When Emily Wayborn receives an answerphone message from her former best friend Amber, she knows something is seriously wrong. Emily hasn't spoken to Amber in years, and when Amber uses a safe word in her message that Emily recognises -- a word they always used to get out of sticky situations during their wild partying days -- she knows Amber needs her help. But when Emily tries to find her, she discovers that Amber is missing.
Determined to track her down, Emily follows a chain of clues that lead her to enigmatic billionaire Reeve Sallis. Renowned for his shady dealings and playboy reputation, Emily is convinced that Reeve knows something about Amber's disappearance. To try and discover the truth, Emily sets out to seduce him. But when she's forced to decide where her loyalty lies, how will Emily choose between saving Amber and saving her heart?
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Erotica
Rating: 4 / 5 dark and mysterious stars!
Series: First and Last #1
Favorite Quote: "We stayed there for long minutes while he let me our out my anguish an ddelf-hate in subtle strokes of my tongue and the varied pressire of my lips. He let me cry like this. Let me shed my skin. Let me be raw without taking advantage of my vulnerability like so many others had done."
Review: (no spoilers)
I loved this book. I first became acquainted with Laurelin Paige, not through her popular Fixed series, but through her Found Duet. I was impressed with her character development and her complexity of emotions. None of that "instant-love" that seems way too prevalent these days, but an actual build of affections and more importantly, the passing of time.
In First Touch, Paige has given us two dark horses and a lot of mystery. Our heroine's messy past has come back in the form of an estranged best friend calling out for help. This leads Emily to Reeve Sallis, our somewhat standard billionaire playboy for contemporary romance and part of my reason for a 4 star review. Still, their cat and mouse game at the beginning of the novel was great.
There is attraction and deception and a 3 month waiting period. Like I said, I love the author's use of passing time in order for the characters to develop a believable relationship.
My favorite aspect of this book is Emily's self-awareness. She recognizes her flaws and desires and then can classify them and analyze them and ultimately realize her true nature. It may not be considered standard, and may even put off readers who are looking for a sweeter love story, but in the underlying dark tones of this novel, it works. And this really works toward the power dynamics and sexy times between Emily and Reeve.
Additionally, there are ancillary characters that add to the story. I extremely dislike when all action and dialogue is just between our main characters. The extra characters really add to a richer, fuller, and more mysterious story.
As for what I disliked about the book, there were a couple overly repetative themes, and Emily's inner monologue tended to wax on in the same vein without adding anything new to our perspective of the character or plot.
It ends on some revelations and then adds more questions, a decent cliffhanger that will keep you anxious for the next installment, but not too crazed.