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Spectre

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​​​​​​​Spectre

​​​​​​​I wasn't even a man when I took a life for the first time, although you couldn't say I was a child. If I'd ever had a childhood, it hadn't lasted long. My father, may he rot in hell, had seen to that. I took his life as well and that, too, happened before I was old enough to be considered a grown man. I never regretted it for a second.

​​​​​​​That path almost led to my own grave, and would have, if I hadn't stumbled across somebody who was as different from my father as day was from night. Sarge had seen the monster lurking inside, so he took control, gave me guidelines, rules, so I wouldn't be the monster my father had planned.

​​​​​​​It worked. I restrained the worst of my rage and honed the skills that had been drilled into me—theft, stealth… assassination. The broken child ceased to exist and I became Spectre, an assassin spoken of in whispers, hired to take out the worst of humanity.

​​​​​​​Then I was sent to kill her>…and my world came to a screeching halt.

​​​​​​​Tia

​​​​​​​It's taken a long time, but I finally had a nice, steady routine. I stopped trying to conform to the neurotypicals of the world and found my own normal.

​​​​​​​Normal went out the window when I walked into my kitchen and found a strange (hot), dangerous looking (so fricking hot) man drugging my new dog.

It probably wasn't the smartest thing to leap at him like a banshee and attack, but that's what I did.

​​​​​​​When my attempt to wreck the vehicle was averted, my kidnapper didn't hurt or threaten me. In fact, he told me he wanted to protect me.

​​​​​​​This (hot) guy had to be crazy. But if he was crazy, what did that make me? Because I believed him. More, I found myself seeing something beyond the rigid, blank mask he wore.

​​​​​​​He kept trying to push me away, but I couldn't seem to keep my distance. He calls himself a monster…but when I look at him, that isn't what I see. I just see him…and I know he's meant to be mine.

​​​​​​​Warning: This isn't a snuggly, comfy read. The male MC is a hired killer, while the heroine is neuro-atypical. Some dark material is involved—the hero kidnaps the heroine. There's also violence when he goes on a rampage against those who put a contract on her. Also references of abuse (not against the heroine). Also very graphic, erotic scenes with minor bondage play.

First published July 22, 2019

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About the author

Shiloh Walker

197 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




Bio...

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 64 reviews
Profile Image for Leigh.
1,196 reviews216 followers
August 24, 2019
3.5 stars

Spectre was a really enjoyable read from this new to me author. While I expected erotic I was definitely surprised by the story. Spectre and Tia were two unique people who made an awesome couple. Their intimate scenes were smoking hot and their ability to see past what others saw was very heartwarming. I would definitely read more books by this author.

***Copy Provided by NetGalley***
Profile Image for Marta Cox.
2,530 reviews190 followers
August 15, 2019
Well this was a total surprise. From the synopsis and the cover art this could have been a paranormal story but instead it's about an assassin who is fuelled by darkness finding light in the arms of a woman who many would turn away from.
Tia has Aspergers but refuses to let it shape her life and to that end she is an art teacher working with children who like herself sometimes struggle with the world around them and their place within it. Tia also happens to have a brother whose work has placed her in danger and that's really when this story begins.
Meric has many identities but the one most know is that of Spectre the hired killer and his latest job involves a woman whose attitude both confuses and excites him. Meric cannot stand by and see her light dimmed forever and instead actually kidnaps both Tia and her dog ! Tia is feisty and antagonistic but Meric is determined to protect her and as they go on the run what could have been just another ordinary enemies to lovers story develops into a very passionate relationship indeed.
I loved the characters and that neither fit into a pigeon hole. This is explicitly sexy but I thought that worked well as neither of this couple are ordinary so why not let them push boundaries . The pace and plot kept me transfixed but I will say this is anything but a tame romance so you have been warned.
This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
Profile Image for Michele.
1,132 reviews
August 14, 2019
Tia and Spectre were quite the unlikely couple. She's an artist with Asperger's and Spectre is an assassin. She is blunt and he is not only blunt but often deadly. Their "no holds barred" honesty was what made things work between them. Spectre knew what Tia was thinking because she didn't have it in her makeup to lie to anyone. She knew where he was because his story was so crazy and far-fetched that it couldn't be a lie. He cautioned her that he was a monster and as time went on she knew he was anything but that. He had shown her such caring and sensitivity. He cared about not only her welfare, but that of those around her, because he knew it would bother her if anything happened to them.

