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The Ash Trilogy #1

If You Hear Her

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The scream Lena Riddle hears in the woods behind her house is enough to curdle her blood—she has no doubt that a woman is in real danger. Unfortunately, with no physical evidence, the local law officers in small-town Ash, Kentucky, dismiss her claim. But Lena knows what she heard—and it leaves her filled with fear and frustration.

Ezra King is on leave from the state police, but he can’t escape the guilty memories that haunt his dreams. When he sees Lena, he is immediately drawn to her. He aches to touch her—to be touched by her—but is he too burdened by his tragic past to get close? When Ezra hears her story of an unknown woman’s screams, his instincts tell him that Lena’s life is also at risk—and his desire to protect her is as fierce as his need to possess her.

From the Paperback edition.

400 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 25, 2011

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About the author

Shiloh Walker

213 books2,433 followers
Hello... thanks for swinging by. I don't log into Goodreads much, so if you have questions, please visit my website to email me through my site.
Thank you!

My other me.... J.C. Daniels

And an experimental me that I put to sleep. J. Dallas


Shiloh Walker has been writing since she was a kid. She fell in love with vampires with the book Bunnicula and has worked her way up to the more...ah...serious vampire stories. She loves reading and writing anything paranormal, anything fantasy, and nearly every kind of romance. Once upon a time she worked as a nurse, but now she writes full time and lives with her family in the Midwest.

To contact the author, please visit her website!

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 292 reviews
Profile Image for Auntee.
1,280 reviews1,382 followers
November 12, 2011
No plot rehash, just some thoughts...

One of the best romantic suspense books I've read all year! If you're a fan of Karen Rose-type suspense (grisly, with diabolical, twisted villains) but you'd like a little more in the romance department--then this book is what you're looking for. Some really hot, steamy scenes between the hero ( a tall, dark, and sexy (and somewhat tortured) state cop named Ezra King on leave from his job) and the very independent heroine Lena Riddle (an auburn-haired chef at a B&B who happens to be blind) had me reaching for a cold drink! This book is part of a trilogy, but it's unusual in that the reader is left with a major cliffhanger (which drove me crazy for a couple of days!) Shiloh Walker leaves you guessing throughout the book about who the killer may be in small town Ash, Kentucky--with some careful reading you can eliminate the suspects one by one, and maybe come up with a theory about who the bad guy may be (she doesn't give you much to go on but I have someone in mind...). The book has a few slow spots about a third of the way in--the author veers away from the main couple to introduce characters/couples who will appear in the later books, which slows the pace down a bit. But hang in there, because the last half of the book goes by at a blinding pace and will have you biting your nails and worrying about the main characters...will they fall victim to the killer?

Sexy and smart Ezra...

I cannot wait to read the next two books in this exciting trilogy--If You See Her (January 2012) and If You Know Her (February 2012). I want to find out the reason for the killings (and if I'm right about who he is!) and I want to see how the romances play out. Based on this first book, which is filled with enough details and juicy backstory on our main characters (who are just purrrfect together) I think Shiloh Walker has a winner of a series here, and I'd recommend it to any romantic suspense fan. 4 1/2 stars

P.S.: Pay attention to the heroine's guide dog, Puck. I think he knows who the killer is...

Profile Image for Jo.
957 reviews201 followers
April 4, 2017
Something very, very bad was going on.

Lena Riddle might be blind but there is nothing wrong with her ears and when she hears a woman scream in the woods behind her house, she knows that the woman is in terrible danger. But because the police of Ash, the small town she lives in, can’t find any physical evidence, they dismiss it as part of her imagination. But Lena knows what she heard and she fears for what happened to the unknown woman.

Ezra King is on leave from the state police after a horrible shooting where he found out that his partner was dirty. He’s having trouble overcoming the memories that haunts him, when he’s awake and asleep. But when he sees Lena, he can’t stop his immediate attraction to her. He wants to touch her, to get to know her, but his guilt and memories won’t allow him to pursue what they can have. However when he hears her story about the woman screaming behind her house, he knows she’s not the type to lie, and his instinct tells him that Lena’s life might be in danger too. And he knows he can’t stay away from her anymore, the need to protect her and make her his too strong to ignore.

“As crazy as my life has been the past couple of weeks, it feels … complete. And it’s because you’re in it.”

I loved the heroine of this book. Lena Riddle might be blind but she doesn’t let that stop her from living her life to the fullest. I loved that she was a successful chef and how strong, confident and independent she was. She’s so playful with how she teased Ezra and her loyalty to her friends, how fiercely she stands up for them made me love her more. She’s definitely someone I would have loved being friends with. And her dog Puck was awesome and I loved the relationship between them.

Every time he saw her, every time he talked to her, he wanted her more, liked her more.
Needed her more.

I loved how instantly attracted Ezra was to Lena, and that her being blind didn’t make him think differently about her. I was a bit upset with him when he pushed her away in the beginning because his demons from his past reared their ugly heads and made him think that he wasn’t ready to pursue something serious with Lena. But what made me love him was his immediately belief in her when no one else wanted to believe that she heard that woman’s scream, and that he apologised for acting like an ass and realised that he couldn’t ignore how he felt about her anymore.

“I think I’m falling in love with you. I didn’t want this, I sure as hell didn’t plan this, but it’s there anyway and damn it, Lena, it would kill me if something happened to you.”

Shiloh Walker sure knows how to write VERY steamy romance. The sexy times between Lena and Ezra was SCORCHING and I loved it!! I loved that once Ezra decided he wasn’t going to stay away from Lena anymore he was all in, there was no more pushing away for him and I loved that Lena was the cautious one that she worried about how fast they were falling for each other. But there was no denying that these two were crazy about each other.

There were quite a few interesting secondary characters. Lena’s friend Law Reilly who’s a very successful writer, very protective of his privacy and so loyal to the few friends he has. Then there’s Hope, Law’s best friend who has been so abused by her ex-husband that she’s terrified of almost everything and everyone but who showed a surprising backbone of steel when she stood up to the judgmental people of Ash. Then there’s Remy Jennings, the local DA, who is used to charming women, but his charm had absolutely no effect on Hope. I really liked the sparks between them.

