Series Review: First and Last by Laurelin Paige

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

First and Last Series

booksynopsis

Synopsis for First Touch (from Goodreads):
When Emily Wayborn goes home to visit her mom while on hiatus from her hit TV show, she receives a voicemail from her former best friend, Amber. Though the two were once notorious party girls, they haven’t spoken in years. Although the message might sound benign to anyone else, Amber uses a safe word that Emily recognizes, a word they always used to get out of sticky situations during their wild days. And what’s more chilling than the voicemail: it turns out that Amber has gone missing.

Determined to track down her friend, Emily follows a chain of clues that lead her to the enigmatic billionaire Reeve Sallis, a hotelier known for his shady dealings and play boy reputation. Now, in order to find Amber, Emily must seduce Reeve to learn his secrets and discover the whereabouts of her friend. But as she finds herself more entangled with him, she finds she’s drawn to Reeve for more than just his connection to Amber, despite her growing fear that he may be the enemy. When she’s forced to choose where her loyalty lies, how will she decide between saving Amber and saving her heart?

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SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite Author
Series: First and Last
Author: Laurelin Paige
# of Books: 2 (First Touch, Last Kiss)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Dark, Suspense, Mystery
Heat Rating: hot (Kink: major; BDSM: Mild)
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: December 29, 2015 – June 14, 2016
Source & Format: NetGalley–eARC

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thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When I was asked by St. Martin’s Press to read the new Laurelin Paige novel, I thought it was a joke, pinched myself and responded immediately to say YES! Paige’s Fixed Trilogy is one of my all time favourite Adult Contemporary Romance trilogies (and it is also one of my blog’s top viewed review posts) and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for an addicting contemporary read. So when I read that her newest series took on a darker contemporary edge, I was so there!

What I Liked:

–The Mystery–

I don’t read a lot of romance suspense novels because I find they don’t have a great balance between the plot and the romance (one is favoured more than the other) and they are terribly predictable. NOT THIS ONE!

I loved its unpredictability! It kept me on the edge of my seat and trying in vain to figure out what was going to happen next. There were so many little twists and things at play that it pushed me to keep reading.

–The Romance–

I’m not the biggest BDSM/Kinky romance fan and I liked that it wasn’t really present in the Fixed Trilogy. Here, it is definitely present and initially this worried me. However, I think it really works well for this story. It doesn’t feel out of place or simply added for shock factor. Nor does it take away from the main plot either or focus on some innocent virgin stepping in to the “dark side” of things. It adds a depth to the characters and the plot; so even if it isn’t my favourite plot device ever, I can appreciate what it does for this story.

What I Didn’t Like:

–That I didn’t Immediately Love Emily–

That’s a bit of a lie. I actually really liked Emily in the first two chapters but I admit that she lost me a bit in the middle when more of her character’s past was revealed. I felt like I had interpreted her to be one way and all of that was shattered when I got further into her story. Maybe I was just a little judgmental when certain things about her past were revealed but I think a majority of it was simply that I didn’t know the full story.

When the suspense-aspect of the plot goes on a mini hiatus in the middle of the novel (the only time I really felt it lag), I liked that it helped you understand more about Emily’s character. Her relationship with Amber in the past is revealed a tiny bit at a time and you learn other things about her past. And I’m happy to say that by the end of First Touch, I really like Emily as a character and could appreciate the choices she makes.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

Gah! The way that one ended!!! I didn’t see that coming and I can’t wait to see how everything unfolds in Last Kiss!

updates

–June 8, 2016– Book #2: Last Kiss

I was really excited to pick this one up! Given the ending of First Touch, I was dying to know what happens next!

I found this novel moved fast, in an addicting, I-need-to-know-what’s-next kind of way. Seeing everything unfold was a well worth it and kept me motivated to read. I would have finished this book in one sitting if life wasn’t in the way!

I felt like everything was on point with this novel. The character development was stronger, the relationships with characters as well as the plot in general were at their peak. Combined, they all kept me on my toes trying to figure out what really happened to Amber and company.

What held me back from a 5/5 was the romance in this one. While I loved the sexual tension, the BDSM style of Reeve and Emily’s relationship really had me concerned. Definitely seemed more unhealthy to me than previously but eventually it was expanded upon in a way that satisfied me. However, I do think some people will not enjoy their relationship despite the great dramatic plot.

Overall, it was a fantastic way to wrap up this duology and I can’t wait for the next Laurelin Paige novel!

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My Rating: 4/5

First Touch 4/5 | Last Kiss 4/5

overall

While I wasn’t blown away with First Touch, I definitely feel like this story is building to a conclusion that will blow my mind! It’s a dark, dangerous and sexy ride that fans of J Kenner and Maya Banks will love without the heavy duty BDSM scenes or elements.

Read if You Like: romantic suspense, undercover lovers, dark romances
Avoid if You: dislike kinky romance situations, drug use

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