Mar 29 2012 3:00pm

Fresh Meat: Sara Humphreys’s Untouched (April 3, 2012)

Untouched by Sara HumphreysSara Humphreys
Sourcebooks Casablanca/April 3, 2012/
$6.99 print, $5.99 digital

The Amoveo are shape-shifting animal clans who live secretly among humans and must find their pre-destined soul mate while avoiding the enemy that seeks to destroy them all.

Kerry Smithson’s modeling career ensures that she will be admired from afar, which is essential since mere human touch sparks blinding pain and terrifying visions.

Dante Coltari is hired to protect Kerry from those who know who she is—or more importantly what she is—and want her dead because of it. Nothing could have prepared him for the challenge of keeping her safe. But, strangely, his lightest touch brings her exquisite pleasure rather than pain, and Dante and Kerry have an otherwordly connection that might just pull them through.

Imagine if touching another person brought you great pain, and even worse, each brush against your skin gave you a taste of the darkness that is hidden in a person’s soul. In Sara Humphrey’s Untouched, supermodel Kerry Smithson lives in fear of the touch of another person. Everyone believes that she is a germaphobe and she lets them, because the real reason she refuses to touch people—her “curse”— makes her feel like a freak. Kerry is an empath and every time someone touches her skin, she is gripped with a crippling pain and a view of the darkness which lurks within someone’s soul.

“She had gone her entire life with almost no human contact—at least no normal human contact. If she did touch someone or they touched her, Kerry had become a master at disguising the pain. No one could put on a polite smile better than she could. Sometimes the physical pain was outdone by the emotional carnage. Seeing people’s deepest secrets or the evil they harbored in their souls was even worse.

”Once they stopped touching her, the mind-splitting pain would subside, but the brutal images lingered. There was no way to erase those horrors from her mind’s eye.“

Adopted as a small child, her adoptive parents attempted to give her love, but after she screamed every time they tried to hold her, they stopped trying. Over the years, Kerry has become an expert in negotiating the world in such a way that she appears part of it, but she is very much isolated from the people who surround her daily.

”He took note of the fluidity with which she moved. She gracefully and subtly avoided all human contact. The entire trip through the airport she hadn’t allowed herself to so much as brush a stranger’s arm as they passed by. It was like watching a dancer whose every move had been choreographed.

“She was far more fragile and innocent than anyone would expect, including him. She had become an expert at living in a mental minefield. Even the seating she’d chosen on the airplane had been taken into consideration. She had the window seat in the first row of the first class, which was as isolated as you could get on a commercial flight. He admired her. She had learned to navigate her entire life from a very lonely place. He knew that he needed to show her she was not alone.”

And now this smart-ass, arrogant, absolutely gorgeous, and obviously insane, Adonis is claiming that he is a shapeshifter, and even going so far as to say she is too, a half-breed; that she has a “gift”…honestly?; and that she is his life mate. If only that could be true, that she could truly have a husband, children, a chance at normal, or could it all be just a cruel fantasy.

“She needed go try and figure out what the hell was going on. The game had changed. Suddenly, her future, her path, nothing seemed clear.

”Fear. Shock. Excitement. Horror. Lust. Relief. Joy. Confusion. Every single one of those emotions simultaneously flooded her body the moment Dante touched her, but what stunned her most was the glorious absence of pain. He’d touched her, and it had actually felt good. Good? Nope. That didn’t cover it. Not even close. It wasn’t just good…it was luscious, seductive, and breathtaking. His touch, however brief, sent unfamiliar luminous warmth radiating through her body.

“What the hell was going on?”

After spending your entire life with almost no human contact, isolating yourself even in a crowd, what would you do to hold onto that one person made just for you with whom you can connect and actually…touch? Would you fight tooth, nail and paw to keep them safe from those who would take them away from you?


Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.

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