The plot was excellent, so very dark and chilling and I was captivated from the first page. I loved that we got so many multiple POVs although it was very disturbing to be in the head of the killer. I’ve read a lot of thrillers with some very evil villains but I must say the killer in this book is one very monstrous fucker. The vile thoughts he has, the horrendous things he does to the young women he kidnaps and rapes was SO DAMN AWFUL. Someone needs to send Dexter after him. I also liked that we don’t find out who the killer is in this book and I can’t wait to read the next book to see what is going to happen now to some of the key players.

This book is definitely romantic suspense at its best. A lot darker than what I’m used to, but that just made the suspense that much more dark and twisty and I loved that the romance didn’t take a backseat to the plot but that it formed an integral part of the story, with lots of steam and romance. Highly recommended to all fans of romantic thrillers.

Profile Image for Catherine.
523 reviews540 followers
January 16, 2012
This is my first book by Shiloh Walker. I’d heard good things about her, but I never seemed to find the time to seek her out and give her a try. Let me just say, this was a great introduction to her work and I’m glad I finally took the plunge. Romantic Suspense doesn’t always work for me. I find that a lot of authors tend to focus more on one of the elements; Romance or Suspense. But some authors have the skill to balance both features well. Walker is one of those authors. I never felt cheated on the relationship or the suspense. They both blended well together to create a gripping story.

Before I discuss the story and the characters, I have to mention something first. This is a trilogy and the books are very connected. In fact, some of you who do not realize this *cough*me*cough* might finish If You Hear Her, stare at it in shock, and wonder, Where is the rest of the book? Apparently the story that begins in If You Hear Her will carry over into the following books, If You See Her and If You Know Her. Nothing but the relationship is wrapped up in this one. I DO think that this trilogy is worth the time investment, but I would have liked to have known that fact up front. So…here’s your heads up, guys. ;)

I really liked the characters in this book. There are the protagonists, Lena and Ezra, of course, but we also get to spend time with three other side characters that will most likely feature heavily in the next two books. We are given the opportunity to spend sections in their POV’s and it really helped cement my interest in them. They never felt like sequel bait. We spend time with them because their storylines are woven together with the main plot and it would have shortchanged the reader if we didn’t get to see things from their POV. I really loved getting a rounded picture of the players in the story. We spend the most time on those characters, but we are also treated to a couple of other POV’s that help build the suspense plot. They all twined together to create a fascinating tale.

You want to know what one of my favorite things about Walker’s characterization of the heroine, Lena, was? She was blind, but the plot didn’t revolve around that fact. She was a woman, same as any other RS heroine, who became entangled in a criminal investigation. Her blindness had nothing to do with it. The author kept from creating an ”issue” book and made her blindness feel natural. I loved that!

Beyond that, Lena was a very normal woman. She had friends, she had a career. The hero didn’t swoop into her life and give her purpose, she already had that. In fact, he didn’t swoop in at all. They met, became attracted, and went out on a date. Sure, things got a little complicated after that, but my point remains the same. The author made their relationship completely feasible and avoided adding any unneeded drama and tension. The circumstances of the case added enough of that. I’m thrilled about this, because that is what keeps me coming back to certain contemporary authors. I get an eye twitch when I read about contemporary characters that don’t fit in with the modern world.

The suspense plot was very well done. It was the sort that slowly crept up on you. The book covers a nice little chunk of time, and the reader gets to see the tension slowly start to wear on the people. Everyone is scared and not sure what to think. I loved getting to see the people, and the town in general, slowly start to unravel. Tensions are high and people are starting to turn on each other.

I’ve tried to be vague about the plot since I think a big part of the fun in RS is watching the plot unfold. More than the obvious murder plot is going on during the book and I’m curious to see if my initial guesses will turn out to be correct. The book ended right after a couple of really big events took place. I’m very eager to see where the next book will take us. If you are in the mood for a good Romantic Suspense, I recommend giving this one a shot. Just be ready to rush out and buy the second one when it releases, too. :)

Favorite Quote:
”This friends-only shit is not working.”

*Review originally posted on Fiction Vixen*
Profile Image for Pam Nelson.
3,214 reviews100 followers
July 15, 2017
5 If You Hear Her Stars

Book 1 of 3 I knew it was going to end with me wanting more I knew it but still I wasn’t prepared for it!!

I am Lena fan, I am a Hope fan and all the rest are suspects. Hahahaha

I love the suspense part of all of this, its driving me mad getting all the character’s straight. I have a page filled with descriptions.

I like that Lena is such a strong character she might be scared but she isn’t willing to let it rule her life. And Hope is a survivor. I have mad love for her and all that she has been through even if we don’t know all of it yet.

Law and Ezra I like .. at the moment. :p I am not RULING anyone out… I know better . hahah

I am loving this narrator she has done an outstanding job. She doesn’t give voices but she still does a great performance.

*You don't have to like my review but its 100% my opinion, and I am allowed to have it.*
Profile Image for MBR.
1,200 reviews379 followers
October 20, 2011
Certainly different from the various other published works by the author, book 1 of the Ash Trilogy signifies the growth of Shiloh Walker as an author towards excellence and beyond. Even from the very start, ever since I stumbled upon Ms. Walker’s Her Best friend’s Lover, I have been drawn towards the effortless ease with which she draws the reader into the story that makes a book hard to put down and of course the way she delivers scorching hot scenes of passion that one cannot help but absolutely revel in. If You Hear Her delivers on all of the above and takes it just a step further with a bone-chillingly maniacal and yet methodical villain together with a lot of multi-faceted and appealing characters that just makes this book one of her best stories yet!

Laying the groundwork for the rest of the titles in the trilogy, Ms. Walker introduces the reader to characters whose stories are just begging to be told, the next book of which I am just practically itching to get my hands on. Though at first I was of the mind that there wasn’t enough focus on Ezra and Lena to do them justice, I did a complete turnaround once I realized where the story was heading. The story especially picks up pace after the first couple of chapters, leaving the reader with no doubt that the ride ahead would turn out to be an edge-of-the-seat one at that.

