First Touch, Laurelin Paige
I love Laurelin’s novels but this one – well, its very different, dark at times, very edgy, very mysterious and full of secrets. Its got a sexual element that I find very hard to accept. I didn’t like Emily at first, found her plot to get to Reeve to find out more about Amber quite cold hearted. I guess its hard to imagine that people can use sex to get what they want, but I know that happens and after all its what she and Amber did for many years to live. I did like her determination to do what she could to find Amber even if I found her methods disquieting.
Actually that sums up much of Emily for me – Disquieting. The way she acts, the way she is with others, and certainly the way she is sexually….Then there’s Reeve. He seemed so cold, and I guess again its a consequence of having money that you need to look at what people are really after, that you accept most of them want something from you rather than just want to know Reeve the man. That’s really sad and I always feel for people in that situation. How do you know who you can trust, who really wants you, likes you and who’s just saying and doing what they think you want? There are times though when his actions towards Emily had me mentally screaming “ tell him to get lost. Leave. Now. You don’t have to put up with/listen to that” And yet Emily has this need that he fulfils.
I understand on that face of it that when two/or more people are happy whatever goes on between them is fine, I agree sex shouldn’t be limited and if all parties consent its no-one else business. But when someone is like Emily where’s the line between what she really wants, needs even, and agrees to and if she’s doing/agreeing purely from a need to please? Tough one, and can lead to some very unsafe circumstances, and in fact had in her past. Its that Safe Word enigma, its only safe if you can trust the other person to use it – those who need to please don’t have an “off” switch all too often.
So in my mind its anything goes if everyone is happy, so why do I feel disquieted, uncomfortable, cautious about what goes on? Maybe it’s just that I find it so hard to put myself in Emily’s position, and when I’m reading that’s where my mind often goes, I feel as if I’m living what’s happening but of course my reactions and Emily’s – well – they differ greatly!
Then there’s all the secrets, hints of what may have happened to Amber, hints of what Reeve may be involved in. Scary stuff and not something to dabble into withoutrisking the consequences, and yet Emily can’t just abandon Amber, she knows she’s the only person likely to be looking for her. So I’m reading along, getting worried for Amber as it’s looking more and more likely she’s not had a good end. I’m worried for Emily and even Reeve as it looks like both of them are getting more involved with each other than they planned. Somehow you just feel there’s not a happy ending for them. What secrets is he hiding, how will they affect Emily, and if they do drop their guard and become more to each other how is he going to feel about what she’s been doing to track Amber, about her connection to Amber even, and how will she deal with what Amber may have been to Reeve? Questions without answers so far.
Then – my Real Pet Hate, a damned Cliff-hanger. I really, really, really hate those. This book’s got me so psyched up and I just know that it’ll be months, maybe a year even, before I get next part and all that gets lost, has fizzled out by then 😦 Still, its one of those that’s great to read once all parts out.
Its five star writing of course, but the sex scenes, and the language used made me really uncomfortable. Maybe its just tha in the not so distant past this was real life for many women regardless of consent. It took a long struggle to get past it and this just makes me feel its a step back. It wasn’t just confined to the bedroom, but the actions spilled over into other parts of their relationship, and to me that’s a thin line that could lead to abuse. I understand that they both needed what the other wanted, it wasn’t so much a choice issue, but a real sexual need to be satisfied, and my “anything goes if everyone consents” part says that’s fine, but the other side of me just finds these actions really difficult to accept. There’s one scene in particular that I really didn’t like. I’d got the feeling by then they were both beginning to feel more for each other than just the roles they began, and I can’t understand how they could do that, how anyone could go quite that far when they care very much for someone….my issues I know, but of course it did affect how I felt about the book. It’s the same feeling as I’d have reading a book about fox hunting for example, I’d not like it however well written it was as Im very against it.
Stars: This is really hard for me to rate. the writing is definitely five star but….there was so much about the sex scenes that made me uncomfortable, the actions and language that I have to go four stars. It won’t bother other people but I’m rating how I feel about it personally.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
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