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.
About the Author
Laurelin Paige is the NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Fixed Trilogy. She's a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there's kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters.
Read an Excerpt
By Laurelin Paige
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2015 Laurelin Paige
All rights reserved.
Even with my head below the surface of the water, I felt his arrival. My arms continued moving in fluid strokes, my legs kicking out behind me, but as drops of water trickled down my exposed skin, it itched with the awareness of no longer being alone.
I kept swimming — kept heading toward the end of the pool. The words I used to push me on in high school swimming competitions automatically repeated in my head: This arm then that arm then this arm then that arm. Now though, in the spaces between each beat, I thought her name — This arm, Amber, then that arm, Amber, then this arm, Amber, then that arm, Amber.
When I reached the concrete wall, I flipped and did another lap. I wouldn't let on that I knew he was there. I needed to control this situation, and for some reason, denying his presence made me feel like I'd gained another measure or so. Focusing on Amber, remembering she was the reason for what I was doing, made concentrating easier. At first, anyway. Until I began to tire and the awareness of his nearness began to win the tug-of-war with my attention.
I forced myself to complete three more laps, the anticipation of finally being near him, talking to him, bubbling up inside me like a butterfly waiting to escape its cocoon. I had my reasons for not acknowledging him — but what were his reasons for ignoring me? What if it wasn't even him, but one of his security men? No, anyone else would have kicked me out already for sure. Then why had he let me continue my swim?
Soon the wings of curiosity fluttered and scratched with such distraction that I could no longer resist the urge to poke my head out.
At least I managed to complete my lap.
Then, after wiping the water from my eyes, I started to look around.
I'd expected him to be sitting to my side at the head of the pool so I was truly surprised when I spotted him in the lounge chair directly in front of me. His face was chiseled and serious underneath near-black hair. Metallic sunglasses paired with a layer of scruff made him appear both more laid back and more dangerous than the pictures I'd seen on the Internet. Even dressed in a standard hotel-variety plain-white robe, he was intimidating. His feet were bare and crossed at the ankles. His elbow was propped on the chair arm, and his thumb and index finger framed the side of his face as he, without a doubt, bore right into me with his gaze behind designer eyewear.
My heart flipped. He was infamous, famous, and if the rumors were to be believed, dangerous — a multibillionaire luxury resort owner and legendary bad boy. But my reaction wasn't fear; it was excitement. Not because he was ten times sexier in person — though he was — but because he was here.
Sitting mere yards from me. After all the work I'd done to make it happen, here he was. Step one. Success.
"Oh!" I weaved the thrill I felt into my lines hoping it passed as simple alarm. "I didn't realize I wasn't alone." An innocent smile curled my lip with a few flirty blinks. It was a look that had bought me quite a few drinks along with a fur coat and a nice piece of jewelry or two. But that was years ago. I was rusty, and I prayed under my breath that he didn't notice.
His stare had a texture I could feel on my skin. "And I did realize I wasn't alone when I very much should be. I imagine it's a similar feeling of astonishment."
I swallowed. "Yes, probably so."
"I'll help you out." He stood, swiftly. In two steps he was at the side of the pool, leaning down to offer his hand.
My gut told me that the smart thing to do would be to get out of the pool. I was trespassing on the property of a very powerful man.
But my heart told me I couldn't give up so easily. So I ignored the tightening in my stomach and stood my ground — or, rather, treaded my water — and said, "No, thank you. I still have a few more laps to do."
His lip curled up into a half-smile. "You don't. You're done." Again he reached his hand toward me.
Ignoring his offer, I broadened my smile and turned up the charm. "Ah, you're one of those kinds of men."
He let his hand fall and tilted his head questioningly. "Which kind is that?"
Behind his lenses, I felt the command of his stare, and even in his crouched position, he held himself with utter confidence. My eyes chased the broad muscles in his neck that disappeared under his robe. They, along with his entire demeanor, demanded my respect or, more likely, my capitulation.
Yeah, I knew his type. "The kind who gets what he wants when he wants it."
"Well. Yes." He chuckled as he, yet again, extended his hand out for me.
I was tempted to swim another lap. But I didn't have enough sense about him yet to know if that would piss him off or intrigue him. So I said, "I got it," and refused his hand, pulling myself up over the side on my own. I did know it was too early for physical contact. My exit of the pool was on his terms but our first touch would be on mine.
"Oh, you're one of those kinds of women." He stood with me and handed me a towel with SALLIS embroidered along the edge in gold.
