“Although, I generally love books of this genre, I found this one boring and endless. Mostly because there was no resolution of the mystery and I have no wish to read two more books to find the answer.”Pr!ya wrote this review Wednesday, December 12, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It was a gorgeous day as Lena Riddle walked her retriever Puck along their normal path through the woods. The weather was perfect, the company perfect, and Lena was enjoying herself as much as her dog. Then she heard...something. It was faint, like a soft grunting, and it raised the hair on the back of Lena's neck even as Puck started to balk at continuing along their path. He'd never done that before.
As eerie as that experience was, it was one that eventually faded from her mind as time passed. It was an inexplicable one-off, freaky but largely forgettable. Then one night a woman's scream shattered the stillness with panicked desperation and ripped Lena from a dream.
Ezra King is a cop on leave, staying in his grandmother's house in the small town of Ash to heal from his wounds and a tragedy that still haunts him. Meeting Lena definitely draws his attention away from his own problems. She is beautiful and compelling...and way more than he can handle, but that doesn't stop him from wanting to try. From wanting her.
When their paths cross again at the police station, he overhears her statement about the screams that had woken her the night before. It's clear to him that the cops aren't convinced she heard what she claims to have heard, as if her blindness somehow precludes her from being a reliable witness. They thought she imagined it, or had been dreaming.
Ezra isn't so sure. His cop senses are tingling. But Ash isn't a big city where violent crime is as prevalent as it is tragic, it's a nice little town where nothing ever happens and everyone knows everyone else. Where a blind woman has taken his breath away and left him shaken.
Could it also be a place where something very, very bad happened to some poor, unknown woman? And if so, the person responsible may not like Lena having been witness to it. He may not like it at all. That's not a risk Ezra's willing to take.
I loved this series debut by Walker. It had all the elements that make a Romantic Suspense one of my favorite genres. The main characters were complex and well-defined, and their chemistry simmered and smoked on the page. The storyline balanced their romance and the threads of suspense in such a way that both plot elements were fully rounded out and meaty. It's a delicate balance, and one that many in the genre don't quite manage.
Walker does flawed and/or damaged characters particularly well, and that was in evidence here with Ezra, who has the full travel set of emotional baggage dragging along with him everywhere he goes. His physical and emotional wounds help flesh out his character and explain a lot about who he is as a man and a cop. He's not perfect by any means, nor does he fall victim to that too-good-to-be-true pitfall, but his faults and moments of darkness emphasize his struggle to rise above his issues for Lena's sake and safety. I loved him a lot.
And Lena is everything I adore in a romantic heroine. Strong and independent, intelligent, with a bit of a bite to her personality when warranted, she appealed to me on every level. Her blindness is a challenge she meets and beats daily, and there's not an ounce of self-pity or weakness in her even as she works around the few limitations she has. I loved her attitude.
I also appreciated Walker's attention to detail in regards to Lena's blindness. In the first few chapters in particular she described things from Lena's point of view in a way that subtly but masterfully clued readers in to her lack of vision without spelling it out. As the book progresses she remained true to the basic but often overlooked fact that description given from a blind character's point of view has a very different emphasis than for one who is sighted.
There were a nice group of secondary and ancillary characters with a myriad of tiny plot threads woven together between them, colored by their combined sense of familiarity and personal history, and driven by a few small external conflicts that added depth and complexity to the plot even as it flavored the whole of the story with a lovely small-town feel.
Not to be outdone, the main arc of the suspense is a taut, grisly psychological thriller that Walker deftly weaves throughout the rest. It's my personal favorite of the suspense genre, which I'm sure added to this book's appeal for me. It's also a thread that spans the three books in the trilogy, so there is no final resolution to that storyline at the end of this book. Instead of making the book feel incomplete, however, Walker provided readers with plenty of story between the main characters, including a hell of a romance, and those elements allowed for a nice sense of closure at the end, even as it enticed me to pick up the next book.
