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Denai's Touch begins off slowly. It takes a few chapters before it picks up pace. In the beginning the character interactions and development do come off a bit like YA literature (there is nothing wrong with YA). When the tension between Cate and Jason comes into play, then things really start to get interesting and the character development strengthens. The plot and conflict are strong, there is definitely potential here for a series.
Jason is a 6000+ year old Elemental who has loved Cate, from a distance, ever since he met her several centuries ago when she timed-traveled. She is unaware of this connection at first. He has waited all this time for her to be born, and now they are partners in a cop-like force called Excalibar. He keeps his feelings for her a secret and tries to keep his distance because he knows he is a hunted man (because of what he is), but everyone, except Cate, knows he loves her. He hasn't really succeeded in hiding his feelings for her from everyone else, but her.
She has commitment issues, and does not want any sort of long-term relationship, but she too has feelings for Jason. She hides these feelings because her friendship with him means more to her than having a possible one-night stand or friends-with-benefits type relationship with him. But as most romances go, their romantic tension builds and builds until it explodes and they kiss for the very first time (as well as some other things). But immediately they both regret it, which leads to a rift between the two. She knows he is hiding something, so she believes she can't truly trust him or her feelings for him.
The conflict stems from a witch who has wrecked havoc for hundreds, if not thousands of years, and Cate is prophesied to be the one who would be born who would kill this evil witch, once she comes into her full powers. On top of fighting the dark witches and those in league with Raven, Cate is getting ready to ascend into her immortality, which is causing her magic to be very unpredictable. Tiffany Shand successfully juggles the conflicts in her plot and everything comes to a head near the end once Cate has ascended, accepted her love for Jason, and Raven attacks the Coven.
Now, here is what I didn't particularly like about the story. I thought that Jason, as a character, could have been a lot stronger. He is 6000+ years old yet doesn't stand up and fight for what he wants (Cate), especially once his secrets are revealed and his great fear that Cate will not accept who he really is are proven wrong. He doesn't come across as confident. He is this great and feared warrior, yet he lets her grandmother dictate his relationship with Cate and for a guy who has waited several hundred to thousands of years for Cate to be in his life, he seems to be sexually passive and subdued. If I had been Jason, and after all my fears about Cate not accepting him is proved wrong, I wouldn't have been able to keep my hands off the person I have loved for that long. The only intense moment between the two of them happens before she knows the truth. Once she knows the truth, he kind of mellows out and is ok with waiting (some more). He should have been a bit more passionate (they didn't have to "go all the way") but damn, I wanted some more intense moments and passion. I guess I just wanted him to be more, and there are times when he kind of falls flat. There are several moments between the two of them that had such great potential for tension and passion, but it doesn't really happen. Cate is a more well-rounded character.
The storyline and characters do remind me of some of my favorite series: The Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost, and The Immortals After Dark Series by Kresley Cole. This author and series do have potential. I look forward to Jade's story and will definitely keep up with what this author is up to. She has a great foundation for a story and plot-line, and her writing has potential to grow and get right up there with Jeaniene Frost and Kresley Cole. So in a nutshell, I do recommend this new and up-in-coming author.