Series: Secrets & Shadows

DARKER THAN DESIRE by Shiloh Walker

DARKER THAN DESIRE by Shiloh Walker

DARKER THAN DESIRE by Shiloh WalkerDarker Than Desire by Shiloh Walker
Series: Secrets & Shadows #3
Published by St. Martin's Press Genres: Suspense
Source: Publisher

ReviewedbyJo

Sybil Chalmers is the lover of Caine Yoder and has been for quite a few years.  She has always hoped that he would one day accept all that she offered him, but she has known it would be a huge gamble to have the man that was Caine forever.  Sybil knows one of Caine’s biggest secrets—that of whom he really is. Sybil feel in love with the man, and she is more than willing to fight for that man.  The question is, when the truth is more well-known in the town, will he be willing to stay and accept all that Sybil will give?

 

David Sutter, for all purposes, died one night many years before when he was a teenager, and Caine Yoder was born.  Caine was a hard working Amish man who could be cranky at times, but was respected by the town of Madison.  David had to disappear after the night he tried to break free from a personal nightmare. Things went drastically wrong.  Many lives were changed that night and, finally, after so many years, the truth is coming out.  But it seems like someone doesn’t just want the truth to come out, but for the members of a twisted group to pay for their crimes in the ultimate way.

 

David knew when he admitted to the police who he really was, that he would be the center of attention for the citizens of Madison.  But what he didn’t expect was to find that people close to him for one reason or another to also be turning up dead once he left his identity as Caine.  Sybil knew that helping David adjust to life in town wouldn’t be easy and that there would be a lot of talk, but she also didn’t expect him to become the person at the center of another round of deaths that seems to be connected to him somehow.  Not only is the truth coming out about the sick group who sexually abused boys—both in the past and the present—but by the time the answers are all revealed, the truth about the newest murders will also be resolved.  Madison had many deep and dark secrets, but now the majority of the truth is known, and it is finally Sybil and David’s time to love in the sunlight instead of just in the darkness.

 

A man thought long dead suddenly comes clean and, with the help of a woman who has loved him as both men, gets the justice so long in coming.  Darker Than Desire brings David and Sybil closer together and tears them apart only to have love win-out when all is said and done.  David has been hiding in plain sight for years now, and one of his only highlights in life has been his time with Sybil.  I couldn’t believe how hard it must have been for Sybil to first keep quiet when she knew about the dual identities that David had. I also felt for David as he tried to keep Sybil safe by turning away from her.  I have to say that I’m not so sure I would have forgiven him as fast as Sybil did, but I could see why he did it and just how hard he worked to make it right at the end.  I was amazed as many of the threads were pulled and knotted in this book about the many secrets that Madison had. I was also amazed by the many internal relationships that were exposed as David and Sybil’s story unrolled.  I am so very happy that so many of the destroyed lives in Madison have finally found love and happiness.  Darker Than Desire is one heck of a ride from the beginning to the end—

bringing David and Sybil together and tying up almost all of the loose ends in this series. I have loved this series, with all its many twists and turns, from the first novellas until now when David finally has his shot at happiness.

 

I just had to Joyfully Recommend Darker Than Desire as a must-read. In fact, I highly recommend the entire series as a must-read. I do believe that this series must be read in order to understand all of the tiny clues along the way. Remember to start with the novellas so that you understand this strange town of Madison and its mysteries.

SWEETER THAN SIN by Shiloh Walker

SWEETER THAN SIN by Shiloh WalkerSweeter than Sin by Shiloh Walker
Series: Secrets & Shadows #2
Published by St. Martin's Press Genres: Contemporary, Suspense
Source: Publisher

Reviewed by Jo

Adam Brascum runs the family tavern which in itself temps Adam, who is a recovering alcoholic from his teens.  If Adam was totally truthful to himself on why he turned to alcohol and then to women, it was to make himself forget his involvement that night long ago when people died and others disappeared, and a small, sleepy town began to lose its innocence.  Now the town seems to be giving up the secrets from that night, but Adam still doesn’t know exactly what happened to the young girl he secretly loved and who disappeared that night and who is presumed dead.

