(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 14th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Suspense
A GAME OF CAT AND MOUSE FILLED WITH DARK DESIRES AND DANGEROUS SECRETS…
Emily Wayborn has made a decision.
She might not fully trust handsome and deadly Reeve Sallis, but he is the one person that gives her what she needs. With Reeve she can finally be herself. Submitting to him is the only thing keeping her grounded as the rest of her life falls apart. But the hotelier is a master at keeping secrets and as she continues her quest for answers someone is making sure she doesn’t find them.
Time is running out and she is questioning everything she thought she knew about friendship and love. She must now make an impossible choice that will determine if she will survive with her heart…or at all.
When I finished First Touch by Laurelin Paige I knew I needed to read the next book, Last Kiss as soon as I could. I admit I have some mixed feelings about this one but overall liked how Paige wrapped up the story. If you haven’t yet read First Touch, you may want to hold off on reading this review because while I promise not to spoil anything for this book, I can’t promise that for book one.
If you recall, First Touch ended just as Emily seems to resolve some of her questions around how she really feels about Reeve and whether she will be able to give up her pursuit of what happened with Amber. Just when she decides that she is all in with Reeve, guess who ends up at the ranch..yep…Amber. She is alive and she is in danger. As Last Kiss picks up, we get to find out just how much Reeve knew and when and also where Amber has been.
Emily, of course, is now at a crossroads. She has to figure out if she wants to stick around and not only find out what has been going on but also whether there really is a future for her and Reeve. As she begins to find out how much Reeve knew about her and her relationship to Amber, she falls back into the question of whether she can trust him. Despite that, she can’t (or doesn’t really want to) fight her feelings for him and they continue to come together whether they plan it or not.
One of the things I liked was the different side to Reeve that was exposed with this novel. In the previous one he wouldn’t bend at all but in this book he showed that he cared more about Emily by giving her the freedom to make a choice and he held back until she actually did decide. Now…don’t get me wrong, that sentence feels odd to write but at his core, giving this to anyone was something Reeve didn’t typically do. Recognizing that she wasn’t really one to take control, he wanted her to decide for herself what she wanted. In my head this backfired a bit…only because even though Reeve wasn’t forcing Emily into doing what he wanted her to do, Amber was right there to do it.
Amber was an interesting character. I won’t say much about her here because I don’t want to give anything away but the relationship Emily and Amber had was curious. There was a very thin line in their friendship that they toed because they shared their relationships. As things were uncovered through Emily and Amber’s history, it became clear that they didn’t see things the same way and although they loved each other, there was a dangerous imbalance of control/power in their relationship. Add to that the fact that there was jealousy and it isn’t hard to see why things ended up the way they did between them.
In the past, Amber always knew what to say to Emily to get her to do what she wanted and that hasn’t really changed. Emily wants to please everyone and Amber definitely uses that to make her presence known between Reeve and Emily and as the story progresses, it is clear Amber still wields some control over Emily.
There were some times that I was definitely frustrated with Emily. I wanted her to stand up for what she wanted and I get it…I see why she didn’t but in the same vein, she also didn’t really trust Reeve, even though in my mind she had made the decision that she would when she decided to stay with him.
These were some interesting characters and the story itself was interesting. As certain pieces were uncovered it became more than just the relationship between Reeve and Emily and tied in more of Reeve’s backstory and how that links into where these characters are today.
Overall I found this series to be a page turner. Paige can definitely write good erotica and the fact that she tied in an actual story with some strong characters made me unable to put these books down until I found out what was really going on. If you are looking for a story with deception, steamy scenes, and some interesting characters, consider picking this one up.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy!