The intense story of murder in Ash, Kentucky continues in this second book of Shiloh Walker’s trilogy. This book centers a little more around the suspense than the romance, but never fear, there is still plenty of romance to be had. It just has to go slow, because our heroine, Hope Carson, is only two years out from an abusive marriage. She needs TLC as much as she needs to finally stand on her own.
We met Hope in the first book of the series when she finally made it to Law’s, her best friend, where she now feels safe. At least as safe as can be with all the craziness going on in the area. But she now has a job, earning her own money, even though she still jumps at the smallest noise and goes into panic mode when near a man in uniform. That part of her past really makes me want to knock someone around, so too bad her ex-husband isn’t real.
Remington Jennings is one of two local prosecutors, as well as part of the Jennings family who basically founded and practically owns a hefty part of the town. We meet several of them in this series, especially this book. His nephew and brother, who is mayor, will break your heart when their aspect of the story comes to a head. Remy is taken with Hope before he even knows her name. He’s taken with her even when he’s investigating her for murder and comes very close to arresting her. Then when it’s proven Hope is not involved in the horrible events at Law’s home, Remy takes himself off the case so he can pursue her, even if that doesn’t occur to him right away. But he can’t stay away from her, finding himself near her whenever possible and finally asking her out.
This relationship is wonderful to see, to watch it progress. It’s Remy’s tenderness, even when he’s angry as can be at how this woman has been treated, that brings Hope out of her shell. He also gives her room to grow, letting her do things on her own. Little by little, a new Hope emerges, a new woman who now wants to go shopping for clothes so she can look nice, a new woman who can look at herself in the mirror, a new woman who seduces the man who has brought her back to life and living. Those are simply beautiful scenes between these two. It’s just the right amount of romance for these characters.
Of course, to balance out, if you will, those scenes, there’s the addition of a new villain in this book. I find this interesting, because our original villain seems to suddenly have found his heart, so to speak. For a good part of the book you’re left to wonder which villain is doing what, but then things begin to become clear, and the role reversals are quite intriguing, though I doubt there will be any feeling left over for that first killer, whoever it ends up being. I have a feeling it’s going to be late in the third book before his identity is revealed. You fly blind just as these characters do throughout the evilness in the story.
This book is not a standalone. You must start at the beginning, read If You Hear Her first. It’s best to get to know these characters, even that villain, from the very start and to be part of every little thing that happens. I know my curiosity is at a super high pitch right now, wanting to know who’s behind the horror that has hit Ash, Kentucky. Ms. Walker has done a terrific job at keeping the intensity quite high and the love and romance sweet, tender, and also intense. I’m chomping at the bit to get hold of the next book, If You Know Her. I need to be put out of my misery!
Read LauraC’s review here.
A FACE IN THE MIRROR
Hope Carson may not look like a survivor, but she has escaped an abusive ex-husband and recovered from a vicious assault. Now she endures the painful memories and suspicious rumors surrounding her involvement in the attack. Her ex is a cop, so the last people she trusts are law enforcement officials—and she certainly doesn’t trust how the local DA makes her feel inside.
Remy Jennings should know better. He has no business falling for a woman who he suspects may have a deeply troubled mind. And even if he did make a move, she’d bolt like a frightened rabbit. But how can he deny a burning desire that threatens to consume him? As Hope’s past catches up with her in the worst way, Remy is determined to break through her defenses, earn her trust, and keep her safe in his arms—before it’s too late.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: