Jubilee Jenkins is no ordinary librarian. With a rare allergy to human touch, any skin-to-skin contact could literally kill her. But after retreating into solitude for nearly ten years, Jubilee's decided to brave the world again, despite the risks. Armed with a pair of gloves, long sleeves, and her trusty bicycle, she finally ventures out the front door--and into her future.
Eric Keegan has troubles of his own. With his daughter from a failed marriage no longer speaking to him, and his brilliant, if psychologically troubled, adopted son attempting telekinesis, Eric's struggling to figure out how his life got so off course, and how to be the dad--and man--he wants so desperately to be. So when an encounter over the check-out desk at the local library entangles his life with that of a beautiful--albeit eccentric--woman, he finds himself wanting nothing more than to be near her.
Now, I should start this by saying that I'm no expert when it comes to Romantic Fictions novels - they're something I rarely pick up, and there are very few that I've enjoyed. However, if you add to a romantic plot with strange medical conditions, a character with an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of books and repeated references to my favourite superhero team, then you've got a book that I just might enjoy.
This isn't a soppy romance with idealised characters either - both Jubilee and Eric are flawed, warm characters who the reader instantly connects with, even if some of their actions and backgrounds are a little heightened in order to provide some real shocks and surprises along the way.
The unique thing about Jubilee is that she can't touch anyone, giving an instantly gripping twist to the standard romantic plot - a condition that, whilst in this case fictional, is nevertheless handled with respect and care by the author. That respect and care extends to all of the characters here - many of whom who have suffered problems and tragedies in their lives, making them well layered and hugely believable, Oakley careful never to allow her cast to slip into caricature.
A tale with elements that could seem over familiar, Oakley introduces original elements in order to build a world that feels both magical and real - and crafts a love story that will touch the coldest of hearts - even cynical old me!
Many thanks to the publishers for the copy