Review: Touched To The Heart by Elsa Winckler

Discover beautiful South Africa in this sweet, heart-warming Cinderella story about a blogger, a billionaire, and one chance meeting.

When it comes to men, if physiotherapist Caitlin Sutherland didn't have bad luck, she would have no luck at all. To help cope, Caitlin starts blogging in her spare time, about the types of men she meets and the bad dates she goes on.

While on duty during the annual Wines to Whales bicycle race, a gorgeous, sweaty cyclist walks in and sets her hormones dancing. But he is Don Cavallo; one of the four Cavallo brothers — hotel tycoons, famous as much for their business skills as for the number of beauties regularly seen on their arms.

Don Cavallo has his own issues with the other sex. He has yet to find one who is interested in him and not in his money or hotels. But when this sexy physio puts her hands on his back she not only touches his body, but also his heart.

They've both been burned before, but neither of them can stop themselves from playing with fire.

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I am really starting to think I need a minimum page requirement for books. If it's under a 150 or 200 and not part of a series, it just doesn't seem to work for me. Since I've been saying this a lot lately, you need to know that when I requested this on NetGalley, those page numbers are not mentioned and I don't always go to Amazon or goodreads to check the amount of pages. 

Now stepping away from the pages issues, Touched To The Heart is an okay book. The setting is definitely something different and refreshing. As the author is from South Africa, it is logical to write about what you know. Though the descriptions in general are very basic.

Caitlin hasn't had the best of luck with men and she has channeled her frustrations into blogging about all her disastrous dates. She's what we call a sceptic and a bit picky, as in she would really want a man, but there is just something wrong with every man she meets. For instance, no sane man would shave his legs, therefore cyclists are a no go. These are all just excuses, because the girl's got trust issues. Her dad left her mom for other women. While her mom still believes in romance and love, the daughters not so much.

So when Caitlin meets Don at a cycling event, she might admit there are maybe a few exceptions when it comes to men who shave their legs. Still he's so out of her league, so she doesn't believe she will ever see him again. Caitlin though made a better impression than she realized, because when she bumps into him again, there might be something happening between them.

This story was told in 3rd person and this might be a coincident, but it's the second book this week I've read written that way and I had trouble connecting with the characters. Though this was slightly better. To me everything in this story happened really fast and kind of jumbled together. We jump from one situation into the next without much of a transition. Then there are issues involving Caitlin's sister and Don's brother, which I think is the setup for a second book, but it draws attention away from the main story. It just made me want to know what was going on between the brother and sister, not Caitlin and Don.

The author's first books were written in South-African and this is her second english written novel. Now I'm not sure what her mother tongue is, don't get me wrong her English is really good, but the flow of the story doesn't always go that well. It's all very direct, not a lot of description, plenty of dialogue, but also with that 3rd person pov you can not really get inside the characters' head. The author talks about using family background to better understand the characters, and it was included but could have easily been more delved into.

So overall it's a fun and light story, great setting and I am intrigued enough by the brother and sister to read the second book. There was still a lot missing though, that can easily be improved towards the future.


The Author
I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my studies, I was hooked for life.

I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 38 years, 3 beautiful children and three grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty’s Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us.

And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exciting and interesting one!

I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong. And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous! My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.

I was fortunate to win an award for my first Afrikaans romance in 2010.

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