Touch the Dark (Cassie Palmer Series #1)

( 461 )

Overview

Can you ever really trust a vampire?

Cassandra Palmer can see the future and communicate with spirits -- talents that make her attractive to the dead and the undead. The ghosts of the dead aren’t usually dangerous; they just like to talk -- a lot.

The undead are another matter.

Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking mafioso she ...

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Touch the Dark (Cassie Palmer Series #1)

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Overview

Can you ever really trust a vampire?

Cassandra Palmer can see the future and communicate with spirits -- talents that make her attractive to the dead and the undead. The ghosts of the dead aren’t usually dangerous; they just like to talk -- a lot.

The undead are another matter.

Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with vengeance on his mind, she’s forced to turn to the vampire Senate for protection.

The undead senators won’t help her for nothing, and Cassie finds herself working with one of their most powerful members, a dangerously seductive master vampire -- and the price he demands may be more than Cassie is willing to pay....

"Cassie, look at me."

I fought him, knowing from childhood that looking a vampire directly in the eyes made it easier for him to control you, but everyone ignored us, I guess under the assumption that I was just a lousy dancer.

Unlike the legends, his body felt warm against mine and as smooth as muscled satin, but he may as well have been carved of steel for all the hope I had of breaking his hold. My pulse sped up and I thought I would faint when he bent his head and I felt lips trailing over my neck. I think my heart actually stopped as he delicately kissed the skin as if tasting the pulse under the surface. I felt like my blood could sense him; that it moved slower and thicker in my veins, waiting for him to set it free. I broke into a sweat that had nothing to do with the heat of so many bodies crowded into a small place. Was he going to kill me right there, in front of a couple of hundred witnesses?

I should have known something like this was going to happen. Every time I trusted someone they betrayed me; every time I loved someone, they died. Since he was already dead, I guessed the pattern held true.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
In the hot-blooded vein of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake saga and Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series, Karen Chance's debut novel is a contemporary dark fantasy revolving around a gutsy female protagonist with supernatural abilities that blends mystery and romance with hair-raising horror.

Cassie Palmer, a powerful clairvoyant who works part-time at an Atlanta club reading Tarot cards, is finding it difficult to escape her past. Orphaned at a young age and brought up by the undead, Cassie has the ability to communicate with the spirit realm, and her powers were abused time and time again by a ruthless master vampire named Tony. It's been three years since Cassie -- a self-described "ghost magnet" -- has been free of the centuries-old bloodsucker, but now he's back and eager to reclaim his human possession. Forced to turn to the Senate (a group of "really old vamps" who make laws for the supernatural community) for protection, Cassie is thrown into a complex conflict where control of the entire supernatural world is at stake. Rasputin (yes, the Mad Monk himself), a power-hungry vampire, is killing off the Senate members one by one. Aided by some impressive allies -- including Dracula's older brother, Mircea -- Cassie must use everything in her paranormal arsenal to fight the encroaching evil -- and somehow stay alive…

Fans of authors like Hamilton, Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, and Charlaine Harris will undoubtedly enjoy this fast-paced, blood-sucking romp through the supernatural underworld -- yet another noteworthy addition to the ever-growing subgenre of fantasy/romance/mystery hybrids. Paul Goat Allen
From the Publisher
"A wonderfully entertaining romp with an engaging heroine. Here's hoping there's a sequel in the works!" —-Kelly Armstrong, author of the New York Times bestseller No Humans Involved
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451460936
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/6/2006
  • Series: Cassie Palmer Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 256,346
  • Product dimensions: 4.36 (w) x 7.06 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author


Karen Chance is the bestselling author of the Cassandra Palmer series and the Dorina Basarab series, and she has contributed stories to the anthologies On the Prowl and The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance.

Actress Cynthia Holloway has performed on stage, film, and television, and she is the voice of Anita Blake in the audiobook editions of Laurell K. Hamilton's bestselling vampire hunter series.

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Read an Excerpt

“Cassie, look at me.”

