Title: First Touch
Author: Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year: Paige Press 12/29/15
Length: 304 Pages
Series: First and Last #1
DESPERATE FOR THE TRUTH. OBSESSED BY DESIRE…
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.
OH WOW. that’s what i’ve got to say when I start this one. This first installment to this story is intense, hot, confusing, rich, all those great words that go into making an amazing story. I’ve read quite a few books from Ms Laurelin Paige, our amazing author and I think that this may be my favorite so far.
As the summary hints, we are reading the story through Emilyl’s eyes- she’s come a long way from the girl that she was back in high school and even soon after. She’s established herself with a new ish identity, she’s got a job that supports her and gives her access to the nicer things in life, and yet, she’s got her troubles in the form of a mother who’s got dementia and needs full time care. It’s one thanksgiving with her mom that goes better than most days, that she’s told of a message from a blast from the past that was on her voicemail. Amber – the girl that she met back when she was a teen, a girl who was a runaway but who taught her how to manipulate and use men for what she wanted to get in life….Amber was in trouble – as she used their coded safe word in the message.
The journey from there is one that gives Emily nothing of what she expected, but all of what she wanted. She hired Joe to help her locate Amber since the police wouldn’t help and what Joe uncovers isn’t at all what Emily wants to get involved with. She was last with a powerful man named Reeve Sallis, who’s got connections for sure, but who is possibly one of the sexiest men alive. He’s got a unique past being linked to an actress who died but aside from that, it’s the allure of the luxury resorts that he owns and the lifestyle that he lives that we assume drew Amber in. The challenge is that she’s not with him anymore, and Joe can’t seem to find her aside from a few uniquely timed emails that show images of her with a mystery man that we have determined to be the leader of a mob group.
Emily decides that the way to find Amber is to get close to Reeve and while she knew what she’d have to do in order to get close to him, she didn’t know that she would have the potential to fall in love with him and have that reciprocated. He has boundaries and expectations of what his ‘relationships’ are right but Emily approaches him out of his comfort zone and challenges him in ways that no one else has and therefore she’s ‘special’ to him even though he won’t admit it.
Every time Emily thinks that she’s getting a lead, things happen and it all gets questioned. We see Reeve’s controlling side come out time and time again, edging onto the scary and dangerous side, but we also know that things like that turn Emily on more than anyone could imagine. She’s trying to be careful in her approach to learn more about what happened to Amber, but what she should realize is that Reeve is connected to EVERYONE and EVERYTHING so i’m guessing that it’s all going to blow up in her face.
Throughout this time though, we see these two become dependent on one another. Addicted in a sense because they each crave something that only the other can give them. They need each other for peace and to breathe and of course to satiate an undeniable chemistry. They’re into kink – they like it rough, and it’s so hot to see EVERY single time their chemistry explodes since it’s often and super charged.
The last chapter of this first installment takes us on a complicated path. We see them argue, we see the questioning of trust and we wonder if there’s a chance that trust can be gained. Emily takes a chance and goes back to Reeve and he gives her the emotion that she needs from him. She had bared her worst moments to her and accidentally shard Amber’s name as the only person she’s loved and that triggers something in Reeve. He finally reveals the details of how he and Amber split and while that’s put closure on things, it also only answers half of Emily’s questions. Who are the two people that he’s loved. Amber and his parting words….her best friend.
The moment that’s revealed, Reeve’s phone rings and he runs out of their room to the main room of the ranch house where Emily secretly follows. There she sees Joe, and Amber. Who was supposed to be dead. and that’s the cliffhanger that we get. Luckily for me this story was written 5 years ago so I’ve got book 2 and i’m going to read it now. I was up all night doing my best not to write this review so that I could try to go a day without reading a book, but well….that didn’t happen so now i’m off to the next installment to see how their worlds implode. Enjoy!