I took it. I was dripping all over his bare feet, after all. And while I'd felt covered in the clear water, I now felt nearly naked in my salmon-colored bikini. Which was the point, but still. "Okay," I said, as I wrapped the terrycloth around the ends of my hair. "I'll bite. What kind of woman is that?"
"The kind who won't take help from a man."
There had been a time when nothing could be further from the truth. I'd been very dependent on men, relying on one or another of them to put a roof over my head, keep me fed and clothed and entertained.
But that was years ago. Now I only counted on myself. That was perhaps the hardest part of the role I had to play — giving up the control I'd gained. Submitting.
If that was what it took to get the answers I needed, I'd do that and more.
I tilted my head to squeeze the moisture from my hair onto the ground next to me. "That's not so. I took your towel."
His eyes were still hidden, but I knew he was checking me out. I could feel his gaze skidding across my skin, sending goose bumps up my arms. "That's nothing." His attention landed on my breasts. "There are hundreds of towels stacked around here."
My cheeks heated, sure that his choice of the word stacked was purposeful. Because there was no denying that's what I was — stacked. My breasts had come in early and grew rapidly, swelling until I filled a double-D cup. They'd embarrassed me as a teen. No one else flopped and jiggled like I did in gym class. So I hid them behind baggy shirts and sports bras. It wasn't until I'd met Amber that I realized the power I'd been given through genetics. She taught me how to embrace my body, how to use it for my benefit.
With those lessons in mind — with Amber in mind — I pushed away my discomfort and bent over to run the towel up and down my limbs, exposing my cleavage. "That's proof that you're wrong. I could have easily gotten my own. I accepted it from you."
"You have a point there."
I had two points, actually. My nipples were standing tall and proud. It was the morning chill, of course, more pronounced after the heated pool, and I wanted to fold my arms over myself when I stood back up. But I forced myself to follow their example and rose up as tall and proud as they were.
When I did, I was met with my shoes. Reeve must have gotten them while I was swimming. He held them out to me now.
With a sigh, I took them from him. "You really want me gone, don't you?"
"What can I say? I like my routine. Swimming alone is part of my routine."
"Huh. I didn't take you for a man who was rigid." The media made Reeve Sallis out as impulsive and erratic. I was familiar enough with the difference between public perception and reality, but knowing Amber as I did, it made more sense that Reeve was that guy than the one he was playing at now.
He clicked his tongue at me like he was chiding a naughty child. "Now look who's making premature judgments."
"Touché." I sat on a deck chair to buckle my sandals. Leaning over to do it would have just been gratuitous at this point.
"But while I've got you here ..."
I tensed as he undid the belt of his robe. I can do this, I can do this, I chanted to myself. This was what I'd come here for — to do what was necessary, no matter how much I didn't want to. Back then, I would have done far more for far less. And, I noted as Reeve discarded the item of clothing on the chair behind him, with far less attractive men.
Goddamn, Reeve Sallis was hot.
Like, sizzling hot. He wore nothing but trunks — thank the Lord it wasn't a Speedo — revealing a perfect swimmer's body. His arms and torso were long and sculpted, his shoulders broad, and his waist trim. The six-pack he sported was nearly an eight-pack, and the muscles around his abdomen were so defined, so hard that I barely resisted the urge to lay my hand across them. My mind couldn't process how solid they would feel beneath my palm and wouldn't it be amazing to just find out?
While I was ogling — and probably drooling and definitely not breathing — he sat on the chair and faced me. "I hope you don't mind. I was getting a little warm."
It was getting a little warm. More than a little. And it wasn't the modern fire pit running nearly the entire length of the pool behind our deck chairs that made my skin scorch on the inside.
"Uh, of course I don't mind." Though, it sort of sounded like I did mind. Really, I was just disappointed that was the reason he'd undressed.
Jesus, Em, what the fuck? You're bummed that he didn't want you to blow him? Really, I was disgusted with myself. I mean, it was great that he wasn't unattractive considering what I'd probably have to do with him eventually, but what kind of bitch would I be if I looked forward to it?
Maybe old habits died harder than I had thought. I couldn't decide if I wanted that to be the case or not.
Reeve was apparently unaware of the battle going on in my head. "Good," he said. "Then we should probably talk."
"Interrogation time? I suppose that's to be expected." With his newly exposed body, I wasn't sure I'd be able to concentrate. And he had yet to take off those glasses, which was unnerving. Perhaps that was exactly why he kept them on.
"I'm glad you see it my way. If you didn't, this would be a whole lot less fun."
I finished fastening my shoe and sat up. "Is it fun now?"
His forehead wrinkled as he tapped a long finger against his lips. "I haven't entirely decided yet." His declaration came out low and raw, and it seemed, more honest than he'd intended.
