Daniel 'Danny' Escobar is a former Marine, now bodyguard with Contego Agency, all ex Marines. He was almost blown up by a suicide bomber which turned...moreDaniel 'Danny' Escobar is a former Marine, now bodyguard with Contego Agency, all ex Marines. He was almost blown up by a suicide bomber which turned him into a war hero and his injury led him to permanently resigning from active duty. His shitty chilhood with an addict for a mother and his past mistakes made him into the hotheaded and guilt-ridden man.
Daniel and Hope were high school sweethearts until Daniel put her life in danger and wanted nothing to do with her anymore after she got engaged to someone else while he was in military bootcamp. At least that's what they both have been led to believe.
Hope Walker is a psychologist at a women's shelter. Danny was her first love and now when she's in need of protection because of a mob hit put out on her he returns into her life. Hope is stubborn and compassionate and believes in the good she does with her shelter. I found Danny's reaction to Hope's place of work a bit excessive. I understood his aversion to shelters but to me it was too easily used as the trigger for the conflict between Danny and Hope. To be honest I thought he was being unreasonable about it and didn't get why he was so upset and ready to put all the blame on himself and make it all about him without getting all the facts first. Hope is actually trying to make sure kids under her care don't have to suffer what he went through.
I love it when I try a new-to-me author, start reading and before I know it I'm halfway through the book. This is what happened to me with Ann Mayburn's GUARDING HOPE. I answered to a call for reviewers for this book because when I read the premise, blurb and an excerpt I felt this would be a book I'd like. And I really did. Not in the least because of Mayburn's agreeable and crisp writing. Her voice and style are perfectly suited for this I/R romantic suspense with a reunion romance trope. Once I started reading I couldn't stop and whenever I had to (pesky EDJ) I couldn't wait to get back to it.
In romantic suspense it's hard to find the balance between the romance and the suspense plot but Ann Mayburn nailed it. And on top of that she writes amazingly sexy love scenes. Explicit and laced with primal need they are exactly the sex scenes I love to read. I loved the dynamics and dialogues between Danny and his friends, Boden and Omar. Despite the trashtalking that they use as a coping mechanism you feel they would go through hell and back for each other. I look forward to the stories of these friends and hope they have their own books in the future.
In short: this first encounter with Ann Mayburn's writing was a big success and I have another author to add to my ever-growing favorites list.
Fave Scene: - the guys doing tequila shots with hot sauce in it > priceless! What a way to introduce your hero and his friends - the escape from Hope's house > I didn't realize I was holding my breath until I finished the scene! - the shower scene at the safe house > holy smokes that was hot! - the scene with Rebecca and Danny > so sweet! Kids in romance novels are my weakness
Fave Quotes: Well, that settled it. She was an idiot, a masochistic fool who couldn’t wait to throw her heart back into the emotional food processor that was Danny.
She stopped so abruptly he ran into her, then stumbled back just as quickly. After glancing up and down the hall to make sure no one was around, she poked a finger into his chest. “Look, you don’t want to be here and I don’t want you here, but if you say or do one damned thing to upset anyone here, I swear to god, I will rip your balls off and shove them up your nose.”
Hope crawled over to Boden and a bright wave of relief washed through him as he reaffirmed that she was alive and in once piece. She placed her hand on his cheek. “Open your eyes, pretty boy. I want to see those baby blues.” Boden smiled and said in a weak voice, “Only if you show me your tits.” Hope gave a startled laugh and leaned back. “I thought you were dying. You survive this and I’ll find someone to show you their tits. I’m afraid if I did it Danny would shoot you.”(less)
Evie Baker is a chef turned shampoo girl after trusting her business partner and lover who couldn't be trusted. After her restaurant is close...more3,5 stars
Evie Baker is a chef turned shampoo girl after trusting her business partner and lover who couldn't be trusted. After her restaurant is closed she’s forced to go back to her hometown. I immediately took a liking to Evie who grew up as an outsider (tomboy and poor amidst rich girly girls)! She gave her virginity to Matt Girard, her best friend since they were little kids, and he took it, stomped on it and her feelings and then left for the military, leaving her to deal with the aftermath. Now they are both back in the town they grew up in and danger that threatens Evie throws them together.