Ezra King with his unusual name turned out to be such a compelling hero. There is no doubt that he is tortured, sweet, sexy, determined & dangerous all rolled into one. Ezra’s past keeps on tormenting him, making him question his abilities in judging people which is more than a requirement when it comes to being a cop. Ezra never expects to find anything more than the peace of his mind when he moves to Ash, Kentucky, and he certainly does not expect to find himself falling for a woman who makes his senses reel and heart beat faster just with her presence alone.

Lena Riddle’s entrance into the story surprised me big time. Ms. Walker has done such a swell job with her character that its hard not to “see” her in your mind’s eye as you read along. She is strong, confident, sassy and beautiful inside out, her keen sense of hearing one of the reasons why the nefarious killer’s less than stellar activities comes to light. Even though Lena faces ridicule from the one law enforcement official who made me grind my teeth out of sheer frustration, it is Lena’s determination that she would not give up until someone believes her well enough to at least try and find out the reality behind the gut chilling screams that jump starts the series of events which just seems to accelerate in intensity as time passes on.

While the passion between Lena and Ezra burns hotter than wildfire with each encounter, with it comes forth the more tender emotions which neither of them counted on, but inevitably embrace with the danger escalating to proportions neither foresaw coming. I loved each and every passionate encounter between Lena and Ezra and I have to yet again bow down to Ms. Walker’s superb ability when it comes to delivering on just the right amount of passion, suspense and character development to make a story that much harder to part with.

I nearly whimpered in agony when the story was over, leaving the reader with no choice but to pray that the publication date of the next book rolls in before you die out of sheer curiosity. Most of the time when it comes to suspense novels, its almost always pretty darn easy to identify who the killer is, but in this case I have a feeling that Ms. Walker is going to be keeping the reader guessing until towards the very end, which would mean a job well done for the author and continued ravage of my fingernails in the foreseeable future.

For die-hard fans of Shiloh Walker like myself, this is an absolute must-read. For fans of romantic suspense, I dare you to pick this up, just to find out whether you can pin-point who the killer could be. And for fans of character-driven romances with a strong element of suspense, this one’s just what the doctor ordered for the day.


Original review posted on MBR's Realm of Romance

My quotes included below the review!
Profile Image for Kathleen.
691 reviews91 followers
November 11, 2011
Story Rating 5 stars
Character Rating 5 stars
Romance Rating 5 stars
Heat Level 3.75 stars (LOL)
Overall Rating 5 stars

This book grabbed me from the beginning and never let go, that is until the end because it just dropped me there and I was like WTF, hahahahahahaha. Well if that was a plot from Shiloh to get people to buy book 2, it sure will work because I REALLY need to know what's gonna happen, who the killer is and read the HEA that these characters deserve. I get the feeling now that book 2 might just leave us hanging too but you know what? That's fine with me because the story line is AMAZING and the characters are all FANTASTIC.

So now I find myself waiting on yet another book.
Profile Image for Taria Reed.
Author 6 books74 followers
June 26, 2012
2hrs into the audiobook and I'm annoyed at all the damn POVs the author is cramming into the story. I've counted 8 different POVs so far and there's still quite a bit of story left.

BE WARNED!! This is one of those books that never end. Meaning there is no resolution to the plot it gets continued on into the next story.

I HATE CLIFFHANGERS!! I hate that authors feel they kinda have to "force" you to read the next book to find out who did it and why by not giving each book in the series a satisfying conclusion.

The H/h are likeable enough. They fall in love over the course of a 1-2 months. Their all consuming attraction reminds me of PNR but I didn't find that bothersome at all, I rather like that.

I can't say much about the story because IT DIDN'T END!! Thank GOD I got all three books so I can just listen through to find out the who what when where and why.

Story - 2 (it was alright, it would have been a 3.5 if there wasn't a cliffhanger)
Narrator - 2.5 Her male voices are bad. they sound just like her normal voice, so there's not much difference between characters but I'm able to follow along with only a few confusing moments.
Profile Image for Saly.
3,433 reviews512 followers
July 12, 2012
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I liked Lena and independence. Despite being blind she was a full person and had fought hard for it(her mother was the overprotective sort). I loved it that she was a cook.

Ezra the hero is a cop on leave. He is staying at his grandmothers house doing nothing. He isn't sure he wants to go back. Six months ago he was shot by his partner and lover and he has had nightmares ever since. He doesn't trust his judgement, he killed someone who was his best friend even if she was a dirty cop.

The relationship worked for me even if it was fast. There are other characters as well. Hope, the woman who has been through so much, abused by her husband and his power as a cop and it is not over yet for her. Law, Lena's friend who loves her and is a writer and regrets failing Hope. Remy, Lena's ex and town lawyer who has an interest in Hope an the sick serial rapist still at large. So, a lot of loose ends. Hope, she deserves a happy ending, that poor woman.

Now, on to the next book.
Profile Image for Anne OK.
3,480 reviews444 followers
November 7, 2011
Another good one by Shiloh Walker and an impressive start to the new trilogy. Dark and gritty & sometimes downright scary with a well-balanced blend of romance -- just like I like them! The cast of characters is also well-developed. Looking forward to the next addition to this series.
Profile Image for Mei.
1,881 reviews414 followers
November 17, 2011
Really great book! I enjoyed it very, very much!
It has everything I'm looking for in a book: romance, suspense, hot sex, intelligent H/h, good dialogue... It's just great!
Profile Image for Melanie.
515 reviews140 followers
December 14, 2011
This started off really strong IMO - hero and heroine were both interesting and their initial chemistry was awesome - but then the story just sort of fizzled and I found myself skimming more and more and finally continued skimming until I reached the end and found out whodunit.

I think where it went wrong for me was the number of characters and POV's to keep track of - initially I kept going back to try and figure out if we had met a certain character before as they were introduced so nonchalantly. I realize that Walker is setting up many of these characters for subsequent stories in the series, but the way she did it just wasn't working for me. Still, the overall suspense story arc was interesting and the villain's sick and twisted POV was pretty well done.

