Pablo Creed–amateur poet, professional whore, and upstanding citizen of the Utopian Metroplex of Regenerie–wants a new job. The all-male Coven of Three–a trio of mismatched wonder-workers who live in Regenerie’s subterranean Undercity–needs a “Touch” to sexually spark its collective energy.
In danger of being assigned to a sadistic VIP client, Pablo applies for the position instead. He knows his way around the human body. He can do what they need. What he doesn’t count on is his immediate, intense attraction to the gorgeous Win, one of the Coven’s members. Or the immediate, intense hostility of Tole, another member, who resents that attraction. And he certainly didn’t expect to be drawn into the center of a bizarre missing-person investigation that threatens his life.
It turns out the Coven of Three are not the magicians they seem to be. That revelation will either send him fleeing to the desolate Interzone…or taking a chance on the sublimely sensual Win, who’s more unusual than anybody Pablo has ever known.
This is my first taste of K.Z. Snow’s writing and immediately I realized why she is so popular. Her
characters are carefully crafted and her world building is phenomenal in this futuristic society which has clear physical demarcations between those who live in the Undercity and the Overcity. I was thrust into Pablo’s world as he hung out with the other “givers,” another word for prostitute, awaiting their clients. He had been working the streets for 6 years because at 24 he had no other employment opportunity.
Pablo was desperate to escape the clutches of one of his clients, a Vip who had beaten him badly during a one night stand and who had expressed a desire to have him assigned on a permanent basis as his personal giver which, if approved by Pablo’s employer, the state, would mean the end of life as he knew it. He escapes to the Undercity to apply for a job as a Touch for 3 Magicians. It appears that they were really looking for a female as was made clear to him by Tole a member of the group who resents Pablo, but when Pablo sees gorgeous Win, one of the Magicians, his libido goes into overdrive and his feelings seem to be returned, to the extent that Win can experience human emotions. Turns out that the Coven of Three is much more than previously advertised and Pablo finds out that his new bosses were very powerful paranormal beings. Would this discovery be so devastating that Pablo would not want to stay in his new job?
This is not your usual run of the mill paranormal tale as it has futuristic elements as well. The thrust of the book is that three paranormal beings charged with keeping the peace need a human to keep them grounded, and help them understand the perspective of the people in their charge. The story had more than enough content to keep me engaged although I did wonder about the amount of detailed information in the book regarding this new world. I thought that the author did a good job defining the society in which Pablo lived through detailed descriptions of his environment, which was important early on in the story, but during the latter stages perhaps there could have been a little less telling and more showing. I would have liked more of the book devoted to the relationship between the four characters since the thrust of being a Touch was to establish synergy between Pablo, Win, Zee and Tole. This didn’t happen until the end of the book and in my opinion it might have been more effective earlier on in the story and would have made this an even more incredible adventure. I wish to stress, however, that I found the plot quite original, engrossing and unusual and I really liked the characters.
My last comment is about Pablo the main protagonist in the story. On first reading of the book I couldn’t understand why he would return to the same psychopath Vip who had beaten him (and who was his reason for running to the Undercity), just because he suspected him of a crime. When I re-read the book, it was clear that Pablo felt he would serve a greater good by returning since he didn’t feel threatened by Pie Man, the Vip, because he assumed he could take him out as physically he was stronger, although in this case he was wrong. Following up on his hunch about Pie Man’s real identity and his connection to the crime proved to have consequences he could not have foreseen.
To wrap up, I loved Looking for Some Touch. The characters were well drawn and three dimensional although Tole seemed a bit emotional for someone of his race. The sex moved the plot along and was hot, erotic and very innovative and the smexing was quite appropriate. The world building was some of the best I have read and the plot worked. However, as a reader I had to pay attention because the story was complex and the characters sometimes acted irrationally. K.Z. Snow did a great job on a unique story and I certainly look forward to other books in this world if the rumours are true that this is part of a series.
Update: Since writing this review I found out that Looking for Some Touch is Book 1 in a new series by K.Z. Snow (I should have checked) and that the next book, Seeking Something Wicked, will be released on February 24. I can’t wait to read Book 2 as I really want to find out what’s next for these characters to whom I became attached in Touch. I also now understand the emphasis on world building in Book 1, which makes more sense as it is important to give the reader more structure in a series because they will be returning time and again to that world. I have also updated my rating, based on this new information. Great job KZ.