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Touch of Smoke

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  71 reviews
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 ki ...more
Kindle Edition, 325 pages
Published February 12th 2019 by Red Adept Publishing, LLC
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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An intelligent romance with a paranormal twist and wonderful well developed characters. A romance, with characters that I couldn't help but love. Owen, he's ex military, looking to settle down in a small town after a long tour. He meets a local girl Rikki, a hard working goal orientated woman, with dreams beyond the town. They click, a romance begins but that is only a small part of the story. Nothing was predictable, the plot, the characters, the outcome.

What a ride ! The story was a slow bui
True Rating 4.5 stars!

Touch of Smoke is a contemporary romance that has the most delicious paranormal twist to it. The entire story revolves around Rikki and Owen’s love affair and the deadly consequences of one nightmarish night. In order to truly understand everything that took place and the emotional impact, this story transitions between the past and the present and is told from Rikki’s point of view. The pacing of the story was quite steady and for me was slow to really claim my interest, a
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Intriguing. Intense, Spellbinding. Emotionally-Engrossing & Utterly Compelling. Karissa Laurel has once again penned a mysterious, seize you by the throat, until the very last heart-wrenching page novel. This is so much more than a romance book, this is a Love Story that has been carefully created with a cast of intricately drawn characters. The author masterfully draws all the supernatural threads together, so you can feel the very building blocks slotting into place, building the layers and fo ...more
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rikki was determined to leave her small town and get an education. She never expected to fall for the handsome and mysterious Owen, nor did she think she would watch her best friend die at the hands of a monster…so she ran. For three years she stayed away, nightmares of the monster with the flaming eyes, but it was time to come home and face her demons and uncover the truth, no matter what. Even if it meant facing Owen once again.

Karissa Laurel’s TOUCH OF SMOKE is spellbinding, intriguing and cl
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The book was good, but it didn't stirr big emotions in me. What I liked the most was the writing style, that was what you may expect from a good book. I also liked the fact that it just feels like a romance story at first, but starts to unfold in something twisted with paranormal fantasy.

A longer review can be found at Bite Into Books

I like how the book feels like a romance book layered with a big myst
Tanya Davis
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was ok

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Touch of Smoke by Karissa Laurel had me totally torn in two. This is why it is a 2.5 read for me. I decided to give it a middle of the road rating to signify my torn feelings. I want to start out with the things I liked.

Touch of Smoke held my curiousity throughout the book. It was written from Rikki's POV but alternated between the past and then thre

Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's has been a long time since I've had a book boyfriend, but I am proud to say, sexy. mysterious, possibly not even human, "Owen Amir" is my new book boyfriend!

I loved his character! In fact, I loved everything about this book! I liked that while it is considered an urban fantasy, it is more urban than fantasy. But let me tell you, when the magic kicks in, it's a doozy!

Another thing I loved about this book was that it was steeped in Islamic mythology. If you are a fan of Karissa's books, then
A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)
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 s
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"A girl doesn't fall in love with the devil and come away unscarred... "

Well I'm officially a goner, Karissa Laurel has done it again. I'm over the moon for Owen and Rikki. TEAM OWKI 4 LIFE.

Owen definitely brought the heat, but he was actually very sweet too. I appreciated how endlessly patient he was with Rikki. He was a take charge kinda guy but he always let Rikki set the pace and call the shots. It was refreshing. I feel like so often you see that Alpha male type be overbearing and cons
Nadene  (Totally Addicted to Reading)
Three years ago, Rikki Abermale fell in love, but witnessing the death of her best friend, at the hands of a monster marred the joy of the experience. The trauma of the event led to her abandoning all she held dear. Now it was time for her to return home to get answers to burning questions that have been the source of her nightmares the last three years.

Touch of Smoke by Karissa Laurel features well-developed characters, a sweet romance and a story line that was fun, captivating, intriguing and
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Touch of Smoke was a great read. It was my first book by Ms. Laurel and I loved it. I loved all of the characters (especially Owen - he has such an interesting personality, it was infectious. I basked in it.) and so much happened to all of them in this book! The plot was great - every important scene led to another, the fighting scenes were amazing, the magic and mythology were interesting... The book was different, entertaining, and kept my attention. I love stories about magic in a modern sett ...more
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
Touch of Smoke by Karissa Laurel

I have learned that I can trust when Ms. Laurel comes out with a new book, I am in for an excellent story. I could tell by the cover art I was in for a different sort of paranormal element than she had written before, and I could guess what that would be. But, let me tell you I was blown away at the depth of A “Touch of Smoke.” As the story unfolds the reader is given a dynamic story which jumps back and forth from the last three years to present day. The time war
Misty's Book Space
4.5 stars

I want to thank the author for providing me with an ecopy via R&R Book Tour in exchange for my honest review.

This is an Urban Fantasy Paranormal Romance book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's based on Islamic Mythology which I have never read about before. The male lead Owen is of middle eastern decent and OMG guys he's so perfect. Not literally perfect he does have his flaws and secrets which I pretty much guessed early on but still as a romantic lead I absolutely loved him.

Like I men
InD'tale Magazine
This story is a sweet, first-love romance with some very suspenseful elements that will keep readers intrigued throughout.

Read full review in the 2019 May issue of InD'tale Magazine.
Cocktails and Books
3.5 Cocktails

I liked it. A paranormal twist on an otherwise small town, second-chance romance.

