A Touch of Flame by Jo Goodman

A Touch of Flame

Jo Goodman

In this new romance, sheriff Ben Madison welcomes a new physician in town, but getting the town to accept a female doctor is no easy feat.

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USA Today bestselling author Jo Goodman returns to the gunslinging outlands of A Touch of Frost with a sizzling new romance where the new town doctor learns there's nothing she likes better than a run-in with the law.

Dr. E. Ridley Woodhouse is like no physician Ben Madison has ever met--she's a woman. As the newly elected sheriff of Frost Falls, Colorado, Ben is tasked with welcoming Ridley to the community. But while Ben might be tempted by the new doc's charms, getting the town to accept a big-city, female doctor is no easy feat. To earn their trust she'll have to prove herself and Ben determines to help her...even if she's the most stubborn woman he's ever met.

When the husband of one of Ridley's patients threatens her, forbidding Ridley from treating his wife or children, all of Ben's protective instincts kick in. Ridley has come to rely on Ben's steady presence and the delicious tension that simmers just below the surface of their easy friendship--but as much as she trusts that his warnings to steer clear of Jeremiah Salt are sincere, she's never been one to back down from a challenge and she refuses to abandon her patient.

But sticking to your guns can earn you trouble in the rough terrain of the Wild West and danger threatens Ridley from unexpected places, forcing Ben to confront his deepest fear in order to save the woman he loves.

Advance Galley Reviews

Easy and entertaining read. Liked the chemistry and banter between lead characters. Liked the Wild West background. Give it 3 stars!

I mostly liked this book. It definitely started off pretty slow with aspects I didn't like. It's an overall 3 star read for me.

I love the banter between Dr. Ridley Woodhouse and Ben. She a city sophisticated and educated woman wanting to be accepted doesn't immediately accept Ben. Ben is a small town man, no particular ambition except to care for his town and this new woman in town. They tend to challenge each other. There is the element of danger in this small town. Not everyone is accepting of Dr. Ridley. She has to set to prove herself to others, as well as to herself. I enjoyed this story, and love that there are more to come from this author.

I'd give this book 3.5 stars. A Touch of Flame is a nice book, though kind of slow. The characters are well described for their manner and personality. The two main characters are a Sheriff and a Doctor, then you have the townfolk. I would give the book 4 stars, but like I mentioned, it's kind of slow (but not boring).

I loved this book! I enjoyed reading all about the Wild West frontier. It was interesting to read about the pitfalls that the people lived in. Loved how Ridley and Ben had a rough start to their romance, I truly enjoyed their banter and the chemistry between them was perfect. Jo Goodman truly captures the essence of the West and time period, her writing is descriptive and keeps the reader engaged in the whole book. I’ll definitely be looking forward to reading more of her books! ARC provided via First to Read. All opinions are my own.

I did like the book. I liked most of the good characters. I did wonder about the use of a female dr (Dr. Woodhouse) but I liked it. I was a little curious about the relations they had before marriage because it was set in the day and age where people were really concerned about their reputations. But it was a good story. I also really liked that it was a longer book. It gave me more time to read about the town and the people.

A Touch of Flame returns readers to Frost Falls, Colorado where newly elected sheriff Ben Madison is tasked with introducing the new doctor, E. Ridley Woodhouse. When the people of Frost Falls realize their familiar Doc recommended a woman for the job getting them to actually trust her becomes a challenge she hadn't anticipated. The story is kind of slow in the beginning as it focuses on Ridley trying to establish herself in town despite prejudice and work with a difficult patient. Lily Salt is in a tough situation with four children and an alcoholic husband, but she won't reach out for help. It's a familiar tune, but Jo Goodman doesn't provide Ridley and Ben with a straightforward resolution. They have to think outside the box if they want to protect the Salt family. Things get interesting as Ridley opens up about her childhood and a dangerous robbery brings Ben and Ridley even closer together. Ben and Ridley are the intellectual types, so most of their conversations are serious. There's a little witty banter and small town antics to keep things lively. If you loved Bound For Eden by Tess LeSue, you'll enjoy A Touch of Flame! *ARC provided via First to Read in consideration for review*

I enjoy a good romance novel, and Goodman doesn't disappoint. The first third of the novel were a bit too slow-moving for me, but if you stick with it, the story does improve. I enjoyed and appreciated the relationship between the two main characters and they were both very likable on their own. Put them together and you get the perfect pair. I do think their relationship was a bit too casual for the time period, but Goodman works hard to pull it all together. Overall, it is a nice novel with a sweet love story at its heart.

