Bodice Rippers & Erotica Book Reviews: Shiloh Walker
The Departed by Shiloh Walker
Read by Natalie February 2012
Natalie recommends as enjoyable with a convoluted crime to unravel!
This is the follow up novel to Walker's The Missing this time featuring head of the "special" FBI group, Taylor Jones. Jones is a tough nut to crack, a man who rarely displays anything but the emotionaless professionalism that sees his unit solve some of the worst crimes, crimes that have often gone unsolved for years. Heading up this special unit which consists of psychic agents, Jones is driven by his own ghost - his younger sister who went missing at age 6. Dez, a member of his team whose special talent is seeing dead people is often brought in to help solve these crimes. Able to communicate with the dead, she uses this talent to solve their crimes and allow the ghosts to pass over and finally get some rest. These two have an intense attraction to each other, but neither acts on it, knowing it could never happen because Jones is her boss. Then one day Dez is injured, and although Jones blames himself, when Dex reaches out to him, he is unable to control himself and a night a passion ensues! Of course Jones then pushes her away, believing it was wrong for them to become involved and of course consumed with guilt over Dez's near fatal injury. Dez, hurt at Jones' ability to shut her out, walks away, heading out on her own to solve whatever cases come to her through their ghosts. While she sends the crimes back to FBI, neither her nor Jones speak to each other for over a year, until one day a ghost brings Dez to Jones' hometown, right when he is making his annual pilgramage to see his sister's grave. Of course it is his sister calling for help, but first they must solve another (very complex) crime that is going on in this tiny town, one that has a tenuous link to the disappearance of Jones' sister. Of course they also have to reconnect and get back into bed together (or the kitchen bench as it seems), finally admit what they feel for each other and give their relationship a real go. Yes, rest assured this all happens, it just takes a while to get there! The plot is intriguing and definitely more than your usual chick lit, but it's also a tiny bit too convoluted and overall could have benefited from a bit more steam between the two leads and a few less twists and turns - I mean there is a reason we pick these books to read! All in all, a decent holiday read, but I have to say, prefered Fragile and Broken a lot more.
The Missing by Shiloh Walker
Read by Natalie December 2011
Natalie recommends as a bit too out there and a not particularly likeable male lead
Every now and then you need to read something light and fluffy. The kind of book you can switch your mind off with, get an average plot, some steamy romance and a guaranteed happy ending. Having previously read Walker’s Fragile and Broken, I was expecting much of the same with this book. Unfortunately that’s not what I got. Yes it does have a reasonable plot – young lovers who connect as teens, only to be torn apart by a stupid decision, reconnect twelve years later when the now widowed man’s daughter goes missing and he has to call in a favour with his pyschic former lover who now has FBI connections and credibility. Yes it does have steam factor in that there are plenty of romantic encounters between these two, both in the past and present and yes of course it has a happy ending. My problem with it? It was just too far out there to be believable and the characters were not particularly nice. I mean sure the female lead, Taige is psychic, I can accept that. But, the fact that her and the male lead, Cullen, spend their twelve years apart connecting through erotic dreams which they both experience and remember….come on! Throw in the fact that Cullen isn’t particularly likeable in his treatment of Taige, either in their dreams or real life. I mean he blames Taige for not seeing the murder of his mother despite having witnessed the unpredictable nature of her “gift” for the last 3 years, throws her over the couch for rough quickie and then tosses her out the door and tells her he never wants to see her again! Not to mention the fact that Taige spends the next 12 years pining for the one man who stole her heart and then forgives him pretty much as soon as she sees him, laying herself out on the couch so he can have his way with her. Really, is that what women want to read about? A domineering male character who doesn’t really care how he treats the woman he supposedly loves and a pathetic weak woman who pretty much just lets him? Yeah, not me, there are better holiday reads out there.
Broken by Shiloh Walker
Read by Natalie January 2011
Natalie recommends this as another perfect holiday read
This is the "sequel" to Fragile (reviewed below) and this time features Quinn Rafferty, the broken troubled identical twin of Luke. Having been snatched from the hospital shortly after their birth, Quinn got to live with his drunk, drug addicted mother while Luke grew up with the loving father. Quinn never even knew he had a twin until the mother finally died and he wound up living with his Dad and brother at age 11. But by then the damage had been done. Years of abuse and neglect had taken their toll on Quinn and his damaged broken exterior covered the hurt and loneliness he carried inside. Working as a bounty hunter after getting out of the army, Quinn now spends his days bringing in the scumbags like his mother. That is until his new neighbour, Sara, catches his eye. However Sara has some secrets of her own, including a life on the run, no background and need to practice her martial arts. What is she running from and can Quinn help her? More to the point can each of them mend the other's broken soul? Come on! Of course, this is chick-lit remember. However, that road won't be easy and while it does feature a fair amount of stupid behaviour and lack of communication from both Quinn and Sara, it also has plenty of action in the bedroom - in other words, perfect holiday reading! Different in plot and style to Fragile, this is nonetheless a pretty decent story that gives you a bit more than the usual Bodice Ripper, but doesn't skimp on the action at the same time. Pick this up for an afternoon lying by the pool, in addition to a little reunion with Luke and Devon, you'll also get a good time from Quinn.
Fragile by Shiloh Walker
Read by Natalie December 2010
Natalie recommends this as perfect holiday reading
Dr Luke Rafferty is a former Army Ranger whose injury earnt him a discharge and a new job as an ER doctor. Having faced many wars on the battlefield, Luke still feels helpless at all the hurt kids social services brings into the ER. Devon Manning is a reclusive social worker who can relate to the kids she tries to save because she herself used to be in the system. Taking each day at a time, Devon’s past still scars her and she doesn’t let anyone in or anyone close. Luke on the other hand is smitten, and is determined to be the healing that Devon needs, because she just may be the one thing missing from his life. Can these two save each other….of course they can, this is chick-lit! Throw in a mystery stalker, Luke’s past coming back to haunt him and his broken identical twin and this is perfect holiday reading material. Heavy on the bedroom action, but also featuring a decent plot, complete with a red herring or two, this is guaranteed to have you either jumping into the pool to cool off or running back to your hotel room for some action of your own! A great book that you can devour in a day or two, my only (minor) gripe was all the things poor Devon went through! Still when you have a former Army Ranger/sexy ER doc to heal and keep you warm at night, maybe it's not so bad! Highly recommended for the holidays, I have already ordered Broken, the sequel and story of Quinn, Luke’s brother.