Immediately, he changed gears, moving his hands to grip the arms of the chair. "But back to the interrogation. Why exactly are you here?"
It wasn't what I thought he'd ask first. I'd been expecting "Who are you?", but that he'd chosen the other question spoke volumes about my progress with him. He didn't care who I was. He only cared that my actions interfered with his own plans.
If my plan was going to work, Reeve had to want to get to know me. At least he hadn't dismissed me yet. I still had a chance to reel him in. "I'm here because I wanted a morning swim."
A hint of a brow peaked up over the frame of his glasses. "I assume you're a guest at this resort."
I bit my lip and nodded slowly. Even after our banter, there was a chance he could have me kicked out. A very good chance. Maybe the lip bite could make me seem virtuous.
Who was I kidding? He'd seen the girls. Once my chest was displayed, I'd lost all shot at claiming innocent, even if I truly was. And I wasn't.
The interrogation continued. "There are six other pools open to the public. This is the only one reserved in the morning for my personal use. Why did you choose mine?"
"I wanted the privacy."
"Wrong." He said the word as though he were buzzing a player out on a game show. "This wasn't about privacy. It couldn't have been easy for you to get in here. You went to a lot of trouble."
My shoulder hitched up in a nonchalant shrug. "It really wasn't that much trouble." That was actually the truth. I'd discovered pretty easily that any manager had the power to program my resort key card to let me in to the pool during Reeve's reserved time. A few days of prowling and I'd found a night manager who seemed he would be vulnerable to my seduction techniques. He was twice my age, balding, with a ridiculous hairpiece. I'd been prepared to give him a hand job. Turned out he could be bought with a hundred. That had surprised me. I'd grown up with my body as my only asset, and I'd learned to use it. I was still getting used to having money as an alternative.
He frowned. "That doesn't speak well for my staff."
"Or it speaks well for me."
"Ah. You don't want to get anyone in trouble." It wasn't a question.
Teasingly, I tapped my own lips and threw his words back at him. "I haven't entirely decided yet."
He laughed. It was a good sign.
"You see," I said, lacing my hands and stretching them above my head, "I'm not loyal to the person who helped me. But on the other hand, I'm not loyal to you either."
He leaned forward, a smile dancing on his lips. "You'll tell me if I ask you."
"Maybe. Are you asking?" I'd totally throw the manager under the bus. But not yet. It was information that he wanted that I had — it kept him engaging with me. I'd likely keep the secret until the next time we met, no matter how much he asked.
That was the idea, anyway. Then Reeve surprised me. "I'm not asking. I don't really care about my staff at the moment. I'm more interested in you."
My pulse kicked up like I'd downed a shot of espresso. Because it was a victory. Because it was a moment of triumph. There was no other reason I cared. No other reason his interest keyed me up.
Reeve steepled his hands together then pointed them toward me. "Why this pool?"
I mirrored his leaning, lacing my fingers together and resting my chin on top. "I wanted to meet you." Needed to meet him. I had a long list of questions and as far as I was concerned Reeve Sallis had the answers.
"The truth comes out. Why would you want to meet me?" He seemed honestly perplexed.
"Are you joking?" There were certainly thousands of women who wanted to be his bimbo of the month. Word was he treated his sex toys well. He had enough money to lavish on them without even noticing a dent in his wallet. Then there were those who likely wanted to meet him just to claim the brush with fame. Plus he was, well, hotter than a man had a right to be.
But if it was flattery he needed ... "You're a very interesting human being, Reeve Sallis. Not to mention, you're easy on the eyes. More than easy on the eyes, actually. Who wouldn't want to meet you?"
"I can name quite a few people, and I'm sure there are many more that I can't name. You could have met me in other ways." Though he'd verbally ignored my comment about his appearance, his mouth twitched ever so slightly letting me know it had pleased him.
Why did that make my belly flutter?
It didn't. It was nerves. It had to be. I transferred the emotion to my words, letting my voice get breathy and unsteady. "I wanted to meet you alone. Without your goons and your public."
"A lot of people would be scared to be with me alone."
"Who said I wasn't scared?" I should have been scared. He had a reputation that, as far as I could gather, was either completely fabricated or totally underplayed. The former was more likely, but what if it was the latter? What if I was truly unsafe in his presence?
It was also possible that I was scared. In all honesty, it was probably the core of his allure. But I couldn't let fear or captivation take over. I had no other choice but to see my plan through. For Amber.
Reeve tilted his head. "That's an interesting combination of traits — a stalker who's scared."
"Only scared enough to make it fun." Strange that I once lived for that kind of scared. "And not a stalker, Mr. Sallis. I merely have a curiosity that gets away from me."