Evie was a mix of vulnerability and strength that worked very well for me. Despite his action when he was a teenager, Matt was great too. He had this intense, strong silent type vibe going with pain and guilt simmering just beneath the surface. He was sincere in admitting to his past mistakes, which redeemed him early in the book. What I loved in both of them was how straightforward and direct they were. Matt and Evie as characters is what made the book for me.
I must say HOT PURSUIT is one of those books that I find to review because there was something missing for me but I can't exactly pinpoint what it is. I liked it well enough to want to read the next book in the series but I can't say I loved it or that it blew me away (no pun intended). The romance wasn't all consuming and I missed some of the sense of urgency in the suspense that propels the romance to the next level, something I loved in other romantic suspense novels that evoked my mad love for the genre.
This book is a mix between contemporary romance and suspense romance and maybe that was the issue for me. Maybe there was too much suspense to make it a great small-town contemporary romance and not enough depth in the suspense to make it a thrilling suspense/military romance. A few decisions made by Matt and the development of the romance at times felt rushed and against character for both Matt and Evie.
This being said the characters were great and I loved them and I also really liked a few unexpected twists in the suspense. What I also loved was the subtle humor and the great way Lynn Raye Harris described growing up and living in the South. The look and feel of the small Southern town came across very well through the writing and the characters. It felt genuine and non-intrusive to the rest of the story.
HOT PURSUIT is a very nice blend of Southern small-town contemporary romance and military romantic suspense. I loved the characters and the writing style. I enjoyed reading it enough to want to read the next story in the series.
Fave Scene: - the dance at the party by the lake > the scene was a perfect combo of emotion, humor and sexual tension
Fave Quotes: Just one dance and we go our separate ways, got it?” Because she didn’t want to feel this tangle of emotions again. This tiny blossoming in her heart that said she was going to be in so much trouble if she didn’t shut it down quickly.
He was comforting her, giving her his strength, telling her it was okay. And he was doing it all with his lips and tongue. She moaned into his mouth and sank into the deliciousness of a kiss with this man she could love. (less)
It took me awhile to finish this book but it had nothing to do with the book! I just started it in a period when I had very little reading time. So th...moreIt took me awhile to finish this book but it had nothing to do with the book! I just started it in a period when I had very little reading time. So the reading went in small increments, slow and steady.
As I said the fact that I took so long to finish this book had nothing to do with the book itself because I loved it. The balance between the romance, especially the chemistry between Jenna and Steven, and the suspense plot was perfectly mixed. I read the plot stuff with just as much pleasure as I did the romance stuff. I did like that in this second book the romance was a bit more on the forefront. This doesn’t mean the suspense was less prominent though. I really liked how the suspense plot was played out and like I said, the balance was very well done. I read reviews where some people said they had the killer pegged from very early on and I must say I am not one of them. I am always slow and wrong on guessing who the killer is in these types of RS and also in crime shows so the pieces didn’t fall into place until very late in the story and I had that “duh” moment.
The romance also worked for me. Though there was one scene where Steven’s action caught me by surprise as much as they did Jenna, overall I loved how the romance was set up and executed. It was also sexy and a bit explicit, which as you know, is always good in my book. Jenna and Steven were perfectly matched and I loved how they had to fight for their HEA.
I loved the input of the secondary characters such as Jenna's friends, dogs (yes they were awesome secondary characters) and co-workers, Steven's family and colleagues and a special mention must be made for the kids in this book. Are y'all tired yet of me saying I love kids in romance novels? Yes? Well, tough luck because I do and the ones in this book are awesome. Also special mentions for Father Mike and Mrs. Kasselbaum, who added much to the humor that balanced out the spine-chilling suspense plot. My second Karen Rose book was another great read and I hope to start the next book soon. I’m definitely happy I’m up to date on her releases so I can just pick up one of her books whenever the mood for RS strikes me.
Favorite scene: - the first kiss in Jenna's kitchen > OMG hot and WTF? about sums it up!