I fought him, knowing from childhood that looking a vampire directly in the eyes made it easier for him to control you, but everyone ignored us, I guess under the assumption that I was just a lousy dancer.

Unlike the legends, his body felt warm against mine and as smooth as muscled satin, but he may as well have been carved of steel for all the hope I had of breaking his hold. My pulse sped up and I thought I would faint when he bent his head and I felt lips trailing over my neck. I think my heart actually stopped as he delicately kissed the skin as if tasting the pulse under the surface. I felt like my blood could sense him; that it moved slower and thicker in my veins, waiting for him to set it free. I broke into a sweat that had nothing to do with the heat of so many bodies crowded into a small place. Was he going to kill me right there, in front of a couple of hundred witnesses?

I should have known something like this was going to happen. Every time I trusted someone they betrayed me; every time I loved someone, they died. Since he was already dead, I guessed the pattern held true.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 461 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(212)

4 Star

(131)

3 Star

(64)

2 Star

(26)

1 Star

(28)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 464 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read!!

    This book is one of the best urban fantasy novels I have read in a while. Everyone seems to be writing them but only a few do it well. I liked this one so much I ordered the other two and pre-ordered the next one.<BR/>Cassie Palmer has lived her whole life until 14 with a vampire mobster. She is a clairvoyant and he used her predictions to make money. She also can see ghosts and talks to them. Her mother and father were killed in a car bomb. Tony has raised her and when she finds out he has not warned the people of a major fire that she predicted, she realizes he has lied to her and used her. She very quickly disappears for three yrs. Then deciding to take Tony down she returns to him and sets him up for the FBI. Now at 20 she lives on the run and takes care of herself.<BR/>Tomas is a young man she saves off the street. She allows him to live with her and she gets him a job where she works. When she is finally found by Tony she takes the time to warn him. That allows the vamps sent by Tony to catch up with her. And reveals Tomas as a master vamp who has been sent by the Vampire Senate to protect her.<BR/>Mircea is the brother of Vlad Dracul and the maker of Tony, so he knows Cass and he is the one who sent Tomas. He and the Senate have a job for Cass and both want to use her powers.<BR/>In the last few days Cass's powers have increased and she doesn't know why. But if she can help the Senate maybe they can take care of Tony.<BR/>I loved it. If you like urban fantasy this is a must read. A true page turner!

    36 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

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    Started off well... then died.

    This book started out with a lot of promise. You have your butt-kicking heroine, you have the dark, attractive and brooding companion, and you have the initial action to get the story moving. And then it's all just kinda downhill from there.

    It was boring at best with brief periods of extreme sexual tension that goes completely unfulfilled as the character is supposed to be some "chosen one" that has to remain a virgin in order to be so.

    18 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    You'll need to be patient with this one

    Touch the Dark has the feel of having too many good character ideas at the same time and not being able to sort through them. Overall I enjoyed the book; however, if you are not in the habit of reading, it may try your patience as the author spends what feels like a third of the book introducing character after character. Once the introductions are done, the story picks up and becomes truly intriguing with a sexy ending that definitely left me wanting more. I just have to know what's next.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    GREAT PARANORMAL SERIES

    If you like non-stop action involving vampires, fae, black and white mages (magic), a dose of humor, and all that goes with it - you'll love this book and the series. Cassandra Palmer is a hot commodity by all. She "successfully" hides for three years until discovered and the fun begins. Her side-kick is a ghost who tasted the bottom of the ol' Mississippi after a poker game he was cheating at didn't go too well (for him). Considering this is the first major book by Ms. Chance, I am looking forward to a long reading experience with her. I highly recommend the whole series.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    good read

    I thought this book was pretty good. A little too much detail through out the book that could have been left out and more conversation could have taken place. Good characters and setting. I would recommend this book for anyone who likes the supernatural element. A must if you want to read the series.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book!