I loved this book. Not the cheesy romance novel type, but a very beautifully written novel with mature and well defined characters.

It liked this book. I am one that enjoys a good romance novel. I really got into the characters and wanted to know how it ended. I could do without the detailed sex scenes, but the rest held my attention and made me want to finish.

Well, it was a really nice story until I got to page 200 and the sex scene started. Not sure why its necessary to include all the details of that rather than spending more time developing the characters and their interaction with those around them. I wanted to read the rest of the story to see where it would go but I'm not one to read about others bedroom incidents. Therefore I will not be finishing this book, nor will I recommend it to others. I would appreciate a little more warning as well from the publisher about the content of the book, this is not a book I would want to leave open around my house with children running around. Try again, people!

I really wanted to like this book (the premise sounded intriguing) but I couldn't really get into it. The pacing was too slow for my liking and my interest dwindled after the first few chapters.

I read a lot of historical romance novels, but they are usually simple little stories (e.g., the cowboy and the mail-order bride he didn’t actually order are forced into marriage, and then end up falling in love in the last 100 pages. You know the type...). This book was not like that. It’s a much heftier, slow-moving story (clocking in at around 500 pages). The pros: this made for a richer, more developed story with well-rounded secondary characters and very human, funny, relatable protagonists. The cons: I did find my interest wandering at times when the pacing of the story hit a lull. My main beef with the book was actually the very casual sexual encounters between the main characters. While I have no doubt that love affairs did occur in 19th century Western towns, I just st had a hard time believing that a female doctor trying to establish herself in a new town wouldn’t be more concerned about her reputation (the unfairness of the sexual double standard at that time is another topic...but it definitely would have been a concern for that time period). In some ways, I felt like the relationship was a bit “modern” for a historical romance, even for a maverick “lady doctor”and a surprisingly progressive sheriff. That said, I really did enjoy the story and the relate between the characters and definitely plan to read more from Ms. Goodman.

I don’t always enjoy westerns, but I was intrigued by the description of this book. A woman doctor in small town Colorado sounded right up my alley. This is a long book with a slow build, and sadly I just couldn’t get into the story or the characters.

I really wanted to like this book, but I found it to be too slow for me. I ended up skimming the last 75 pages or so, because I wasn't that invested in the story.

Loved it! Nice western historical romance. The interaction between Ridley and Ben were fun and the way society in the small town was portrayed for the time period was spot on. I really liked the running gag with the guess of her first name. I hope there is another story set in Frost Falls and maybe it will be around Festival time.

3.5 stars. This is a slice of life/historical romance set in Colorado in the late 19th century. Ridley is a new doctor in a town that wasn't exactly expecting a woman to arrive. Ben is the town sheriff who is supposed to ease her way into life in the west. For a romance, this is a slow-paced, long book but it definitely fit my mood and I really liked the characters. As a side note, the models on the cover exactly fit my imaginings of these characters which hardly ever happens. I really enjoyed this one.

In reading through several of the advance reviews for this book, I was surprised that there were so many negative reviews. I love reading about this time in history and was delighted with the characters and story line. I felt that I had met new friends that I would love to spend more time with. The difficulty of a female doctor being accepted as the town physician in the old West was very real. Dealing with domestic abuse, when the person who is being abused refuses to report it to the sheriff, is as timely as today's news. I look forward to reading many more of Ms. Goodman's Western themed books.