Ms. Walker definitely has a creative mind. To come up with a romance between these two characters was quite inventive. This was a different story and that made it even more enjoyable.

Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sandy S.
6,191 reviews152 followers
August 5, 2019
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 22, 2019

4 stars

Myth. Monster. Mine.

Spectre

I wasn’t even a man when I took a life for the first time, although you couldn’t say I was a child. If I’d ever had a childhood, it hadn’t lasted long. My father, may he rot in hell, had seen to that. I took his life as well and that, too, happened before I was old enough to be considered a grown man.
I never regretted it for a second.

That path almost led to my own grave, and would have, if I hadn’t stumbled across somebody who was as different from my father as day was from night. Sarge had seen the monster lurking inside, so he took control, gave me guidelines, rules, so I wouldn’t be the monster my father had planned.

It worked. I restrained the worst of my rage and honed the skills that had been drilled into me—theft, stealth… assassination. The broken child ceased to exist and I became Spectre, an assassin spoken of in whispers, hired to take out the worst of humanity.

Then I was sent to kill her…and my world came to a screeching halt.

Tia

It’s taken a long time, but I finally had a nice, steady routine. I stopped trying to conform to the neurotypicals of the world and found my own normal.

Normal went out the window when I walked into my kitchen and found a strange (hot), dangerous looking (so fricking hot) man drugging my new dog.

It probably wasn’t the smartest thing to leap at him like a banshee and attack, but that’s what I did.

When my attempt to wreck the vehicle was averted, my kidnapper didn’t hurt or threaten me. In fact, he told me he wanted to protect me.

This (hot) guy had to be crazy. But if he was crazy, what did that make me? Because I believed him. More, I found myself seeing something beyond the rigid, blank mask he wore. He kept trying to push me away, but I couldn’t seem to keep my distance.

He calls himself a monster…but when I look at him, that isn’t what I see. I just see him…and I know he’s meant to be mine.

Warning: This isn’t a snuggly, comfy read. The male MC is a hired killer, while the heroine is neuro-atypical. Some dark material is involved—the hero kidnaps the heroine. There’s also violence when he goes on a rampage against those who put a contract on her. Also references of abuse (not against the heroine). Also very graphic, erotic scenes with minor bondage play.


•••••••••

REVIEW: SPECTRE by Shiloh Walker is a contemporary, adult, stand alone, dark erotic romance novel focusing on assassin for hire Meric aka Spectre aka Casper Bach, and artist Tia Bailey.

NOTE: There are some scenes of bondage, discipline and anal play that may not be suitable for more sensitive readers.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Tia and Spectre) SPECTRE follows Meric aka Spectre Bach as he is hired to kill the half-sister of the police detective who was responsible for the taking down a man responsible for a child prostitution ring but all things considered Spectre had no desire to assassinate the woman that would one day, call to his heart. Stalking Tia Bailey had been easy but meeting our heroine forced Spectre to re-evaluate his chosen profession as his heart battled with what he was paid to do. What ensues is a cross-country journey in an effort to keep our heroine safe; the building but tempestuous relationship between Tia and Spectre, and the potential fall-out as Spectre must fulfil a promise to himself, and take down the people who destroyed so many lives.

Tia Bailey has Asperger’s; a high functioning form of Autism wherein she has the tendency to speak her mind both in and out of social situations but our heroine finds herself falling for the man hired to kill, a killer she is quickly learning to call her own. Meric Bach aka Spectre’s earlier life destroyed any semblance of happiness or normality. Having never felt loved or cared for, Spectre spent his early years learning to kill in an effort to protect himself from grievous harm. Falling for Tia Bailey meant opening his heart and revealing his past, a past he believes will condemn him in the eyes of the woman he loves.

The relationship between Tia and Spectre begins acrimoniously when Spectre is hired to kill our heroine. Unable to murder an innocent woman, Spectre then abducts Tia Bailey, in an effort to protect her from those willing to destroy her brother in the process. A quick ‘Stockholm-esque’ Syndrome relationship quickly develops as Tia begins to consider a life on the run with the man with whom she will fall in love. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and intense but I struggle with the use of a certain four-letter word used liberally throughout the story.

We are introduced to Tia’s half-brother Detective Mac Bailey; Meric’s guardian Sarge, as well as friends Leo Wallace and hacker Theodosia

SPECTRE is a dark, gritty and emotional story line between two people whose lives could not have been any more different. The premise is engaging and enthralling: the characters are energetic, dynamic and colorful; the romance is raw, spicy and spirited.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

www.thereadingcafe.com
Profile Image for Monique.
624 reviews40 followers
December 13, 2019
This was an engaging read, and for the most part, I really enjoyed it. 'Spectre' was well-written, featuring interesting, complex characters - a hot hitman, and an artist - and an awesome dog. (Ya'll know how I love pets in stories).
Even though there was a dark tone with the book, there were bits of light that came through to a bright shine at the end.
I love Walker's writing style. I did find some of the story off-putting for me though. Generally, if I run across these scenes unexpectedly, I'll just skip over them; the fact that this one was rather long had me skipping several pages.
Still, I liked what I read overall, and will consider more of Walker's work. It would be nice to get a bit more in regards to disclaimers though.
Profile Image for Karen.
1,300 reviews86 followers
July 14, 2019
A new to me author with a sizeable back catalogue of books which usually is a red flag to me as it makes me think they churn out low quality cookie cutter books.

I was more than pleasantly surprised by this great read and will definitely be looking into some of that back catalogue as the writing style was fabulous.

Tia Jenkins is a lovely character. She’s had turmoil in her life but she’s come out on top. She knows who she is, what she wants and isn’t afraid to ask for it. She has Asperger’s and can’t always understand emotions. She also speaks her mind because she doesn’t filter! I loved her fearless spirit.

Spectre is a deadly assassin hired to kill and he is exceptional at his job. When faced with the fireball that is Tia, the deadly ghost becomes the friendly ghost.

The pace of the book was just right with great supporting characters. Definitely recommend it.
Profile Image for Mary Kirkland.
510 reviews20 followers
August 28, 2019
Spectre starts out with a crummy hand in the childhood and family department. I really felt for this kid who was raised by a sick man. He runs away and finds himself with Sarge, a man who saved him. We don't get to see near enough of their life together but Sarge stopped Spectre from becoming the monster his father had wanted him to be. Spectre is now all grown up and is a hired assassin. He's contacted to kill Tia so he watches her and learns about her but he knows that she's an innocent bystander, just a way for the guy who's trying to hire him to get back at her brother. He might be a hired killer but he isn't completely without morals so he kidnaps her to save her life. Meric/Spectre is an intense. dark, lethal assassin but he also shows another side of himself which made this book so fun to read

Tia has Aspergers and teaches an art class for kids who also have it. Her brother is a cop who put away the brother of a really bad guy and now he's coming after Tia to send a message to her brother. When Tia's brother tells her that she might be in danger, she doesn't think so because almost no one even knows of her. But when Spectre tries to kidnap her she fights tooth and nail to get away from him at first. It's later that she realizes that while he's a hired killer, he might be telling her the truth about not taking her to the bad guy.

When I read the blurb for this and saw that he had a 'monster' inside him that he kept caged, I instantly thought that he was some kind of shifter, vampire, or other type of monster. It never occurred to me that he meant he was just a plain old human that just wanted to kill people sometimes. LOL

I don't blame the author for the misunderstanding though, I just have shifters or vampires on the brain from all the paranormal romance I read. So imagine my surprise when I started reading this and could not put it down! It's a good thing I started this in the morning because I would have gladly stayed up most of the night to finish this book. It was impossible to put down. I was completely and thoroughly absorbed in this story and really wanted to know what would happen next. There were a few really good twists or turns that I wouldn't have thought this story would go.

Because Tia has Aspergers, she is different and reacts differently than he expects her to in some situations. She surprises him and once they are stuck together for a while getting to know one another, she makes him feel things that he never thought he would. With her, he can actually see a future that doesn't involve him being hired to kill people. I didn't know how that was going to work out or how this would end but when people want to change, they make it work. The characters in this story are different from most other romances that I've read. This isn't a touchy feely type romance at all, except for how these two feel about each other. But make no mistake, this is a dark, erotic read full of characters who would kill for the right reasons.

This book ended up surprising me in a good way. I highly recommend this book.

Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book via NetGalley but all opinions and thoughts are my own.
Profile Image for Maureen Gianinio.
104 reviews10 followers
August 5, 2019
This book opens, introducing you to the main protagonists as individuals in such a way that you’re immediately immersed and wanting them to find their way to a happily ever after. Then the circumstances that bring them together tell you right away that Spectre is not fully the monster his father tried to make him and you’re hoping he learns that about himself. Tia, diagnosed in her late teens with Asperger’s, has difficulty acknowledging emotions and expressing her thoughts or feelings very diplomatically which adds humor. I think working to do so and the therapy she’s received and gives through art therapy to children attributes to her ability to see how Spectre hides his emotions and becomes the key his heart needs to see himself beyond his imposed surpressed rage, he releases through his work as an assassin, and what life with her could be. These two are thrown together in a necessary close proximity scenario to keep her safe from the monsters that do exist in humans…which helps them grow in understanding of each other and themselves. Secondary characters and how they are woven into their lives and the plot put these two on a path of so much more than protector protected and is done so well within the story!. Love this couples growth and the erotic scenes that go beyond physical acts to opening them to trust and growth and the determination to make it work.
Profile Image for Donna.
3,633 reviews43 followers
July 19, 2019
I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this book. What I got was a neuro-atypical woman who I fell for right away. Though she has struggled she has finally found a sense of who she is and she is happy with that. It took me most of the book to warm up to our hero. The sex in this story is off the charts. Not wanting to give spoilers I will just say if you like bad boys and sassy girls and lots of hot sex this is the book for you.
Profile Image for Coco.V.
46.4k reviews4 followers
Want to read
August 14, 2019
💝 ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 💝
Profile Image for Juliana Philippa.
980 reviews911 followers
September 16, 2021
4.5 stars
I actually would not qualify this as a dark romance, but rather a suspense. Yes, our hero is an assassin sent to kill our heroine, but he turns pretty quickly and I personally think Spectre/Casper/Meric is far from the monster he thinks himself. He has a code and rules that he lives by and while he's a killer and a clear law breaker, ehhh ... I'd give him a pass! Lol. No but in all seriousness, I have read some dark romances and there definitely isn't the component of the hero treating the heroine badly in any way—far from it, and hence why I'm so willing to give him a pass. I adored his feelings for Tia and how gentle and sweet he was with her (don't worry, he has a lovely dominant side that comes out to play too). Tia has Asperger's Syndrome, though this was highlighted more during the first half than the second. I loved Tia's courage in admitting her feelings for Casper/Meric and in wanting something to somehow workout between them.
Profile Image for Hannah.
1,980 reviews28 followers
August 21, 2019
ARC REVIEW

Yay! Reading Shiloh Walker makes me happy. Spectre is a stand alone, although I do hope Tia's brother will get his own story eventually, told in the third person but switches focus between Tia and Meric. I love the characters in this book. Meric "Spectre" was raised to be a killer, his father was ruthless and if Meric hadn't of killed him at the age of 14 Meric would be a soulless and ruthless as his father. Sarge found him shortly after and saved Meric and while Meric still grew up to be an assassin Sarge fine tuned his skills and taught Meric to trust and have morals and rules. Even after Sarge died Meric never strayed from his own rules so when Boston mob boss and leader of a white slavery ring offers him a job to kill the sister of the cop who busted his brother Meric knows he's not going to take the job band unless he does does something someone else will.

Tia had a difficult childhood with a irrational mother who hated her and after she died was left to an Aunt who clearly hated her too. Tia always knew she was different from everyone else and everyone else made it clear she wasn't "normal". It wasn't until she was older that she was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, Aspergers. It took Tia a while to find her "normal" but she likes her life now with her best friend and her brother, even though he lives in another state, and her job teaching painting to kids who are just like her.

Spectre knows the only way to keep Tia safe is to remove her from the playing field; after all you can't kill what you can't find so he kidnaps her. But he was smart enough and observant enough to realize the transition and move would be easier for her with familiar things so he brings her dog, and art supplies and with how organized she is it was easy to pack clothes and toiletries. I love that he cared enough to do this that he understood that it mattered. Tia is scared and confused at first but when Spectre explains to her what's happening and when she gets proof she's more cooperative. I love that they are both blunt they are straight forward with their emotions and fears their was no whining and hemming and hawing, and I love Meric's solution.

Overall, this was a great read. The action is intense and the romance is hot, with some light bondage play. The story as a whole was fantastic, I love Shiloh Walker's writing she writes and I completely become immersed in the story and invested in the characters. If you are new to Shiloh Walker she does tend to get graphic, one reason I love her, as the Warning that is attached to the blurb says Warning: This isn’t a snuggly, comfy read. The male MC is a hired killer, while the heroine is neuro-atypical. Some dark material is involved—the hero kidnaps the heroine. There’s also violence when he goes on a rampage against those who put a contract on her. Also references of abuse (not against the heroine). Also very graphic, erotic scenes with minor bondage play.



description
Profile Image for Mindy Reader.
513 reviews27 followers
September 12, 2019
⭐️2.5 stars
This review contains some spoilers throughout ........