"I like your curiosity. And your philosophy on fear." He shifted gears again. "I think I may have started off with the wrong line of questioning. I don't even know who you are."
He removed his sunglasses, and I couldn't help but gasp. His eyes ... At the surface, they didn't seem special on their own. A common blue and gray that could be easy to overlook. His brows were the prominent feature, what most people likely noticed. They were thick and arched. They darkened his expression and distracted from what lay in the icy pools below them.
But his eyes caught me. There was something I recognized in them — a sorrow or a longing that was both gripping and haunting.
Excerpted from First Touch by Laurelin Paige. Copyright © 2015 Laurelin Paige. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
These two?!! Reeve and Emily are the most lovable screw ups you'll ever meet.They were flawed yet perfect for each other. A very compelling story told from Emily's POV. It was dark, messy mysterious edge of your seat erotic. I'm a huge Laurelin Paige fan. BUT THIS?! This woman can write. She took it up a notch with First Touch. I was just blown away and loved every single minute of it. So can't wait to read Last Kiss.
Loved it! Another wonderful, fabulous story by Laurelin Paige. Can't wait to read the sequel!
Just when you thought you knew what was going to happen, the books proves you wrong. Make sure when you start reading you have free time because you will bot be able to put the book down. I am upset that it is going to take forever to get to the second installment.
A stunning, breathtaking and intriguing masterpiece! I feel a lot of pressure to write a review that does this book justice. First of all, 5 stars is not enough. This book needs INFINITE stars. My mind was overwhelmed with the stunning, sensual and sometimes shocking imagery. I was drunk off the overwhelming bold, erotic and forbidden themes, with just a subtle undertone of sensuality and passion. I was uncomfortable and anxious wanting to devour this book with urgency, while simultaneously needing to savor it and make it last as long as possible. Complex characters and multiple plot lines had me thoroughly tangled up in this book. Emily and Reeve's relationship is complicated, unconventional and at times, pushed me out of my comfort zone. I loved it all! I have the mother of all book hangovers and conspiracy theories are running wild in my mind. I can't wait for Last Kiss!
What happened to Amber? That’s the question Emily’s trying to answer even though she has not spoken to her best friend in years. The message Amber left for Emily stated their code word “Blue raincoat” and she needs to find Amber since she must be in trouble to have used it. “Men liked vulnerable women. Rich men paid a lot to **uk vulnerable women. Paid a lot to the vulnerable women they **uked.” After spending years with Amber sharing men, depending on men for places to live, clothes, and everything else she needed, Emily changed her life. She got a job acting, pays for her own place to live, her own car, supports her mother, everything she has she bought. Now with the leads she has looking for Amber she may need to use some of the skills she once did being dependent on men, needing things from them to help her find her friend. “Wishing I could be “liked,” for once, instead of “paid for.” “I wouldn’t call any woman who chases after a man boring.” Steamy sex, dark, romance, loyalty, secrets, BDSM, one sexy man all the reasons I loved this story. Laurelin sucks you in form page one, holds on to you tight throughout the whole story, and leaves you in awe by the last page anxiously waiting for part 2 release June 2016. “He’d marked me as dirty. He’d marked me as submissive. He’d marked me as not Amber.”
4.5 God, the sniffing stars Bloody marvellous.. Emily Wayborn is an actress who’s voice is more the rising star, than her face. Finding herself in a more acceptable place than she was years ago, her planned break is interrupted by a poignant voicemail she finds on her mother’s phone from her BF she hasn’t been in contact with for years. She wouldn’t be unduly worried, but a code word had been used that they agreed if either was ever in trouble. Relations were defunct, but how could she ignore this? Reeve Sallis was the more than wealthy lead that Emily’s friend, Amber, was last seen with. He was over cocky and under handed, and put the fear of god into Emily, but she had to pursue him, she had to find out what had happened to her friend. This was an interesting story, in that it organically grew in it’s allure for me. I initially didn’t like Reeve, and his arrogance and trite persona threatened to become another cliched character that sends me skimming. But my initial deductions were proved to be amiss, giving Reeve the opportunity to break out of my misconception and dominate the proceedings. Dominate, yes, he did that very well, but not without communication and understanding. I found myself hooked from the first kiss, where Laurelin seduced me with her words. I adored the Fixed series, so to get my sweaties on this new series was a delight. I adored how this story grew, alongside my affection for Reeve. The question about his true allegiance is still in the air, but you want him to be bigger than his reputation. Emily has her instincts, but they are blurred by her latent submissiveness, which pushes her so close to the edge, she’s staring at the full face of danger. The cliffy, which we knew, leaves us gasping for oxygen, and that, my friends, is just how I like it. Seductive, sticky and scarf..June 2016 is certainly going to be too long to wait. ARC gratefully received from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
First of all I must say that I have read other books by Laurelin Paige and really enjoyed them...with that said...this book grabbed me at the first chapter and never let me go! When reading a post on the author's facebook page where she said she needed to apologize for the wait for the second book in the series I wasn't sure why...well know I understand and accept it! At first I thought that Reeve Sallis was an arrogant playboy who thought he was god's gift...I thought that Emily had her work cut out for her in trying to get close to him in order to find out what happened to her friend Amber...the more I read well I realized I may have been wrong! This is a dark sexy but mysterious read..it pushes your boundaries but has you wanting more...keeps you reading even when you should be sleeping! It is so hard to write this review without giving anything away..because doing that would spoil the book for those of you who have not read it yet! I was so not prepared for the twist that this author throws at us and I now wish that the second book was out sooner that its release date. Emily is perfect, daring and attracted to Reeve! Well Reeve is hot, demanding and possessive, dominant and all alpha male. This is a must read...if you have read any of her works this would be a great place to start!
