When Emily Wayborn goes home to visit her mom while on hiatus from her hit TV show, she receives a voicemail from her former best friend, Amber. Though the two were once notorious party girls, they haven’t spoken in years. Although the message might sound benign to anyone else, Amber uses a safe word that Emily recognizes, a word they always used to get out of sticky situations during their wild days. And what’s more chilling than the voicemail: it turns out that Amber has gone missing.
Determined to track down her friend, Emily follows a chain of clues that lead her to the enigmatic billionaire Reeve Sallis, a hotelier known for his shady dealings and play boy reputation. Now, in order to find Amber, Emily must seduce Reeve to learn his secrets and discover the whereabouts of her friend. But as she finds herself more entangled with him, she finds she’s drawn to Reeve for more than just his connection to Amber, despite her growing fear that he may be the enemy. When she’s forced to choose where her loyalty lies, how will she decide between saving Amber and saving her heart?
My initial thoughts:
Honestly there are no words. Why isn’t there a ten-star rating, hell a gazillion star rating? I’ve read some amazing books recently but they all pale in comparison to First Touch. That cliffhanger is the best cliffhanger EVER. Damn, this is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s sick and twisted and depraved and the most addictive story ever. LP is a phenomenal writer. Okay, must stop gushing now, need sleep. Freaking amazing book.
Laurelin Paige delivers another scintillating good read that will blow your mind. Wow. Superb writing combined with complex characters and a plot that kept me on the edge of my seat has ensured First Touch a place on my absolute favorite reads of 2015.
Emily appears to be the consummate up-and-coming TV personality on the outside; beautiful, intelligent, professional, and self-sufficient. But underneath that carefully created exterior lurks a girl who is almost the exact opposite. Since she parted ways with bestie Amber seven years ago (on bad terms) she has reinvented herself and tried to suppress that side of her nature. Now, Amber has reached out, indicating she’s in trouble, and out of a misguided sense of loyalty, Emily sets out to uncover the truth behind her friend’s disappearance.
Her quest for the truth brings her to elusive billionaire Reeve Salis, hot hotelier with a somewhat dubious rep. Ah, Reeve. Love the name, and by the end of the book, I loved the man. At the outset, I believed everything that was said about him, and I was scared for Emily, but as the story progressed and Emily’s opinion started to change so did mine.
I really enjoyed the mystery/suspense element of the plot and the mob connection. My personal view is that Reeve was being coerced or blackmailed, and I never believed he was willingly involved in that whole scene. What he says toward the end seemed to corroborate that view. I am so curious to see where this goes in the next book.
Sex, power, and control are a huge theme in this story. The relationship between Reeve and Emily is abusive though consensual. She liked to be debased and hurt and it was the sickest, most depraved thing I’ve ever read. But weirdly addictive. Even as I was disgusted at several scenes I couldn’t stop turning the pages. As they grow closer they start to open up to one another and we see a different side to both of them as individuals and as a couple. In the last few chapters, they are very close to admitting the love they share, and certain things are brought front and center stage. Then that cliffhanger happens. OMG. I can’t say the thought hadn’t crossed my mind because it did, but it was still an electrifying, suspenseful end to this book. I have not been able to stop thinking about it and I think I’ll die if I don’t get to read what happens next.
This is such an incredible read and it’s hard to find words to properly express how amazing it is. This is sheer genius. Superb writing (as I’ve come to expect from the phenomenally talented Laurelin Paige) bang-on pacing, subtle yet strong plot development, excellent characterization with both mains being steadily developed with their fair share of complex strengths and weaknesses. Emotional depth is there – I felt a strong connection to the two mains, and the secondary characters are decent too.
This may not be for everyone as some of the scenes are difficult to read, but if you are a Laurelin Paige fan, or you enjoy well-written erotic romantic suspense, then is is a MUST read.
Thanks to the publisher for supplying an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author:
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling author Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She is represented by Rebecca Friedman and Friedman Literary.