Review: Just One Touch by Maya Banks

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Just One Touch by Maya BanksJust One Touch by Maya Banks
Series: Slow Burn #5
Published by Avon on May 23rd 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

#1 USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks continues her suspenseful and sizzling Slow Burn series with the fifth book featuring the men and women of Devereaux Security Services.

Abducted as a young girl and raised in a strict religious cult, Jenna has no connection to the outside world beyond vague flashes of memory that seem to be from another life. Memories she clings to when the cult leaders discover her extraordinary ability to heal—and punish her. Years held captive and forced to do the cult's bidding have turned Jenna into a meek, timid woman…or so they think. In truth, she is merely biding her time, waiting for the perfect moment to escape.

When a terrified young woman stumbles across Isaac's path, Devereaux Security's toughest recruit is intrigued by the beautiful, sheltered stranger. Jenna seems to know nothing of the world around her and refuses to tell him what danger haunts her, but Isaac will do whatever it takes to gain her trust. When it becomes clear that very powerful, dangerous people are after her, he vows to protect her at all costs… because with just one touch Issac knows he wants Jenna to be his—forever.

To say that I love Maya Banks’ historical romances is to put it mildly. In fact, Banks’ Never Seduce a Scot is one of my all time favorite romances. So I was pretty excited when I was sent Just One Touch for review by the publisher. While it isn’t an historical, I figured I would definitely enjoy another book by a favorite author. Unfortunately, Just One Touch by Maya Banks did not work for me.

Just One Touch is a romantic suspense novel with a little paranormal thrown in. It’s book 5 in Bank’s Slow Burn series and is about Devereaux Security employee Isaac, and recent cult escapee Jenna. Jenna was kidnapped and held in a cult for around 20 years. This cult used Jenna’s special ability to heal people, and basically kept her locked up for most of her life. But she finally had the ability to escape, and she took that chance. Which is how she meets Isaac, as she tries to steal his car. When Isaac realizes the danger Jenna is in, he’s determined to protect her. Oh, and of course they fall for each other and they try to find a way to keep Jenna safe.

Just One Touch is, in theory, full of my favorite tropes in romance. There is the hero rescuing the heroine, a nice guy hero, no angst between the couple, and the conflict that is outside the relationship. And yet . . . and yet, this book just didn’t work.

For starters there is major insta-love going on. To be fair, insta-love really isn’t a deal breaker for me, especially if, during the story, I can see the couple falling for each other. But this was something else. The moment Isaac sees Jenna, that’s it for him. And the same for Jenna, which was even more difficult to believe given her past.

What was way worse than the insta-love, however, was the creepy possessiveness that Isaac had towards Jenna. So Jenna has basically spent her whole life being the possession of this cult. She was brought out when they wanted to use her powers, but she had no agency in this cult. But Isaac, almost immediately after meeting her, literally thinks to himself that he needs to have her in his possession. And while the reader knows that he doesn’t want to hurt her, it’s freaking creepy. And then when Isaac professes his love to Jenna (after less than a week, mind you) he talks about how he can’t ever let her go, and that it’s like a prison for her, but a wonderful prison where he will take care of her. That is creepy, am I right?

Besides Isaac’s creepiness, I had other issues with Just One Touch. Jenna was so self-sacrificing. And holy cow did she cry all the time. Although I love it when the hero rescues the heroine, Jenna was constantly putting herself in danger. The writing was also very repetitive, and so sappy.

I really wanted to love Just One Touch by Maya Banks. It has so many elements that I normally love; however I just didn’t like it.


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18 Responses to “Review: Just One Touch by Maya Banks”

  1. Nick

    I’ve only tried her historicals too and I liked them a lot. Sorry this wasn’t a good story, Quinn. It sounds like it’s full of wonderful tropes, but yikes! That insta-love is out of control. And yep, that is some seriously creepy possessiveness going on with that prison talk!
    I hope your next read is better, Quinn! 🙂

  2. herding cats & burning soup

    Unfortunately her last couple years worth of books have gone way downhill. I love her old romantic suspense– some of the best out there. But lately…she really misses the mark. She’s not great at insta-love either and that’s her fallback. I think the last 3 I read of hers were all that. I know she’s been very ill and I think that shows in her writing. It really would have been best if she took a couple years off to heal instead. Ah well.

  3. Rowena

    Thanks for the review, Quinn. I got this book in the mail and wasn’t sure if I was going to give it a go but I don’t think I will. It just doesn’t sound like anything I’m in the mood for or even anything I’d want to read.

  4. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    Wow, having the main guy basically say he wants to create a better prison for her, after she was in a kind of prison is not romantic at all. It was interesting to read how this didn’t work for you despite loving another book by the same author. It is disappointing when an author writes something you love, and you hope to find the same magic in another of their books!

  5. Sophia Rose

    Yep, this was my same reaction to a contemporary erotic suspense one I read of hers. I was not buying the romance, the hero was possessive and the heroine was all over the place. I do still need to try her historicals.

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      I love her historicals! My favorite is Never Seduce a Scot. It’s amazing. Not only my favorite Banks book, but one of my all time favorite romances.

  6. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    Ugh. I’m all about romantic supsense and I don’t mind insta-love if the story is entertaining but the possessive thing would seriously creep me out. Then the whole crying heroine thing would put me off as well. I think I’ll stick with her historicals. I have a few floating around here because of your recommendations!

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      The possessiveness was just so gross. It creeped me out so much. I’m pretty sure I was talking to myself w hile reading it. Saying things like “this is so messed up.”

  7. Angie @ Ba_BAMB

    I agree with your review. I haven’t read this one, but after reading her historical back list, I tried to dive into her contemporaries, and they are so weak, IMO. Her strength is in historical romance, and it’s sad that she’s pushed that talent aside. Hopefully it’s temporary.

    Great review.

  8. Geybie's Book Blog

    Ohh sorry this didn’t work for you, Quinn. I was actually planning to read it. It’s been on my radar. I think I have to pass this one, though. Fantastic review! 👍🏻❤️

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      Well, give it a try. Maybe you will love it. I will say that I read it quickly and did have a hard time putting it down. Although often it felt like not being able to look away from a train wreck.

  9. Kim @ kimberlyfaye reads

    I tried to read one of the earlier books in this series a year or so ago and found that it just wasn’t for me. When I got this one in the mail, I immediately put it in my “meh-maybe” pile. Reading your review, I’m thinking it moves straight to the no pile instead. I have heard great things about her historicals, however, and have a couple on my shelves. I just need to find them time to read them.

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