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Touch of Smoke by Karissa Laurel

'Touch of Smoke' by Karissa Laurel. Reviewed by On My Kindle BR
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.
Source: I received a free copy of this book and opted to post a review.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pub. Date: February 12, 2019


Three years after watching as her friend was killed by something inexplicably evil Rikki is returning to her hometown. Readers learn about the events that took place in the past and in the present as Rikki faces the demons that have haunted her sleep since that tragic night.

In spite of what some will consider a slow start, I really enjoyed this book. The plot focuses on character-building as we learn more about the intelligent and strong-willed protagonist, Rikki and the romance she had with Owen, an Army veteran. The plot has a unique premise that focuses on paranormal elements that aren't usually found in the paranormal novels currently being offered.

My only criticism is that the setting fell a little flat for me. The plot is set in a small town, yet the only people who seem interested in Rikki's relationship with Owen are her mother, her friend, and her friend's love interest, and the diner's owner. Since Rikki is an EMT and the town is so small, virtually everyone would know her or at least know of her, and they would feel entitled to their opinions about Rikki's relationship with Owen.

Having said this, I prefer characters to be more well-rounded than the setting. I love how the plot focuses on two incredibly intriguing characters, and I think the premise is intelligent and well-written. It's apparent that Laurel knows the lore of the paranormal/supernatural beings in the book, and her explanation of the lore is brilliant. I thought the transitions between Rikki's narrative of the past and the present were smooth, easy to follow, and the events from the past were relevant to Rikki's present.

Touch of Smoke is another amazing novel written by Laurel. If you are a hard-core paranormal/supernatural fan looking for something other than shifter or vampire novels, look no further!

About Karissa Laurel

Karissa Laurel, author. Courtesy of Facebook.

Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky. Some of her favorite things are coffee, chocolate, and super heroes. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. She loves to read and has a sweet tooth for fantasy, sci-fi, and anything in between. In the summer, she loves to be on the water, on the boat or in her kayak. When it snows, you'll find her on the slopes.
On My Kindle BR's review of 'Touch of Smoke' by Karissa Laurel.