Review: A Healing Touch by Liz Arnold

Title: A Healing Touch

Author: Liz Arnold

Page Length: 417

Publication Date: Aug. 20, 2020

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group


In post-revolutionary America, Molly Hilliard wants to be more than an herbal healer, and she answers the lure of adventure on the Ohio River and journeys to the Northwest Territory seeking the freedom to set up a medical practice. Along the way, she tries to hire Romney Applewood as a guide, but he is going the opposite direction. After ten years as a captive of the Delaware Indians, Romney wants to get as far east as possible to forget his past and avoid the bounty on his head for taking part in raids upon settlers’ homes. Something about the way she sacrifices herself to heal others, and something about the way he endures the difficulties he encounters because of his tormented past, links them in more than their quest as they blaze new trails in their lives and in America’s frontier. Add to Goodreads

My Review:

A Healing Touch is a poignant story about the power of love and the strength to overcome adversity. The story begins as Molly decides to travel alone to Marietta, Ohio to reunite with her family and put her medical degree to good use. On her journey to Marietta, Molly meets Romney, a man determined to find his sister who, like him, was captured and raised by Indians. Romney is tortured by the murder of his parents and the kidnapping of his sister, which occurred over a decade ago, and he won’t rest until he rescues Sarah Jane and brings her to safety. Romney can’t afford to be distracted by the intelligent beauty, and Molly has no intention of falling for the handsome stranger. However, their feelings are too strong to ignore.

Molly resolves to help the guilt-ridden Romney find Sarah Jane before continuing to Marietta, where her family awaits. Unfortunately, many obstacles stand in Molly and Romney’s way, including Molly’s unsavory mentor who follows her to Marietta and causes havoc along the way and a bounty on Romney’s head for his part in a raid on settlers years ago, but the pair remains undaunted. An odyssey filled with kidnappings, shoot-outs, river mishaps, attempted slave trades, smallpox epidemics, and more, A Healing Touch is an exciting, immersive, and poignant story. I loved following Molly and Romney’s journey as they each tried to figure out their place in the world and each other’s lives.

Romney is intense in the best of ways. He’s fierce in his determination to find his sister, in protecting those he loves and keeping them safe, and in his feelings for Molly and the world around him. His character is complex and dynamically developed. As a captive and eventual adoptee of the Delaware tribe, Romney has ties to the white world and the Indian world, and he struggles to find an identity in both without judgment and without compromising his loyalties and ethical beliefs. I found this aspect of his character fascinating. He grew to love his Delaware family even though he was treated harshly. He doesn’t quite fit in and is treated differently because of events that were out of his control, and though he isn’t treated fairly, he remains honorable and loyal.

Molly is similar in her independent spirit and strong moral code. Her goal in life is to help people, and she never backs down from her ambitions. Molly is often underestimated because of her gender, but she repeatedly proves that she is as (if not more) strong and resilient as the men in her life. I love her take-charge attitude and passionate spirit, as well as her kindness. She is a non-judgmental person who thinks the best of everyone, and her generosity of spirit extends to everyone.

I absolutely loved the romance between Romney and Molly! It is deep and passionate and lovely, and when Romney calls Molly the “woman of his heart,” I almost swooned. Two independent people who don’t quite fit into the expectations and standards of society, Romney and Molly understand each other and complement each other well. I rooted for this couple and hoped for their happy ending. Check out this swoon-tastic line:

“I will always be near you, no matter where you are,” Romney said in a whisper. “As long as the sun crosses the sky each day, you will never be without me.”

I also love the depiction of strong family bonds throughout the novel. Romney’s main purpose is reuniting with and providing a good life for his sister. He also wants to help his aunt and uncle, who take him in when he arrives in Pennsylvania. His aunt and uncle, in turn, are wonderfully supportive and accepting.

Molly’s relationship with her parents and sister is built on trust, mutual affection, and love. I adore Molly’s father’s staunch support of his daughter and those she holds dear. The way that Molly’s family welcomes Romney, his sister, and Vina into their family says so much about them, and the messages about familial love and solidarity are strong.

Finally, I want to comment on the amount of research that went into creating such a vivid and historically accurate setting. The author’s knowledge of eighteenth-century America and the complex relationships between the different tribes and settlers is immense, which makes for a captivating and thought-provoking read. I felt pulled into the time period as Molly and Romney visited the bustling and ever-growing cities, encountered unfathomable obstacles and dangers, and traveled through the wild unknown.

A Healing Touch is a wonderful story for readers who enjoy a rich historical romance with a captivating, immersive story and a swoon-worthy romance! Thanks so much to Liz Arnold for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance, of course! 😉
  • The author’s writing style is engrossing and vivid!

Favorite Lines:

“I will always be near you, no matter where you are,” Romney said in a whisper. “As long as the sun crosses the sky each day, you will never be without me.”

Prejudice has trapped him between two worlds.

Romney believed a man’s future meant how well and how long he was able to win the game of life over death in a world of constant struggle.

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