Looking for Some Touch by K.Z. Snow

Looking for Some Touch by K.Z. Snow

Blurb:

Pablo Creed ~ amateur poet, bisexual 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.

 

 

Review:

Set in a futuristic, urban fantasy world Pablo is a professional “giver” or prostitute. There are very few jobs available to the average worker and most service industry jobs that don’t involve sex have long waiting lines so Pablo is left to having sex with strangers to survive. However, he’s not very happy with it and considers a job change when a friend of his mentions a job amongst magic users that need a sexual pick me up. Faced with being the bought toy of a sadistic and clueless older man or the sexual spark to three handsome men, Pablo picks door B. Once employed by the “Coven of Three”, life is not going to be as easy as he thought it was and miscommunications, promiscuous sex and bad decisions compound their path to compromise.

Pablo starts off as a likeable and relatable character. He’s a dreamer and a romantic, slogging through various sex acts as his job but not his passion. He may not be the world’s greatest poetry writer but he has creativity and romance in abundance just waiting for the right outlet. He, like so many, is trapped within the rules of society that keep the rich in power and the common people struggling against corrupt rules and harsh reality. Although Pablo is not treated horribly as a giver, he’s not happy and is subject to debasement on a daily basis. His attempt to leave this life behind is to act as a touch for a group of magic users. He is told he will spark energy, physical and emotional; the group can feed off of to help in their work.

This vague and non-committal explanation repeats itself several times within the confines of the sparse and confusing world building the author presents. Exactly what this trio of handsome men- Zee, Tole, and Win- do is confusing and poorly explained. Clearly they are magic users but that is about the extent of information offered, except to say they help people. Who they help and the reasons behind it are not elucidated. Furthermore exactly what Pablo’s purpose within the group is remains a mystery. His only interaction with them in a working setting is to have a group orgy. I can only surmise this is the kind of sexual energy that the three had grown bored or stagnant with only their own bodies to play with.

The three magic users, or Coven members, are only briefly given attention and enough depth to differentiate them from one another. Zee is the good one, the positive peacemaker of the group who “sees” things from the future. Tole is the troublemaker, more aggressive and domineering than the others. He clearly is an alpha personality and takes offense to both Zee and Win forming outside attachments. Win is the most handsome of the three and more of a bland personality outside of being ridiculously handsome. He has no confirmed opinions or thoughts other than liking sweets, a sole charming and humanizing aspect to his otherwise dull personality.

For the most part though Pablo is a well-drawn character with clear motivations and a charming disposition; which is why the author’s decision for him to have an utterly too stupid to live moment later in the book is unnecessary and jarring from both the story arc and characterization. Pablo’s characterization up to that point throws his later actions into contradiction and I lay that blame solely on the author for forcing a dramatic action and rescue scene when it was neither necessary nor believable. The author needed to move the story along to get to the ultimate turn of the story where it now…jumps the shark.

While there are books I have trouble believing and understanding the story arcs or the perfection and brilliance of characters, rarely does an author so jump the shark that I am staring at the book wondering what kind of B movies the author watches thinking “that’s really good”. Part of my frustration is that I was rather enjoying the book up until this point. The writing was good, the characters were interesting, and the pace was easy – so much so I was flying through the book without really noticing how fast I was reading. The confusion with the story arc was forgivable as I assumed the author would reign it back in and tighten up the writing, but alas she did not.

Sorry for the spoilers but now the humble magic users are the three Powers in charge of running the city and setting all it’s rules and so forth? Humble magic users who have orgies are the rulers of the city and have no idea of the corruption going on and furthermore are hardly bothered by it other than a passing frown. To me, this turn in the story was a “shark” moment and easily unneeded. I will say upon having read the second book I understand more of why the author chose this route but I think the series would have benefited more without this element. It further confuses the ongoing relationship between Pablo and Win, setting them up for a happy for now ending at best and throwing the premise of the Coven almost into ridiculous territory.

I’m on the fence on recommending this book. If you can easily ignore a ridiculous right turn towards the end but like some serious hot sex scenes between multiple men where monogamy is a dirty word, you might like this offering. I’m off to read the sequel and hope for a better ending.

*Added – Having read the sequel I will say certain choices of the author do make more sense now and perhaps I can even like aspects of the first book more, yet the second book has it’s own set of ridiculous moments so do I wait for the third book for those to make sense?

Get it HERE!

 


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