⭐️ Blog Tour ** Giveaway ** Review ** Touch Me Not by Apryl Baker ⭐️

A past tragedy has left Lily Holmes burdened with a devastating secret…Since the death of her twin sister, Lily can’t bear to be touched. Not accidentally, not casually…and certainly not intimately. This makes it impossible for her to confess to her best friend Adam Roberts that she’s in love with him. She can’t give him the sort of relationship he needs, so she watches in silence while he plans his wedding with someone else.

Enter Nikoli Kinkaid, the campus manwhore…

Nikoli is a self-proclaimed connoisseur of women, and he wants to add Lily to his list of conquests, but she wants nothing to do with him—until he makes her an offer she can’t refuse. He’ll teach her to enjoy human contact again, giving her a chance to win over Adam, while Nikoli uses all his considerable charm to seduce her.

But Lily raises the stakes…

Lily loves cars. Her late father was a racer, and she grew up under the hood of a car and on the racetrack. Nikoli has a limited edition 1970 Plymouth Barracuda she covets, so she informs him the terms of their deal also require he not sleep with anyone for six months. If he does, she’ll win the car. If she surrenders and ends up in his bed, his beloved ’Cuda is his to keep.

In an intricate dance of control and surrender, a reluctant friendship becomes something more. Lily begins to crave things she never believed she could, and Nikoli realizes there is more at stake than his reputation.

If Lily overcomes her phobia, will she crave Adam’s touch as she’s starting to crave Nikoli’s? Or will she only find pleasure from the touch of a semi-reformed manwhore?

 

So who am I? Well, I’m the crazy girl with an imagination that never shuts up. I LOVE scary movies. My friends laugh at me when I scare myself watching them and tell me to stop watching them, but who doesn’t love to get scared? I grew up in a small town nestled in the southern mountains of West Virginia where I spent days roaming around in the woods, climbing trees, and causing general mayhem. Nights I would stay up reading Nancy Drew by flashlight under the covers until my parents yelled at me to go to sleep.

Growing up in a small town, I learned a lot of values and morals, I also learned parents have spies everywhere and there’s always someone to tell your mama you were seen kissing a particular boy on a particular day just a little too long. So when you get grounded, what is there left to do? Read! My Aunt Jo gave me my first real romance novel. It was a romance titled “Lord Margrave’s Deception.” I remember it fondly. But I also learned I had a deep and abiding love of mysteries and anything paranormal. As I grew up, I started to write just that and would entertain my friends with stories featuring them as main characters.

Now, I live Huntersville, NC where I entertain my niece and nephew and watch the cats get teased by the birds and laugh myself silly when they swoop down and then dive back up just out of reach. The cats start yelling something fierce…lol.

I love books, I love writing books, and I love entertaining people with my silly stories.
 
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Touch Me Not is a NA romance between a manwhore, who’s hiding behind his reputation and a girl who has the phobia of being touched. I enjoyed tormented characters and when I read about a story like this, I was intrigued.

Don’t let the cover fool you, really, I was more than surprised by the tone of the story with plenty of sarcasm and humor. For sure, the main characters have some deep scars and one especially hides it easier than the other.Lily isn’t living, she has her phobia consuming her, and every day is a battle where each touch tormented her. While the others like partying and mingle, she tried to stay away. She is appreciated by everyone, thanks to her status as a tutor but mainly thanks to her best friend Adam, the only one who really knows.

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I love this character : she’s nerdy, assumed geek, totally obvious of her beauty ,with a sassy mouth, and a car connoisseur, contrasting with her shy side. Her father was a famous racer who died when she was twelve, her sister died no longer after. Since that moment, she was blaming herself for her death.She’s also in love with her best friend, who is engaged. Complicated!
When Nikoli sets his eyes on her and she avoided him like he has the plague, it was time for a challenge.

Oh damn, the male MC has to be a Russian/half Scottish guy, all dark and handsome but the manwhore in chief of the University. What is the funniest? he doesn’t assume at all this status and for the first time a girl was rejected him, and it was really funny to read.

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« I don’t give up that easy, Lily. I always get what I want. »
« Then get used to disappointment. »

I love how the characters are so full of surprises; like Lily, he has some secrets on his own. He takes what he wants when he wants, and was clear about his non commitment rules, even if he breaks some girls’ hearts in the way. Let’s say it, girls come to him and he has just to pick one and have a fun time.

« She seemed to be insulted that he’s decided to have sex with her, which didn’t sit well with him at all. There wasn’t another girl in this cafeteria who would turn him down, and he knew it, so why was he bothering with Lily Holmes? Because she didn’t want him, dammit.That rankled. »

There’s something appealing in his character, not only about his status, but how Lily revealed little by little, everything he doesn’t show and it confused him.

« He hadn’t been prepared for her. She made him laugh, made him question his own sense of self. She made him want to be a better person. »

Being rejected by a woman is definitely not usual, and even if he sees it as a challenge, Nikoli doesn’t deny his attraction for her and enjoyed interfering into her life. She doesn’t indulge to his charms, even if her body ’s language was telling otherwise. The back and forth banter was very well written, the chemistry between them was a pure blast!

« You sleep with a different woman every night, sometimes several a day. You define the word whore. It’s your nickname with most of the girl. »
« I am a connoisseur of women, » he growled.
« Yes, I enjoy sex, but that doesn’t make me a whore! »

He could read her like no one else, even if they don’t know each other for long, and discover by the way her one-sided love for Adam. When they come to an arrangement, surprisingly, Lily felt comfortable around him, and he understood her fears. His ability to calm her , to get through her defenses was heartwarming and absolutely beautiful. He was trying get in her pants and she was trying to win his car by not sleeping with him! But who are they really trying to fool???

« He just stared and felt himself get even harder. Damn, this girl was messing with him in more ways that should be possible. He missed her. It was odd. he’d never missed anyone before, except his family, but certainly not a girl. »

The journey of Lily and Nikoli through his help of her phobia is a purely sensual one! This side wasn’t expected and I really enjoyed these moments, where Nikoli tried to push her but always respecting his boundaries.

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Damn it was hot! There’s some steamy scenes. His seduction games was on top! (you dirty talker!)

« My goal is to help you, Lily, make you comfortable with me, but I also want to touch you, very badly. It’s why I’m over here right now. I want to bend you over that couch and fuck you so hard, you’ll feel me inside you for a week, but I’m controlling myself. »

Their relationship takes everyone by surprise and both were aware of the issue, even if it was too hard to admit it out loud. He succeeded to make her happy and to be touched, without fear, when her best friends were trying for years.

The background characters were well-rounded, even if Nikoli’s issues take a little time to understand them. The dual POV was awesome, and I enjoyed seing Lily breaking out of her shell and watching Nikoli’s changing. The author knows how to brings characters to life. It was poignant and full of good intentions. By trusting Nikoli, Lili teaches him also how to trust people as well.

« Nikoli, all I want is you, not what you can give me. »

Why I haven’t give 5 stars ? The end was a little but rushed. I wished the part about the serial killer would be more expanded, because this one didn’t add anything more to the story.
NIkoli’s actions in the and (ah guys …), my face was (hopefully, he comes to his senses) like that :

Despite this side of the story, it was a beautiful and challenging romance with a hint of suspence.
I really have a great time reading it and I hope the next one of this series is coming soon! This one puts a smile on my face and I was captivated by the story. I read this book in one sitting. It made me laugh, smile a lot, with a perfect balance of emotional times, leaving me rooting for the (former) manwhore and the badass geeky girl.

*** My rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫***
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