I’ve read a few Shiloh walker novels now, and also her alter ego JC Daniels. Her books suit my taste, heavily dialogue based, with that magic mix of characters that feel real and plots that keep me enthralled.
This book is part of a series, about the McKay family. When we first meet then we meet Neve, she’s fragile, brittle , scared and has come home after ten years of virtually no contact. She’s a rep as a troublemaker, attention seeker, and her past is still well remembered and judged by the locals. Its not the same Neve who’s returned though. As we get to know her and her siblings we can see that there’s so much more behind the surface judgements, there’s a huge backstory, a tragic past for the siblings and it incorporates others from the small town.
I so felt for Neve, it was clear she was escaping from something or someone scary, and yet home which should be a refuge seemed to be a last resort, and I just wanted to know why. Then we meet Moira and Brannan and their views of the past don’t seem to be the same as Neve’s. Once they get talking its clear there’s been some major interference in Neve’s attempts at communication, leading the family to each think the other doesn’t want to keep in touch. Poor Neve, she was devastated when she realised how her attempts to contact her family had been thwarted, and that they’d blamed her for the lack of contact. It was scary too how far reaching the grasp was of the man she was running from. As we get to know them all it becomes clear that its not just Neve that’s been manipulated but all of them and its not just a case of stalking, even with the threat of violence, but a wider case bringing others into danger.
I loved the story, the way it unfolded and each slowly realised how they’d been duped. I adored Ian – who couldn’t – and was so rooting for Neve to trust him. I wasn’t sure about Moira and Brannan at first but soon came to love them too, as well as their long time housekeeper/substitute parent Ella Sue. I want to know just what exactly happened between Gideon and Moira, why they aren’t together, why on earth she married ( and thankfully divorced ) the awful Charles, and why he’s still there, poking into everyone business and acting like he’s still part of the family. I get the feeling there’s more to come from him – I do like a “good” horrible character and he fits to a T. Then there’s Hannah and Brannan, and of course the letters – what on earth happened over them? and how was it done? There’s clearly so much more to come from this story even though its got the beginnings of closure for Ian and Neve.
Its a hot and sexy read, with a perfect balance of suspense to keep me intrigued. I think the Moira/Gideon mystery is one I really want to know, though it looks like the next book is Hannah and Brannan, still as this one has so much more than just Neve and Ian so maybe will book two incorporate more than just the two main characters. I’ll be looking out for it for sure!
Stars: Five, perfect blend of romance and suspense
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers