek series, Laura Moore has created a trifecta of delights. Once Touched is a perfect example of a small town romance done right with a unique setting, appealing characters, and a splendid love story. The setting is unique because it is a wonderful mix of small town coziness with big city sophistication—the Knowles family lives on a working ranch that is also a resort. It the sort of place that even the most discriminating of readers can imagine visiting…

 

 …The characters are charming. The Knowles’ family interaction with each other showcases the best aspects of family life—the unwavering love; the steadfast support, and even the teasing, like Quinn’s brothers Ward and Reid show her…

 

…And while I’ve enjoyed every character’s story— this is the third and last book in the series—I do have to admit that from the very beginning Quinn captured my imagination. Part of it, of course, is her love of animals. Once Touched is a smorgasbord of animal delight—an adult version of a splendid petting zoo. The scenes with Quinn interacting with her rescued creatures is touching—from her loud obnoxious parrot; her re-homed wolf; her skittish horses; her adorable rabbit; her loyal dog; her independent cat and of course her amusing, frisky goats. In fact, her goats, are the first thing that Ethan and Quinn have in common…

 

…It is easy to identify with Quinn, too—not just because of her love of animals, but because she wonders what is wrong with her. Why isn’t she sexually attracted to men who are clearly interested in her?...

 

…But Quinn discovers what we all have to discover—that there is nothing wrong with her –the right man makes all the difference…

 

...But of course the heart of the book, is a charming story of two people falling in love—finally finding the right person—the person that understands them. Plus Moore just does a wonderful job of illustrating the important building blocks of love—not only sexual attraction but caring; understanding; and common values.

 

Simply put, Once Touched is a feel-good-story that you won’t want to miss!"

 

Scarlett Leigh

Heroes and Heartbreakers

 

 

***

 

"Once Touched by Laura Moore is the third in her Silver Creek series. I read and loved the second one, still haven’t gotten round to reading the first book.

 

Quinn is the youngest of three siblings, and is the only girl, and being brought up on a ranch, Quinn learned to be tough, but for all her toughness she is totally clueless when it comes to men.

 

She brings rescued animals back to the ranch to heal, and usually keeps them, she has a bad mouthed bird, a dog, a cat, several horses, and a small herd of goats. She dreams of opening her own haven for animals one day.

 

She is told by the men she dates, how pretty she is, but she won’t let them too close, she is scared, and after a few attempts with a few of those men, she decides that sex is overrated, or there must be something wrong with her.

 

Then her parents ask Quinn to pick up an old family friend who is coming to recover from a severe injury, from the airport. She remembers Ethan, who was always at the ranch when she was a little girl and he would spend hours helping her to ride her favourite pony. But her childhood memories are soon turned to dust. The man Quinn knew, wasn’t there, and in his place was a broken man, a man so immersed in his anger and pain that she didn’t recognize him, sparks fly and not in a positive way.

 

Ethan is a photojournalist, and has just come back from taking photos in Afghanistan. After suffering from a bomb blast, all Ethan wants to do is recover and get on with life, and unsure if he will ever have the confidence to pick up a camera again, Ethan just wants to live day to day.

 

But little by little Quinn helps heal this scarred and damaged man. And in return he shows Quinn what a real relationship has to offer. They might just start out as friends with benefits, but it soon quickly turns into more.

 

But misunderstandings and mistrust drive a huge wedge between Quinn and Ethan, can they restore each other’s faith, and will their love survive? I love her interaction with her brothers Wade and Reid. Those books are one and two in the trilogy you get a nice glimpse of them too.

 

 Once Touched is another wonderful story by Laura Moore."

 

Julie B.

The Reading Cafe

 

 

***

 

"I am sad to say goodbye to the Silver Creek series. I loved the first two books and was really excited when I found out that Quinn was getting her own book. Quinn is the youngest of the Knowles family. I knew Quinn’s story was going to be good.

 

Quinn is a smart, witty, animal loving, and rescuer of all things. But poor Quinn has been having to deal with both of her brothers falling in love. Quinn doesn’t think that love will ever be for her. She is just not good at it or maybe she has not found the right person yet.

 

Ethan Saunders just wants to be left alone and needs to recover without having to deal with a lot of questions. But what Ethan finds on the ranch is so much more than just recovery and hard work.

 

This was a great story and I thought that Ms. Moore did an excellent job or bring this trilogy to a close. While I truly hope that this is not our last visit to Silver Creek, if it was I am glad to see that everything has been wrapped up."

