Touch of Smoke

Touch of Smoke

by Karissa Laurel


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Three years ago, Rikki Albemarle watched her best friend die at the hands of a supernatural evil. Certain she was slated to be the next victim, Rikki fled her small Smoky Mountain hometown, vowing to never come back. Plagued by nightmares and knowing she’s the only one who believes Mina’s death was no accident, Rikki returns with hopes of finding answers and holding the killer accountable.

Rikki is convinced the key to unlocking the secret of Mina’s death lies with Owen Amir, the alluring young army vet who once claimed her heart. But the deeper Rikki digs into Owen’s past, the more she’s torn between the urgings of her heart and her memories of him on the night Mina died.

After falling further into the rabbit hole, Rikki lands at the feet of an ancient and powerful evil determined to finish what it started years before. To survive, she’ll have to make a decision: believe Owen is the monster she always feared he might be or trust him enough to stay and fight for a second chance at love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781948051293
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Publication date: 02/12/2019
Pages: 338
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.76(d)

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Touch of Smoke 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
AVoraciousReadr 7 months ago
Book source ~ ARC. My review is voluntary and honest. Rikki Albermarle ran away from her tiny home town in the NC Smokey Mountains to Chapel Hill. She convinced herself she was doing what she always said she was going to do: go to UNC to be an oncology nurse. While she did do that, what she was really doing was running away from the man who killed her best friend. A monster. The man she had fallen in love with, Owen Amir. But after three years she had to go back and get some answers for her own sanity. Nightmares plagued her and it was beginning to affect her work, so back to Evansville she goes. With bridges to mend and a gut-wrenching confrontation with a killer in her plans, she’s not sure she’ll survive again. This story alternates between past and present and sometimes that makes it hard to keep things straight. Also, Owen and Rikki are kinda hard to like. For me anyway. I’m sure many will like them just fine. Owen wants Rikki to trust him, but he won’t share his secret and Rikki is just too angsty. To be honest, I don’t particularly care for either one of them, so I’m not invested in their outcome even though that outcome is damn interesting. I did enjoy the big reveal and the final showdown, but I’m glad it’s over. Does that make any sense? LOL I this is one of those love or hate books and while I didn’t hate it I also didn’t love it. However, don’t let my ambivalence stop you from giving it a go. It just might be up your dark alley, so to speak.
Jolie 8 months ago
Touch of Smoke was a fantastic read. I don’t give 5-star reviews easily. A book has to capture my attention and keep it. I have to form a connection with both the male and female lead. Touch of Smoke hit all those and then some. Touch of Smoke has a dual plotline. One takes place in the past and the other in the present. Usually, I don’t like that type of plotlines. In my experience, this type of plotlines generally gets me confused. Which in turns makes me lose interest in the book. In this case, though, the author was obvious when she was switching from the past to the present/the present to the past. She also did not give away what happened in the past. There were hints, but nothing prepared me for what happened. She also did a fantastic job of merging the two storylines mid-book. It was flawless. The main plotline of Touch of Smoke centers around Erika (or Rikki), Owen and what happened that night her best friend, Mina, was killed. Rikki came back to town to face her demons, which meant that she had to face Owen and his role in what happened that night. When an ancient evil arrives in Evansville, Rikki needs to make a choice. Will she trust Owen and help him? Or will Rikki stand aside and let that evil destroy him? If she does help him, what will be the price that she pays? I loved Rikki. She was a tough cookie. She was also the hardest working character that I have come across in a while. This woman worked two jobs while going to a community college. She was an EMT, and she worked in stable, cleaning stalls. I did think she was silly for pushing Owen away. I wanted to reach through the book and shake her. Her actions at the end of the book were amazing. And selfless. I fell in love with Owen every time he showed up in the book. Who wouldn’t? He was an Army veteran who fell head over heels with Rikki. I loved that he didn’t push her into doing anything that she didn’t want to do. He let her set the bar for their relationship. He did have his secrets, though. I liked how the author revealed them. The romance angle of Touch of Smoke was terrific. I loved seeing Owen and Rikki’s relationship evolve. It wasn’t Instalove (far from it). The author chose to have Owen and Rikki date and go from there. The scene where Rikki decides to throw caution to the wind was poignant. Mainly because of what happened a few days (at least I think it was a few days) later. The fantasy angle of Touch of Smoke was terrific also. I liked how the author took the jinn myth and made it her own. I had no issue believing that jinns weren’t like Genie from Aladdin. Instead, they were out for themselves. The story that Owen tells about the boy, the ring and the jinn explains everything. The end of Touch of Smoke broke my freaking hearts into little bits. Like I mentioned above, what Rikki did was selfless. I was ugly crying in the chapter after that. Of course, I liked how the author had Owen explain everything to Rikki in a story, including what he did after. But still. Ugly Crying. In the middle of the day. Enough said!!
CharlotteLynnsReviews 11 months ago