Favorite quote: That look of his could melt solid steel. That look made her heart pound, her nipples hard, made every ounce of sensation pool between her thighs. One throbbing, aching mess of sensation. (less)
Trademark Lexxie Couper: dry wit, fast-paced, emotionally gripping, and enough no-holds-barred heat to warm a small country! She always delivers and n...moreTrademark Lexxie Couper: dry wit, fast-paced, emotionally gripping, and enough no-holds-barred heat to warm a small country! She always delivers and never disappoints with her unapologetic unembellished writing that oozes sexiness! (less)
I really liked this story. It was a sexy mix of many things I love in (erotic) romance: menage, humor, mysterious characters and even a bi...more3.75 stars!
I really liked this story. It was a sexy mix of many things I love in (erotic) romance: menage, humor, mysterious characters and even a bit of action thrown in. The first person POV didn't even bother me as much as I thought it would. I liked this book so much that despite the POV I've already bought the next book in the series.
Fave Quotes: Everybody began to disrobe; I thought I might pass out from cocktail of danger, testosterone, and male muscle. I felt like I’d been airlifted into that UFC fighter reality show, where up-and-coming fighters pal around together in between bouts of training and smashing each other’s faces in.
Odin simply smiled his evil smile. Thor could get a certain mischievous grin, but Odin had an evil, glittering-eyed smile that made you feel like he was gazing right into your deepest, darkest secrets—and lewdly violating each and every one of them(less)
Memorable Scenes: - the first chapter > awesome start to a fabulous book - Sky unraveling a part of the suspense plot and figuring out who the villa...more Memorable Scenes: - the first chapter > awesome start to a fabulous book - Sky unraveling a part of the suspense plot and figuring out who the villain was > I was reading with bated breath
I was immediately grabbed by Carey Baldwin's writing style. It's fluent, clean and crisp with a knack for subtle humor in the dialogues. That first chapter had me at the edge of my seat, reading breathlessly.
Dr. Skylar 'Sky' Novak is suffering from survivor's guilt and not taking care of her own wellbeing. She is stubborn, careful and guarded. I loved Skylar as the heroine of this book. She wasn’t flawless but I like my heroines not to be perfect so her character worked very well for me.
Dt. Sgt. Daniel 'Danny' Benson is an awesome hero and the perfect match for Skylar. He’s direct and honest but also persistent and a real stand-up guy. As a single father he tries to do what he can and he had my undying devotion from start to finish in this book.
The fact that the first sex scene was not between the hero and heroine normally is not what I like, but I understood why the author took this path in this particular story. I really can’t say more about it though because it would be too spoilery for the plot and believe me you do not want spoilers going into this book. The unexpected twists and turns are what make this book so awesome.
I also can’t tell you about the plot without the fear of saying too much so I’ll only say that the POV of the villain was perfectly intertwined with the rest and gave me chills. Even though it made the plot take precedence over the romance between the main characters, it worked because the suspense was so mesmerizing and the characterization of the villain was so brilliantly done.
I thought with Cindy Gerard and Shannon McKenna I'd read about the evilest and most disturbed villains there were but I have to add Carey Baldwin to the list. Her villain was so evil and sick I was reading in fear and was not so secretly wishing him a painful and cruel death.
FIRST DO NO EVIL is a perfect example of a well-balanced mix between suspense, romance and strong characterization. The villain's motivation is disclosed little by little and made me speculate a lot about whom it could be. Fairly early in the story the identity of the villain is disclosed and instead of lessening the suspense it just made it even more intense. There are numerous characters killed off in this book and some of those kills literary made my heart ache in horror of seeing the villain take them out. The resolution to the plot and the culmination point of the suspense just took my breath away and I couldn't stop reading till I was done
This book made me gasp in horror, bite my nails in suspense, cry with its emotional intensity and sigh with its romance. Carey Baldwin put her characters through hell and back and wooed me with her excellent writing, heart-pounding suspense and fabulous characters. She's been added to my list of go-to authors for romantic thrillers! I was just blown away by this debut author and hope there is much more to come from her in the future because this first taste was beyond expectations.
“Look, I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure we’re having a moment here. And…” He paused and turned his palms up. “Please, correct me if I’m wrong, but when you’re having a moment, those rules you mentioned are suspended…momentarily. When you’re having a moment you gotta grab it by the balls, or else something wonderful might pass you by.” (Danny)
Averting his eyes from the swell of her breasts, he found himself staring at the lush fullness of her mouth, and even the remorse balling up in his stomach didn’t stop him from imagining what it would be like to lick that mouth until it opened beneath his. He raked a hand through his hair and pasted on his best choirboy face, afraid she could read the salacious thoughts running through his head. He didn’t want to burden her with that little piece of intelligence.