 

Kimberly

4.5 Hearts

Books-n-Kisses

 

***

Excerpt


Chapter One

 

These days, when Quinn Knowles needed a pair of ears to listen to her, she sought out long, furry ones in a soft dove gray that stuck out like handlebars on a bike.

People were all right to talk to now and again. But her friends and family were unsuitable at present, for the simple reason that they were part of her problem.

“Okay, so it might not be exactly fair to call love a ‘problem.’” Perched on the goat pen’s top railing, she leaned forward to scratch Hennie’s furry chin. “But it’s all a bit much. I can’t take two steps without tripping over some blissed-out pair.”

Maybelle gave a bleat that sounded suspiciously like a laugh.

“I’m not exaggerating,” Quinn said. “The situation is seriously annoying.”

In response, the doe stuck her nose in the feeder and withdrew a mouthful of timothy hay. Maybelle had a weakness for timothy.

“I’m willing to give the guests a pass. After all, that’s what they’re here for.” Located on three thousand bucolic acres in Northern California, the setting encouraged relaxation. The amenities and services that her family and Silver Creek’s staff provided were designed to pamper the senses. The ranch’s restaurant offered delicious food, locally sourced. The cabins, stocked with luxury comforts—cloud-soft beds, combed-cotton bedlinens, and bathtubs large enough to accommodate two with lots of wiggle room—created a sensual nest where guests could indulge and, in the true spirit of Marvin Gaye, get it on.

Wilhelmina stepped forward to nibble on Quinn’s knee. Because she had a staff meeting to attend later, Quinn moved her leg a tad to the left, avoiding a smear of masticated hay and spit on the front of her jeans, and returned to the topic du jour.

“It’d be one thing if all this love and romance were confined to strangers passing through. But thanks to my family, the love vibe’s closing in. And I’m the last one standing.”

Both her brothers had fallen, and fallen hard. Ward, her oldest brother, was engaged to be married. Tess’s and his wedding was scheduled for January, a mere three months away. Quinn preferred not to think about how fast the date was approaching. She’d attended enough weddings to be able to say with certainty that she was allergic to them.

Reid, her other brother—better and wiser than she was by four years, as he liked to claim—had also succumbed. He and Mia Bodell, their neighbor and one of Quinn’s best friends, had announced their engagement last night at the Sunday family dinner. Mia had looked beautiful, radiant with happiness, and Reid couldn’t stop grinning. Quinn’s mother—equestrian by vocation, hotelier by profession, and matchmaker by some weird and deeply twisted impulse—had wept tears of joy and satisfaction. Her two sons were destined for happily-ever-afters with terrific women.

Of course Quinn was happy for the four of them. But that didn’t mean she wanted to join the party. And it was getting old, her running into the lovers with their lips locked and their hands clutching and stroking. Their besotted cooing was driving her up the wall. She’d rather listen to her foster parrot Alfie’s loudest shrieks any day.

Even her parents, who should be immune after thirty-plus years of marriage, were afflicted—infected—and were behaving like newlyweds.

Whatever was going around her family, Quinn intended to remain immune. The whole point of being a twenty-four-year-old woman in the twenty-first century was that she could be single and totally absorbed in her own thing. Call her selfish, but she had neither the time nor the inclination to deal with guys and their wants and expectations.

And she’d rather be set upon by fire ants than be needy herself.

Albertina ambled over to Gertrude and began mouthing her neck in some communal morning grooming. Gertrude’s ears twitched in bliss.

“Don’t get me wrong, girls. It’s not that I have anything against love. It’s just not for me. I can’t have a man hanging around and slowing me down when I have so much to accomplish. Mom should understand that.”

But Quinn had the sneaking suspicion her mother was at it again—the compulsive matchmaking business. Couldn’t the woman leave well enough alone? It was embarrassing. Uncomfortable, too.

There was only one thing to do: figure out how to outwit a mother who was as wily as mothers came.

“You know my mom,” she continued. “She’s the one who brings you pine branches to chew. Nice lady, right? You’d think she’d be satisfied having two of her offspring happily matched and ready to say ‘I do’ before the minister. But no. She has to go and hire J—”

“You often talk to your goats, Quinn?” Josh Yates asked.

Speak of the chaps-wearing devil. Quinn teetered but managed to grab the metal bar and right herself before she fell splat onto Hennie. Glancing down, she saw that the animal’s almond-shaped eyes were closed.

Dang, she’d gone and talked her favorite goat to sleep.

 

 

Copyright 2015, Laura Moore

Do not reproduce without permission

 

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