5 "Addicting and Tantalizing Romantic Suspense" Stars! Loved it! This is one of those books that had me in a constant state of goose bumps. Chillingly and erotically thrilling, if you enjoy rich domineering heroes plus a fantastic romantic suspense plot that will keep you guessing throughout, then you will not want to miss First Touch! But be forewarned, this addictive read definitely ventures on the dark side and moreover ends in one huge cliffhanger. So be prepared to sign on to read at least the next book in the series (Last Kiss), and possibly more, if you decide to embark on the First and Last Series journey. Emily Wayborn is used to rich men. She, and her former best friend (Amber), made it their profession to cater to them. Men, who could in turn, provide Emily and Amber with the lives they had grown accustomed to. But that was years ago, and Emily and Amber have long since parted ways, until a seemingly normal voicemail message ends in a code word that sets Emily off to explore a past that she thought she had long left behind. Determined to find her friend, Emily sets her sights on a man, billionaire Reeve Sallis, with a past as hauntingly dark as Emily's own secret desires. Though she had once preyed on the likes of men like Sallis, Emily must now chase the one man who may very well destroy her--all in the hopes of saving a woman she had once called her best friend but hasn't seen in years. The more Emily begins to uncover in her quest to seduce Reeve, however, the more she discovers that the seducer may very well be the one who is being ensnared. Be prepared to have your sense of just how far you'd be willing to go in the name of loyalty and desire challenged. Moreover, the heroine's appetites will no doubt not be to everyone's liking or understanding. However, it is this unique perspective that makes this story all the more captivating and thrilling. At one point you will find yourself wanting the heroine to runaway, but like a moth's attraction to a flame, you will no doubt in equal parts find yourself hoping for the cataclysmic joining that only such a case of forbidden attraction can ultimately lead to in the end. I absolutely cannot wait until the next installment, Last Kiss. June 2016 cannot come fast enough! Source: Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
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? Review: Well crap! Now we have to wait until June for the rest of the story...ugh The first thing that comes to mind after reading this is it is Raw. There is definitely no sugar coating in this book, if questionable activities in and out of the bedroom bother you than this is probably not for you. But it was done so well that even the parts that bothered me did not keep me from going on in the story. I like that Emily is multi-layered, it makes her more interesting. The story is told from her point of view and it also shows her past in flashbacks that add to her personality and the story line. Honestly, at this point I do not know who she should be trusting, all the other characters in the story seem to have something they are hiding and then the ending of this book just gives me more questions. I really want Reeve to be the man that Emily needs, but again the Author has done a good job of keeping us guessing. Emily and Reeve certainly burn up the pages though and their attraction almost has a life of its own. I know this is a very vague review, but I really don't want to give away any of the mystery and really I am still a little in the dark...lol. Let's just say... This is one sexy, super hot, page turner and I hope the second book turns out to be as good. 4Stars *Received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
My initial thoughts: Honestly, there are no words. Why isn't there a ten-star rating, hell a gazillion star rating? I've read some amazing books recently but they all pale in comparison to First Touch. That cliffhanger is the best cliffhanger EVER. Damn, this is one of the best books I've ever read. It's sick and twisted and depraved and the most addictive story ever. LP is a phenomenal writer. Okay, must stop gushing now, need sleep. Freaking amazing book. FULL REVIEW: Laurelin Paige delivers another scintillating good read that will blow your mind. Wow. Superb writing combined with complex characters and a plot that kept me on the edge of my seat has ensured First Touch a place on my absolute favorite reads of 2015. Emily appears to be the consummate up-and-coming TV personality on the outside; beautiful, intelligent, professional, and self-sufficient. But underneath that carefully created exterior lurks a girl who is almost the exact opposite. Since she parted ways with bestie Amber seven years ago (on bad terms) she has reinvented herself and tried to suppress that side of her nature. Now, Amber has reached out, indicating she's in trouble, and out of a misguided sense of loyalty, Emily