I'm not at all sure that I can put my finger on exactly what I found so appealing about this book, but it had to do with the senses of humor of the main characters. Ben, the sheriff, had a dry wit that really appealed to me. I'm sure that most people in his town wouldn't have caught on to half of what he was saying (or the manner in which he went about saying it?). The main female character, Ridley, was one of the exceptions. She is a doctor in a time when women weren't supposed to be much of anything, yet alone a doctor. She had a brilliant mind, compassion, a strength of character, was very open and blunt about sex and a very attracting sense of humor. She was sprung on the town. Everyone was surprised to discover that Dr. E. Ridley Woodhouse was a woman. Ben had more than his fair share of moments after the discovery. Turn about was fair play, however, and Ridley didn't know that the sheriff he kept referring to was actually him. The wittiness of the writing--plot and dialogue--in this story was such that Ridley's treating of one of her first patients went by without the man realizing that she was actually the doctor. It was hilarious! I found this book to be totally refreshing. I don't often read historical romance anymore, but I'm starting to get back into it. I'm pretty sure I've read Jo Goodman in the past, but I'm POSITIVE I'll read more of her in the future.

I have to admit, I was not expecting much going into the book. This is not my usual genre, and the blurb felt lacking, in terms of arousing interest. However, I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by how the characters drew me in, and kept me reading till the end. The witty banter between the two lead characters, and the recurrent joke about what the "E" in Dr. E. Ridley Woodhouse's name stood for made me smile, and keep turning the pages. I wouldn't recommend this book to someone looking for serious historical fiction; even to someone as inexperienced with the genre and era as me, several moments in the book seemed to require some suspension of disbelief. However, it's a quick, fun read with engaging characters, so if you're looking for light bedtime reading after a stressful day, I recommend "A Touch of Flame".

This is my first time reading something from this author. It was an enjoyable read, I laughed out loud a few times. There were times when I didn't want to put it down.

A Touch of Flame is a fun read. I wouldn't call it historically accurate by any stretch of the imagination, so if that bothers you in historical fiction this is probably not the book for you. However, when you suspend disbelief you get a fun story with a sweet romance at its heart. The mystery of E. Ridley Woodhouse's "E" was amusing, and the dialogue between Ridley and Ben was believable and witty. I enjoyed watching their relationship develop as Ben tried to foster acceptance of the new female doctor with the townsfolk. All in all, if you're looking for a lightly historical romantic read, this book should do the trick.

I thought this was going to be a surprisingly good novel. I was very disappointed. The plot and the characters has good development until you got to the dr. and the sheriff. On page 43, the Sheriff exclaims “Jesus, Mary and Joseph”. The author just got done telling us that the Presbyterian Church is the one and only church. Trust me no staunch church-going Presbyterian would EVER say that, not even a rogue Sheriff would spout that. That’s as Catholic as the Pope. This began to fall apart when the author started inserting 21st century sensibilities into a 19th century novel. The Doctor’s reputation is the one thing she has to put forth to the townsfolk that she is a creditable and factual doctor. Her reputation is everything. If there is one whiff of impropriety all doors will be closed to her. The fact that she has no problem with letting the Sheriff dress her after she cut herself with the scalpel was incredible. She lives right next to the Sheriff. People watch the comings and goings of others for entertainment. The gossip, even if it didn’t come from her own housekeeper would be enough to get a pair of red shoes nailed to her front door (sign of a harlot). I’m not stating romances like theirs didn’t happen. I’m stating it was so “in your face” about it. If the author is going to write a “historical” romance, get the facts straight and don’t try to pull off 21st century morality in the era of no birth control.

I honestly thought this book was going to be ridiculous. And it was. The two-line summary basically tells you what's going to happen and that is exactly what happens. But something amazing happened--the story somehow drew me in and I stopped caring how over the top the plot was and just kind of enjoyed the read. Even though I knew the ending miles before it ended, I did not know what the E stood for and while that alone isn't enough to keep reading a book, the heightened fictional world was just fun enough to keep me engaged. All in all, pretty good romance book.

I really enjoyed this book and will be purchasing the first in the series. The characters were well-drawn and interesting; I liked the protagonists and the bad guy was just the right level of menacing. I am looking forward to reading more books by Jo Goodman!

Jo Goodman’s Touch of Flame is a entertaining read. This novel is actually second in a series but the author does a good job of making it a standalone. Excellent character and plot development. Goodman also gives a glimpse of early attitudes toward women in the medical field. I will read more from this author. I was chosen to read an advance copy of this book as part of Penguin's First to Read program. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.

