A Touch of Romance

Romantic Encounters Book 2

Romance - Historical
436 Pages
Reviewed on 10/20/2022
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Author Biography

Celebrated for her complex characters, realistic conflicts, and sensual portrayal of love, Paullett Golden writes historical romance for intellectuals. Her novels, set primarily in Georgian England, challenge the genre's norm by starring characters loved for their flaws, imperfections, and idiosyncrasies. Her plots explore human psyche, mental and physical trauma, and personal convictions. Her stories show love overcoming adversity. Whatever our self-doubts, love will out.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Delene Vrey for Readers' Favorite

A Touch of Romance is the second book in the Romantic Encounters series written by Paullett Golden. While attending a writers' retreat at her friend’s estate, Leila Owen waits for her father to return from India with her betrothed. It is an arranged marriage to help him further in the company he represents in India. With the true heart of a romantic, she hopes for a partner in the treasure hunt to be handsome and dashing, knowing that nothing can come of any bonds forged over the week. Mr. Jules Knowlton has come to the retreat between the end of his fellowship and starting his post as Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridgeshire. When paired with Leila for the treasure hunt, he is pleasantly surprised to find all they have in common. Soon a romance of the mind as much as the heart ensues. Knowing that Leila is meant to marry a stranger, they concoct a scheme to ingratiate Jules with her mother by interviewing her regarding her life in Bengal. This plan is turned on its head when Leila’s father arrives home early with a suitor in tow. Not knowing about recent events, Jules arrives at Nasrin Hall, meeting Leila’s father and obtaining the position of a language tutor to her two young cousins.

What follows is a tale filled with wit and humor as the two try to make Jules appear as the better of the two suitors. Included in this story are pieces of flash fiction, snippets of scenes forming a whole contained in a few words. Ms. Golden has the unique talent of taking everyday events and bringing her characters to life while building sensual tension and vulnerability without stooping to frivolous physical descriptions. She truly gives meaning to the words that 'less is more.' Paulett Golden has filled A Touch of Romance with such flourishing words and poetry that not only is the book a pleasure to read, but it is literary gold. The author successfully brings the characters to life through their creative and knowledgeable minds. The poetry used in the charades and the descriptions of what poems would sound like is captivating and inspiring. The author is a talented writer and possesses a keen mind to bring forth the appraisable attributes of characters through their thoughts, words, and actions. A skilled treasure on the Regency scene. A Touch of Romance is a clean read without profanity or sexual content. Indeed a story that will delight language connoisseurs.

Stephanie Chapman

In A Touch of Romance, Paullett Golden weaves a tale of loyalty and love crossing paths. Leila Owens arrives late to a writers' retreat hosted by the affluent Randell couple. Her best friend, Isobel Lambeth, tells her there is a treasure hunt game lasting three days with a prize. Leila hears her name called by Jules Knowlton. From his looks, Leila believes he will be arrogant and a terrible partner in the treasure hunt. As the pair decipher clues, they find there are many common interests between them, and they become infatuated with each other. However, Leila expects to fulfill an arranged marriage that will further her father’s position in his company. Isobel and Leila begin devising a plan to prove Jules as a more valuable suitor. A shocking discovery occurs when the girls arrive at Leila’s house. Her father has arrived and brought more than his normal gifts with him.

I found A Touch of Romance to be a beautifully crafted story. Paullett Golden gave each character a distinct personality, and the interaction between Leila and Jules was relatable. I hoped that the duo would be successful in the treasure hunt, and during a masked ball held at the retreat, their costume descriptions were in vivid detail. On the surface, Jules had a refined look and acted proper; Leila was far from being proper, and I considered that she had a wild streak that she had never really embraced. Personally, despite what her father wanted, I would have followed what I wanted. Arranged marriages seem to be extremely uncaring, and I often question how many would have ended in divorce today? The suspense built in this story prevented me from putting this book down until I finished reading it. Seamless transitions between the perspectives of Leila and Jules helped me understand their motivations. The end of the story left room for a future book, but it also made this a standalone book on its own. This is a great book for young adult readers that like a romance story to captivate your mind with poetry that evokes emotion.

