Beyond Your Touch
(The Dark Heart #2)
Published by: Kensington
Publication date: August 30th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
She wants more than he can promise.
His desires could lead to betrayal.
But without each other, neither can survive the dangers ahead.
Annie Freemont knows this isn’t the right time to get involved with a man like Chase. After years of distrust, she’s finally drawing close to her estranged family, and he’s an employee on their estate in Maine. Though she never intended to stay on the estate for long, her father’s illness and the mysteries surrounding her family made leaving impossible. And now with the newfound hope of rescuing her long-missing mother, Annie’s determined to be involved with the family’s plans one way or another.
If only she could keep her mind off Chase and focus on the impending rescue. But there’s something about the enigmatic Chase that she can’t resist. And she’s not the only woman. Annie fears a seductive stranger who is key to safely freeing her mother is also obsessed with him. As plans transform into action and time for a treacherous journey into a strange world draws near, every move Annie makes will test the one bond she’s trusted with her secrets, her desires—and her heart.
5*** Fast-paced, thrilling paranormal novel
** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**
I don’t write spoilers because I don’t like reading them so the following quote from Beyond Your Touch is intended to show a little of the high-quality of its writing. Pat Esden opens each chapter with a quote and this happens to be my favorite one:
“There is a border no eye can see, a place beyond my touch. But if I listen to the wind and sea, I hear your voice: A whisper in the sky, a catch in my breath, the ache in my hollow heart”.
If you haven’t read the book yet, the text doesn’t give away anything; but if you have, it’s full of meaning. Intrigued? You should be! This book is awesomely written and this is a tiny example of Pat Esden’s skills.
She creates believable and realistic characters to the point that some will annoy the heck out of you like was the case with both Annie and Serena for me. Granted, they’re quite young and I kept reminding myself of that; but they made me very angry sometimes. Serena can come off as a spoiled brat and Annie’s jealousy seemed a bit exaggerated for a one-month-long relationship. However, I know people her age with similar mindset so that’s the realistic part I mentioned before. LOL Being fifty allows me to see Annie’s and Serena’s flaws from a greatly different perspective than readers close to their age so my comments on their behavior should be taken with a grain of salt. On the other hand, Chase is a fascinating character in many aspects. Although still quite young, his upbringing under ruthless conditions in the djinn realm has given him a furiously loyal disposition, which is endearing. You can’t help but root for him and suffer with him. Believe me, you’ll do a lot of both.
As for setting and plot, the author does a great job with establishing a fast pace full of twists and turns. I particularly liked Annie’s dream sequences and her flashes of intuition. They’re insightful and it’s a pity she doesn’t listen to them. Also, the use of first-person POV from Annie’s perspective helps readers identify with her at the same time as it keeps us in the dark as to what’s really going on, which adds to the thrill and sense of mystery. I loved that. Finally, I liked that Pat Esden introduces key elements of the first book to readers who, like me, have started the series in its second installment. It’s possible to follow the action; but I’m sure I missed a lot on background story development. That’s why I recommend reading the first book in the series, which I intend to do.
Although there’s no conclusion to this story as it ends in a massive cliffhanger, we do see the outcome of the protagonists’ quest. I obviously won’t say what but technically speaking, there’s a final result. And even though the addition of the first chapter of book 3 at the end doesn’t give away much, it is quite tantalizing. It allows a quick glimpse into what’s to come and makes the reader salivate for the next installment.
I recommend this book for fans of extremely well-developed stories filled with paranormal elements wrapped in tons of deliciously elusive mysteries.
PAT ESDEN would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts. An antique-dealing florist by trade, she’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.