sets out to uncover the truth behind her friend's disappearance. Her quest for the truth brings her to elusive billionaire Reeve Salis, hot hotelier with a somewhat dubious rep. Ah, Reeve. Love the name, and by the end of the book, I loved the man. At the outset, I believed everything that was said about him, and I was scared for Emily, but as the story progressed and Emily's opinion started to change so did mine. I really enjoyed the mystery/suspense element of the plot and the mob connection. My personal view is that Reeve was being coerced or blackmailed, and I never believed he was willingly involved in that whole scene. What he says toward the end seemed to corroborate that view. I am so curious to see where this goes in the next book. Sex, power, and control are a huge theme in this story. The relationship between Reeve and Emily is abusive though consensual. She liked to be debased and hurt and it was the sickest, most depraved thing I've ever read. But weirdly addictive. Even as I was disgusted at several scenes I couldn't stop turning the pages. As they grow closer they start to open up to one another and we see a different side to both of them as individuals and as a couple. In the last few chapters, they are very close to admitting the love they share, and certain things are brought front and center stage. Then that cliffhanger happens. OMG. I can't say the thought hadn't crossed my mind because it did, but it was still an electrifying, suspenseful end to this book. I have not been able to stop thinking about it and I think I'll die if I don't get to read what happens next. This is such an incredible read and it's hard to find words to properly express how amazing it is. This is sheer genius. Superb writing (as I've come to expect from the phenomenally talented Laurelin Paige) bang-on pacing, subtle yet strong plot development, excellent characterization with both mains being steadily developed with their fair share of complex strengths and weaknesses. Emotional depth is there - I felt a strong connection to the two mains, and the secondary characters are decent too. This may not be for everyone as some of the scenes are difficult to read, but if you are a Laurelin Paige fan, or you enjoy well-written
Make sure when you start this book you don't have to be anywhere until you finish because you will not be able to put this down. This is book about friendship, love, sex, discovery, hate, abuse, and everything in between. It bounces back and forth bringing us up to date of what connects Emily and Amber. It weaves a story of redemption, renewal, healing, and love. What it also does is leave us standing at a cliff yelling "NOOOOOOOOOOO" I highly recommend this book. **Received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
FIRST TOUCH is the first installment in Laurelin Paige’s contemporary, adult FIRST AND LAST dark, erotic romance series. This is actress Emily Wayborn, and billionaire hotel magnate Reeve Sallis’s storyline. NOTE: The storyline contains triggers for some readers as it pertains to violence, rape, atypical sexual acts, and dubious consent. Some readers may be offended by some of the storyline content-you have been warned. Told from first person point of view (Emily) FIRST TOUCH follows Emily Wayborn as she searches for the truth. Months earlier, our heroine, hears a phone message from a friend she hasn’t seen for close to seven years-a phone message using a safe word the friends had promised to use if ever they were in trouble. What ensues, is Emily’s hunt for the truth-a hunt that begins with the last person known to have seen Amber alive-billionaire hotelier Reeve Sallis. Emily will begin to seduce her way into Reeve’s life and his heart ensuring she has a front row seat when the truth is finally revealed. FIRST TOUCH is a slow build to a suspense filled and intriguing cliff hanger that will only create more questions than answers; a dark, erotic romance that focuses on two people whose lives are interconnected through a missing woman-a woman Emily presumes to be dead. Emily and Reeve’s taste for the darker side of sex borders on deviance: fantasies that go beyond BDSM and role play; and questionable consent. Our leading couple straddles a fine line between right and wrong: trust must be earned; boundaries are pushed; control and power are at the center of all negotiations. While our heroine continues to search for the truth, she begins to lose herself to a man who is capable of destroying her world. So many clues are interspersed throughout the storyline premise. Laurelin Paige pushes the reader into an unimaginable world; a place where our thoughts go but our heart does not belong; a story that will command your attention until the very end. But I want to add, that sometimes an author goes for ‘shock value’ in the storyline content, and I have to wonder if that is the purpose for some of the graphic imagery.
While reading this book, I was unable to function with real life. It's so mysterious and consuming, I'm having trouble not feeling lost without it even now. The cast is painted in a real light, the good and bad, like real people, but nothing about them is average. I love the chemistry between Emily and Reeve. They're both a mixture of strong, weak, dependent, self-reliant, vulnerable, guarded and many other juxtapositions. I've read sexy and interesting characters and scenes before, but these have that certain something, a special oomph. Each encounter gave me tingles, and I was constantly speculating what kind of people they were. Are they depraved or sweet inside? What terrible things have they done or been through in the past? What are they capable of doing? I was in a continual state of what's next. Then, a clue from the past would enter in the form of a flashback, and I would get even more wrapped up. Each page left me craving and all in a tizzy. I simply couldn't get enough, and now that's it's over, I'm having DTs for the next book. I don't want to give many actual details of the story away. I loved not really knowing who was who and what was what. I had no clue how the novel would end, and even after reading it, I have no clue how the series will end.
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars! “There was an attraction between us. An electric pull that made the air crackle and twist around me even at that distance. It was something that I couldn’t have faked, and I was grateful for it. It would make it easier to take the steps I needed to take next..” Wow!! What a crazy, crazy ride. This book has totally blown my mind. It was nothing like I expected at all. It was dark. It was dirty. It was so freakin’ intense. It was sexy. The suspense will knock you off your feet and have you dying in anticipation of what is to come. The story will pull you in from the very beginning and from that point, I can tell you, you better drop everything that you are doing, because you are going to want to finish this book. This book will consume you and will be all that you can think about. You’ll want to know the what and the why things are happening. You will be left asking so many questions and unsure who you can trust. And just when you think that you’ve got an idea of what’s going on, your thoughts will be blown out of the water. I know I’m being very vague, but this is definitely the type of book you want to go blind into. Here’s what I can tell you: The story is very well-written. It is captivating. It will push your limits. It may shock you. But, the characters are intriguing and you can’t stop yourself from wanting to know more about them and wanting to know their story. You will be consumed by them. Reeve and Emily have scorching chemistry and literally burn up the pages together. First Touch is a fabulous read, from start to finish. This story is unlike anything I’ve read from Laurelin Paige before and I gotta tell you, I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book. I am dying and I mean dying to see what will happen next. I have so many questions and need so many answers!!
Wow! Where to begin with the story....I could NOT put this book down. This story was THAT good. Emily Wayborn has led a very interesting life. In her early years, her and her best friend Amber used to find wealthy men to "take care" of them in exchange for sex. After a few a huge confrontation with the latest guy, Emily wanted out. What made it even worse was that Amber sided with the guy. Six years later Emily receives a cryptic message from Amber and decides she needs to find her. She hires a PI who starts piecing things together and it looks like everything points to one man, Reeve Sallis, a very powerful and rich man. Emily comes up with a plan to "meet" Reeve. What she didn't expect was to be so drawn to him. As Emily continues with her plan to find out what happened to Amber, she continues to be drawn to Reeve. I loved how parts from Emily's past were slowly revealed. I really enjoyed how Emily and Reeve just seemed to get each other. I loved how these two characters kept pushing and pulling with each other. They forced each other to realize certain things about themselves that they might not have wanted to realize. As for the ending....BAM! What a cliffhanger! First you get a pretty big reveal and then BOOM...an even bigger one. I need the next book NOW! Overall this was a fantastic book with wonderfully complex characters and an even better story line. I highly recommend this book!
Fabulous Read. Emily is not your typical leading lady, and Reeve is not your typical alpha bad boy either. Emily is on a mission to find her friend who just so happened to be with Reeve before she disappeared. She has a plan and sets it in motion to meet Reeve and hopefully find out what happened to Amber. In the past, Emily had always been able to control the relationship and keep her feelings under control, but that was before she met Reeve. He does not fall into the normal category of a man who can be manipulated to do what she wants. He calls the shots and she has to play it his way if she wants to see him and get close enough to him to find out what happened to her friend. This story has mystery, suspense, romance, and a mind blowing ending. Laurelin Paige wrote a story that will keep you turning pages to find out what happens next and an ending you won’t see coming. This is a definite must read.
Hello! People who consider themselves part of the Christian right buy your books. Does this fit into your prejudiced narrative. They do not judge people who live tawdry lives. Was disappointed to read that in this book. Maybe this author shouldn't be so judgmental herself. I read books for escapism and entertainment. I like your books, but we all have feelings.
Freaking loved it so much!! i refused to put the book down, i couldnt even if i wanted to and trust me i didnt want to.