I did really like the main characters, Lena and Ezra - and whooo! the steamy bits were definitely sizzlin'. It's not often we meet a blind heroine, and Walker does do a good job of painting Lena as strong and capable. Ezra, though a strong and sexy alpha hero, was a bit more formulaic: cop on leave, recovering from an injury, with emotional issues resulting from his last case. BUT he is a fantastic dirty talker, and his voice (described from the POV of a blind woman) is panty-melting hot!
Profile Image for Nikki.
961 reviews255 followers
April 5, 2013
This was such a great start to an intense and thrilling trilogy! Shiloh Walker is a favorite author of mine even though I have not read a ton of her books. The ones I have read though were all amazing and I was not disappointed with If You Hear Her! There were so many nail-biting, sitting on the edge of my seat moments that I was definitely intrigued from page one! I loved the writing, the characters were very well written and even though the romance between Ezra, whom I loved!, and Lena happened somewhat quickly, it was done in a way that didn't feel rushed or cheesy or unbelievable. I loved it. My only complaint is that I didn't find out who the bad guy is. I didn't realize til I was more than halfway done that this trilogy will be like one continuous story with each about a different couple and the big reveal in the last book. Not that it takes away any of the greatness, I'm just impatient and nosy and need to know now! :-)
Profile Image for Brianna (The Book Vixen).
676 reviews996 followers
December 24, 2015
Review copy provided by author

Why I Read this Book: I love romantic suspense and I am a fan of Shiloh Walker’s writing. ‘Nuff said.

What I Liked: It was very interesting, and eye-opening, to read from a character’s POV where that character is blind. Lena doesn’t let her handicap hinder her abilities in the slightest; it only makes for a unique vulnerability that forces her to do things differently. She has to completely rely on her other senses – specifically her acute sense of hearing to get around and sense other people's emotions. And because of her being blind, her attraction to Ezra is honest and sincere, in that it is not based on outward appearance but on his inner intellect, personality, and character.

Shiloh Walker doesn’t hold back. The parts told from the villain’s POV where dark, haunting, and chilling. He’s evil and ruthless. The author gave such life to the villain, he scares the shit of out me and he’s just a fictional character!

I was so into the story that when I came to the end, it caught me off guard. Although I’m not sure who the villain is at this point, I am satisfied with how the book ended. I am anxious to get my hands on the next two books, If You See Her (out January 2012) and If You Know Her (out February 2012). I love when books come out back-to-back like that.

What I Didn’t Like: There was an abundant amount of characters who shared the last name Jennings. It was confusing for me to keep track of who’s who in the Jennings family so I made a list.

Some of the text – dialogue and emotions – felt a bit redundant, especially parts from the victims and villain’s POV. It felt like some things were being reiterated but I didn’t feel that that was necessary.

Overall Impression: The author laid the foundation in If You Hear Her nicely for this trilogy. Shiloh Walker fans will definitely want to read If You Hear Her and romantic suspense fans will enjoy trying to figure out the ‘who done it’.
Profile Image for Ria.
2,162 reviews31 followers
February 9, 2012
This is a 3-star book that left me with a 2-star feeling. There are lots of points in If You Hear Her's favour - I liked that the book's heroine is blind and she is drawn to the hero not only because of his sexy voice, but because he doesn't treat her like an invalid. The mystery throughout was upsetting but in a dramatically effective way and questions are left unanswered by the book's close keep interest levels high.

Yet by the time I reached the end, I found myself unable to really care about the central cast of characters. Lena and Ezra are both lacking any sparkle, separately and together, and there is no real obstacle in their path to happiness (even the serial killer technically isn't an obstacle!), so when the inevitable happy(ish) ending arrives, it's all a bit underwhelming. We also meet the characters who will step up to leading roles in the rest of the trilogy and again, I found myself not especially caring about them.

The book is also guilty of a pet-hate of mine - the multiple-character POV that isn't broken out by at least a chapter break. It got confusing as to whose head I was lurking inside at times.

If You Hear Her is a diverting enough read, I was just hopeful for a little more spark.
Profile Image for Manda Collins.
Author 35 books1,227 followers
October 25, 2011
I've found a new author to glom. In IF YOU HEAR HER Shiloh Walker weaves a multi-layered, complex story of romance and suspense that doesn't skimp on either. I loved that Lena was a woman who happened to be blind rather than a blind woman, if that makes any sense. She was just a beautifully drawn, strong heroine and the perfect complement to Ezra's wounded/recovering cop. There are multiple POVs here but all of them are necessary to the plot. I read some parts with my hands over my eyes (or I would have if this were a movie) for fear that a beloved character would be killed, or worse would turn out to be the killer. It was just the kind of edge of your seat suspense read I love. I thought for sure that this would be a back to back trilogy, but alas, the second book doesn't come until January. I. Can't. Wait.
Profile Image for Hasnamezied.
380 reviews66 followers
August 15, 2017
Superb . This book is not my typical read usually I like romance and mystery yet this book is a phenomena. Well I don't know how to describe what I felt but of course I highly recommend it
Profile Image for Jackie Lane.
1,106 reviews575 followers
April 17, 2013
In the small town of Ash, a phone call sets off a series of events.

The cast of characters in this book are so likeable. The author did a fabulous job of making us love the characters we should and hate the characters that are evil.

Ezra King meets Lena and they hit it off, but Ezra backs off until he sees Lena at the police station.

Law is a character in and of himself. I am so surprised that the small town has not figured out what he does and things he is an odd duck.

The introduction of Hope to the small town has brought out a more likeable Law.

Remy makes me uncertain as he seems a little wishy washy with his feelings.

The police in the town don't seem like they could solve a problem if it bit them in the face. The people in the town need a reality check and should not accuse people before they are given the facts and there is evidence.

The book ended and I was like..........what..........I had to keep paging to see if I missed something. Nothing was resolved and we still don't know who the bad guy is, so I need to read the next book to see where it is going.