This book started out with two people being delt a shitty hand when it comes to parents. One becomes a “monster” and the other uses her past to help others. I won’t get into the actual plot of the story because you can get that from other reviews and the synopsis. My issues deal with some of the specific plot points and the heroine Tia.

Pros>

* Spectre is a wonderful tortured hero.❤️ These selective assassins are some of my favorite heroes. Who can’t get behind a little vigilante justice in romance?! He had come unconventional methods but he showed (even reluctantly) how much he cared and took into consideration when it came to Tia.

* The sex scenes were 🔥🔥🔥🔥 I was not expecting these scenes and boy did my kindle go up in flames.


Cons>

*Tia was suppose to be this atypical heroine with quirks and a straightforward approach when it came to social situations. I’ve read romances before with a character on the spectrum and it was always interesting to see how they made it work. The need for for bluntness in a relationship can make for some interesting scenes. With this book I did not get that from Tia. She came across as every typical sassy, stubborn and at times a bitchy heroine. I expected a teacher/counselor of kids to a bit more calm and rational when it came to certain situations. Going past the initial kidnapping, it took too long for the heroine to really listen to the hero. When faced with the evidence she still wanted to be stubborn and TSTL. I was really just hoping for something unique and did not get that.

* The sex scenes! Yes they were a pro because of how hot they were but I did not feel like they fit the heroine at all.

* Why were the kids never mentioned again after the first couple chapaters? Even towards the end during the separation, we did not get a glimpse of the students. What was the point of the disgruntled parent at the beginning? I thought the hero might end up having some interaction with the kids☹️. The dog never even had any interaction with the kids. I just felt like the story could have been wrapped up better if things from the beginning were tied into the end.

*We did not get as much insight into Spectre’s background as I would of liked. We hardly saw any of his relationship with Sarge and how he came to be what he was years later.


I’ve read other books from this author that I thoroughly enjoyed including Broken and Fragile. This just did not do it for me.
Profile Image for Christina.
627 reviews22 followers
September 5, 2019
*I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Let's cut straight to the chance....I crave dark books. Throw some romance in there and I'm definitely intrigued. But this book? It literally blew me away, and I'm really sad that this isn't a series of some sort.

Tia is a little different. Not shy with her words, she's a straight forward, tell you how it is kind of girl, who teaches kids how to except themselves through art. Something she had to learn for herself at a younger age as well. Some may consider her abnormal, but in all honesty, she's a breathe of fresh air.

Having a brother as a cop/detective can come in handy. Except for the little fact that he put a mobsters brother away and now the mobster is after her as payback. Someone's been hired to kill her and now everyone she cares about could be in danger. So why is her hit man being so....nice?

Spectre is a ghost. He's an assassin sent to do one job and only one job. But when he's asked to off Tia, something doesn't sit right. After surveying the situation, it becomes clear that the one hiring him to do the job is a douche. Yeah, I said it. And now keeping Tia safe has become an even being job.

This is NOT a man meets girl and fall in love book. In fact, it has Stockholm written all over it, but it's done in a way that makes you actually "feel" for both of these characters. The build up and anticipation of lust between these two is worth every page turned and the moment the connection is made, it's hotter than hot. Putting the romance on the side burner, the story line is wonderful. I mean, what would you do to keep someone safe?
Profile Image for Kelly Graham.
326 reviews1 follower
July 18, 2019
With Tia having aspergers and Spectre being a heartless assassin they are both so blunt with their words which is an interesting concept for a book, usually characters are hiding there feelings from each other and therefore jeopardising the relationship but these 2 couldn't do that if they tried.
Tia struggles to make friends as not everyone gets her bluntness and the fact shes emotionally closed off.
Spectre has had an awful upbringing being trained from a very young age by his father to become a killer and therefore has never felt love or trusted.
Tias brother Mac is a cop and after locking up a notorious gang member his brother seeks revenge by hiring Specte to kill Tia but instead Spectre decides to save her, kidnapping her from her home and out of harms reach of any other assassins who come looking for her.
Within just a short amount of time the couple seem to be drawn to each other maybe because they're both so similar emotional wise and lonely.
Will Spectre be able to keep Tia safe tho, or will his own life be in jeopardy in trying to do so and could they realistically ever have a relationship when hes an assassin and Tias brother is a cop.
Loved this book, the characters are great, their bluntness is sometimes shocking but also humorous and as well as trust and love there's a whole lot of action.
Will be reading more from this new to me author
Profile Image for Heather.
1,151 reviews11 followers
July 25, 2019
Content note: Interracial romance and some non-neurotypical characters (yay!). Very explicit (and varied) dom/sub sex. Some dark implications regarding past child abuse.

