Saturday, April 22, 2017

Book Spotlight on By Her Touch by Adriana Anders (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Readers drawn to emotionally intense romances will find themselves captivated by this gut-wrenching tale of guilt and decisions made based on the past.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of By Her Touch by Adriana Anders, along with my impressions of it, then add it to your bookshelf.  You'll also hear from Ms. Anders as she discusses scarred characters, which is what drives this series of books.  In honor of this second installment in the Blank Canvas series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance for US readers to win a copy of the first book in this series too!

From Ms. Anders:
I love romanceThe sub-genre doesn’t matter and I’ll gladly read about any type of couple (or triad, or more), of any origin, skin color, gender, or sexual orientation. These things don’t influence my investment in a book. What ropes me in is good writing and an intriguing central love storyand it’s the flaws that keep me reading. Oh, those perfectly messed up characters, so incapable of getting over their checkered pasts!
And if those pasts are visible? All the better. My entire Blank Canvas Series is about characters whose lives have left damage on their skin. In BY HER TOUCH, Clay Navarro has just finished a stint undercover with the Sultans MC, which left him with marks that are obvious to anyone who glances his way. The ink on his hands and eyelids is impossible to miss and beneath his clothes, his body is marked—every scar and drop of ink a testament to the battle he’s been through.
What is it about these indelible marks that fascinates us so much as readers? Is it the heroes’ well lived-in bodies? Is it the fact that past pain makes our heroes stronger? I happen to think that experience is sexy. And perhaps the most intriguing thing of all is the Fifty Shades of Grey affect: a hero so scarred that only the heroine can save him.
Whatever it is, there are many, many romance heroes with memorable scars. These are just a few:
• Everything I left Unsaid by M. O’Keefe features a reclusive, scarred hero whose voice reaches out over the airwaves to seduce a skittish heroine. Both characters have had a rough time in life and they both have to learn to trust in order to love.
• In Pamela Clare’s Skin Deep, a terribly-scarred vet saves the life of a woman whose life experiences have left her wounded. I love how they manage to heal each other in this super sexy, heartfelt romance.
• Bone Deep by Bonnie Dee is a totally unique romance in which the heroine steps in to save a hero who has been tattooed against his will and spent his life being flaunted in a traveling carnival. It’s super emotional and gritty, but so very sweet.
• Zsadist, of J.R. Ward’s Lover Awakened is possibly the most scarred, mess-up hero of all. And I love him for it. He’s a monster, really, but who can blame him when he’s endured such terrible torture? And, of course, the journey is even sweeter when the heroine tames her beast.
• I would be remiss not to mention E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey, the most commercially successful scarred hero around. In this fairy tale of a romance, Prince Charming hides his pain well, so when the heroine helps heal him, the payload is twice as satisfying.
What other scarred heroes are out there? What kind of hero satisfies your inner romantic?

Undercover cop Clay Navarro left the Sultans biker gang a changed man. Its ringleaders may be awaiting trial, but he wears the memory of every brutal act he was forced to commit tattooed across his skin. He doesn’t have space in his messed-up life for anything gentle—not now, maybe not ever.
Dr. Georgette Hadley is drawn to the damaged stranger’s pain, intimidated but intrigued by the warmth that lies beneath Clay’s frightening exterior. But when the Sultans return looking for revenge, she finds herself drawn into the dirty underbelly of a life forged in violence…that not even her touch may be able to heal.


From the first page until the last this book keeps you on the edge of your seat watching as the past comes back to haunt two people whose lives and emotions have been tainted by their experiences.  For far too long they've felt alone but together they find a bit of peace and quiet from the storms of fate creeping ever closer to the heaven they've found in each other's arms.