 

Lana Rossi has lived on the run, constantly looking over her shoulder since the night her life turned to hell.  Lana always tried to help anyone in need when she could and trying to help a fellow student escape a horrible situation changed her young life forever.  Lana does not remember exactly what happened that night or how she ended up far away from home. But she has been watching events in Madison ever since—once she got herself clean. Recent events make it so that Lana must return and find out the truth of that night, and she knows exactly who to begin asking her questions to.

 

Adam catches a glimpse of a young woman who just appeared in town and something makes him follow her.  Shock doesn’t describe Adam’s feelings when he realizes its Lana. Anger quickly follows, and then those hidden feelings begin to come back.  Things are tense as Adam and Lana, in their own ways, try to find out the truth and keep her appearance a secret.  Madison, Indiana kept many harmful secrets for years, and several more are going to out into the open as Lana and Adam reveal the secrets of what really happened the night that Lana and others disappeared.  The real question is who will survive the revealing of those new secrets and if the passion that burns between Lana and Adam will be given a second chance to fulfill a future together?

 

On a night that twisted many lives, two of those left twisted are determined to find the answers of that night and also find passion along the way in Sweeter than Sin.  Life certainly wasn’t nice to either Adam or Lana, however, I was very happy to see them both find the truth and each other.  My heart ached for both Adam and Lana as their stories unraveled, showing all they had been put through.  When I learned the identity of the man behind part of the misery, I was shocked and mad when comparing his life against Adam’s and Lana’s.  As that fateful night became even clearer, I found yet another shock I had not guessed and won’t tell you about here and ruin the surprise.  The truth is coming out about the nasty underbelly that threaded through Madison, and I can tell more surprises and shocks are to come.  However, I already know that Adam and Lana will be just fine, and that their strength that will help each other through whatever may be revealed next.  Sweeter than Sin is a must read for suspense lovers—full of twists, turns and best of all a deep love was found between two of the people whose lives were trashed so young.  I can’t wait for the events that will be revealed in Madison, Indiana.

LONG FOR ME by Shiloh Walker

LONG FOR ME by Shiloh WalkerLong For Me by Shiloh Walker
Series: Secrets & Shadows #3
Published by Macmillan on May 13th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Suspense
Source: Publisher

Reviewed by Jo

In Long for Me by Shiloh Walker, Christina Bell remembers what it was like to be part of a loving family. The youngest of the Bell children, she simply cannot believe that her dad, or anyone else she loves, had a hand in her mother’s disappearance. She’s looking forward to moving on and spending more time with her sexy best friend, Guy Miller, who she is starting to see in a whole new light.Their attraction sizzling and love deepening, Christina feels confident in her life and ability to handle what comes her way...But when Nichole’s body is found—and the mystery of her death slowly reveals itself—Christina is left not knowing who to trust. What if Guy, her one true desire, proves to be her biggest danger?

Christina Bell, a florist, is the youngest of the Bell siblings and the one who has always believed that whatever happened to their Mother, Nichole, she was not harmed by anyone that Christina knew and loved.  Now that her Mother’s body has been found and they finally are able to put her to rest, it’s leaving an even bigger question – who killed her and why?  Christina knows that several people in town believe that she lives in her own world more often than not, but Christina knows that she has a very good hold on her life even with all the knocks life has given her.  Christina’s one non-family person who has always been there for her is her best friend, Guy.  And just when did he get so sexy?

 

Deputy Guy Miller has had it bad for Christina, his Tink, and he knows that she needs him more than ever now that her Mother’s body has been found.  The hard part is that Guy wants Christina to need all of him, not just her best buddy.  But Guy is holding a few secrets of his own and he isn’t sure that when all the answers come out about what happened to Nichole that he will ever get what he wants most – Christina in his arms forever, just like that one stolen night when their passion came to life.

 

Christina knows that Guy will protect her without over doing it like her brother and sister are apt to do.  Guy totally understands her and maybe, just maybe it’s time to explore the passion that Christina tried to forget and that Guy never could.  While Guy and Christina are working at overcoming the self made barrier that keeps their passion from flaring, the investigation on Nichole’s death is gaining speed and the clues are leading Guy to an answer that he hoped was very wrong.  Guy knows that he has to find out if his fears are correct and goes to speak to the one man who can tell him, but doing so just might be the one thing that will tear Christina from Guy forever.  The Bell siblings have finally overcome the disappearance and death of their Mother and have found love.  But once Guy tells them the final answers and just what had to be done to get them, will that destroy the love that Christina and Guy have finally accepted and are learning to cherish?