I love the characters in this book. Both Spectre and Tia have some difficulties dealing with emotions–both their own, and other people’s. The journey of discovery that they go on together is wonderful. I also particularly liked Tia’s half-brother, Mac, the police officer, and how he figures into the story. The relationship between Spectre and Tia is by no means simple or easy, but Walker makes it believable.

While there’s definitely a framework of thriller to this book, it’s mostly erotic romance. The sex is lusty and hot. It beautifully shows the fact that the submissive in a dom/sub relationship has power, and that acquiring consent can be a very sexy (not to mention important) part of sexytimes (that doesn’t at all have to take away from being dominant). I really appreciate this, because some authors skirt that consent line a little hard for my tastes.

Spectre and Tia make an amazingly hot couple, and I love the story they’re caught up in! If you’re looking for something tense and hot, this is a great investment.


Original review posted on my blog: http://www.errantdreams.com/2019/07/r...
Profile Image for Melissa.
118 reviews4 followers
September 23, 2019
Great characters!

Spectre by Shiloh Walker has the trifecta of successful stories - interesting characters, unique plot, and a meaningful theme.
🔰
Meric aka Spectre is an antisocial assassin with a traumatic past. I’m a total sucker for heroes with a tortured soul and a heart of gold - Meric definitely fits that mold. Tia is a smart, creative heroine who has Asperger’s Syndrome. She teaches art classes, loves her brother, and tells it like it is.
🔰
They meet when Spectre kidnaps Tia... And her dog. They struggle as they figure out the situation and each other. This is not your typical Stockholm Syndrome kidnapping trope. Tia is strong and sassy throughout and Spectre just can’t get enough of her!
🔰
Although I had an idea of where they would end up, I was kept guessing on how they’d get there. Themes of family and self-acceptance are woven throughout the story. The tension and heat between Meric and Tia sizzles. Overall, it all just works!
🔰
I definitely recommend this book. Anyone who likes enemies to lovers or kidnap stories, appreciates neurodiversity in romance, or is looking for something a little outside the box, should definitely give it a try!
August 7, 2019
4.5 Stars

It has been awhile since I read a Shiloh Walker book. Don't ask me why! It always brings out all the feels and this one is no exception. Both Spectre and Tia have had some hurdles to get over in their young lives. What starts out as a job, turns into two fractured souls finding peace with each other.

Kuddos to the author for tackling Ausitm Spectrum Disorders in a book. As someone who works in the disability field, it was nice to read about "normalcy" and being ok with what is normal for you. It may not be normal for others but you need to be ok with yourself. Hooray for Tia's brother Mac and her best friend. She really had great coping skills and a great outlook on life.

This is a pretty dark read--mafia, murder for hire, gangs. But the beautiful light that shines when these two click is so worth the read. Great job!

*Complimentary copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for Karen Roma.
2,689 reviews31 followers
August 13, 2019
Shiloh Walker has long been a favourite author of mine and I was excited to see a brand-new title under her name. Spectre is a dark, explicit, rip your heart out, emotionally charged story that holds the reader within its grip from start to finish. Exceptional world building, an intriguing storyline, and well-developed characters, make for a very satisfying read.

Spectre and Tia have a complex, but passionate connection; each struggling with their varied emotions and the reality of their intense chemistry. They genuinely portray the adage that together they are stronger, and this is never more evident than in Spectre’s longing for everything he didn’t realise he was missing, but that Tia ultimately represents. Their relationship is nicely paced and the powerplay beautiful written.

Spectre is an intense, imaginative and HOT read that I’m sure readers will thoroughly enjoy.
Profile Image for Jenny Hobson.
519 reviews16 followers
November 16, 2019
3.5 🌟
I don't know why but I think I was expecting a bit of a paranormal story with this book by the description so I was surprised when I started to find that it wasn't as I thought.
I found this book took a while to get into as there is a bit of character intro and prologue etc before you get to the start.
The story follows spectre who is hired to carry out a hit on Tia as payback against something her brother did. Spectre doesn't want to fulfill the job so kidnaps her instead to keep her safe and then plans his own revenge.
Its quite a dark and a very erotic read.
I found it an enjoyable read but it took me a while to get into it
Profile Image for Tammy Casteel.
696 reviews1 follower
July 22, 2019
Loved this book

This book kept me on the edge of my seat I loved it. I will be reading this book again
Profile Image for kittykat AKA Ms. Tortitude.
593 reviews101 followers
January 4, 2023
Ok, this is a book that shouldn't work for me because of the 'kidnapping the female for her own sake' trope which is usually a hard pass... and a bit of (albeit very mild) BDSM. But I know and quite like this author from Ellora's Cave days and I haven't read one of her books for a long time. Also the female MC is autistic and there is a pet (a dog) character in the story and I love both of these 'tropes' so thought I'd give it a try... and thank goodness I did.

