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Series: First & Last #1
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Suspense
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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?
ARC provided by Author/Publisher for honest review.
This review is probably going to feel a bit bipolar. I apologize in advance, but my opinion swings so far to each side, both good and bad, with no real in between. First Touch by Laurelin Paige is the book one in the First & Last series. This is my first read by this author, and while it’s a great story and has a lot of smutty good times, it just didn’t completely hit the mark for me.
Blue Raincoat. Those words instantly send Emily on a trying journey into her past and finding the friend she’d left behind years ago. There is tension and suspense, but at times it felt less than genuine. It seemed like Emily wanted to find Amber, but at the same time she was consumed with Reeve and her relationship with him, completely putting the Amber situation aside.
The push and pull between Reeve and Emily was also a bit contrived. It was there, actually the story was overflowing with push and pull, but it seemed arbitrary. The reasons are there, but the execution was lacking on the authors part making it fall flat instead of keeping me on the edge with the characters.
I have a bit of a love-hate thing going with Emily. I get her. The needs she has, the shame, the guilt — those things built angst into her character, but again follow through with development just didn’t get there.
Reeve is a whole different specimen. He’s they exact thing you’d expect in a gazillionaire dominant alpha. You hate him. You love him. You want him in your pants. Then he gets under your skin and into your heart. He’s a good character. I think the reason he’s easier to like than the rest of the characters is that it’s expected that he’s going to be a dominant alpha jerk.
“But I can’t get you out of my mind. You contaminate my thoughts. I keep remembering your body under my hands as I touched you. The parts of you I didn’t touch. The sounds you made. The look in your eyes. You haunt me, Emily.”
Chemistry between Emily and Reeve was really hot. Some of their best moments are when they are naked. Be warned, the smut is not vanilla. If you like it rough, dirty, and dominant, then you’ll be panting. There are scenes that could be triggers for some readers.
‘He took me where he wanted me to go, showing my lips how to move with the slightest turn of his head, coaxing my tongue with the silky licks of his own. It was a kiss that took—took my desire, took my passion, took my will. It was selfish and singularly choreographed for Reeve and Reeve alone.’
Overall, the book is enjoyable. After the first several chapters I was invested in finding out the truth, the who-done-it. The author definitely gave enough to hook the reader, just not enough for me to fully connect. And then when I was all ready for the happily ever after she ended it with a cliffhanger. I’m sure most people will be frustrated, but super excited for the second book — for me I was left unsatisfied and felt a bit jipped. I waffled about my rating, even put off writing my review until I could decide — three stars for storyline and four wet panties for smut.
“The problem with men who are actually a threat is that you don’t ever find out how unsafe they are until it’s too late.”