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First Touch

de Laurelin Paige

Sèrie: First and Last (1)

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907231,732 (3.68)1
"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 voice-over 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"--Page 4 of cover.… (més)
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The first installment in Laurelin Paige's First and Last duology, First Touch is a sexually explicit and boundary pushing exploration of lead protagonist Emily Wayborn's long dormant submissive desires.

Emily Wayborn's friendship with Amber Pries ended six years earlier but when she receives a message in which Amber uses their distress signal, Emily drops everything to look into her disappearance. Although she hires a private investigator to help find Amber, Emily begins her own investigation which leads straight to Amber's former lover, wealthy resort owner Reeve Sallis. Despite the sinister rumors swirling around Reeve, he immediately awakens the dark and dangerous urges that Emily has tried to ignore and her investigation into Amber's disappearance soon takes a backseat to her progressively dangerous and erotically charged sexual encounters with Reeve.

At first, Emily seems like a self-confident and self-assured woman who is comfortable with her sexuality. Since hitting rock bottom six years earlier, her acting career has taken off and she has a starring role in a popular sitcom. Mainly concentrating on her career, Emily no longer craves or desires the types of relationships she was in during her friendship with Amber. But right from her first meeting with Reeve, she easily slips back into the habit of using her generously endowed curves to garner his attention. Once she captures his interest, she finds herself fully captivated by his need to take control and she soon becomes needy, jealous and insecure and it is rather troubling how easily Emily capitulates to his destructive dominance both in and out of the bedroom.

Reeve is the typical bad boy billionaire with a dark and mysterious past. There is little factual information available about him or his family but rumor, innuendo and gossip fill in some of the blanks. Reeve is domineering, controlling and possessive and he makes no effort to hide these aspects of his personality. These very traits appeal to Emily's need to submit but even she is ill-prepared for the heavy kink that he introduces to their sexual encounters.

Emily's quest to find Amber is quickly lost in her increasingly dangerous and toxic relationship with Reeve. He demands complete control of their sex life and her consent becomes dubious since she is such a people pleaser and so submissive that she has refuses to say no to anything he asks of her. There are no safe words and absolutely nothing is off limits. Their relationship is purely sexual and neither of them make any attempt to disguise this fact. The sexual element of the storyline is sometimes unsettling as their explorations delve into the darker side of dominant/submissive erotica and their encounters are sometimes disturbing.

While Emily's investigation into Amber's disappearance is mainly overshadowed by her disquieting relationship with Reeve, she does make a few half-hearted attempts to find out what happened to her friend. However, for the most part, Emily uses her "investigation" as an excuse to continue seeing Reeve and her continued efforts to investigate seem a little ridiculous under the circumstances. Emily is eventually so blinded by lust and desire that she makes foolhardy decisions that could literally jeopardize her life.

This first installment in Laurelin Paige's First and Last series is a well-written, highly erotic novel that is not for the sexually faint of heart. While not much progress is made in learning the truth about what happened to Amber, First Touch ends with a shocking cliffhanger that will leave readers impatiently awaiting the release of final book in this two book series. ( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
Emily Wayborn hasn’t heard from her former best friend Amber in seven years. But Emily knows that something is wrong when she gets a message from Amber with the safe word that they agreed on years ago when they both were young and carefree. But Emily manages to change her life and is now she is a (voice)actress in a famous tv-series. But, she has never forgotten Amber and what happened that led to them separating ways. The trail for Amber led Emily to the mysterious billionaire Reeve Sallis. Reeve’s is known for his bad boy reputation and one of his girlfriends died mysteriously a couple of years ago. Emily decided to seduce Reeves to find out where Amber is, but she had never thought that this could be the man she would lose her heart too.

This book started off interesting with Emily purposefully going after Reeves to try to find her best friend. At the beginning, nut much is known about either Emily or Amber. But, slowly the past is revealed throughout the book.

I thought that the hunt for Amber and the past story and the events that led to their separation seven years ago was the best part of the book. Emily and Amber both when they were young lived off rich men by offering sex in exchange for a good life still. But, they were also very different with Emily into more submissive sex. In the end, it just went very bad for Emily and she managed to pull her life together and move on and now has a role in a TV-series. That is until Amber gets in touch with her again.

The book has a lot of sex scenes. If you are into that then I think that this book would probably rock your boat. Personally, I just find that the story gets lost in all the sex. And, that is too bad because the story isn’t that bad, I found the story intriguing and I wanted to know what had happened to Amber.

But Emily's search for Amber just feels like a second thing when she and Reeves finally hook up. For me, the book would have been better if the sex had been toned down and the real story had a more central place. I think this book probably would be better for someone that wants to read about submissive sex and quite a lot of that. It’s just not what I’m interesting in.

Then we have the ending. As I pointed out the sex scenes in this book are what in the end failed to make this a book that I really liked. But, I did enjoy the story and the ending, ah the ending, left me with a need to read more. True, it was not an entirely surprising ending, but it was such a perfect ending and left me yearning to read more.

I recommend this book to anyone that likes an erotic suspenseful story!

2.5 stars

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book! ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 29, 2019 |
3.6 stars

This story is the equivalent of silk stockings with a dagger in the garter and red wine laced with arsenic.


A months old innocuous phone message from a friend, that Emily hasn't talked to in six years, starts her down a dark and winding path. When Emily's mentally ill mother tells her she has a phone message from Amber for her, Emily thinks this must be one of the numerous times she is confused. It's been six years since Emily has heard from Amber and the way their friendship ended, she didn't ever expect to hear from her again. The message is short but when Amber speaks two little words, "blue raincoat", their code for needing help, Emily knows that she must find her. Attaching herself to Amber's last boyfriend, billionaire Reeve Sallis, seemed like the best plan but when Emily finds herself being drawn to him beyond her command, her world starts to spiral out of control. Drugs, sex, punishments, unexplained deaths, and lies swirl around Emily, dragging her down farther into Reeve's world. Finding Amber was Emily's goal and now she just hopes not to lose herself.

