At the Edge

Blaylock's Bride

Gabriel's Gift

Hidden Secrets

It Happened at Midnight

Leaving Lonely Town

Silence the Whispers

Sleepless in Montana

Three Kisses

When Night Falls

With Her Last Breath

A Strangerís Touch
by Cait London†††
(Avon Books, $6.99, PG-13)† ISBN 978-0-06-114051-8†
A Strangerís Touch is a paranormal love story set within a mystery.† The setting gives the reader the expectation of an interesting, intense read.† Unfortunately, this book disappoints on both counts.

Tempest Storm is a paranormally gifted triplet.† Her ability enables her to hold an object or touch a person with her bare hand and know and feel their history.† She is described as a fighter by nature, restless and impulsive.† She has also been burned recently, by an ex-lover who used her talent for his own gain and then dismissed her as a freak.† This has only sharpened her desire to prove herself to those around her, most especially her two sisters and her mother, all of whom are paranormally gifted.

Marcus Greystone, successful businessman is divorced, hard-natured and aloof.† He has selective affairs designed to meet his needs and ignore his emotions.† Marcusí chaotic childhood has forced him to cling to routine in his self-imposed ordered living.

The story begins and outlines that Tempestís family has been plagued with nightmares, and it seems that they are being stalked by unexplained dark forces.† Tempest has come to the conclusion that she needs to touch a 9th century Viking brooch that her mother and sister have seen in their nightmares to discern the cause of these dreams.† She feels a great desire to prove to her family that she can protect them.† She will not let them down again, after drowning in guilt that she let her ex use her talent in a negative fashion.† She sees the brooch she seeks in a magazine but has little success in contacting the elusive owner.

Tempest breaks into the anonymous collectorís home, driven to touch the brooch, and is immediately caught off guard that Marcus is waiting for her.† He has neatly baited a trap to catch her after their one night stand a few months prior.† Tempest ran out on Marcus after their one night together, fearing that what they shared was too powerful and that she would lose herself in him.† Marcus intentionally pushed her buttons, knowing of her desire for the brooch, and he has her right where he wants her.† He reveals to Tempest that he has researched her and her family and understands her powers.† He confides in her that he needs her help, he wants answers about the unsolved ďaccidentĒ that killed his parents.

As they journey together to Port Salem, Marcusí hometown, it becomes apparent that both Marcus and Tempest are terrified of the tenderness they feel for one another.† They have both had somewhat terrifying or abusive incidents in their childhoods, and have no trust for anyone.†

A Strangerís Touch could have been a much more satisfying story, had the characters been more believable. Both Marcus and Tempest have been described as deeply emotional characters, but I didnít feel the connection with either of them.† They seemed flat, even unlikable at times, and it was a stretch to believe that their passion was plausible.

The dialogue in a great portion of the novel is unnatural, choppy at times and stilted.† Especially as the relationship between Tempest and Marcus is deepening, their interaction seemed tense and closed.† The cold sensation their communication gave off, especially after lovemaking, made the emotion between the characters look false.†††††††

The mystery was complicated, involving many friends and acquaintances of Marcus and his family, complete with odd twists.† The turns were surprising, however with a lack of connection between events, itís hard to care about the outcome of the unraveling drama.† A Strangerís Touch garners a two-heart rating because the premise is good, the mystery is interesting at times, but overall, the love story is unsatisfying.

--Amy Wroblewsky†

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