Source: we received an eARC of this book from the author for review purposes.
I discovered Leslie Parrish almost a year ago just after the release of Cold Sight, the first book in the series. I came upon that book by mere chance, I didn’t know anything about the author but since the synopsis sounded interesting I gave it a try. I can only say that once I finished the book the first thing I did was go to Parrish's website and see when the next book was coming out. I was instantly hooked.
The series centers around a group of people working together on a private investigations agency. They are not regular detectives tough, they all have paranormal abilities. Aidan, the hero of the first book, is a psychic, Julia, a former police officer who is now in charge of the agency, just happens to see her dead partner’s ghost, and Derek can see the imprint of a violent death repeating over and over like an instant replay. Then there’s Olivia, our heroine, when she touches a dead body she can experience the person’s death, which means that she feels everything: the pain, the desperation, the fear, she basically becomes the victim. I’ve got to admit that when I read the first book the moment Olivia was introduced the only thing I could think about was how amazing her book was going to be.
Cold Touch opens with a cadaver being found after a fire, but the person didn’t die during the fire, he died years ago. When Olivia finds about it she feels the compulsion to go to the crime scene. It turns out that the dead person might be someone from Olivia’s past. At the crime scene she meets detective Gabe Cooper and they instantly hit it off. What the deal is with the dead guy, and how Olivia relates to him, is for you to find out. Since this one is a suspense novel I don’t want to give anything away, let’s just say that this book is full of twists and turns, as a good suspense novel should be.
I think this book had the perfect mix of suspense and romance and I was captivated by both aspects of the story. Parrish achieves something quite difficult in a romantic suspense, and that is to combine the perfect amount of interesting plot and compelling romance. A lot of times when reading a book like this one I end up finding it lacking in either the romance or the suspense department, I am happy that this is not the case here.
The leads are fantastic. I particularly liked Olivia because she was intelligent, caring, and a fighter. Her paranormal ability was one of the most original and interesting I have read in a long time. I don’t know where Leslie got the inspiration for it but it is one awful “gift”. The best part about Olivia was that she wasn’t afraid to show her need for the hero, she didn’t need to prove to anyone that she was strong, and she does not have one single “too stupid to live” moment.
Gabe was everything you want in a hero -at least everything I want- that means that he was southern (yep, southern gentlemen do it for me, well, southern anything, I even like white trash as long as it comes with the accent), he was sexy, an alpha male through and through but not a caveman, he had a sad past but just like Olivia he fought his way out of it and came out a better person, and most specially you could tell he honestly liked Olivia. Theirs was a very sweet story, even if it was surrounded by some very bad and scary things.
The secondary characters were also very likeable and entertaining. Ty, Gabe’s partner, was a blast; everyone at eXtreme Investigations was intriguing enough to make me want to see them as protagonist of their own books, and even Morgan the ghost was fun to read. The bad guy was pure evil, he was one scary bastard.
The ending was great, I for once didn’t see it coming, the book is not exactly a “who done it?” but the climax of the book has some very dramatic and out of the blue turns to appeal to any suspense reader. It has a lot of romance though, so if you are let’s say a Karen Rose fan, maybe you are not going to like this one, because is heavy on the romance.
The only thing I could live without is the epilogue. I felt it was a bit of a cop out to be honest, I don’t think the story needed it and it was too sugary for my taste. Read the book and you will know what I mean. Up until that point the book had a perfect score, but it bothered me a lot and that is why I give this one a 4, it doesn’t ruin the book but I think the book was better without it.
Overall I loved the story, and you don’t need to read the first book to understand this one, there are no spoilers or anything, so if you haven’t read Cold Sight and want to get right into Cold Touch go ahead and do it, but Cold Sight is a great book too and you don’t want to miss it.
Review by Brie
Since being gifted--or cursed--with her ability to touch a lifeless body and relive the victim's final moments, Olivia Wainwright has died a hundred deaths. She hears the screams, tastes the fear; feels the excruciating pain--and every glimpse into this darkness draws her deeper into danger.Now, though, she's met a man who offers a glimmer of light. Savannah Detective Gabe Cooper might look like a sexy good-old-boy, but his laid-back attitude hides a sharp mind and a protective heart. He doesn't believe in psychics--until he meets Olivia and sees firsthand how her dark gift ravages her spirit.As their bond deepens, Olivia will have to choose between her cold gift and the warmth Gabe provides. But her past is catching up with her, and Gabe can't refuse when she needs his help solving a crime that's haunted her for over a decade...her own murder.
Cold Touch by Leslie Parrish
Signet. July 5, 2011.