The sensations built and built, but Danny didn’t let up. “Look at me, Sky,” he said in rough, commanding voice that was hardly recognizable as his. And then he drove into her, so hard, so fast, so mercilessly that she was unable to stop herself from shattering.
Dropping the knife, she flung the door wide. Danny crossed the threshold. Their eyes met and held, and then she was in his arms. Wrapped and safe and floating, and for one ephemeral moment, the world was right again. Danny’s fingers wove through her hair, and heat radiated across the sensitive skin of her scalp. He tugged, and her chin tilted up. He pressed his mouth against hers, not gently, not at all softly, but the very fierceness of his kiss somehow comforted her more than any fragile brush of his lips could’ve done. His was the kiss of a warrior returned from battle.
“Do you really mean that, Sky?” The masculine timbre saturated the air with warmth, seeped through her skin and penetrated her bones. As if it were a fire blazing in the hearth, she basked in the glow of her name wafting from Danny’s lips.
Memorable Scenes: - the necklace talisman thing > loved it as it showed a vulnerable Taylor - Taylor groveling when he wants Dez back and realizes h...more Memorable Scenes: - the necklace talisman thing > loved it as it showed a vulnerable Taylor - Taylor groveling when he wants Dez back and realizes he needs to make the first move > loved this scene, from the moment they arrive at where Dez is staying till the making love part the next day it was the embodiment of why I love the romance part of this book the most - the climax and unravelng of the suspense > blew away the reservations I had in regards to the plot
Desiree 'Dez' Lincoln is an FBI Special Agent with the gift of talking to dead souls. She is cocky, sarcastic and yet she is kind and compassionate. She’s a heroine I clicked with from the moment she entered the stage in THE MISSING and I loved her own story.
Taylor Jones is a FBI Special Agent in Charge and Dez’s boss. He’s consumed by guilt of not being able to save children from the serial killers and women from predators that kidnap and kill them. He’s the epitome of a cold bastard but that’s just what he shows to the world. He’s cool, collected and in control of his emotions. He doesn't let them show easily, but when he does it's all the way. Taylor Jones is gentleness wrapped in determination.
This book was a tough one for me! I loved the previous book in this series. I adore Shiloh Walker's writing but I didn't love THE DEPARTED as much as I expected or wanted to. This had to do with the plot involving ghosts. It's definitely not a plot I actively search out because I'm not a fan of ghosts in books and this book is filled to the brim with them.
There were parts in this book I did have feeling the romance was outshone by the suspense. There was romance but it felt like the suspense got more stage time than the romance. At least it did during the first 1/3 of the book. This changed after the halfway point and that’s when I started loving the book.
The suspense plot was extensive, intricate and layered. At first I struggled a bit keeping some parts of it straight but that was only briefly. Once I unraveled some things for myself and put aside some personal dislikes I was glued to the pages, wondering where and how it was going to end. While the focus was more on the suspense and plot, the romance was the best part for me.
I adored the romance part of this book! It was brilliantly written and set up gradually but in a very intense way. The love scenes were equally beautiful and intense. Shiloh Walker writes explicit and sizzling hot sex scenes yet they are never crass or over the top.
Regardless of what I think of the plot or the fact that there are ghosts in this book, I’m smitten with Shiloh Walker’s writing and have been from the very first time I read a book by her. She’s another author I find hard to explain why I love her writing. It just resonates with me. I like her characters, I love the way she writes suspense and I melt at her love scenes and romance.
Though the book didn't completely work for me I absolutely think fans of romantic suspense with supernatural elements will appreciate this sequel of THE MISSING because the writing is excellent, the suspense is thrilling and the main characters and their relationship are engaging! And can’t wait to read more in this series and after the snippets I read of THE REUNITED I will even overlook the ghosts.
She resisted, just barely, the childish urge to stick her tongue out at him. Taylor Jones brought out all sorts of strange impulses. Childish ones. Wanton ones. Erotic ones. She’d long since adjusted to that very disturbing fact, but adjusting to it didn’t make it any easier to fight.
