PJV Quickie: Ah, another amazing novel that managed to deliver a perfect blend of paranormal romance, mystery, suspense, and humor. The best part about this book though? The characters! From a foul-mouthed psychic heroine to a sexy FBI agent/vampire hunter, this book delivers characters that draw a reader in and make them hunger for the next installment in the series.
Author: A.J. Aalto
Type: Paranormal Romance
Published: September 10, 2012 by A.J. Aalto (through Booktrope)
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As a mentioned before, the characters were amazing. The author did such a fantastic job of bringing them to life that after I was done reading it, I had to remind myself that they weren’t real people. The heroine, Marnie Baranuik, is absolutely hysterical. My mom used to tell me I “cuss like a trucker”, but I have nothing on Marnie. She definitely taught me some fun new words; unfortunately, none that I will repeat here for fear of offending someone. Trust me though, they had me literally laughing out loud. Besides having an impressive potty mouth, she was also brave, clever, and stubborn to a fault. There were a few times I wished I could reach my hands through the pages to slap some sense into her. This was usually when one of the FBI agents or her roommate, Harry, offered to help her and she refused, generally putting herself in a life or death situation. It was infuriating it at times, but I like to think that she did this to save the people she cared about, since she felt at least partly responsible for all of them being in danger. The one person Marnie wanted to shield more than anyone was her roommate Harry, or Lord Harrick Dreppenstedt, who also happened to be vampire (or revenant, as they are referenced in this book). She was his DaySitter, which means that she protected him during the day when he was most vulnerable. They shared a bond which allowed Marnie to draw on Harry’s Talents and use them; this is the source of her psychic powers. I fell in love with Harry immediately, even though his way of speaking was sometimes a little odd and confusing. It’s understandable though, because he’s over 400 years old and English. I agree with Marnie when she said:
“…when he says it, he uses big antique words that hurt my head.” (pg. 288, eBook)
There were a few times I swear my brain hurt trying to figure out what the heck he was saying; luckily, Marnie usually followed it up with a sentence of two giving the general gist of what he said. Most of the time he just spoke regally and it was easy to understand. The other character worth mentioning is Special Agent Mark Batten, who also does some revenant killing in his spare time. He was also known as Kill-Notch because he got a symbol tattooed on his chest every time he successfully killed a revenant. Let’s just say he had a lot of notches, thus his nickname. He had a professional and sexual history with Marnie, which made things tense a lot of times. He was a badass, no doubt about it, and incredibly charming. I have sort of mixed feelings about him though, which I’m about to explore further.
I hesitate to call the romance in this book a love triangle. Sure, she had a history with Mark, but I felt that the chemistry between Marnie and Harry was much more intense, even though they had never gotten together romantically. This may seem strange, considering they obviously have feelings for each other and live together; don’t worry this is all explained later on in the novel. For some reason I didn’t connect as much to Mark. Marnie’s memories of their sexy times were pretty hot, but I was praying that they wouldn’t hook up again. Call me crazy I guess; I’m not sure what that says about me that I’d rather have the hot, undead guy to the hot, alive guy. Eh, luckily we’re not scrutinizing my mind. Moving on!
I’m so excited about Touched because finally an author pulled off a mystery/suspense novel in the correct way. I do not want to read a book where I know what’s going to happen 100 pages before it does. I want to be given clues, but I hate when it’s spelled out for me. I found that in this book. Sure, there were still a few things I was able to guess early on. There were times I thought I knew what was going to happen, only to be thrown for a loop. There were yet other times when I was completely blindsided by plot twists. I enjoyed every second of it.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I much prefer a series to a stand alone book. I can’t wait to read the next book in the Marnie Baranuik series and that brings me to some good news; it looks like #2, entitled Death Rejoices, is available for download April 30, 2013. I’ve already read the preview at the end of Touched and it was amazing! Hooray for short waits!
Paranormal romance fans are going to love this one, as long as you’re not opposed to foul-mouthed heroines.
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On top of being able to read and review this awesome book, I also had the distinct privilege of having all of my burning questions answered by Harry himself!
Thank you so much for being here with us today! We’ll try not to keep you too long. Do you get a lot of anxiety when you’re away from Marnie? Because it seems like if there’s trouble, she’s in the middle of it, especially when you aren’t around.
Oh, aren’t you just the dearest flower, but I’ll think you’ll find that time is a luxury that I have in abundance. As for my DaySitter’s proclivity to embroil herself in all manner of iniquitous scrapes in my absence, I shan’t deny this causes me no small amount of concern. To be perfectly fair, Marnie did survive nearly a score of years without my supervision, and not only managed to survive, but developed into a lovely, clever, and altogether remarkably interesting young woman before becoming my companion. Of course, with my gifts and powers, MJ has rather more capacity for calamity now, and has not been shy about endangering herself and those around her at practically every turn. Current laws prevent me from stepping-in as freely as I might like, which is frustrating when your pet is as cack-handed as my own. Still, one does one’s best. You’ll understand if I must away unexpectedly if, in the passage of our discourse, my darling minion somehow ends up in distress.
Certainly, you can leave any time you need to! Now, since we’re already on the subject of your DaySitter, there’s something I just have to know. What is the most aggravating thing (I know it might be hard to narrow it down to only one) that Marnie does that gets on your nerves?
I am loathe to speak ill of my dearest one when she is not here to defend herself, but to be honest, I do wish MJ would learn to appreciate the finer things and not be so adamantly common in her tastes. I speak not only of our ramshackle home full of hand-me-downs, or that beef-witted policeman with whom she shares such an unfortunate chemistry, but … have you seen her taste in sleepwear? Flannel pajamas, boxer shorts, and outsize tee shirts? Dreadful. I have seen enough cartoon frogs to drive one perfectly mad. She knows that I would spare no expense to clothe her in whatever finery her heart desires, yet remains so stubbornly casual. And let’s not even begin to touch on her absolutely appalling taste in vehicles. Oh, that slag heap of a Buick! I daresay I should name it for Agent Batten, since it lacks any sense of refinement, subtlety, or grace, much as he does. It even snorts and snores the way he does, at least to my finely-tuned ear.
I knew her frog collection was probably aggravating to your incredible sense of taste! I’m glad you mentioned Marnie’s questionable wardrobe choices, because that actually brings me to my next question. I know you’re a fashionable guy, so I have to ask: In your opinion, what is the worst fashion travesty in history?
Don’t forget, book 2 of the Marnie Baranuik Files series releases April 30, 2013! It’s called Death Rejoices, and you can preorder it by clicking on the book cover.