Her with no name, me with no face

Emily met Amber when she was seventeen, neither had ideal childhoods. Emily's mother was mentally ill with no father in the picture and Amber's mother was a crack addict and her father began raping her when she was nine years old until she ran away when she got older. If you couldn't tell from the beginning introductions to our characters, this is a story of uncomfortable realities. Things only get darker from here on out and if you're not wanting to swim in the muck, this erotic puzzle is not for you. We are told in sporadic flashbacks how Emily and Amber meet and how Amber grooms Emily to be a sugar baby with her, taking care of and sleeping with rich men for money and luxury items, or how they put it "value for value". Neither would say Amber grooms Emily and there doesn’t seem to be planned maliciousness behind Amber. Amber's early sexual trauma obviously shaped her views and her genuine caring for Emily has her wanting Emily at her side, exchanging sex is her way of getting the life she wants. After a blow up where Amber doesn't believe Emily's side of a story, the two part ways for six years. Emily leaves the life of a sugar baby and becomes an actress on a hit tv show, where only her voice is used and Amber remains arm candy for rich men.

He was an asshole and I was turned on.

Amber's use of their safe word has Emily immediately going to the cops but without much to go on, a detective gives the name of a private investigator, Joe, to Emily. Joe relays that Amber was dating billionaire Reeve, who may have killed a girlfriend long ago and may have ties to the Greek mob, he tells her its better not to get involved. Emily insists he keeps looking and decides to get close to Reeve herself. Reeve started off as a very closed off and cool character, we the readers are never able to get a solid read on him. When he gets incredibly controlling and exhibits more extreme dominant sexual behavior toward Emily, I was worried I was about to embark into fifty shades territory. What makes this story different and vastly better is how Emily's character is written. She likes the dominance and his more extreme sexual side and by likes, I mean she craves it. The majority of their relationship and the story is Emily learning to enjoy that side of herself without the shame and Reeve discovering that Emily has no limits and how this makes not only her submission to him a gift but his dominance to her a gift. This, of course, makes this story highly sexualized and provides physical scenes that a lot will not be comfortable with but what impressed me, was how psychological it all was. For Emily, there was no sexual trauma in her past to "make" her crave the more taboo side of sex, it's just the way she is and what she likes, even when she battles the shame of society's strictures. This construction of a submissive character was fresh, intriguing, and provoking. It also made Emily and Reeve's relationship gripping, arousing, and formidable.

"The problem with men who are actually a threat, though, Emily, is that you don't ever find out how unsafe they are until it's too late."

The sexual relationship between Reeve and Emily give this story its heat while the mystery behind Amber's disappearance gives it, its chill. Secondary characters like the private detective Joe and Chris, a friend of Emily's who knew a woman Reeve is rumored to have killed, work to convince Emily to stay away from Reeve, while her feelings for him have her working to get closer. The dichotomy of getting close to Reeve for Amber's sake and getting close to him for her own sake constantly shreds Emily apart. Each piece of information Emily uncovers about Reeve, the biggest danger seeming to be his connections to the Greek mob, have the reader growing colder as Emily still insists on getting closer to him. As I said earlier, Reeve's character stays fairly well hidden, towards the end of the story more of him is revealed through his interactions with Emily but a lot is still left to uncover. Yes, this ends on a cliffhanger and why I can't disclose more of my feelings on Amber's disappearance story arc. I don't know it all yet and I also don't want to spoil the puzzle for you all as some pieces are easy to spot and others will surprise you.

If you're willing to sink into the story, you'll find the writing well done with debauched sexual overtones, a shadowy atmosphere, and a pace that will coerce you to keep reading. The middle got a little long with the back and forth should she or shouldn't she in regards to Reeve; I felt 10% or so of the story could have been trimmed out. Overall, this was a highly compelling read; just make sure you can handle against the norm intense sexual scenes and a cliffhanger.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Feb 14, 2019 |
Read my full review of the book at seriesousbookreviews.com! Spoiler Free!

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own and not influenced by my source.**

This novel did not disappoint me! It's dangerous and sexy and it captured my attention from start to finish. I cannot wait to see what is going to happen next!

I enjoyed the suspense of this novel. It was there from start to finish, though I do feel like it lagged a bit in the middle but I understand why. That time was needed to develop Emily as a character. I didn't immediately connect with Emily because it took a while to reveal her as a person. (Which is why this is a 4 star rating and not a 5) Once her past history was revealed, I did start to understand her and her actions more. That helped me love the last 100 or so pages of the novel and see why things were unfolding the way they were.

This book has a darker edge to it but I like that it doesn't focus exclusively on the kinky elements or romance. I think a lot of contemporary darker romances focus too much on the kinky sex scenes and not enough on the characters or the plot. While it takes it time to focus on all the elements at play, including the romance because it is very important to the plot, it still keeps its focus on the mystery of Amber and her involvement with Reeve and I loved those moments.

Overall: a solid start to a series that promises even more danger and suspense in its sequel. A sequel that cannot get her fast enough!

Check out more spoiler-free book and series reviews on my blog SERIESousBookReviews.com as well as read book series recaps!

Full Review: http://wp.me/p3txrs-1bU ( )
  seriesousbooks | Feb 7, 2018 |

FGMAMTC Blog Review  Excerpt
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.


***Copy given in exchange for an honest review***

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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  ToniFGMAMTC | Jan 19, 2017 |
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"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 voice-over 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"--Page 4 of cover.

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