4 stars
Profile Image for Pamela(AllHoney).
2,631 reviews360 followers
July 20, 2016
If You Hear Her is the first in the Ash Trilogy by Shiloh Walker. Ezra is a police officer on leave in Ash, Kentucky. He meets Lena and is attracted but he is reluctant to get into a relationship at that time. Lena is a chef and is also blind. One night she wakes up and hears a woman screaming for help. Unable to physically do anything herself she calls the police.

Very suspenseful with a nice romance. I loved the story but I hate that the story continues on to the next book in the series so we have unresolved issues. Luckily, I was aware of that going in and I made sure I had all three books before I started the series.

I definitely would recommend this to romantic suspense fans but I'd also advise getting all three books before starting.

992 reviews
April 15, 2012
first of 3 books, and sadly, i read them out of order since i got this, the first book, last, but it was great anyway. the hero is a man who is wary of starting a romance since his last one ended in him shooting his partner, and the heroine is a blind chef who is attracted to him and he reluctantly responds. then the weird stuff starts....
Profile Image for Aly is so frigging bored.
1,627 reviews274 followers
April 1, 2012

I swear, this felt like a version of Criminal Minds, without the cool profiler FBI team. I loved how it changed POV's, but I hated the killer's, it was just way too creepy.

PS: It's 2 AM here and I think I'll dream of creepy serial killers...
Profile Image for Sandra  Valente.
173 reviews33 followers
January 4, 2012
This being the first time that I have read anything by this author, I was pleasantly surprised that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was however planning on only reading this trilogy (Ash Trilogy) at the end of February as ‘If you See Her’ will only be released at the end of January 2012 and ‘If you Know Her’ at the end of February 2012. Having it sit on my bookshelf clearly calling out to me though was a big no-no. I should have hidden it away as now I feel I have put my nose out of joint – patience is not one of my virtues - but I clearly have no choice and wait I must. I tried for the ARC of the second book on Shiloh Walker’s blog but wasn’t lucky enough to receive one and not having read the first one at the time (this one) could have played a part. In any case, no point going on and on so let me get down to what I want to say.

Romantic suspense is one of my favourite genres. 'If You Hear Her' revolves around Lena Riddle, the main character. I really, really like Lena so much and what made her character even more interesting is that she is blind. I don’t think I have ever read a book where one of the main characters had this kind of impairment. She’s witty and is the least bit helpless female protagonist I have come across. I could totally see myself being friends with her. She’s moved back to small town Ash in Kentucky and has now resided there for the past 9 years. Pretty much true to all small towns, everyone knows everyone and their business. Lena though isn’t a trouble maker and is quite the chef.

Ezra King, a Detective has also moved to Ash and is living in his former grandmother’s house. He’s on leave after being shot and shooting dead a fellow officer. He needs to decide what he’s going to do with his life and a big part of that decision is whether or not he will be returning to his job. Meanwhile, he occupies himself with a little DIY around the house while he recuperates after numerous surgeries. He is still at a loss as to what exactly went down after the shooting.

Ezra and Lena meet at the restaurant she works at. After sampling one of her meals which she was kind enough to share, they set a date for a proper sit down. From the very beginning they are drawn to one another. A kiss is shared at the end of the evening with a promise from Ezra that he will call. Now, Ezra has too much on his mind and a helluva lot of baggage to sort out and after mulling things over, he decides it’s best not to get involved in a relationship until he knows for certain in which direction he will ultimately venture. BIG no-no. Don’t ever tell a woman you are going to call and then you don’t. You are asking for trouble – big time.

One evening, Lena wakes up with a gasp. She hears a woman’s terrified voice begging for help. Chilled to the bone, she dials 911 and relays what she heard. After Sergeant Keith Jennings searches the woods around her house, he tells Lena that he can’t see anything as it’s dark out but they will look into it the next day. Unsettled, she calls her best friend Law Reilly (who is an author on the sly and a bit on the strange side according to town folk but I personally think he’s cool) and asks that he take her to the police station. Something needs to be done and this woman, whoever she is, is in desperate need of help.

Ezra meanwhile is at the police station reporting vandalism of his property by irresponsible teenage boys. Unfortunately he has to deal with Deputy Prather who is a moron of note (my opinion too) when Lena arrives to speak to someone regarding what she heard. Prather hurriedly tries to dispatch with Ezra hoping he won’t file a report as the culprit is none other than the Mayor’s son. Ezra is willing to wait and upon seeing Lena experiences guilt for not having called her but the cop inside him is also curious to find out why she would be at the police station.

As you can see from what I have written so far, it only gets more interesting (twists and turns) and chilling with the antagonist inflicting horrific pain and torture and perpetually raping his victim so much so that she would rather die than have to endure this any longer. The killer is often in town going about his daily chores and is obviously known BUT we do not know who he is and nobody really believes anything sinister is going on as this has never happened before and it's all probably in Lena's head. To say they are all clueless is to put it mildly. He however knows that it’s all due to what Lena heard, that his once quiet life of horror is on the brink of being discovered. This is something he won’t stand for and he puts a plan into action. Right, I think it’s time I stop right here before giving anything away. There is a bit of everything in this book from humour, love (great connection between Lena and Ezra)and suspense to chilling moments. There are also quite a lot of characters and I had no problems with them however, it took a few sentence repeats for me to remember exactly which Jennings character it was that I was reading about. The whole town is full of Jennings family members and this was a bit confusing but you get over it eventually. My only problem with the book is that I have finished it *grunt* and I still don’t know who the murderer is!! So frustrating, but again my fault as I didn’t wait for the other two. Every trilogy or series that I have read has come to a conclusion at the end of every book and usually carries on with new heroes/heroines yet still pulling in the characters we have come to enjoy/love from the previous books. Not so with this one. I think Ms. Walker is very clever as she now has me on the edge of my seat and my patience is wearing thin. It’s a good thing though, after all, that’s the point isn’t it?

A great read and I really can’t wait to get my greedy paws on the next two installments.
Profile Image for jenjn79.
723 reviews241 followers
March 24, 2012
A) I'm really glad that Auntee recc'ed this book to me. And B) I'm really glad that I decided to wait and read all three books in a row.