 

A young woman who has let flowers and her best buddy ease her from a frightened and scared girl into a loving woman and the deputy who wants that same young woman for his own find a way to have it all in Long for Me.  Christina lost so much as such a young age and that was only part of the reason she would rather deal with her sketches and flowers than people.  Guy has protected and been what Christina has needed for the majority of his life and just when it looks like he might get it, a horrible truth about his past just might tear him apart from his friendships and his love with all the Bells.  I have to say I alternated cheering, smiling and shuddering as I read about the journey that Christina and Guy traveled.  So many times I wondered if their happy ever after would actually happen and when the final answer on what actually happened to Nichole came clear and it was Guy who had to tell the Bells, I was sure heartbreak was in the pages.  Yet the long time friendship and passion between Guy and Christina was more than enough to overcome even that.  Long for Me was heartbreaking in several places and still filled with passion and just the right touch of suspense to keep things moving along to the best ending.

 

I am so happy that now all of the Bell siblings have been able to let their pasts go and have found that golden ring filled with love.

BREAK FOR ME by Shiloh Walker

BREAK FOR ME by Shiloh WalkerBreak For Me by Shiloh Walker
Series: Secrets & Shadows, Novella #2
Published by St. Martin's Press Genres: Contemporary, Suspense
Source: Publisher

Reviewed by Jo

Jensen Bell was twelve when her life was turned upside down with the mysterious disappearance of her mother, yet she has worked hard to overcome that. Now she is a cop in her tiny town of Madison and a damn good one if you ask her.  One of the bad things about staying in the small town you grew up in is that you know everything about all the guys and that can really affect your private life.  Jensen has been going through a really dry spell lately but the new and highly sexy defense attorney just rubs Jensen the wrong or is that the right way?

 

Dean West applied for and moved to a new position in the town in Indiana and that included leaving his high paying, high powered job for that of a DA – a job that makes you more enemies than it does friends.  One particular person that Dean would love to become a very close and personal friend of is Jensen and yet their jobs as cop and DA put them on the wrong side of the table more often than not since they met.

 

Jensen can’t believe that Dean had the gall to approach her after his latest stunt of doing a deal with a drug scum and even worse the atmosphere between them is so thick with lust that if anyone struck a match the entire place would go up.  Jensen is tired of fighting her desires and can’t believe that Dean has been in the same frame of mind this entire time.  They combusted the very first time they come together and just when it looked like Dean and Jensen could find a way to be together and still be assets to their jobs, a new element is dropped onto Jensen and her family.  The town of Madison has just given up one of it’s secrets and it could tear all of the Bells and their lives apart yet again if given the chance.  Jensen and Dean have fought themselves, town prejudices and just about everything else to have a chance at the passion they have just started to explore. The question is do they have the strength to overcome this last hurdle and find the keys to just what really happened that night Jensen’s mother disappeared?

 

Take a hard working small town cop and a flashy district attorney import, add sparks every time they see each other and you have a combination that will lead to either a passion of a lifetime or war that will last forever.  Jensen and Dean solve this question in Break for Me in a spectacular way.  The cards seemed to be stacked against Dean and Jensen ever getting together in a loving way, just because of their jobs.  Yet I loved seeing that both of them were willing to reach across that divide and grab on to the passion that was just waiting to ignite between them.  As I read what led Dean to leave his high powered job and life, my heart ached for both of them – they had both lost so much.  Yet I was sure they would find a way and then the next shoe dropped and I wasn’t sure that even Dean’s super ability to think clearly or their love would be enough to carry Jensen through this latest and most hurtful find.  I loved how Jensen and Dean not only reached for their golden ring but showed Madison just what they had together.  Break for Me is a great mix of suspense and passion that not even hurtful pasts could destroy.  Two Bell siblings down and I’m highly anticipating to see how this last sister finds her happiness at last in the next installment of Shiloh Walker’s Secrets & Shadows series.

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