Review: Touched (Touched Saga #1) by Elisa S. Amore

TouchedTitle: Touched
Author: Elisa S. Amore
Series: Touched Saga #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance

Based on a Norwegian legend
A Sealed Fate
An Angel of Death
A Forbidden Love

โ€œAs seductive as Meet Joe Black. As mysterious as City of Angels. As powerful as Twilight.โ€

What are you willing to sacrifice when the only person who can save you is the same one who has to kill you?

After vampires and werewolves, after wizards and fallen angels, a new breed of Angels is here to usher you into their dark world. An ancient, deadly, inescapable race.
No one can see them. Theyโ€™re shadows of destiny. Theyโ€™re knights of death. Theyโ€™re the Subterraneans and theyโ€™re here to claim our lives.
Commanded by a mysterious congregation called the Mร sala, the Angels of Death ensure that each manโ€™s destiny takes its due course on Earth.
But what happens when love intervenes?
Can an Angel of Death deny his own nature and challenge destiny?
Can love rebel against fate?

When Gemmaโ€™s eyes first meet the dark, piercing gaze of Evan James, an ominous shadow creeps into her life, ultimately leading her to face her destiny. She doesn’t realize Evan is one of Death’s soldiers and that Death is summoning her.
Her time is up: Gemma must die . . . and Evan has been sent to kill her.
But what if sheโ€™s the only one who can truly see him?

Against every rule. Against fate itself. Against everything and everyone. A story of forbidden love and star-crossed destinies.

Dark. Romantic. Dangerous.

Touched combines devastating passion and unconfessable secrets, heartrending decisions and deep emotions, giving life to a love story as intense as the feelings that unite Evan and Gemma, as inescapable as the destiny that looms over them . . .

My Review:
Touched is one of the most endearing romantic books I’ve ever read and one which totally took my breath away. Elisa S. Amore is a gifted writer and her prose is simply stunning. I was highlighting like a crazy person, as there is a multitude of sentences that are beautifully crafted. I adore her writing style and it’s clear she is naturally talented.

Gemma has lived in relative obscurity in Lake Placid with her hard-working diner-owning parents, and her two best friends – Peter and her books. She is an excellent student, who gets good grades and never gives her parents an ounce of trouble. She yearns to experience the type of sweeping, passionate romance she has read about in her books. She is completely oblivious to the fact that her BFF, Peter, is in love with her. He hasn’t said anything to her because he’s afraid of ruining their friendship.

One fateful day in the woods changes everything. There she sees someone she shouldn’t be able to: Evan, an Angel of Death who has been sent to kill her. Inexplicably drawn to one another, Touched is the story of their romance and how they deal with the obstacles and challenges to their love.

This book is so romantic. It goes beyond swoon-worthy, and heart-stopping, into a realm all on its own. While it could be argued that it’s insta-love, it’s actually not. Although they feel an instant connection or attraction, their love story is a slow, gradual sensual build-up that had me feeling everything Gemma and Evan felt. Which brings me nicely onto emotional complexity and characterisation. Both of which were superb in this book. It is told in both Gemma and Evan’s point of view, which I always love, and the emotions bled off the pages of my Kindle. I felt every emotion skin-deep, heart-deep. I felt the pain, heartache, joy, longing, and the frantic urgency to save one another. Be still my heart. Those sections, in particular, were stunningly written. So poetic. Beautiful.

Secondary characters are solidly developed too though I wish Peter hadn’t been relegated to such a small part by the end of the book.

I loved the concept of the Angels (Subterraneans) as Angels of Death or Executioners and the addition of Ginerva, a witch who is supposed to be their natural enemy. The fantasy aspect was well developed, and an original and fresh take on Angels mythology. And the overriding concept – how can you kill the one you love – hooked me in the first place. That and the stunning cover.

I did find parts of the inner monologue, in both Gemma and Evan’s sections, repetitive and in my opinion some of that could have been cut. I also didn’t like how dismissive Gemma was of Peter who was supposed to be her best friend. Once Evan appeared on the scene, she pretty much forgot all about him which wasn’t nice. The plot of this book is very reminiscent of Twilight, and though I love Twilight, and it wasn’t really a big issue, I wish it had been a little more original. Those are my only complaints, though, and they are minor because overall I really loved this book.

It’s obvious that Gemma has some kind of gift or power that I assume will become transparent as the series progresses. I can’t help wondering if she is a witch? Or descendent from a witch? Pure speculation on my part and I could be way off track. I’m intrigued to find out in later books!

Overall, this was a truly spell-binding read. If you adore gushing, heart-stopping romance, set within a well-developed fantasy world with complex characterisation and beautiful prose, then you will love Touched. I can’t wait for the next book and I hope it isn’t too long before it’s released.

Some of my fav quotes:

“My mom always said that sooner or later all those stories I read would muddle up my perception of the world, upsetting my mental equilibrium and blurring the line between reality and illusion until I lost my grip on things. She wasn’t all wrong; I’d always been a thousand miles from reality…”

“My eyes were lost in his and his in mine, exploring unknown places, and I feared I wouldn’t be able to contain the emotion that flooded through me.”

“You need to learn to seize the day. Shyness is a lasso that binds the wings each of us has. Only if you untie it can you fly.”

“And yet, why should it matter if an event was real or dreamed, if you really experienced it? No matter what you called it, it existed. It was an emotion you felt. A memory you kept.”

“From time to time a soft lock caressed her face and I found myself gazing at it ravenously, as captivated as thief staring at treasure.”

“You’re my world, Gemma. The only way I can lose everything is if I lose you. I’d rather be damned forever than live an eternity without you.”

Thanks to the author for providing a gift copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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