Series Note:
First book in Shiloh Walker's “Ash” romantic suspense trilogy which is centered around the people who live in the small town of Ash, Kentucky and the strange things that begin happening in the town. This series really should be read in order as there is an overall story arc throughout the 3 books.

Ezra King moves to the small town of Ash, Kentucky, after a tragic incident during his job as a polic officer leaves him seriously injured and shakes his faith in his love for the job. He plans to just take it easy and relax, but more so, to get his head back on straight. Then he meets sexy, beautiful...and blind...Lena Riddle. From the first moment he meets her, he's awe struck.

For Lena, it's not much different. Ezra sets off feelings inside her she's never felt before. Then one night she hears a woman screaming in the woods near her house. Only, no one really seems to believe her...except Ezra. He's got a bad feeling something terrible is going on. And as he tries to find answers, he and Lena grow closer. But the answers he seeks aren't so easy to find, and things keep getting more confusing. The only thing that makes sense to the two are the feelings developing between the two.

I probably would have stumbled upon this book/series eventually, but I'm really glad Auntee brought it to my attention so I didn't miss it. This book embodies what I love about romantic suspense books. I loved it from page one right until the end.

That being said, I am also glad I knew going into the book that the ending is rather open...maybe not quite an edge of your seat cliffhanger, but some big issues are left unresolved to be continued in the other two books in the series. And I knew that before I started – which is why I decided to wait until all three books were out and I could read them together. Because these books are extremely intertwined and probably work much better read together. But like I said, I'm glad I knew going into this one that things were left unresolved because if not, I probably would have been very frustrated and more than a little annoyed.

One of the best aspects of this book is that the romance and suspense are very nicely balanced. The romance is very solid, given plenty of attention and you don't feel short-changed at all. And the suspense is well developed, engaging and nicely done. I didn't feel like either one needed anything more.

I also loved that the heroine is an atypical heroine because she is blind. And I liked how Walker treated that in the book. It's a very noticeable detail, but it's not overly dramatized. Lena's blind, you read that, know that, see how it affects her life, but it doesn't take over the story. I thought it was a great way to handle that detail. And I just liked Lena as a character. She's spunky, tough and comes across very real. Ezra is a cool character, too. Big, tough cop going through some physical and emotional turmoil from his job as a cop. The two mixed very well together and I enjoyed reading about them. I did come into this story expecting it to be a bit hotter because of Walker's history as an erotic romance writer, but I didn't mind that it wasn't.

I thought the suspense plot was very well done as well. It's a creepy story...maybe not on the leave-your-lights-on level of Karen Rose, but still creepy. Psychotic serial killer on the loose, torturing women but no one really knows. You're left on the edge of your seat wondering what's going on, how it will all play out. And I thought Walker did a really fantastic job with the “whodunit” aspect. Some authors flat out tell you the bad guy, some make it blatantly obvious, some, unfortunately, dump in a mystery character at the end that leaves you scratching your head. Walker gets just the right mix of clues and mystery to point you in a couple directions but still leaving you wondering.

And of course, you're still wondering at the end because the story of the serial killer is not wrapped up in this book. It is an overall trilogy arc that doesn't get solved in this book. Which, yes, is frustrating and if I had to wait several months until the next book I'd probably be pissed, but since I have the other two books sitting waiting for me, it doesn't matter. I'm super intrigued about who the killer is and how it will all play out. I can't wait to read the other two books to find out.

Another great aspect of the book is the involvement of the secondary characters, most of whom will become primary characters in the other books. They actually get POV scenes and you get a much stronger connection to them that way, but yet they don't detract from the main characters of the book or what is going on. It's just enough to get you interested and intrigued in them. And I am. Hope, Law, Remy...all great characters that I look forward to getting to know better.

All in all, I have no complaints whatsoever about the book. I enjoyed it all the way through and literally could not wait to pick up the next book and find out what would happen. Just a great all around book and I suspect it'll be a great series.
Profile Image for ~ Becs ~.
709 reviews2,118 followers
November 5, 2011
Wow! This one will leave you desperate for more - it definitely leaves you way more questions than answers.

This is the story of Lena and Ezra but there is an underlying suspense plot that will play out over all 3 novels of the trilogy and is only just coming into bloom by the end of this one.

It all takes place in a small town - Ash, Kentucky. It's totally character driven and I had a little trouble at first working out who they all were but they're so well written, they become to life off the pages pretty quickly.

Lena Riddle is a blind chef (think sharp knives and hot stoves and you begin to understand her) who lives alone with her guide dog Puck on the edge of the woods. She's fiercely independent and will do anything to protect that independence. Ezra King is a state cop who is in Ash staying at his late Grandma's house recovering from being shot in the leg by his partner who was a cop gone bad and also his lover. Oh, and he killed her too. Ezra is plagued by bad dreams and is undecided whether or not he is going back to his job.

We also have Law Reilly, one of Lena's best friends. He's a very private guy but he is actually a successful published author using a pen name. Most of Ash's residents have no idea about his alter-ego and regard him with suspicion. He's also carrying a candle for Lena but it's unrequited. He hires his childhood friend Hope Carson to come and sort him out as he is a disaster in the admin field and she sets about organising his office. Hope has a horrendous past. She was married to a cop who subject her to emotional and physical abuse. She's got away but, as he's a cop, he's managed to avoid all charges and convince most people that Hope is unstable and violent herself. Hope has a real bad case of PTSD and a dread of cops.

We also meet Remy Jennings, the local DA who is falling for Hope from the first moment he sees her. We don't know much about Remy yet, but we will in the next novel.

So, to the suspense story - Lena wakes up one night and hears a woman desperately screaming for help in the woods behind her house. She calls the police but, by the time they arrive, there is nothing to be seen or heard. They don't give her story much credit. Thankfully, Ezra does and he thinks Lena is now in danger. Their love story blossoms from this point onwards and they have a palpable chemistry and just sizzles off the pages. Of course, this is Shiloh Walker so we have some pretty hot sex scenes!