A Touch of Flame by Jo Goodman My rating: 5 of 5 stars Jo Goodman writes dialog that has such a great flow. I loved how E. Ridley Woodhouse and Ben Madison play off of each other in dialog that brings a smile. Both are really interesting characters. E. Ridley is female and a doctor while Ben is the Sheriff. They keep interacting and building the tension in the story. I loved how the E. in Ridley's name is made such a fun part in the story. When the name is finally revealed it brings on more of that great dialog. A interesting story that highlights a problem that still around today. I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

I enjoyed this book. The story was well told and moved at a good pace. Characters were well developed, with clever dialogue. This is the second book in a series but I didn't feel I was missing anything by not reading the first book.

This was a well plotted story and has good developed characters but it was not one of those books that you felt like the characters jumped off the page and you were there with them and could not put the book down. It was a bit to clinical for me and I found it lacking in drawing me in and the intimate relationship between Ridley and Ben was very sterile and wanting that it would have been a better book without it. it was just missing that certain oomph that it was just shy of being a fantastic book, other than that I liked it and would love to see the series be better because it had great characters.

Jo Goodman’s A Touch of Flame is the second in a series, and tells the story of Ben, the sheriff in Frost Falls, and Ridley, the new doctor in town from the East Coast. This is definitely a romance, but also does a good job of creating a story about the community of Frost Falls that makes it a more complete and compelling read. The characters are likeable and believable, although it took me awhile longer to enjoy Ridley. The book does read a bit formally, and I think it would be more enjoyable if it read a little more naturally. All in all, a good book if you want a romance novel that’s more about people falling in love than just being physically attracted to each other as the plot line.

I enjoyed reading this book. It had good strong female role models who were still women, with limited rights. I did laugh at the soup bone stopping a robber. That was classic.

I loved this book! What a great read! Good romance!! Very entertaining!

I have to say I really liked this book. The characters kept calling me back to read their story. There was a little confusion at the beginning with the name Ridley but overall I loved how Ben thought and kept trying to figure what the E stands for. I found this book to be very enjoyable. Thank you

I really enjoyed this book. I especially like the witty dialog between Ridley and Ben and Ben’s mother, brother and sister in law. Each of those characters were likable and well developed. The storyline about the Salts was very realistic and interesting. I was confused about Ben’s time on the ranch and his parentage. The character of Fiona and her husband seem to appear without any real explanation of who they were. Overall, I did enjoy reading his book. It was a little long. I would recommend it to someone who wanted a light read.

I enjoyed this book. There were parts where I wished I had read the previous book in the series but most things got explained (I'll have to get the earlier book next - I am wondering how everything got worked out). The heroine was unusual for her time and I enjoyed reading about the "wild west." The hero was funny and the characters were relatable and varied throughout the town. Recommended if you like romance books.

I absolutely loved this book, and I couldn't put it down once I stopped. I loved how the relationship between Ben and Ridley was nice, slow, fun and playful. Their pasts slowly revealed to one another, and how they helped overcome what happened to better their future. When it came to Ridley dealing with what was going on with the Salts because of her own past with her mother, and Ben dealing with his issues he left behind at Twin Star it was all beautifully well written and the end only had me wanting more. This is my first time reading a book by Ms. Goodman and all I can say is it won't be the last.

This is a fun read, particularly due to the self effacing Sherriff, Ben and the new doc in town--Ridley. They developed an easy banter from the beginning and it was not hard to predict that there would be a lot of drama with her first patient, Lily and Lily's family as well as some romantic sparks between Ben and Ridley, as their pasts turn into their futures. Well written romance story.

I adored this story! The quick humor between the two main characters, the slow reveal of information about their pasts and about the people in the town, and the building tension as they grew closer romantically all kept me engaged in the story from start to finish. I have read other books by Ms. Goodman before, and will certainly be reading more after this treat!

Ridley has gladly traveled from Boston to the West to be the sole Doctor. She was met with apprehension at every turn. The town is expecting the new doctor, however, her predecessor failed to inform the town she was a woman. Ridley is met at the train by Ben, who is the Sheriff. He foresees the issues Ridley will encounter with the townspeople. He makes it his mission to try and make pave the way for her. Her most reluctant patient is an abused wife. Ridley is limited in what help her patient will allow knowing her husband will not be happy and may in fact make the situation worse. Find out how a small town bands together to help when needed and how Ridley changes her thoughts and expectations on life. I enjoyed reading this story.


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