    I read this book after I stumbled across Karen Chance's other book Midnight's Daughter. I liked that book so I picked up a copy of this series. I originally was very hesitant because I usually dont like psychics and ghosts. I am glad I took the chance. This book was awesome. It held my attention and I finished it in one day. I am a sucker (no pun intended) for a good vampire and Mircea ranks right up there with Jean-Claude(from Anita Blakes series)! I am now on the third one in the series and trust me they get better and better. I love how they incorprate the fey,weres,witches and vampires all in one book.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Complicated but worth the effort...

    The first book is difficult because of the charactor & history development. I almost gave up on it but didn't because I purchased the audio book and didn't want to waste the money and I'm so glad that I gave it a chance. If you can make it through the first book you will fall in love with the series. I'm itching for the fourth book to come in the mail. itunes has the audio books for a reasonable price as well but the fourth book isn't available on audio yet?

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    It just wasn't what I was hoping for

    I was very excited to get this series as I'd heard a lot of good things about it. Unfortunately it just didn't live up to the hype, at least not for me. The writing was good, the characters were likeable enough, but the story dragged, it was slow and the author really over did it with making long paragraphs out of rather minor parts. Honestly it's only been a month since I finished the series and I can't tell you what the whole point was.

    This might be a good series for people who enjoyed Anita Blake, it reminded me a lot of Laurell K. Hamilton's writing style.

    Also, if you're looking for something close to a Paranormal Romance, this really isn't it. There is some romance, but it's an afterthought at best.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    Love the whole series

    I absolutely loved this series. They just keep getting better. I hope there are more to come after hunt the moon. Definitely would recommend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2011

    very surprised!!!

    wow!......not to sound like i'm kicking the book or anything, but this book was better than i thought it would be! when i initially read the summary, i thought it sounded like it was a book that was better suited for when you're in between books. i mean i love the whole vampire involvement thing (yeah i'm a vampire story junkie), but the storyline just sounded kind of ehhh to me...and i really hadn't expected to like it this much.
    ......in all honesty, i actually started reading it just to kill time and the ratings seemed well enough. but i've gotta honestly say....it ended up wayyy above my expectations. it felt kind of long and over-descriptive in the beginning but then out of nowhere it immediately started picking up. and then it seemed like a good thing that it was so descriptive. it helped draw me into the scenes. i felt like i was right there alongside her, too. i couldn't even put the book down after that. i can't wait for the second book to arrive in the mail and i'll definitely be sure to check out the anita blake series ;-)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fast-paced thriller

    The world of vampires has become a popular subject in many current books, yet Karen Chance manages to bring new life to the concept. The pace of this book starts a little slow as she establishes the history of clairvoyant Cassie Palmer, now on the run from her vampire guardian. As the book progresses, however, so does the pacing. At times, you almost feel as breathless as the heroine while she dodges angry vampires and mages. What especially sets this book apart from others in the genre is the development of the characters. Each main character is complex and dynamic, and part of the fun comes from watching them grow as the book (and series) continues. Lifelike characters combined with funny dialogue and moments of intense suspense and romance make this book difficult to put down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    entertaining supernatural thriller

    Over three years ago Antonio the Mafioso vampire killed his parents who were in the way when he went to abduct Cassandra Palmer so that he could control her clairvoyance skills. She escaped and felt relatively safe until now when she reads her obit on her computer screen. Deciding not to wait for her death on Atlanta¿s Peachtree Street, Cass races home to insure her roommate Tomas is safe. However vampires attack both of them. They survive the assault with help from some of Cass¿ more spirited friends and it helps that Tomas is a vampire too. Tomas escorts Cassie to the Metaphysical Alliance for Greater Cooperation (MAGIC) headquarters for a who¿s who of supernatural and mythological species. She pleads with the vampiric Senate for protection against avenging literally blood-thirsty hitman instead the senators demand much more unsafe escapades from her. Cass is beginning to comprehend for some unknown reason she is the center of a supernatural war. As Cassie begins to understand the scope of her power, she finds herself attracted to Senator Mircea, but fears he just wants to make her dinner not take her to dinner. --- TOUCH THE DARK is an entertaining supernatural thriller starring a bewildered beleaguered brave woman struggling to survive in a world that makes no sense to her, which is saying a lot since she regularly speaks with ghosts. The action-packed story line never slows down for a nano second so wear the seat belts and set some time as this is a one read thriller. The creatures of the dark seem genuine whether they are vampire, ghost, or a were-species and the senate is a fascinating mix of historical and literary figures while a seemingly bittersweet star-crossed romance augments a strong tale that will bring much acclaim to Karen Chance. --- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Interesting and Fun