Full review to come.
Karen (BaronessBookTrove)
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Do you believe in second chances?
Touch of Smoke by Karissa Laurel is all about second chances and what happens after losing faith. The main character is Erika Albemarle, who is a twentyish nurse working oncology coming home to face what she left behind three years or so ago.
Erika Albemarle
Erika Albemarle is the only character's head that we get into. She is t
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After a three-year absence, Rikki Albemarle is returning to her hometown in the Smoky Mountains. And there’s gonna be a reckoning. Rikki’s life has gone off the rails. She knows she needs answers. Unfortunately for her, the answers can only be found in the town she swore she was leaving behind. Rikki’s desperation leads her to confront everything she wanted to bury. Touch of Smoke is the new standalone paranormal romance novel by author Karissa Laurel.
You know when you’re wholly engrossed in a
Cary Morton
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book directly from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Touch of Smoke by Karissa Laurel was a uniquely fantastic tale of a small town romance overshadowed by the danger and allure of old magic. The story was fast-paced, well written, and easy to sink into. I thoroughly enjoyed the small cast of characters – Especially Rikki.

My only complaint is that the narrative had a tendency to be a bit overly dramatic, especially in the beginning, and I really wish
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an exciting, mysterious and scary story.
On My Kindle BR
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: onmykindlebr
I received a free copy of this book and opted to share a review.

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. I love how the plot focuses on two incredibly int
You can read my full review on my WordPress blog, Flora's Musings...

I received this book as an eARC through NatGalley in exchange for an honest review.

So, what did I like about it?
Karissa Laurel is a new-to-me author and I found her writing style easy to read, intelligent and well crafted. I loved the way she used the first chapter to set the scene; piquing our interest and introducing our heroine, Rikki Albemarle.

I really loved the folklore and mythology that Ms Laurel based her story on; it’s
Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)
"Years before, I'd started suspecting my hair was kinky, and not in a curly way but in a BDSM way; it rebelled against me simply because it enjoyed being beaten into submission."

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

I don't like it when a book leaves me feeling frustrated, which is exactly how I felt after finishing Touch of Smoke. Maybe it was supposed to be romantic... but after everything else, I really needed a happily ever af
Robin Reynolds
*received by the author for review"

Isn't that cover gorgeous?

The paranormal aspect of this romance unfolded very slowly, and I loved the way that happened. Rikki has returned home to Evansville after being away three years. Arriving in town, she's greeted with a little hostility and a lot of hurt from her friends and family over the way she took off. She's here to face her demons and get some answers about the death of her best friend. The narrative jumps back and forth between the present and
Jeannie Zelos
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Touch of Smoke, Karissa Laurel

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre: Romance, Sci-fi and Fantasy.

I loved Karissa's Norse Chronicles, a really unusual supernatural series in a genre that's dominated by vampires and werewolves. I was hoping she'd put that same unique spin on this book, and wasn't disappointed.

This story is told in a past/present format, with a three year gap between the two time periods. I really enjoyed the way the tension is built, that we know something supernatural is h
Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 Cranky Stars

Rikki has suffered loss in her life. Her mama is the sheriff of the town she feels she is suffocating in. She is working to save so she can leave for Chapel Hill and college and not look back. What she isn’t expecting is Owen Amir to show up in her sleepy town and knock her off her feet. He isn’t in the plan, but he works his way into her heart. She starts to notice some things about him that don’t add up to being human, but she pushes her fears down. Surely, it’s just her imagin
Tina Williams
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Riveting second chance romance with a paranormal twist

I hugely enjoyed Touch of Smoke, by Karissa Laurel, a flawlessly orchestrated second chance romance with a paranormal twist. It is the first book that I have read by the author and I found it to be a compulsive read.
The story commences in the present day when the heroine Rikki, plagued by nightmares of what happened in her home town, returns there, after an absence of three years. She vows to find answers. Her quest compels her to confront Ow
 Diana Davis
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Touch of Smoke Kindle Edition
by Karissa Laurel  (Author)
I received a review copy via BookSirens and am choosing to leave a fair and honest review.

This was my introduction to Ms. Laurel's writing and what an introduction!

Erika – call me Rikki – is planning to leave her small town in order to become an oconology nurse (as a Cancer Victor, I have respect for these nurses, even the fictional ones). The summer before she leaves, Luke, her childhood friend returns home from the Iraq War and brings wit
Jessica Bronder
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rikki Albemarle had plans to get out of town and get an education when she was done with high school. But things went sideways and she watched her best friend killed by a monster. She was afraid for her life and ran and told herself that she would never come back. Three years later she knows there is evil in town and she is determined to stop it. To do so she will have to face Owen Amir.

Owen is a solder that once had Rikki’s heart. Rikki is torn when she thinks about him but knows that she is go
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. All the elements were there. An intriguing paranormal element, interesting setting, a strong male lead, second chance romance... all of these things should lead me to love this book but it just didn't come together for me.

I think what let me down was the actual structure of the book. It skips back and forth between past and present between the story of Rikki and Owen meeting and Rikki coming back to town years after what happened having abandone
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rikki has left town after a terrible accident which took her best friend Mina. Because of the way the story unfolds, through the past and present, we're not told the reason right off, which adds an air of mystery surrounding her Mina's death.

When she meets Owen there's just something about him that draws her in. He's in town because after life in the army, he wants to settle down where it's quiet. But Rikki has plans. She's headed off to graduate school and out of the small town lifestyle, wher
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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 ...more

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