That steel curtain, for just a moment, parted. Fluttered. Just beyond that curtain, she saw pain, misery, and guilt . . . and something else that stole the breath from her lungs. Molten, burning, scalding heat . . . The sight of that heat did something to her low, low inside her belly. Her heart skipped a few beats, then settled into a quick, rapid rhythm—a thousand butterflies trapped inside her chest. Butterflies with wings dipped in some seriously strong sort of aphrodisiac, too. Lust, hot and heavy, moved through her, and before Dez knew what she was doing, she had her hand on Taylor’s cheek.
That elegant, long-fingered hand stroked down the front of his shirt. The smile that curled her lips was so smug, so sexy and female—if he hadn’t already been rock hard and aching . . . fuck, he could have gone to his knees and begged just then.
Dez stood there, all but wallowing in it. It was so exhilarating it took a minute to realize that something felt off. Wrong. Completely off. Utterly wrong. And terribly foul. A whisper of evil, underlain with terror. It skittered along her shields like a slimy little beast trying to push its way inside her soul.
“Don’t delude yourself. I see the son of a bitch—he’s part of you. But I also see the guy who paces the floor when one of his people gets hurt. I see the guy who went into a career that guts him and now I even know why. I see a man who looks at me in a way nobody else ever has, who makes me feel like nobody else ever has.” She settled back on her feet, turning her face into his hand and kissing his palm. She squeezed his wrist gently and then looked back at him. “I see the s.o.b., all right, because he’s part of you. And I’ve always seen you.” “If you see me, then why are you still around me?” He pushed his hand into her hair. She glanced around. Did they really need to discuss this here? Hell. They were here . . . She reached up and fisted a hand in the front of his shirt, tugged him close. “Because I see you. All of you. The s.o.b., the guy who cares too much and doesn’t let it show, the man who turns my bones to mush with just a look. That’s who you are and if you don’t see it, then maybe I just see you better.”
Memorable Scenes: - when Rusty invites Nathan to her graduation > choked up - when Van, Ethan & Swanny catch up with Nathan and Shea >...more3,75 stars
Memorable Scenes: - when Rusty invites Nathan to her graduation > choked up - when Van, Ethan & Swanny catch up with Nathan and Shea > especially the moment with Swanny and Shea was awesome
Shea Peterson has a gift that enables her to connect and talk to people in their minds and take their pain and suffering. She’s resilient, protective of her sister, fierce and tough.
Nathan Kelly is a soldier kept imprisoned when a mission goes wrong. He’s loyal, capable, quiet and resilient. At first I couldn't get a clear image of Nathan. I only got glimpses of his character. Understandably as the trauma of his captivity dominated his characterization but this also made it hard for me to connect with him as the hero of this book.
First I want to talk about what didn’t work for me in this 4th installment of the KGI series.
People who follow my blog and reviews know I am not a fan of paranormal elements in contemporary romance or romantic suspense, which is why I started WHISPERS IN THE DARK kinda reluctantly when I found out it had this paranormal element. There are a few authors who make RS with paranormal elements work for but this is the first time the element is introduced mid-series and I'm still on the fence how I feel about that.
At the start of the book I was really trying to suspend disbelief about Shea's gift and trying to think of the book as a paranormal RS. But I kept wondering, where does the connection between Shea and Nathan come from. Randomness? Or is there a reason for the link? Has Shea done this before? In other words there were a lot of questions popping up in my head and I was hoping they would be answered as the story unfolded. They weren’t entirely.
The mind speak seriously bothered me in this book. Again, if it had been a PNR I could've overlooked it but this is a contemporary RS series and though I really enjoyed the romance and suspense I wasn't wowed by the paranormal element that was clearly a very big part of the plot. I prefer these elements to be subtle in RS. But that's my personal taste and preference. It doesn't mean the book is bad or I didn't enjoy this installment of the KGI Series because there were also things I really liked and loved about it.
I really liked the suspense part that weren't the supernatural elements. The parts of finding Grace and identifying and going after the baddies were great and I really enjoyed that part of the suspense. I also enjoyed some surprising turns and twists in the plot I really didn't see coming.
