Pros: I was totally, absolutely on the edge of my seat, and there are some fantastic characters in here!
Cons: Gah! I have to wait for the next two books to find out what happens! Be aware there’s some definite dark material here
Rating: 5 out of 5
Review book (e-book) courtesy of Shiloh Walker
Lena Riddle is a chef at a small-town bed-and-breakfast. She lives out on the edge of nowhere, and one of her best friends owns the B&B she works at. She’s also blind. In daily life this doesn’t cause any problems for her—it’s more of a problem for those who stare at her and don’t know how to cope with the fact that she can handle herself. But one day, she wakes up in the middle of the night to hear a woman screaming for help in the woods behind her house.
The police reaction runs the gamut from the condescending deputy who suggests she shouldn’t be living alone to the sheriff who at least realizes she believes what she’s saying, but can’t do much once his people have checked the woods and found nothing. Luckily, Lena has an unexpected ally—the grandson of a recently-deceased town fixture has returned to fix up his grandmother’s old house. Ezra King is a state police officer, injured in the line of duty, and he’s still contemplating whether he wants to return to his old job or not. He immediately takes a liking to Lena, and is one of the handful of people who treat her like a normal person. In particular, when she says she heard someone screaming, he believes her. And he’s determine to find out what’s going on—even if the process of doing so tears the entire town apart.
Disclaimer: I’m predisposed to liking romance/suspense novels, and I’ve found that I adore Shiloh Walker’s characters and how she handles sex. So really, it would be hard for me not to like If You Hear Her. That said, I’ve occasionally given even Shiloh less than five stars, so it isn’t as though I’m giving her a free pass. This means that when I say If You Hear Her had me on the edge of my seat for the entire time I was reading it, I truly believe that the suspense and pacing were taut, the characters were compelling, the sex was smokin’, and all in all, the whole package sucked me right in.
Amusingly enough given the fact that the main character is blind, the writing is very visual, and I found it easy at every turn to ’see’ what was happening. Shiloh has a knack for enjoyable character interactions with plenty of chemistry, and that’s evident here. There’s a relatively large cast of characters (thanks to the fact that this is a trilogy, not a single book), and I had no difficulty keeping track of them (despite the fact that half the town has the same last name). Impressive feat, that!
As usual, the sex was hot, hot, hot. Shiloh’s scenes embody sensuality—this is the woman who can make putting on a condom sexy. I will caution that there’s some fairly dark material in the suspense part; the serial rapist/killer is unflinchingly horrible. It isn’t handled in a titillating manner, but you’ll still want to avoid this trilogy if that sort of plot/material bothers you.
Thanks to the fact that this is a trilogy and not a single book, the suspense plot is allowed to be much more complex than I usually see in R/S novels, while still allowing plenty of time for the erotic romance to bloom. One of the most fascinating parts is watching the townspeople turn on each other once word gets out and suspicions start to fly. I have my own musings regarding possible culprits, but there are still enough red herrings and possibilities that I don’t know who it is, which I love!
I think the only thing that bothered me was the realization that I’d have to wait to find out what happens next! (I’m not the most patient of people.) But let’s face it—that’s one of the best compliments I can give a book.