Monday, February 4, 2013

Book Club Discussion: Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl

Provisions and Paperbacks, my IRL book club, recently read Closed Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl. As I said in my previous post (you can read it here), I want to share some thoughts and ideas brought up during the book club and bring my blog readers into the discussion.

Not yet, but there will be spoilers. You have been warned.

Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl
Published August 28, 2012
Pages: 384

For makeup artist Grace Barrett, Hollywood isn't the land of golden opportunity. It's the land of difficult divas, cheating boyfriends and unemployment. So when her great-aunt offers her a free place to stay in Jackson Hole, Grace thinks she'll spend a little time in the sticks to figure out her life, and then move somewhere exciting to live out her dreams. But it turns out that there are a few more thrills in this small town than Grace was expecting….Cole Rawlins is a rugged Wyoming cowboy born and bred. Yet he can't help but be drawn to the fascinating big-city girl who moves in across from him. He wants to get close enough to Grace to see past her tough facade, but if he does, she might see the real Cole. The one with a Hollywood history gone bad. As they discover a sizzling attraction, it becomes harder for him to keep his demons at bay—and those fires from long ago may burn them both.

They'll need more than scorching-hot passion to make this opposites-attract affair work. But if they can learn to trust one another enough to reveal their secrets, they just might have a chance at forever. (from Goodreads)

There will be spoilers. You have been warned.

Here are some thoughts shared during our book club discussion after reading Close Enough to Touch:
  • This selection was another break away from the mostly young adult that we normally read. We wanted to go lighter and read a "sexy" story.
  • Of all our members, I am the only one who had read a book by Victoria Dahl before and I thought she would be a fun author to introduce to everyone. I didn't pick which book, but someone thought the whole cowboy thing was appealing so Close Enough to Touch was selected.
  • Cole was a swoon-worthy character and many of us fell in love with him. One person wasn't convinced that he was "a real cowboy" but I came to his defense explainging that he didn't do many "cowboy-like" things because he had fractured his pelvis, broke his leg, and was out of commission. (This also explained why he hadn't been intimate in a year and a half - his appeal made this difficult to believe).  His ruggedness was extremely appealing.
  • Grace's physical description reminded us of Rooney Mara's in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (with a little more meat on her bones)
  • The story was humorous and entertaining - filled with characters that seemed genuine. 
  • The secondary characters had their own stories and we wanted to know more about them (and we will because there will be companion novels). There was a moment between Eve and Cole where there appeared to be a slight glimpse of tension that led me to wonder if there was something between them in the past.
  • Not too sure that it was so believable that both Grace and Cole spent periods of their life in L.A. and then other people that they know just happen to show up in Jackson Hole. This was too coincidental.   
  • I was certain that at some point Grace would hear Cole through their shared apartment wall which would have left Cole with some explaining to do. 
  • Loved that the apartments that Grace's Aunt Rayleen owned were nicknamed "The Stud Farm" because she only rented out to men.   
  • The tension and lack of communication and all of the secrets was frustrating because their physical chemistry was electrifying. Why can't they just get over themselves, forgive each other for unintentional mistakes and be together already!! 
A favorite moment:

Cole has taken Grace up into the mountains showing her the land he hopes to own one day. After showing her his favorite spot, she says:
     "It's incredible." The word seemed wholly inadequate, but she couldn't think of something that captured the miracle of this view."
     They stood in silence for a long time, and Grace tried to absorb as much of it as she could. The beauty, yes. But the peace, as well. And the wonder. It had been a long time since she felt wonder. But standing before this expanse, she felt like a child, as if there were millions of things she couldn't know and never would. It was a relief from the feeling that she'd seen everything already and found that none of it way very good. (page 103)
I like this because it's not about sex or relationship but being in awe of something overwhelming - finding beauty, finding peace and seeing possibilities.

Close Enough to Touch created many new Victoria Dahl fans. Several members have already started some of her other books. And I just picked up a copy of Be Mine: Sizzle\Too Fast to Fall\Alone With You which includes a story about Grace's friend Jenny.

I'd like to invite anyone to join in on the discussion and share your thoughts on Close Enough to Touch!! Just leave your thoughts in the comments! Thanks

Up next for Provisions and Paperbacks



  1. Could NOT get enough of this book. It certainly created a Dahl fan out of me. (I still have yet to read her other book on my Nook though.)

    YES COWBOYS. But backstories too! I liked that a lot.

  2. estelle - I agree completely. As I tyoed this up I had to go back and read parts of it. This is story and characters I'm not ready to let go of yet.


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