And I did. In fact, I have to find out who the sick, sadistic bastard is who is raping, torturing, and killing women. Walker keeps his identity tightly concealed. That, too, is a preference of mine in psychological thrillers and romantic suspense. Then again, this book hit so many of my preferences for books in this genre that I couldn't help but love the whole book. I can't wait to see how it all evolves from here.
Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
“This is book one of a trilogy, and the plot centres around a serial rapist/killer/bad bad man living in the small town of Ash, Kentucky, and the rest of its inhabitants. You should be made aware, I think, that you will not get a resolution to the mystery in this book; that is set to span the entire trilogy. I wasn't aware of it, I thought we'd get a separate mystery for each new couple, so I threw a little paddy when it finished with everything still up in the air. If I'd have known going in I think it would have helped, but, luckily, I at least already had all three books to hand. If I'd have had to wait for the next ones to be released? Well, let's not even go there...
But even with things unsolved you still get lots of glimpses and clues to whet your appetite. It's written third-person omniscient and we enter the mind of the killer and his victims at times which is more than a little disturbing. He's a real nasty one that's for sure. I'm pretty sure the killer is going to turn out to be a character we met in this book, but I don't have the first clue who it is at the moment. To be honest I had a bit of trouble keeping all the names straight in my head of all the secondary characters and the police and the victims. And then sometimes people would address a character by their surname (which naturally I'd forgotten) and I had no idea who they meant.
So it wasn't without a few hiccups but I did find the romance quite sweet. It took until way into the second half to get going but I enjoyed it once it did. Lena is a blind chef, fiercely independent. Ezra is a cop on leave after an 'incident', taking a time-out to see if he wants to remain in the job. I liked their interactions and how sweet Ezra was about Lena's blindness. He didn't coddle her which I, and she, appreciated. She manages to maintain a job as a chef after all, she doesn't need someone talking to her like she's not a full Shilling just because she can't see.
"He had the sexiest damn voice, Lena thought. Sexiest voice . . . and he was still staring at her, too.
She could tell, all but feel the warmth of his gaze. Feel it, almost like a ray of light traveling over her body, leaving seductive warmth in its wake."
So, all in all not a bad start, but not amazing either. I will move onto the next one to hopefully get at least a few more clues. I will work it out, I will! And I'm looking forward to Remy and Hope's story. I have a feeling it's going to be very 'Sleeping with the Enemy' in theme.
3 Stars! ★★★
“Very good read, interesting mix of romance and suspense kept me reading all night. Can't wait to see where this story goes in the next book,”Bridget T wrote this review Monday, April 23, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I am a long time Shiloh Walker fan. I love her writing style it seems to pull you into a story effortlessly. However, with this book Shiloh slam dunks (in a good way) you into the story.
This story is full of interesting characters who are well developed. Your main couple Lena Riddle and Ezra King are strong and likable. Lena is blind but it does not define her. She is very independent with a career as a chef. I must admit that I find it very intriguing for the heroine to have a sight impairment. Then there is Ezra-a cop with a past and a tortured soul. Oh how I love a tortured hero... and he does not disappoint. When Ezra and Lena meet for the first time it was electrifying-*swoon* I was totally hooked on this couple. You can feel their chemistry from the pages. The side characters are noteworthy. I was eager to learn about them and was not upset when they got their "page" time.
There is one thing in the book that bothered me a little. Just when the characters were about to recall a memory that would give the reader an insight into their past-they would suddenly say to themselves- "no I won't think about that right now". Sure when you read it as it is now it doesn't sound so bad but when each character you encounter do it and more than once-well it becomes a little annoying. It was not enough to hinder the story, yet, it was just something that bothered me. I guess you can say I was getting impatient because I WANTED to know what those memories were.
And speaking of wanting to know....Oh Shiloh Walker how could you leave me hanging with so many unanswered questions? I know this is a trilogy but still!!! I think I know who the villain is-but do I really? Are you toying with me? Who is the Ash killer? Why is he doing this? Can you hear the spine breaking on the next book because I just gotta know!!
If you are in the mood for a true romance thriller with a cliffhanger that will have you running over your momma to get to the next book, ....then this book is for you.