Clay was once part of a happy family until tragedy struck and took away his sister, leaving him vowing revenge on those who corrupted her on her path to destruction.  As an undercover cop his plan was to infiltrate the Sultans MC and bring them to justice while making them pay for the pain his sister's death caused him.  His first meeting with them was just the beginning of true pain though as he soon lost himself in their lifestyle. His language became crude, his conscience went into hibernation, and his heart became hardened.  These emotional scars were only part of what he suffered as his body too was mutilated with a few tattoos he wanted, as well as a few that were applied in the name of torture.  With his mission concluded there's still plenty of danger as some members escaped in order to make those who brought their MC down pay.  Clay's now on the run, from his former Brothers as well as those who once swore to protect him, while trying to overcome the mental and physical scars his recent mission left him with. Desperate to get rid of the tattoos marking the loss of his soul puts him in contact with Doctor Hadley, a sweet and accepting women sworn to help those in need.  The moment she touches him he finally sees a glimpse of the peace he's been longing for from his mind that's full of chaos.  The closer they get the more he's able to rediscover the man he once was, but with their time together running out because of a sadistic Brother's rage readers will be left hanging on for dear life as their romance races towards a thrilling conclusion. Clay's a truly good man who was willing to sell his soul to avenge his sister.  He committed some very questionable acts as a Brother and hates who he's become because of it.  Removing the Sultans' tats is the first step in finding himself again but being with George is the greater cure to the pain he's dealing with.  Her unquestionable belief in his goodness and the words of love she offers him give him hope and it's that hope that gets him through the danger he's brought to her doorstep.  Clay's a compelling character who you can't help but fall for.  He's a bit rough around the edges at the start but as the story progresses his protective side emerges as well as moments where he wears his heart on his sleeve.  He's a sexy beast too full of dirty talk and an air of animal magnetism when it comes to their erotic encounters.  He oozes sex appeal as well as a tender heart that had me rooting for him to find the HEA he richly deserves.

George's past is riddled with pain too, but her scars run much deeper.  Teen years steeped in anger led to rebellion, poor choices, and an act that haunts her still.  The only bright spot during that time was meeting her husband who helped her get her life back on track.  Their happiness was short-lived though as his death from cancer took her through heartbreaking highs and lows to ultimately leave her in isolation as she hardened her heart.  Keeping to herself means keeping her heart safe but living in a small town makes that difficult as the denizens subtly work to bring her out of her shell. Meeting Clay drags her out of her shell though as his dichotomy of scary and lost call to her.  She soon longs to do more than just remove his tats as his overwhelming sensuality reawakens her desires and has her crossing the doctor/patient line with scorching interludes the result.  With his PSTD becoming more obvious she stands by his side, giving him unconditional love, knowing that he could leave at any point.  When the remaining Sultans finally catch up to him she gets caught in the crossfire in a pulse-pounding conclusion.  And just as she realizes what she truly wants out of life it may well be the last thought she has as a psycho plans to use her to hurt Clay worse than anything he did to him before.  George is a very caring person, almost too caring as she feels obligated to make up for a past she has no reason to feel guilt over.  Her devotion to her in-laws is commendable too but a big decision she's made seems to be more for their happiness than for her own.  Her quiet support of Clay, her acceptance of all he's done, ultimately make her a strong-willed heroine which is just what he needs as he struggles to put his own past behind him.  Being with Clay has George finally putting her heart on the line as she tries to save him from himself. Through scorching encounters George learns more about herself and who and what she needs to be happy which has her fighting for her and Clay's life despite her hatred of violence in a heart-stopping conclusion.

This was an intense story at times.  Seeing what kind of man Clay devolved into was unsettling and heartbreaking as deep down he's a good man trying to stay good despite his need for revenge.  The pain he went through as a Sultan brought a tear to my eye as the brutality of that time was vividly depicted. Fellow Brother Ape was particularly vicious and images of him still show up in my nightmares.  Making that time worse is the fact that a traitor sold him out. The identity of the traitor was obvious to me but it didn't diminish the betrayal's impact.  George was a bright spot amidst all this pain though she too had plenty of emotional baggage.  Their mutual emotional baggage is what had them clinging to each other, supporting each other, in a tale that ultimately had me cheering for their hard-fought conclusion.  While the main couple was unforgettable so too were those secondary characters who pushed them towards HEA in both subtle and blatant ways.  From the fatherly sheriff to the spunky next-door neighbor these characters left an indelible mark that added to the small-town charm and has me longing to see more of them in future installments.  From start to finish this was a powerful read and a strong follow-up to the previous installment in the Blank Canvas series that I highly recommend to readers looking for a profound and unforgettable romance!

My rating for this is an A-

*I got this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.



Adriana Anders has acted and sung, slung cocktails and corrected copy. She’s worked for start-ups, multinationals and small nonprofits, but it wasn’t until she returned to her first love—writing romance—that she finally felt like she’d come home. Today, she resides with her tall French husband, two small children and fat French cat in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she writes the dark, gritty, steamy love stories of her heart.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. There are many scarred heroes out there. Ones that are scorn by the betrayal of their loved one. That intrigues me. This happens more often than people think, but to have a hero find true love after pain interests my inner romance.

  2. I think all heroes have scars. The bad-boy turns good tends to peak my interest!

  3. every heros have scars. thats what makes them interesting