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Book CoverSandy M’s review of Chains by Shiloh Walker
Contemporary Romance published by Berkley 5 May 09

As some of you know, I’m a huge, huge Shiloh Walker fan, as my review of one of her latest, A Forever Kind of Love, earlier this week attests. I’ve vowed I’m going to read her backlist when I can, and this time I chose Chains. I love everything about this book, of course. I had one teeny tiny issue, but in the end it really didn’t mean all that much, because the story Ms. Walker gives readers hits hard, hits low, and the way these heroines survive the blows is beyond incredible.

These three heroines are brought together by violence in one tragic night, and it’s amazing to see how they triumph over it all. They come from very different areas of life, so while in high school, where their lives take a turn no one could have ever imagined, they don’t interact or run in the same circles. But they all end up at the same party, all for different reasons, and then end up uniting together when things get out of control and one of them is in dire trouble. I like that the other two come to her aid because it’s the right thing to do, as well as they do with what happens afterward. But it’s more that they help because only another woman can understand this type of violence.

Renee is the girl most of us hated in high school. Perfect everything, but not is all as it seems. Lacey is the athlete, everyone loved her and knew she was going places. Sherra is the wrong-side-of-the-tracks girl.

It’s the party girl Sherra who attends a rowdy blowout given by the mayor’s son and it’s her reputation that instigates harassment by some guys, one of whom won’t take no for an answer. Renee and Lacey come to her rescue, even though the culprit is a guy who her parents approve of and who Renee came to the party with. But things get even worse when a gun comes into play during this horrible night. The ensuing nightmares for all three girls send them fleeing, never to return until fifteen years later.

Each of the women has prospered in the intervening years, though still haunted by that one awful night. They get their own new story with their heroes, who eventually bring them peace as well as love, and there’s a lot of sizzling hot sex, which shouldn’t surprise anyone if they’ve read Ms. Walker before this. There’s still danger out there amidst their reunion, and the suspense and mystery of this stalker only gives the book another layer which weaves everything together into one immensely satisfying read.

My one tiny issue? I was a little off balance with the way the book ended. I even asked Sybil to try to get me another e-copy, just in case mine had inadvertently lost a couple of pages. But it hadn’t and I moved on. It really didn’t change anything for me at all and I laughed at myself afterward, asking why I’d been so nitpicky in and among such awesome writing. No idea. Maybe I just wanted the book to go on and on. That, I wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow at.

SandyMGrade: A


They weren’t friends. They weren’t enemies. The only thing the three girls had in common was the high school they went to in Madison, Ohio—until one tragic night. Now, fifteen years later, they’re returning home where passion—and danger—await…

Renee Lincoln was the homecoming queen—with the perfect boyfriend and the perfect life. After that horrible night, she rebelled the only way she knew how: by submitting to her wildest fantasies…

Tall, blonde, and athletic, Lacey Talbot was a golden girl with a bright future. She’s found success as a photographer, but no man has ever been able to satisfy her. No man but the bad boy she left behind…

Sherra Salinger has always looked like a princess out of some fairy tale. The books she writes, though, stem from the nightmare of that one night. And she shrinks from any man’s attention—especially the one stalking her…

They’re coming back to Madison—and it won’t be happy reunion. There are three men, all dangerous in a different way. And when each of them surrender their bodies to the heat, when they succumb to desire, they’ll find the safety they desperately need…

Read an excerpt.