    It's an interesting, if slightly jumbled, read. I like the character. I'm on the second book in the series and haven't quite figured out what is going on as characters are thrown at the reader right and left. But it is a great mindless read; and that's what I need to unwind from teaching my college students. No problems recommending it to anyone who needs to escape from reality for a while.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2012

    Recommended

    I kept putting it down thinking that I could not finish it. There was something that kept drawing me back to the book. Once I finished it I found myself interested in the purchasing another book in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2012

    Deedee

    Great read!!!!!!!! But what happened nothing has come out for some time??????

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Quite frankly, I find this book hard to review. I liked the pre

    Quite frankly, I find this book hard to review. I liked the premise and the characters, but I find myself left with mixed feelings about the novel. It is difficult for me to put a finger on what exactly about this book made me like it less than I should have.

    I liked the protagonist, Cassie. As a clairvoyant essentially raised by a vampire mafia, she is an interesting character with an intriguing background and an fascinating set of abilities. So, it&rsquo;s not the main character that bothered me. The rest of the cast of characters includes a plethora of vampires, several of them representing famous faces in history such as Cleopatra, Jack the Ripper, Rasputin, and more. There are also ghosts (with whom Cassie communicates), and mages. They are pretty well-developed for the time spent with their characters and the lens through which Cassie sees them, so it&rsquo;s not that either.

    There is action. Oh, there is action. I am nearly certain that this is my problem with the novel. Karen Chance doesn&rsquo;t give you the feeling that you are reading the first book in what will be a somewhat long series (I believe there are 5 books out now). When you start reading the novel, you hit the ground running, and never stop. Cassie is thrown through events and characters and situations at such a breakneck speed, neither she nor the reader really ever gets a chance to rest. As a result, it is sometimes hard to keep track of what is going on, which characters are currently involved, and how Cassie feels about it. There was just so much happening in this book. In a way, it felt like the last novel of a series. Not because events were resolved (because they largely were not), but because it felt like the author and the characters were in a hurry to get all of the events packed in before the end.

    Despite the general feeling that you are reading a novel in the middle or end of the series, the ending seems very abrupt. I contribute this to the fact the the novel runs full-steam from page 1, thus any ending seems like a train running off a cliff. Since I liked the characters, the world, and the plot, and I want to see what happens next to Cassie, I will at least give the next book in the series a chance. Hopefully, Chance has provided a novel which feels more complete.

    Keep a look out for my review of Claimed by Shadow to see my recommendations regarding this series!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2012

    Makes me want to read the next one

    Ok, the story and all the history and interwoven plotlines (including time travel) is a lot to keep your head around. You really have to pay attention. But I like Cassie, she is a good strong female lead who doesn't put up with crap. The supporting characters are good also - and her relationship with Billy is funny. There is even a surprise historical tie-in that I wasn't expecting, but enjoyed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Great read!

    I enjoyed this book very much. I have read all of the Cassie Palmer books. I ordered book one for my good friend. I think that she will enjoy it as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2011

    Tough start but really good!

    This book was a tough start but got really good about a quarter of the way in, then I couldnt put it down! I cant wait to read the next one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2011

    awesome read!

    Sounds like the beginning of a good series. I couldn't put it down. I felt like my hands were glued to the book!
    I had high expectations for tomas though. He seemed pretty genuine about his feelings towards cassie, but I guess I'm not such a good judge of character. Or maybe that was chance's intention, to build more of a shock for the twist in the end. Yet, even though knowing what I know now, I still feel so conflicted about tomas.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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