I loved the romance part of WHISPERS IN THE DARK. Though the supernatural element wasn't my favorite part, the moment Nathan and Shea actually met brought the romance to the foreground in a great way. I did think the making love part came a bit quickly but again brilliantly written and it was hot as heck!
Another thing that makes me stick with this series is that, as always, the banter between the Kelly brothers and among the KGI teams was awesome. They are one constant in this series that never fails to please me.
Regardless of what I thought of the plot or my dislike of supernatural abilities in romantic suspense I love Maya Banks' writing. It's intense, fast-paced and this book read like a dream. Once I started reading and got over the mind speak stuff I just couldn't stop.
Though WHISPERS IN THE DARK wasn't my favorite in the series so far, it still was a good read and a nice addition to the series. It was unique in the series, (nothing I hate more than carbon copies in a series) and fitting the characters as all previous books have been. Though the next book also has supernatural elements, I'm looking forward to it and to the other future books as I foresee lots of good stuff coming in this series.
Favorite Quotes: “Quit looking like you just got a hand job from a drag queen,” Garrett muttered beside him. “How the fuck do you know what I look like?” Donovan asked irritably. “It’s dark as shit out here.” “Don’t need to see you to know you have that pinched, tight-ass look on your face. […]”
Their gazes locked, and he realized she meant to kiss him. Every part of his body and soul reached for her, strained for her, wanting her touch with a need that verged on obsession. She licked her lips just before she pressed them to his. It was a little nervous gesture that melted his heart. He reached up to frame her shoulders and he kissed her back, no longer bothering to hide the fact that he wanted her more than he wanted to breathe. He’d already pretty much given up breathing for her. Their lips fused hotly. They fit. So goddamn perfect. Her body molded softly to his. Such a contradiction. Softness to his hardness. Smooth to his rough. Perfection against imperfection.
“Don’t hide from me, Nathan. Don’t hide your scars from me. I more than anyone know how youreceived them. They aren’t ugly. They’re beautiful. Honorable. Signs of courage and of unflaggingdetermination.”
Oh hell. A warm, lush, naked woman coming on to him? Nothing in the military had prepared him for an onslaught like this. The never-surrender thing went right out the window, and he started waving the white flag like a dog wagging his tail.
Memorable Scenes: - haircut scene > I read it with a lump in my throat, what a powerful and pivotal scene for Hope! - the scene in the...more4.9 stars!!!
Memorable Scenes: - haircut scene > I read it with a lump in my throat, what a powerful and pivotal scene for Hope! - the scene in the cabin > nailbiting!
Fear and running away from it have ruled Hope Carson’s life, but no more. Though on the surface Hope might seem a fragile, weak, quiet woman, there's a strong, willful person inside and after the attack this side of her really came through. This side was also triggered by Remington ‘Remy’ Jennings, the DA investigating the attack.
Remy is attracted to Hope from the first time he sees her but he knows he has to thread carefully around her and not just because she’s a person of interest in the investigation. Remy is pragmatic and dutiful and I loved it when his naughty, sexy side emerged.
The romance between Remy and Hope was set up brilliantly and I loved it. It developed gradually but intense and it was very well balanced with the suspense. Though the focus was on the development of the emotional relationship and not so much the physical side of the romance, Shiloh Walker still managed to give me that tingly feeling you get when you’re reading sexy stuff. It’s all about the quality and not the quantity!
I really enjoyed seeing Ezra and Lena and catching a glimpse of how they were doing after their HEA in book 1. And of course Ms. Walker also gave me a tiny look ahead by hinting at the couple that will be starring in the third and final book of this fabulous trilogy. It’s safe to say this is a trilogy that has me anticipating like crazy. Book 1 I anticipated because I was dying for this new romantic suspense trilogy Shiloh was tweeting about for months. Book 2 I anticipated because…well have you read book 1? With an ending like that you can’t but want to read book 2 straight away. And now I’m anticipating book 3 because I suspect this couple is going to rock the house down and of course there will be the answer to the all important question: Who is the effing killer?
What can I say about the plot? Shiloh Walker continued the brilliant plot she set up in the first book of this trilogy and managed to keep me guessing like a crazy paranoid woman, going from suspecting one person after the other and not trusting anyone. I was changing my mind every other page. There was even a point in the book I started suspecting there wasn't just one killer...maybe a stalker too...or two killers working independently from each other. By the end of the book I was back to the amount of suspects I had at the end of the first book only the composition of the group has slightly changed. My bet is still on two certain persons but I have added and taken away a few others. And this is just a small example of how she made me bounce around like one of those bobble-head dolls you see on some cars’ dashboards.