I'm not going to say any more about the suspense plot because to do so would be to spoil it. We do get many scenes from the villain's POV and these are incredibly well done. When reading these, I felt like I was walking through a foggy wood - a misty, unclear view and every little sound echoed back at me and I actually felt cold and claustrophobic when I was reading them. We don't know his identity but he is one of the Ash residents and I had a strong suspect but I guess I won't find out if I'm right until the third novel.

So the suspense story is a slow burner but it builds with a frightening intensity and the last couple of chapters will leave you wondering where on earth it is going to go next. Hope is the main character of the next novel and we leave her in a pretty bad predicament at the end of this one.

So, a 5 star romantic suspense for the touching love story between Ezra and Lena and the well developed and pulsating suspense plot.
Profile Image for Alyssa Ricks.
159 reviews2 followers
March 16, 2012
This review is really for the whole Ash Trilogy; I don't feel that the books stand alone. There is an overarching plot, the mystery/thirller part, that continues on through the whole trilogy and then each book has a separate couple as it's focus, however, all of the characters are heavily involved in all three books.

If You Hear Her - this installment focused on Lena and Ezra; she's a blind chef at the local inn and he's a state cop on leave after getting shot by his dirty partner (don't worry, she's dead). Not too long after Ezra comes to town Lena hears a woman screaming in the woods near her home, but the police aren't doing much about it. Ezra takes a special interest in Lena, they date, and then the book just ends. I though my kindle accidentally jumped me or something and went back into the book to see where the ending was.

If You See Her - this installment focused on Hope and Remy; she's an old friend of Law's and has come to act as his assistant and stop running after 2 years on the move trying to make sure her abusive ex-husband can't find her and he's the local DA. Law and Hope are attacked and it's made to look as though Hope beat him with a baseball bat and then slit her wrists. The sheriff and Remy know something's not right, but they're prepared to arrest her anyway until evidence proves it wasn't her. After Law is threatened Hope grows a little back bone and isn't the cowering mouse she was when she first arrived in town. After Remy and Hope have been dating a while her ex shows up in town

If You Know Her - focusing on Law, a close friend of Hope and Lena and major supporting character so far, and Nia, Joely's cousin, and wrapping up the trilogy. I have to say that I really liked Law and, though their chemistry worked, I didn't really like Nia; I'd have preferred someone else for him. Things start to unravel for the killer when Nia and Ezra, who is now sherrif, both know that something isn't right with pinning Joely's murder on Joe Carson and they discover evidence to the contrary. The killer's identity is finally revealed and I felt like Walker sort of tricked us

Overall, I felt like things were wrapped up a little too quickly and that we'd need another book to see the final results/repercussions and the end of Nia and Law's story.

I'll probably try other works by this author, but they aren't on my auto-buy list.
September 16, 2015
4.5 Stars

This review was posted at Under The Covers

This is book is suspense at its best! I loved it! It has enough romance to keep you excited but the actual story is amazing. If you love mysteries, you will love this book!

Our heroine, Lena Riddle, has lived in the small town of Ash, Kentucky for close to nine years. Small community, everyone knows each other, everyone is nice to each other. She works for a bed & breakfast as a chef. She lives alone, with a dog, on the outsides of town, in the woods. And she's blind!

Her peaceful existence is ruined by a woman's scream in the middle of the night. Someone is running through the woods near her house. Someone that's running for their life. But when she tries to get the cops to investigate what she heard, no one believes her.

Well, almost no one. The other disruption to her peaceful existence believes she heard something. Ezra King. He's a city cop on leave after being hurt badly on the job. He went back to his grandmother's home, which he had inherited when she passed away, to try and figure out if he could go back to the force. But he wasn't planning on falling in love.

Very rarely do I find a book where I love both the hero and heroine. I did in this one.

Lena is such a strong woman. When she lost her sight she kept going forward and didn't let that stop her from doing what she wanted, becoming a chef. It doesn't stop her now from living in a house she loves alone. It hasn't stopped her in the past from dating. From being confident. And it's not going to stop her from making the cops take her seriously about the threat that's lurking in the woods. There's a woman out there who's life may depend on it.

Ezra is sexy as hell. He's got the bad boy, cop vibe going. He's one of the good guys. He never belittles her and knows just how to treat her.

And talk about hot! I don't know how they managed it with her not being able to see and him having a bad leg, but *fans self* they were burning up the sheets!

I think my favorite part of this book is the fact that I have NO CLUE who the killer is. Truly. I did the process of elimination as best I could and there's always something in my mind that takes someone off the list. I am at a loss.

What I wasn't expecting was the ending. I guess the killer will run lose for the whole series because we don't get to find out who he is!!! I might've screamed a little. It'll leave you hooked to get the next book because now I just HAVE to know who did it.

Whoever it is, he's a sick bastard. Just be warned of this. There are some parts in this book that are written from the killers perspective, or even worst at times, from the victims. I was a little disturbed by that, but it did make the story more real.

And this being my first Shiloh Walker book I have to say that I love her writing! I will definitely have to get more of her books!

* ARC provided by author
Profile Image for Tina.
1,758 reviews280 followers
March 15, 2012
The important thing to know about this trilogy is that if you want to find out who killed the women, you have to read all three books. While the 'romantic' part of the the romantic-suspense is resolved at the end of each installment, the you have to get to through the final book to satisfy the conclusion of the 'suspense' part.

Of the three books, I thought this was the strongest, but I liked them all and give the series as a whole a solid 4-stars.

You meet all the important players in various ways right in this first book. This book features the first of our three couples, Lena and Ezra --- ok. I have to stop right there and say how much I love his name. One of my romance novel pet peeves is the names the characters are given. There is a samey-sameness to them all, with lots of hard consonant sounds. Ezra is just so not the same. It sounds sweetly old-fashioned.

Anyway, Lena hears a woman screaming in her woods and it sets off a chain of events, the least of which it alerts people in the small town on Ash, Kentucky to the fact that something hinky is going on in their town. It is also sets off a domino effect of bad decisions by the killer. Up to now he had been serial killing in perfect peace & quiet, but one girl managed to escape briefly and his activities might now be discovered. He goes into damage control mode, but it doesn;t quite work out the way he needs it to.

