TITLE: The Coldest Touch
AUTHOR: Isabel Sterling
GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy
WORD/PAGE COUNT: 384 pages (hardcover)
PUBLISHED: on December 7th, 2021
Blurb from Goodreads:
Elise Beaumont is cursed. With every touch, she experiences exactly how her loved ones will die. And after her brother’s death—a death she predicted but was unable to prevent—Elise is desperate to get rid of her terrible gift, no matter the cost.
Claire Montgomery also has a unique relationship with death, mostly because she’s already dead. Technically, anyway. Claire is a vampire, and she’s been assigned by the Veil to help Elise master her rare Death Oracle powers.
At first, Elise is reluctant to work with a vampire, but when she predicts a teacher’s imminent murder, she’s determined to stop the violent death, even if it means sacrificing her own future to secure Claire’s help.
The trouble is, Claire and Elise aren’t the only paranormals in town—a killer is stalking the streets, and Claire can’t seem to shake the pull she feels toward Elise, a romance that could upend the Veil’s mission. But as Elise and Claire grow closer, Elise begins to wonder—can she really trust someone tasked with securing her loyalty? Someone who could so easily kill her? Someone who might hold the key to unraveling her brother’s mysterious death?
I’ve wanted a book with a sapphic vampire/human relationship for YEARS which is why I’m so thrilled Isabel Sterling came through with THE COLDEST TOUCH! It’s my first read of 2022 and what a way to start the year. ❤
Claire wants nothing more than to get rid of her strange new ability to see how people die – it’s ruined her life as she’s isolated herself from everyone she loves to escape the pain of seeing and experiencing their deaths. When the mysterious new girl at school (love that trope being genderswapped!) says she can explain what’s happening, Claire seizes at this last chance to get her life back. What she doesn’t know is that Elise represents the Veil, a group that governs the paranormal world, and they need her ability to maintain order whether she likes it or not.
This book was EXCELLENT, it hooked me in from the first page and didn’t let me go, it was a one-sitting read! The fast-paced plot, intriguing world-building and lovable characters made it super enjoyable. I loved that Claire’s friends played a big role (including her ex-boyfriend, which I thought would be awkward, but turned out so sweet) and the focus on her fractured family dealing with grief over losing her brother and how they come together by the end.
And it was great how Elise had important goals outside of the growing romance with Claire that she never lost sight of, plus her relationship with her boss Wyn who treated her like a kid sister was fantastic. My favorite character has to be the adorable cat Richie who stole every scene she was in!
As a standalone, there was no nasty cliffhanger and it felt so satisfying to reach the last page and sigh sappily at our couple getting their happy ending. I would love to read any further books about Claire and Elise, there are plot threads set up that can be explored, but this feels complete and fulfilling as is.
Disclaimer: digital copy provided free from publisher via Netgalley for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.