Touched by Fire
If I picked up this one in a bookstore, I would never have bought it. However, since my copy didn’t have a cover or blurb on the back, I began reading with no preconceived notions. I discovered that I could actually enjoy a book in which the hero and the heroine can save a city by having hot, reckless sex. Needless to say, I’m learning not to judge a book by its cover (or blurb, for that matter).
Touched by Fire is set in contemporary Texas, yet the story is the result of the destruction of ancient Atlantis by the evil Sons of Belial, who misused the power of the Tuaoi stone. Since that time, followers of Belial and the White Brotherhood are reincarnated through time to battle one another in a struggle between good and evil. Sentinels, part of the White Brotherhood, are aided in their plight by human conductors.
Marla Reynolds is plain, boring, and almost content with her life of work and family. After witnessing the violent rape of her sister and as the victim of violence herself, Marla believes she is incapable of any sort of romantic relationship or sexual vibes. Or at least that’s the case until she meets Luke Paxton, a man who exudes a strange sexuality that affects even her.
Luke Paxton, a reincarnated Atlantian, is a Sentinel born to fight the evil Belians. When he meets Marla, he is astounded by the sexual energy between them. He’s never met a conductor who was a more perfect match for him. Even more surprising is the fact that she doesn’t know what she is and is determined to stay away from him, despite the superhuman powers he uses to attract and comfort her. Since he is tracking a particularly evil Belian, he needs Marla and makes a date with her to get to know her better and introduce her to her special talents. Marla, due to her history, cancels the date and Luke is driven to extreme measures (kidnaping) to convince her of their special bond and the history of their electric connection. The measures he takes are the very ones Marla fears the most.
Despite her initial fear and skepticism, after all he’s introduced her to a new reality, Marla hones in on her own special powers – she’s an empath that allows her to feel the emotions of people around her, something she’s known in the back of her mind since her sister’s attack. However, to effectively track the Belian before he kills more people, Luke needs her to perform a conduction with him and the best results involve sexual intercourse. This becomes a problem when Luke discovers that Marla is a virgin, as it’s against Sentinel codes to perform a conduction with a virgin. Since this Belian is so evil, they team up with other Sentinels (and even Marla’s sister) in order to stop the rampage.
While the plot was a little over the top, I really enjoyed the action of the story and how all the characters contributed to hunting the Belian by adding parts to the puzzle that were unique to them. Luke is in protector mode throughout the story, which I like, and Marla is a smart heroine who pulls no TSTL antics. I am skeptical over how quickly Marla goes from being hesitant about her relations with Luke to full conductor mode. Even though they have a special bond between them, I still found it somewhat hard to believe, given that both acknowledge that once the Belian is caught, they each will to return to their normal lives apart since most Sentinels form no close relationships. I also think that surprise elements added to the circumstances that bring them back together were unnecessary and a little cheesy.
Touched by Fire is certainly a unique story I found entertaining with lots of action, sensuality, and a bad guy to track down. I look forward to reading others in this series.