Ms. Walker is a master of this kind of romantic suspense. The way she writes it just pulls you in and doesn't let go until well after finishing the book. She has a knack for combining gritty edge-of-your-seat suspense with powerful attraction and romance that develops in a subtle and realistic way. Add to that her awesome characters who are flawed —by which I mean that they're not picture perfect and own their issues— and genuine, and I can't but gush about Shiloh “effing awesome” Walker's writing.
You all know how much I love my multiple POVs and in this book, as with the previous book, I was given plenty. And it was never overwhelming or out of place. I even got the bad guy’s POV and I love romantic suspense books that give me that. So thank you, Ms. Walker for writing another book that has me chomping at the bit to get to the next one.
IF YOU SEE HER is a great second book in this trilogy that is definitely becoming part of my favorites in the romantic suspense genre. I was captivated from the moment I started till the moment I finished, not only by the suspense but also by the characters and the romance. And isn’t that what romantic suspense is all about?
Favorite Quotes: Just looking at her made him think about things he had forgotten he wanted, but they weren’t things he needed to have in mind when he was looking at her.
Lust reached up and grabbed him around the throat, squeezing and choking the air from his lungs even as it heated the blood in his veins. This was the absolute last woman on earth he should want—she was trouble, in so many ways. She was troubled, and that was just one of the reasons he didn’t need this. This was the absolute last woman on earth he wanted to want—she just plain and simple was trouble—he could feel that in his bones. And yet, as he stared into those big, green eyes, he did want. Hell, did he want.
Remy was damned glad she wasn’t looking at him because he almost swallowed his tongue when he saw her. Oh, holy shit, he was screwed. She was wearing bright, vivid green and her pale, silken skin glowed against the silk. His hands itched to touch all that smooth, soft skin and damn, there was a lot of it bared. The halter top left her shoulders and arms exposed, ended just where her low- rise jeans started. She sighed, her shoulders rising with the movement and he caught a glimpse of her belly. Another glimpse of pale, pale skin . . . Oh, hell, was he screwed.
Hope glanced up and met Remy’s gaze in the mirror, then looked at the shirt he held out. It was a faded blue button- down and without touching it, she knew it would smell of him. She’d sleep with the smell of him on her skin. Her heart raced even thinking about it.
Rating: 9.7 out of 10 - ALMOST PERFECT READ! (less)
Memorable Scenes: - Lena and Ezra's first love scene > awesome, awesome scene! - Ezra's declaration of love > awesome! Not some sappy...more4.9 stars!!!
Memorable Scenes: - Lena and Ezra's first love scene > awesome, awesome scene! - Ezra's declaration of love > awesome! Not some sappy all-of-a-sudden-in-the-middle-of-nookie epiphany but a heartfelt, almost involuntary, spontaneous outburst - the stuff that happened after Hope and Lena went shopping > OMG OMG OMG!
Lena Riddle, chef at Running Brook Inn. She lost her eye-sight but despite her blindness she is perfectly able to take care of herself. She’s confident, outspoken and quick-tempered.
Ezra King is a police detective on leave due to an injury on the job. His past involves being betrayed by a woman he loved and trusted both personally and on the job. This leaves him guilt-ridden and untrusting of women. He’s sharp and direct.
I loved the chemistry between Lena and Ezra. It was hot but still had this laid-back ease about it. That is, until the first love scene...everything they (especially Ezra) were holding back came out full-force and made it a memorable scene. The romance was perfect! The love scenes were sizzling hot and scorching. Ezra was a (dirty) talker and he and Lena were perfectly balanced and matched. What more could I want?
As is usual in romantic suspense there are a lot of secondary character introductions and quite some walk-ons and mentions. I wondered how many of them will survive to appear or star in future books. While reading and getting introduced to these intriguing characters I kept wondering how it all fit together because I just knew Ms. Walker wasn't introducing these secondary characters and giving them POVs just for the fun of it.