It was a great read! Great characters and a story line that will keep you reading
I received this novel last year from NetGalley and somehow, I skipped over reading. No idea how that happened but at least I was able to sit down with it this last week. I've never read a book by Paige before, so I really had no idea what to expect with First Touch but if I'm being completely honest ... it really just wasn't the book for me. It wasn't what I expected AT ALL. And unfortunately, I don't mean that in a good way this time. The characters were ... different. Emily is a very damaged girl and I see Reeve as damaged as well. To me, it seemed like they were two mismatched plates that had been shattered and someone tried to put them back together as one. Geez. That doesn't even make sense to me but that is what these two characters felt like to me. I really just didn't like either of them. On ANY level. What must it be like to be so desperate for attention that you are willing to let someone debase and abuse you? I'm not just talking about physical abuse, I'm talking mental abuse and psychological abuse as well. Emily likes being punished in the bedroom and basically treated like trash. This chick is okay with being constantly berated and treated like she's worthless. Hey, to each their own but it's definitely not something that I enjoyed reading about. This crossed the line between sexy dirty talk and verbal abuse. Stuff would happen in the bedroom and Emily would feel horrible about herself but then she would go back to it. Over and over again, year after year and with countless men. When I originally picked this book up, I thought that there would be a little suspense with the looking for her friend part of the story but that whole storyline was pushed way to the side. The sex and Reeve's possession of Emily took center stage. That was a little bit of a let down. I was more interested in what happened to Amber than I was about how many times Emily was going to be spanked or forced to give a beej because she talked to a dude that she wasn't supposed to or looked at a man that crossed her path. Literally thousands of people on Goodreads adore this book but it just wasn't for me. Maybe I'm taking it too seriously or something and because of that, I'm not seeing the sensuality in the relationship between Emily and Reeve ... I don't think that's the case but I guess there is a slim chance that it could be. All in all, just not for me. I won't be reading any more of the series. *I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *
When Emily Wayborn receives word that her longtime friend is in trouble and needs her help she immediately jumps into action, and sets out on a mission to restore her friends safety. She soon learns that not only is her friend in danger, but she is also missing and the one person who could possibly put her on the right path to finding her is the notorious bad boy billionaire Reeve Sallis. She knows it is going to be tricky to get close to him, so she decides she is going to have to turn on her charm and become a woman she put on the shelf a long time ago. In order to get the answers she needs she is going to have to seduce him, gain his trust, and sneakingly find the answers she needs, and avoid falling into old habits. But the minute she lays eyes on him she starts to feel her resolve slip, and knows she might just have gotten herself into far more than she bargained for... The minute Reeve Sallis spots sexy actress Emily Wayborn swimming in his personal pool he knows she has ulterior motives, motives meant to seduce him and earn herself the prestigious spot on his arm... but he isn't about to let her in that easy. He knows there is an end game there, but she is far too tempting to send away just yet, so he decides he'll play her game and see where it leads. But just when he thinks he is getting somewhere with her she walks away, and it drives him beyond crazy, so a little obsession ensues, and he goes to crazy lengths to get her back. And the minute he gets his first taste of her he knows it's an obsession that will last a lifetime... This was my first time experiencing the work of Ms. Paige, and all I can say is WOW!!! I had read a few reviews going in and thought I had a good idea of what to expect, but the minute I started it I knew nothing could have prepared me for this thrilling literary escape!! It was brimming with elicit passion, gut wrenching emotion, and love scenes that set my world on fire, and had me sporting a permanent blush!!! The moment Reeve waltzed onto the page, I had chills, chills that lasted well after the last page was turned, he commanded my undivided attention, and had me at his mercy from start to finish...and boy oh boy what a finish it was!! The last few pages damn near killed me, it had me gasping for air, and starving for more!!! This is by far one of the best reads I have settled down with this year and Ms. Paige has earned herself a spot amongst my favorites with this one...dare I say it is the HOTTEST romance story I have EVER read!! If you like your fairy tales a little on the naughty side, and equipped with a dominate alpha leading the way then I HIGHLY suggest you meet Mr. Reeve Sallis, the man will shatter your perception of what alpha male means, and leave you literally breathless and aching for more!! ARC given by St. Martin's Griffin in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
LOVE THIS BOOK!!! The drama, suspense and emotions are off the charts! 5+ gut-me Stars!
I bought the book by mistake and fell in-love with it. I so upset that she ended the book on a really big cliff hanger.
First book I have read by Laurelin Paige and loved it! The ending made me gasp! Cant wait for the sequel.
Another great beginning to a new trilogy by Laurelin Paige! I couldn't put it down but now have to wait for second installment of Emily, Reeve and Amber story.