Be still my beating heart. Whilst I did have a few niggles, (I think it's impossible to not have any in a book) they were minor enough that I LOVED this dual POV story and the two MC's - both separately and together.

The kidnapping trope was both carried out and subverted. I think it was done so well primarily I think because the heroine is an Aspie so her reaction to this happening to her was not the same as many women in her position and she is very self-aware. She ABSOLUTELY is not a damsel in distress, despite the fact that she has just been kidnapped and she fights back as much as she can! I'm not autistic myself, so I can't judge the quality of the rep but in my limited knowledge, it seemed authentic and not as stereotypical as some that I've come across. Tia is also not a savant, but she does display some traits that are widely known to be more common in autistic people than none.

Tia is a 27-year-old biracial (white/black) woman, and this is the first time (I think) I've ever read a Shiloh Walker book with a POC MC which was a pleasant surprise. I did wonder at the start if she was just a token or a racial stereotype, but the author wove in various commentaries about her hair care routine, and a few other bits and pieces throughout the narrative which acknowledged but didn't dwell on her heritage and I really appreciated that.

Tia has a great childhood BFF called Bianca who we meet early on and whom I loved. She is not a big part of the narrative but is integral to who Tia is and her thought process. She also has a very protective older brother, but for a change, he is not one of those 'you can't see my sister as she is too good/pure for you' bullshit storylines that I hate with a passion. Mac just loves his lil' sis so much because they didn't know about each other until later in their teens and he is making up for all the lost years between them, and for something else that actually is because of him but is not his fault... But Mac does what he needs to do not just to protect his sis, but also to ensure her long term happiness, which is paramount to him. I'm jealous... I wish he were MY older brother (not that I have one).

As for Spectre, well for an assassin he sure was a sweet and caring guy with more morals than many folks! Despite the fact that he ended up kidnapping Tia (and her dog!) and it being traumatic for both woman and dog, he clearly has heart and takes good care of them both. In his POV chapters, he tells us enough times that he doesn't enjoy his 'work' despite being prolific and highly capable and is aware enough of his behavior to sometimes feel that he is going against the teachings of his now-deceased 'found' father. He also has some deep-seated issues but Tia seems to take them in her stride and work with him, and actually the two of them because of their various personality quirks make an awesome couple. Needless to say, this is one circumstance where I can get over the 'profession' of the hero and root for him to have his HEA anyway. Spectre is proof positive that a dominant alpha-male doesn't have to equate to alpha-hole!

And the dog, Valkyrie, is such a cutie pie. #sorrynotsorry, but I LOVE when a pet plays a big part in the story and Valkyrie absolutely does, she is the secondary character over and above any others.

I did miss Bianca, Tia's BFF at the last part of the book, and could well imagine a companion novel that pairs Mac and Bianca which would be quite juicy too. The book does have a tad more graphic sex than I prefer these days and some word choices that I cannot abide (and the dreaded super huge dick!), but for the most part, those scenes are HOT. I had forgotten how well this author can write scorching sex lol.

All in all, a highly recommended book and I'm glad I set aside my misgivings about the main trope and read it.
Profile Image for Lydia.
443 reviews52 followers
December 7, 2020
This was in my Top '19 List and for good reason! I swear, when a book that's all sorts of wrong for you makes you feel so good while reading it, it deserves all the praise in the world!

Spectre is a special kind of assassin - the kind that is hard to find and hire and even harder to survive meeting (if you're the target). When he's hired to take care of a cop's sister, he finds himself not able to resist her blunt charm and honesty. The wolfhound is becoming a tame wolf guardian - and Tia is not even aware of it, as she has her own issues to deal with, on top of being kidnapped and having to run for her life...

