cover image Touch if You Dare

Touch if You Dare

Stephanie Rowe. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $6.99 mass market (416p) ISBN 978-1-4022-4196-3

The mismatched lovers in Rowe's complicated sequel to Kiss at Your Own Risk are challenged by nigh-impossible quests and an overly busy story with too many characters and contrived plot lines. Jarvis Swain, a nearly immortal warrior and Guardian of Hate, has survived 150 years by channeling the effects of his destructive emotion into power and an aversion to the opposite sex. Death's assistant, Reina Fleming, has successfully escorted souls to the other side, but is struggling to meet her boss's demand that she actually cause a being's death, even though advancing her position is crucial to keeping her last remaining sister alive. A depressed vampire teen, an immortal assassin, and a man who gives women deadly orgasms further clutter the story. Confused readers may give up before discovering how Reina and Jarvis combine forces to handle their supposedly insurmountable problems. (July)