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.
My Review ~ Riveting second chance romance with a paranormal twist
5 Stars *****
I hugely enjoyed Touch of Smoke, by Karissa Laurel, a flawlessly orchestrated second chance romance with a paranormal twist. It is the first book that I have read by the author and I found it to be a compulsive read.
The story commences in the present day when the heroine Rikki, plagued by nightmares of what happened in her home town, returns there, after an absence of three years. She vows to find answers. Her quest compels her to confront Owen, a young man whom she was once very close to. It soon becomes clear that she still has strong feelings for him, however, it is Owen whom she fears is the source of her nightmares. Can she trust him? Is Owen the monster? What really happened the night Mina died?
I was glued to my Kindle throughout this read. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and the way the book was constructed, using flashbacks to progress the story and link the present to the past. Both the central characters, Rikki and Owen have considerable baggage from their past: Rikki through personal loss, which has resulted in trust issues, and Owen through the trauma of having served in the US military. Rikki is a strong character, despite her inner fears and self-doubts and Owen is a real hottie, whose secrets the reader wants to get to the bottom of!
The couple has many hurdles to overcome, even without the increasing menace of evil the reader senses as the book unfolds. I was rooting for the couple throughout and once Owen’s secrets were out of the bag I was on tenterhooks as to how the story would play out. Once more, the weaving of the paranormal element into the story and their relationship certainly added to my enjoyment of the read.
I’d recommend this read to lovers of romance and the paranormal.
Reviewed by Tina Williams
Please note that a copy of this book was given to me by the author for a fair and honest review.