Touch of Smoke - Karissa Laurel

Book source ~ ARC. My review is voluntary and honest.


Rikki Albermarle ran away from her tiny home town in the NC Smokey Mountains to Chapel Hill. She convinced herself she was doing what she always said she was going to do: go to UNC to be an oncology nurse. While she did do that, what she was really doing was running away from the man who killed her best friend. A monster. The man she had fallen in love with, Owen Amir. But after three years she had to go back and get some answers for her own sanity. Nightmares plagued her and it was beginning to affect her work, so back to Evansville she goes. With bridges to mend and a gut-wrenching confrontation with a killer in her plans, she’s not sure she’ll survive again.


This story alternates between past and present and sometimes that makes it hard to keep things straight. Also, Owen and Rikki are kinda hard to like. For me anyway. I’m sure many will like them just fine. Owen wants Rikki to trust him, but he won’t share his secret and Rikki is just too angsty. To be honest, I don’t particularly care for either one of them, so I’m not invested in their outcome even though that outcome is damn interesting. I did enjoy the big reveal and the final showdown, but I’m glad it’s over. Does that make any sense? LOL I this is one of those love or hate books and while I didn’t hate it I also didn’t love it. However, don’t let my ambivalence stop you from giving it a go. It just might be up your dark alley, so to speak.