Lena is not given to flights of fancy and she refuses to be put off by the authorities. Because she is so credible the local sheriff and Ezra, an ex-cop, are inclined to believe she really did hear something out there in the woods.

I won't say more about the plot because as I mentioned above, the serial killer doesn't get revealed until the final installment and a lot happens in the interim.

In the meantime, Lena and Ezra start to build a relationship. I really liked both of them and I loved how the author dealt with Lena's blindness. She made her imminently capable, but it is still acknowledged that she can be very vulnerable too.

We also meet the other couples from the rest of the trilogy. Remy is the DA and a member of the town's leading family, Law is Lena's best friend and a bit of a mystery man to the rest of the town. Hope is new in town, fleeing from a bad marriage. She is Law's best friend and comes to work for him. And then there is Nia, who is the cousin of one of the victims.

All three couples have a large part of play in the sometimes pursuit/sometime cat-&-mouse game with the killer.

Good series that I read straight through in no time flat.
Profile Image for Kazza.
1,441 reviews148 followers
February 1, 2012
2 1/2 stars really. I just couldn't get through this book fast enough, and not due to immense interest, I just wanted it to end.

I felt no chemistry between the MC's, Lena and Ezra, the sex scenes also fizzled for me. Why did she like Ezra so much? I still couldn't tell you what he looked like, I just couldn't get my mind around him, visualize him. There was one part where he spent a full week coming over to her place while investigating the woods but we didn't get to see their time spent together, just had to take it as gospel that their relationship developed more.

I didn't like the town of Ash much, a lot of the people and the small town mentality just angered me. There was an awful lot of characters to deal with in this book for the first in a trilogy, if it was like The Carpathaians, BDB or IAD (series with many books that need a lot of character development) I would understand. However, I really liked Law, give me Law over Ezra any day, and Remy, they both seemed like decent, likeable men. Hope was also an interesting character with good possibilities for the next book.

I felt things were left unresolved that should have wrapped up here, minor things like Roz and Lena's fight over Law for one. Ezra's dreams were not utilized properly and never went anywhere, they didn't look llike they were going to be sorted either, which meant Ezra was still in emotional turnoil; a prime reason he needed to get his head together in the first place, and just be "friends". Also, Lena was painted as very perceptive, yet she had no idea Law was gone for her, really? I have to also mention that the underlying plot of young women being kidnapped, repeatedly raped and tortured didn't ramp up my desire for sexual interactions and romance.

I have read excerpts of the next book, featuring Remy and Hope, and it grabbed me more, so I live in hope that the next book will be worthwhile.

The writing style, while pretty good, could be bogged down in detail and repetitive, if I heard Ezra say "friends" one more time I would have thrown something. Obviously I have bucked the trend here, most people have waxed lyrical over this book, so if you're interested you should give it a go because it appears most people love it.
Profile Image for fleurette.
1,353 reviews113 followers
August 19, 2015
My first book by Shiloh Walker and probably not the last one.

I enjoyed this book. It was probably not the best one I have ever read but I had a good time with it. It was a bit too short, though. It all ended too quickly or, as a matter of fact, it didn't which is even a greater problem. I would like the plot to be more developed and for Lena and Ezra to have more time to get to know each other.

Also I'm not sure about the strong appearance of the secondary characters. Regarding the lack of suspense plot development and romance building, I would prefer to read about them and their stories in their books and this one to be more about Lena and Ezra and the killer case. Still, I liked the secondary characters and looking forward to read their stories.

But the one thing that made me badly disappointed with this book was the suspense plot. First of all, it is definitely too short. I wish there were more details and events. Lena hears some screams in the middle of the night and then nothing happens for more than half of the book. I would like it to be more action, some investigation or a threat from the killer. I was just waiting for something to happen and instead I got some introduction in small town life and other problems.

But what really got me mad was the lack of ending, a cliffhanger. I absolutely hate cliffhangers. I believe a good story should have an introduction, some development and the proper ending. The suspense part in If You Hear Her stays unfinished. I am thinking about lowering my rate even more for this. Right now it is about 2.5 star. Without the ending this is just an average romance story.

Because of lacking suspense part it was more like a contemporary romance than romantic suspense. I will probably read some other books in this series but right now I'm too mad at the author for the cliffhanger.
Profile Image for Cindy.
2,245 reviews135 followers
October 30, 2011
If it was the authors intent to get you so invested in all the characters and then leave you hanging until January dying to know what happens next then she succeeded. The end of this book has so many cliffhangers.

As this was the first book in the series its a little slow going at first as we get to meet the characters. Actually the first character we get to meet is the killer and his victim. We do not get to find out who the killer is in this book. I dont even have a guess yet as to who the killer is.

Lena is the main heroine of this book. She is blind and a chef. She hears a woman screaming in the middle of the night but when she goes to the police they dont believe her.

Ezra is our main hero and he is in Ash on leave from the police dept after being shot and finding out his female partner and lover was dirty. He is in the police station when Lena comes in and he decides he is going to help her.

Their love story wasnt full of conflict or back on forth - its was a steady flow through out the book.

We also meet and get POVs from Remy Jennings who is the DA in Ash (he is the hero in the second book). Then we have Hope (heroine of 2nd book) who comes to Ash at the request of her best friend Law Reilly (who is also Lena's best friend) who is a suspense author (and hero of the 3rd book). Hope was severely abused by her ex husband who is a cop and she is not the most mentally stable person due to this. We do briefly at the end of this book get to meet Nia (the heroine of the 3rd book)

IMO - there really isnt a way to talk about this book without giving away the plot points of the book which I think the reader needs to experience for themselves.

I am not happy I have to wait until January for Remy and Hope's book {{wink}}
Profile Image for Keri.
2,046 reviews101 followers
March 9, 2016
3 1/2 stars for me. This was a good romantic suspense, but it ended in a strange place in the book. I know that it was a trilogy, but I don't even feel that we ended up with a HEA for sure for our h/h. I am looking foward to Hope and Reilly's book.
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