OH, My… I knew that I’d have a book that I couldn’t put down as with the other Karissa Laurel books I’ve read but I didn’t know that I’d be raving about the book long after I finished the last page. The characters were fun with interesting lives that come together with heat, passion, and friendships. I love the small town that the story is set in. The people of the town are nosy, protective, and loving. They are exactly as they should be. The story of Rikki and Owen is captivating. I love how they are strangers, they meet and the attraction is instant yet Rikki is cautious. She doesn’t jump right in and she makes him prove that he can be trusted. When things happen that can’t be explained she questions, she takes time to make decisions and still trusts that he will always put her first. The paranormal aspect of the story is almost hidden. It is not the most prominent part of the book and I liked that it was a little behind the scenes. It was an important part of the story but it didn’t make the entire story. It was important to the story and I loved it and was excited about it but the story of Owen and Rikki was what I loved most. I loved their relationship and their strengths but I loved that Owen did what he could to make Rikki happy and to keep her safe. The ending, oh wow! It was perfect. I love how their positions changed and their love was strong. I need more of this story, this setting, and these characters.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
Rikki Albemarle had plans to get out of town and get an education when she was done with high school. But things went sideways and she watched her best friend killed by a monster. She was afraid for her life and ran and told herself that she would never come back. Three years later she knows there is evil in town and she is determined to stop it. To do so she will have to face Owen Amir. Owen is a solder that once had Rikki’s heart. Rikki is torn when she thinks about him but knows that she is going to have to face him if she is going to stop the evil. What follows is a slow burning romance where Owen gives Rikki the space to decide what she really wants, which I absolutely loved!! Both Owen and Rikki are great characters. I felt for both of them throughout the story and I loved how both of them along with many side characters were so well written. But they are not the only great thing about this book. The whole book draws you in and slowly reveals what happened three years earlier along with what is going on in the present. And the twist ending, I had no idea and was knocked off my feet. This is an amazing story and one that I strongly recommend if you like paranormal/urban fantasy stories. I can’t believe that I have never read any of Karissa Laurel’s books. That is definitely changing as of now. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
Snoopydoo77 More than 1 year ago
This book from start to finish was absolutely brilliant, I loved every minute of it. I loved everything about this book, the story, the characters, the writing. The book had everything I personally like in a book, action, lots of humor and snark, the right amount of romance, great supporting characters and plot twists. About half or more of the book we get dual timelines. Present time and three years ago. I liked the dual timelines, it keeps you on the edge of you seat and guessing of what really happened that day. I really liked both main characters, both had their strengths but also weaknesses. I liked that they balanced each other out a great deal. Most know, I’m not a fan of insta-love or lust unless done right and that was the case here. Anything else would have been weird in this case. Also like that Rikki stayed her own person and not just throws everything out the window for a guy. The same goes for Owen though, he sticks to his plans no matter what happens or happened. We get a pretty good twist at the end I LOVED it. I also really loved the ending it was perfect and I must admit I was a bit worried but well done Karissa Laurel. I mentioned that I loved the supporting cast and I can’t leave this review without saying that I absolutely adored Luke. So much so, that I hope we get to see him again somehow, sometime in the future. Overall great, great book and I give it 5★ and hoping for a Luke book. #givemeLuke
Topsues01 More than 1 year ago
Intriguing. Intense, Spellbinding. Emotionally-Engrossing & Utterly Compelling. Karissa Laurel has once again penned a mysterious, seize you by the throat, until the very last heart-wrenching page novel. This is so much more than a romance book, this is a Love Story that has been carefully created with a cast of intricately drawn characters. The author masterfully draws all the supernatural threads together, so you can feel the very building blocks slotting into place, building the layers and foundations of its engaging storyline..You will feel the breathless vibrations that build between Rikki & Owen that run far deeper than just a romance. As they build you can feel all of your senses coming alive, to make sure you feel the depth of emotions running from the start until the very end. An end that Rikki runs from and an end that destroys everything she thought was real. But she can’t let it go, she needs to go back and face her demons, the ones that are haunting her every thought. She believes her small town community needs protecting and Rikki is determined to be their avenging angel, to fight the darkness she believes is a danger to them all.. In out conscious minds what we see and think, we reason and process but Rikki can’t because beneath the surface is something much more larger & powerful that can’t be reasoned away, because Owen is where the power lies. I don’t like leaving spoilers, as I believe you should go in fresh with no preconceived ideas when you read a new novel. However I will say it has a gripping plot and an aboriginal take on a familiar theme. I inhaled this book in one sitting, sleep forgotten, alarm clock binned, and hankies ready. I feel like I could recite this whole book back to you, that is how much of an impact it made on me. I have admired Karissa Laurel’s work before, in her gripping 5* series The Norse Chronicles. I’m also currently just about to read her finale to her Stormbourne Chronicles which was recently released. This Lady can write, she can transport you to any world and keep you there without resistance, she can turn your emotions upside down & inside out, but every single time she makes my toes curl & Imprints her story’s into my mind. I wholeheartedly can recommend this book to any romance, fantasy, supernatural lover. As I’m only allowed to give 5 out of 5 stars I choose to give it these full marks. In reality “Touch of Smoke” deserves so much more. “Superb”