Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Damn it, if he didn’t have any condoms, she was going to see him cry like a baby. “
Hope Carson came to Ash, Kentucky to try and start her life again without fear. Having survived a brutally abusive marriage, she now finds herself savagely attacked and a suspect in the attack of a close friend and the murder of a police officer. Since her ex-husband is a cop, Hope doesn’t trust the police in this small town…nor the DA who makes her feel things she thought she had buried long ago.
Remy Jennings knows he shouldn’t feel so protective of Hope Carson but his gut instinct tells him there is no way she was involved in the attack or murder. She was set up and Remy is determined to find out why. When Hope’s past comes to Ash to take care of her once and for all, Remy will do whatever is necessary to gain her trust and protect her before it’s too late.
When Hope Carson wakes up in the hospital, she is informed she tried to commit suicide after supposedly shooting her best friend and murdering a police officer. Hope has tried to commit suicide before but the desperation of that situation doesn’t even begin to match this one. She knows she didn’t try to kill herself and it’s only through the efforts of her best friend Law Reilly and lack of evidence are the charges dropped and she is able to go home. Hope is convinced her ex husband has something to do with all of it but cannot prove it. She is finally getting her life back together after being physically and mentally abused by him and is determined to stand on her own two feet.
Remy Jennings, the local DA, has been talking with Hope’s ex-husband about Hope and her “mental problems.” Remy knows something is wrong with Hope’s situation and can’t shake the feeling that her ex husband isn’t being completely honest with him. Remy has been strongly attracted to Hope since the first moment he laid eyes on her and isn’t sure if it’s emotions or logic making him feel this way so he decides to watch and wait.
If You See Her is the second in Shiloh Walkers dark and gritty romance suspense Ash Trilogy. Not only does Ms. Walker continue to deliver her trademark scorching hot love scenes and dynamic, personable characters in here but she raises the bar; building even more suspense and intrigue that will keep you hooked till the last page. Fast pacing and suspenseful engaging story lines will have you continuously second guessing yourself as new revelations and clues are revealed. Ms. Walker has kept me firmly in the dark to our villain and his reasons. I await impatiently for the third and final book so that all will be revealed because I am apparently slow.
Hope and Remy are two fantastic protagonists. Though not as brightly colorful as Lena and Ezra, (our hero and heroine from If You Hear Her), they neither less bring their own quiet intensity to the story that more then works for this reader. Their chemistry burns hot and sultry with little flickers of fire that slowly become a raging inferno. Ms. Walker does a wonderful job in handling Hope’s and Remy’s problems. The fear, anger, and sense of helplessness are all physical felt as you watch Hope struggle to be her own person. Remy too has a sub story that reveals his own feelings of inadequacy and fear. Both are intelligent, independent, with a strong sense of loyalty. I love that Ms. Walker never draws out any misunderstandings or problems between the protagonists in her stories. They may have them but she doesn’t make it so much of a main story line as more of a bridge for our characters to connect with. The slow steamy sexual heat and tension these two generate will leave you panting as you watch them dance their way in to each others arms. Remy and Hope are perfect together and watching Hope discover what it’s like to experience true unfetter love is a joy to watch unfold.
I was surprised at how the little we saw the main villain from the arc in here though his presence is felt strongly though out the book. He was such a major character in the first one. Our secondary villain more then makes up for it. He normality in the face of his actions makes him an even more chilling encounter. I admit to having a small giggle at the main villain when he gets insulted by the appearance of the second villain. Past characters are present and accounted for as they continue to leave their indelible impressions on the story. We see more of Lena and Eliza and learn where they are headed in their life, along with Law and Lena’s other friends. We also meet a new character who’s appearance in town may be the catalyst that sets the ending in motion.
If You See Her will continue to have you looking over your shoulder and playing detective as you try to figure out who is the killer. Ms. Walker plays her cards close to her vest and leaves you gasping at the end and more then ready for book three-If You Know Her. I will warn that so far the two books in the series end in an abrupt manner with no epilogue or glimpses in the future. Though I am not a fan of cliffhangers, the way these are done do not bother me.
If dark and gritty suspense romances are your genre of choice, then I wholeheartedly recommend Ms. Walker’s Ash trilogy. These are not stand alones so I invite you to start with the first one-If You Hear Her– before reading this one. The third in the series, If You Know Her, releases March 2012.
Overall Rating: B+