Touched by A.J. Aalto
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
THEME: Horror, Romance, Vampires
The media has a nickname for Marnie Baranuik, though she’d rather they didn’t; they call her the Great White Shark, a rare dual-talented forensic psychic. Twice-Touched by the Blue Sense--which gives her the ability to feel the emotions of others, and read impressions left behind on objects--Marnie also has a doctorate in preternatural biology and a working knowledge of the dark arts. She is considered without peer in the psychic community.
Then her first big FBI case ended with a bullet in one shoulder and a chip on the other, a queasy heart and a serial killer in the wind, leaving her a public flop and a private wreck. When the FBI’s preternatural crimes unit tracks her down at a remote mountain lodge for her insight on a local case, her quiet retirement is promptly besieged by a stab-happy starlet, a rampaging ghoul, and a vampire-hunting jackass in tight Wranglers. Marnie figures the only real mystery is which one will kill her first.
Too mean to die young, backed up by friends in cold places, and running with a mouth as demure as a cannon’s blast, Marnie Baranuik is about to discover that there’s no such thing as quitting time when you’re Touched.
REVIEW:Touched is a wonderful paranormal package of awesomeness, with some kick butt characters, horror aspects, vampires both humorous and scary, along with hints of romance. Be prepared for a fast pace plot and a female heroine with a snarky but vulnerable persona that I easily connected too.
I loved every bit of this story but my favorite had to be Marnie the female lead. She is the most developed and it’s so intruding to see how she starts with not wanting to help the FBI to being trust back into it with force. I loved the originality of what she is, being a Daysitter aka powerful psychic who inherited a Revenant (vampire) named Henry. Their dynamic is so much fun and Harry is described as Fred Astaire type of man (who I adored!). Marnie in the beginning just wants to be left alone but being pulled back only because the case hits close to home for her.
Mark Batten is Marnie’s opposite; there is extreme tension and past lust between the two right off the back. They have history but their love hate relationship is very clear. I didn’t know how to react to Batten, of course he was sexy and bad boyish, but with Marnie’s interesting thoughts from her POV about him, I didn’t know if I should hate him or love him. Overall my heart leans more toward Henry than Mark for her, but both these boys have such an interesting dynamic with Marnie.
Overall this was a seriously captivating and intense paranormal thriller, every moment I was engrossed in the case along with the characters. I never knew what to expect and even with some of the eerie moments that will give people Goosebumps. The writing was spot on; I never had a moment where I was bored or confused. I can’t wait to see what happens next with Marnie and learn more about this intruding world that Aalto has created.
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