I really liked how Shiloh Walker inserted the multiple men into Lena and Hope’s lives. Lena had Ezra, Law and Remy. Hope had Remy and Law, though Law was more protective in a friendship kind of way than really smitten with her. I definitely liked how Ezra and Law were circling around each other, scoping each other out while vying for the same woman but again Ms. Walker did an awesome job of keeping it all focused on the main romance.
The first page immediately grabbed me and I wasn't let go until the very last page. The suspense is gritty as heck. Mind-blowing good! The last few romantic suspense novels I read didn't have the villain POV and reading IF YOU HEAR HER, which does, made me realize once more how much I like that. For me it adds another layer to the suspense, which I like a lot.
While reading and enjoying this book I was analyzing the different POVs and that of the villain to see if I could deduce who the villain could be...adding suspects to my list, crossing suspects off when the villain's POV would give me little pieces of information that didn't fit certain suspects. Now THAT'S a perfect romantic suspense!
Shiloh Walker's writing never fails to amaze and captivate me. Her suspense is awesome. Her characters, both primary and secondary, are fleshed out with back-stories and great characterization, giving them depth and likeability (and making them horrifying in the case of the villain). The romance is in perfect balance with the suspense.
I was at about 65% into this book when a friend asked me what I thought about it as both she and I were anxious for this book to come out and both ecstatic when I got an ARC. When in answer all I could do was make unintelligible sounds and weird sighing and grunting noises I knew this was a book headed to another 5-star/perfect 10 read. Individually the suspense and the romance were awesome! Put together and combined with the characterization, back-stories, intertwined character connections and Shiloh Walker's brilliant emotionally gripping writing style they turned IF YOU HEAR HER into the nearly perfect read for me.
That is until I got to the end, because when I got there I wanted to kill and hug Shiloh Walker at the same time. The ending could have made this a perfect 10 read but because it did not give me what I wanted, I have no choice but to give this book an almost perfect read stamp. I am not telling what it is that I wanted because that would spoil this book. All I can say is that Shiloh Walker is a brilliant and evil genius when it comes to romantic suspense and the start of this trilogy!
Favorite Quotes: His mouth came down on hers, easy and light, keeping it slow at first. She opened for him and shuddered as he traced his tongue along her lower lip. He tasted like coffee and chocolate cheesecake and man. Delicious.
Looking at her mouth had him all but drooling for another taste, just like looking at her body had him wanting to touch. No. Forget want. Need. He needed to touch.
Don’t you “Hello, Lena” me, she almost snapped. She managed to bite it back simply because she didn’t want him to know she’d been looking forward to him calling her . . . like he’d said he would. Bastard. “You okay, Lena?” “Oh, I’m just peachy,” she drawled, resisting the urge to cross her arms over her chest. Just the sound of that low, sexy drawl had her body doing bad, bad things—her nipples beaded up, her belly went hot and loose, and her heart was racing. Sexy, so damned sexy, the sort of voice a woman wants to hear murmuring in her ear during just the right moment— hell, with that kind of voice, any moment would be right.
“He talk to himself a lot?” Ezra asked, trying to distract himself. It was either that . . . or lean in and press his face against the curve of her neck. She smelled good, something light, almost citrusy, but not quite. Female, and sexy. Completely delicious. Friends, he reminded himself. They were just going to be friends. F#ck . . . that smell was killing him. He desperately wanted to find the source of it and just start licking it right off her skin.
[...]and his hands . . .whoa. He could do things with his hands that just might be illegal in some countries. Then there was his mouth— his mouth could almost put his hands to shame and if she wasn’t careful, she just might start whimpering in need if she thought about it too much.
“I started to fall for you that night, Lena. I guess it’s why I backed away . . . maybe I didn’t think I could handle it.” “And what makes you think you can handle it now?” “Oh, I’m pretty sure I can’t. But then again if I wait until I can handle things, then I never would do anything,” he murmured, rubbing his lips against hers. “Things happen when they happen, not when you’re ready for them.” She sighed against his mouth, a smile curling her lips. “That sounds kind of . . . well, romantic, Ezra. Never would have thought it of you.” “Hmmm.” Lifting his head, he smiled at her. “Oh, I can get plenty romantic.”
Rating: 9.7 out of 10 – ALMOST PERFECT READ! (less)