3.5 & 4 Stars for The Need to Touch by Brooke Johnson and Natalya Parks – #M/M


Title: The Need to Touch
Author Name: Brooke Johnson and Natalya Parks
Publication Date & Length: March 12, 2014 – 220 pgs


*Warning: Mature content*

You can only win someone’s heart once you’ve captured it.

Nineteen year old Ryder Harrison grew up on the outskirts of a small town in Montana. He was working on the family’s ranch and in love with his best friend, Landon Pennington–and as happy as a pig in shit. That was until his grandfather ships him off to ‘the big city’ in California, to attend a college he had no desire of going to. Regretfully Ryder promised his mother before her passing that he’d finish his education. Staying true to his word, he packs up his shit kickers and heads out. With the mindset that every dreadful thing he could think of was bound to happen to him, he faced the new challenges, Hook-Line-and Sinker! However, the one thing he didn’t plan on was hooking the biggest catch of his life, Bentley Carter!

Twenty year old Bentley Carter has more emotional issues than the Diagnostic Manual for Mental Disorders has treatments. Living through an abusive childhood, he made a personal promise to always stay true to himself. He promised himself that never again would he let emotions over rule his common sense. Satisfied with his current ‘friend with benefits’ he was ready to chase his new college roommate away. The only thing he didn’t expect was to literally chase Ryder back to Montana. Ryder is everything Ben didn’t want, yet can’t live without.

As young adults living in a cruel and unforgiving world, they are devoted to unmasking the truths about falling in love…

Add to GoodReads



This is a relatively quick, easy read, perfect for a relaxed afternoon. Despite a few hints at heavier subjects, it’s mostly light, fluffy, steamy fare. The characters are likable and the story isn’t difficult to follow. If you’re looking for something mostly for escapism, this book is a good option.
My one hesitation is that the plot mostly seems like filler between the sex scenes. That’s fine, except that the authors seemed to be hinting at the troubled pasts of both main characters yet glossing over it and offering unrealistically quick resolution. At times, Ben in particular came across as though he’d had years of therapy and knew how to identify all his issues, though he didn’t seem in a hurry to actually resolve them. The relationship between Ryder and his grandfather also seemed shallow and unrealistic. I also wasn’t impressed by multiple uses of implied rape to make the characters more sympathetic. That’s a common trope in romance novels with female protagonists, creating the “flaw” that the male hero needs to save his woman from. Not that I think rape doesn’t happen to men, I just wish the authors had used a different plot device to create emotional drama.
The other problem I noted was that the copy I read had numerous grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. It could have benefited from a good copy editor or beta reader. That might also have resolved some of the issues I noted in terms of the story as well.
One thing that did impress me was how seamless the writing was despite being penned by two authors. They did an excellent job blending their writing. After reading their bios, I assume that comes from their lifetime of friendship. It’s definitely a strength.

Readers should be forewarned that the book ends with a cliffhanger. I personally like books that end that way; it makes me look forward to whatever comes next. In this case particularly, I expect the authors will grow as writers. But some people may be disappointed that the story isn’t sufficiently wrapped up at the end.

I give it 3.5 stars.



Ryder and Bentley (Ben) are great characters who learn to come in to their own throughout this story. It was a refreshing read with true life complications, past hurts that both characters have to come to terms with and a few past lovers who may or may not have created jealousy amongst Ryder and Ben. However, in the end, each character learns something new about themselves.

I enjoyed the relationships throughout the book that were outside of Ryder and Ben’s – I thought that it helped in the character development of each individual character and then helped in their relationship with each other as well. With Ryder’s reluctance to leave his home in Montana and Ben’s reluctance to devlope more than a simple friendly connection – they each take a journey that will break down what they think they want and rebuild them into who they were always been meant to be.

I enjoyed the relationship between Ryder and Pop a lot – I thought it went a long way for Ryder to be able to leave MT even though he might not have wanted to – It was at Pop’s insistance that Ryder attend school and even though Pop is slightly rough around the edges, I couldn’t help but love Pop’s support of Ryder.

Ethan was another character that I learned to really like – despite his somewhat odd relationship with Ben, I came to realize that even though Ben would never love Ethan the way that he loved Ryder, Ethan was an important support for both characters in the end.

I wish I would have known this book ended with a slight cliff hanger – now I want to know what is going to happen in the future!

There were a few different formatting issues, but I loved the nail polish spacers.



Amazon: http://amzn.to/1oZPA10
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1t5NTQG
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1vVmDrK
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1t8DEcA


Brooke Johnson lives in Louisiana with her husband, five children and their many pets. When she’s not working on her novels, she can be found hunting, fishing, and playing games with her family.


Weebly: http://brookejohnsonbooks.weebly.com/

Leave a Comment

Filed under 3.5 Stars, Amy, M/M, Review, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.