OK, first of all, fuck! Spectre and Tia were everything a lead couple should be and even more. Realistic, full of flaws, humane. He was abused - judging from his reactions when he met Sarge - and she had Asperger's, and my heart broke for both of them. Not out of pity, but for the way they were treated by those around them. Save for Sarge and Mac, the world just wasn't good enough for these two characters. It was just... not enough. I don't know how else to describe it.



Both Spectre and Tia were pure, wonderful chaos. They didn't know how to deal with people and emotions. And instead of it making things worse, it actually worked for them. They were both figuring it out as the story progressed, and they GOT each other on a level not even their loved ones did - I think that's why Mac agreed to Spectre's plan in the end and tried to come to terms with his sister's choice in a partner. (Btw, I share the same views with Meric on the subject of criminals, so, go Spectre!)

The pace was fast. The love scenes were hot - good Lord, dirty talker Spetre nearly destroyed my ovaries! -, and the plot was intriguing. I honestly can't find a single flaw - and to elaborate a bit on the matter of the book being "all sorts of wrong" for me, I was referring to quite a few of my pet peeves that make their appearance in the story (I'm not telling which, so as not to spoil you). And instead of being grossed out and leaving the book be, the writer managed to keep me interested and convinced me, via her amazing talent and brilliant characters, to stay put and finish it, something which I don't regret a single bit!

I recommend this book soooo hard, you wouldn't even believe it! It has everything a book of its genre should have, and it's a must for every self-respecting reader's library!

***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***

Read this and other reviews at: http://cupcakesandpopcorn.wordpress.com
Profile Image for CallaLily.
78 reviews8 followers
November 7, 2022
I really liked this story, but struggled with the rating.

Spectre, the MMC, is a born and bred assassin. He was trained to be an assassin from a very young age. His past is painful and dark. Unashamedly, I LOVE assassins and Spectre hit all the right notes for me; quiet, competent, a little damaged, and possessing a heretofore unknown soft spot for just the right person.

Tia, the FMC, is an artist and teacher. She has Asperger’s and, through the love and support of family/friends she connected with later in life, has found her place in the world. Through personal experience, she is very aware of the struggles of kids with the same issue, especially if undiagnosed and supported, so she offers art therapy as a way to help them.

Tia and Spectre come together when he kidnaps her to save her after being hired to kill her. I melted at how he went out of his way to not hurt her (or her family) while he held her hostage. I absolutely loved Tia and Spectre’s story. My only issue was with Tia’s physical aggression. There were quite a few times in the story when she hit/pushed others even though they were not getting physical with her. I don’t know if this is an aspect of Asperger’s and realize my being bothered by hitting/pushing may be viewed as incongruent considering I don’t have a problem with assassins killing people plus Tia was a hostage, but I really disliked the physical aggression against those who weren’t harming her.

Kindle
4
Profile Image for Betti.
30 reviews39 followers
May 4, 2021
DNF at 60%
I wanted to try something else, and the autism representation was what led me to give this a try. Well. I don't have any issues with "problematic" content or the likes.
It's more that I couldn't muster the necessary amount of suspension of disbelief. The tell-y, repetitive writing didn't do a thing to convince me otherwise. This also extended to the sex scenes.
279 reviews
November 16, 2020
Yet another book where the H has a raging hard on for an average looking h he has never met... and the heroine was just a mess of a character. I give the author, who I imagine is neurotypical, points for trying to do neurodivergent, but this just didn’t make the cut.
Profile Image for Alex Sacha Chris.
53 reviews21 followers
June 28, 2021
Love the story. Not my usual cup of tea, but it was surprisingly delightful. Recommended if you are a fan of Shiloh, or crime romance.
Profile Image for Winter.
1,501 reviews8 followers
March 29, 2020
This was a great book. Didn't have as much action as I would have liked. It was however very 🔥!
Profile Image for Ness.
432 reviews
Read
January 21, 2020
I enjoyed this book. I have some problems with this author - her premises are generally very good, very original, very interesting, but so far I've mostly been let down by her writing (for example, the Kit Colbana series could be really awesome if written better, but it's just okay, that that let down is so disappointing at times). But I keep reading her books from time to time, so that should say how good she is at ideas.

I should preface this with how much I enjoy a good assassin book. And this was fun. Some annoying parts. Some annoyance with the characters. And I worry a bit about the autism spectrum presentation - I'm not knowledgeable enough to say whether that was handled well or not, and there was no note like you occasionally see explaining her personal experience / research / sensitivity readers / etc. In any case, points for a protagonist underrepresented in romance. Overall it's one of the better books of hers that I've read.

Borrowed from Kindle Unlimited.
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