Peggy Jo Wipf

A Touch of Romance by Paullett Golden is a sweet account of Leila Owen and Jules Knowlton. Leila is very dedicated to her family and knows her father plans to arrange her marriage soon. Falling in love with Jules during a writing retreat was never in the plan. Jules recently became the Regius Professor of Greek, which opens the door to marriage, but does Leila just see him as a distraction from the inevitable? Devising a scheme to persuade her parents that a love match would be best for her causes all forms of chaos, especially when her father comes home with the man they chose and banns were to be read in a few weeks.

Paullett Golden piques your interest with unlikely characters that have kindred souls. A Touch of Romance begins with a novel that will make you laugh as dire circumstances call for urgent measures. The characters are well developed and loveable, even in the composition. The story starts slowly as their love builds. It escalates when Leila goes home, and Jules's visit to the estate is misunderstood. Her father thought he was answering the post of a tutor. The author has an uncanny ability to give the story a humorous twist when all seems lost. The story resolves as it should, but the many turns to get there made this a memorable and endearing read. This novel will delight any romantic who enjoys drama, scheming, and historical romance. At the end of the book, you will find eleven flash fiction stories. They are each a few pages long but portray hope, answers, and the sweet moment when love takes root.

K.C. Finn

A Touch of Romance is a work of fiction in the history and romance subgenres and serves as the second installment of the Romantic Encounters series. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Paullett Golden. The book follows the romance of two poets; Jules Knowlton who lives life at his own pace, and Leila Owen who is every inch the dutiful daughter until her attraction to Jules gives her reason to defy the wishes of her family and reject her current suitor. As the two use their gifts with words to try to find each other, their wildest dreams for the future finally seem to come within their grasp.

The prose on display in this book was simply masterful, with Paullett Golden artfully moving between the comedic and the intense as her two leads dance around their fate. Leila was a particularly engaging character, with her willingness to marry a relative stranger to help her family quickly establishing her as a kind and caring soul. Her careful rebellion against that decision in order to follow her heart was lovely to see unfold on each page, and I found myself rooting for her from the very beginning. Throughout the story, the poetry of the writing created a beautiful image of the two lovers and their world, with A Touch of Romance never missing an opportunity to absorb the reader deeper into the world of Jules and Leila. With plenty of twists and turns to bring excitement, I recommend this book to all.

Rabia Tanveer

A Touch of Romance is the second book in the Romantic Encounters series by Paullett Golden. Leila was ready to marry a stranger just so that the match could bring some honor to her family. However, things changed when she came across Jules Knowlton, a Regius Professor of Greek, at a writers' retreat. Not only was the man handsome, but he was also respectful and shared her love for poetry. Jules was happy with his life as it was. As long as he was a scholar who could write poetry, he was happy. But once he fell in love with Leila, he was ready to do whatever it took to make her his lady. While Leila was a good daughter who would do anything for her family, she was ready to fight for her happiness and the man she loved. It was up to Leila to change the mind of her father and make him see that Jules was the perfect man for her. Would Leila succeed? Or was the couple doomed to a loveless life?

The playful dialogues between Jules and Leila depicted their personalities so well. Author Paullett Golden brought A Touch of Romance to life with her masterful narrative and vivid characters that were full of life. I absolutely adored how real and natural these two characters were and the relationship between them grew over time. Leila and Jules found something common to bond over, found reasons to keep talking, and then organically fell in love. This progression of their love felt right and that made the story exceptional in my eyes. It was fun watching Leila try many creative and, at times, hilarious ways to convince her father that Jules was the man for her. The supporting characters breathed life into the story while the protagonists made sure readers had their heroes to cheer on. A Touch of Romance is an absolute treat for romance readers!