Touching the Past by Ilene Kaye

Touching the Past by Ilene Kaye
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (129 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Three people are missing. Detective Zac Herrera knows their disappearances are connected. He needs psychic Mallory Woods to prove it and he’s hoping their past connection will convince her to help him.

Mallory Woods isn’t an ordinary accountant. The attractive Amerasian has a secret—the ability to see the past when she touches an object or a person—though she has resisted using her gift since a traumatic event in high school. Except she can’t turn her back on the missing victims, or Zac, the man she once cared about. But can he protect her from the evil reaching out for her?

As Zac and Mallory work together, their attraction blossoms. With a madman on the loose, will they survive to find out if they have a future?

Can Zac and Mallory move beyond the past to have a future together?

Zac and Mallory have a bit of a complicated past. They both had secret crushes on each other in high school, but never confessed their feelings for each other. Years later, Zac still can’t get Mallory out of his head. Zac needs Mallory’s help to solve his latest case, but deep down he knows his feelings would have compelled him to reach out to her eventually. Will Mallory be able to see Zac for the man he’s become, or will he always be the boy she tutored in high school?

The mystery surrounding the missing people wrapped up very simply and quickly. Most of Zac’s work on the case is behind the scenes, so readers who like the kind of mystery they can try to solve before the end will not be able to do that with this story. Mallory’s gift allows the villain to be exposed very easily. Then it was just a matter of time before Zac was able to bring the culprit to justice. I do wish that the mystery had been more detailed and drawn out. However, I still found the conclusion to be pretty satisfying.

Most of the tension in this mystery revolves around Zac and Mallory. Both of them were a bit hung up on the past and were constantly wondering if what they were feeling was real or just the memories of their crushes. They had great chemistry that Ms. Kaye built to the point that even simple actions were charged with sexual tension. I do like the fact that they didn’t rush into anything serious. They were renewing their acquaintance under some intense circumstances, and they both recognized that. I have no doubt that after solving the case, they’ll take the time they need to truly get to know each other and will be well on their way to a happy ending.

Overall, I found Touching the Past to be a quick, satisfying read that I read straight through. Mallory and Zac make a good couple, and I had fun watching them rediscover each other as adults. I recommend it to anyone looking for a light and entertaining mystery.

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