First Touch by Laurelin Paige
Publisher & Release Date: St. Martin’s Griffin, December 29, 2015
Time and setting: Present Day, U.S.A.
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Erotic/BDSM
Length: 384 pages
Heat Level: 4 Flames
Rating: 4 Gold Crowns
Emily Wayborn is finally her own woman.
After a string of shameful relationships and reckless partying with her best friend Amber, she's now a successful voiceover actress, her wild past and everyone in it firmly behind her. Until she receives a cryptic voicemail from her former friend that sends her spiraling into the darkness she thought she had outrun. One thing is clear from the message, Amber is in trouble.
Determined to track down her friend, Emily follows a chain of clues that leads her to Reeve Sallis, a gorgeous and equally dangerous hotelier known
for his power games and shady dealings. Now, in order to find Amber, Emily must return to her playgirl ways to uncover his secrets and track down her friend. But as she becomes more entangled with him, she finds she's drawn to Reeve and his depravity despite her growing conviction that he may be the one responsible for Amber' s disappearance.
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Recently I stumbled upon Laurelin Paige’s Fixed trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed all three books. I found them spell-binding. If you haven’t read them, please do. When I received an offer to read First Touch in exchange for an honest review, I gladly accepted.
This is definitely a novel that is not for anyone who is faint of heart. The story is very dark and quite twisted. The pace is exceptional and so is the writing, and I had a hard time putting it down when life events interfered with my reading!
Emily Wayborn is on a mission to find her best friend. After years of estrangement, she gets a message from Amber that sets her on her quest. Since she has seen pictures of Amber with the notorious Reeve Sallis, she put herself in his way, hoping to solve the mystery of her friend’s disappearance.
Reeve Sallis is not a nice man. He is depraved and ruthless when it comes to his dealings with women. Emily is drawn to him as she becomes entwined in his dark world. Will she fall back into her old ways as she tries to learn Reeve’s deepest secrets?
While I found this book compelling, I can’t say I actually liked Emily or Reeve. At times, his behavior is abusive toward Emily, and even if she likes his very rough play, for me it goes a bit too far. I have read BDSM books before, but this is not patterned off that life style. There is no tender care after an encounter, no helping Emily to come back from her subspace. These terms are not used in this book.
Emily’s character has few redeeming characteristics and while I felt deep emotion for the ordeal she had suffered that tore her and Amber apart, I was repulsed by it at the same time. I can’t imagine wanting to reconnect with a woman who virtually turned her back on her at what was the worst moment of her life. There is no doubt of her loyalty, though, perhaps, to her detriment.
Reeve is not a hero, and I had a difficult time finding any redeeming qualities in him as well, and there was nothing in his back story that can explain his why he is so cruel to women. Now, I did feel his raw emotion when Emily tells him what happened to her six years ago, and that did redeem him a bit.
Nonetheless, even though I did not truly like either the hero of the heroine, I did enjoy First Touch. However, be prepared and aware of the extreme darkness of the book. I will definitely read the next one when it comes out. First Touch does end on a cliff hanger, and I have to know how this will play out for them. Happy reading!