Sunday, November 11, 2012


Shiloh Walker
Published by Ballantine
400 pages
Genre: mystery; erotica; romance
Thanks to edelweiss for the preview
3.5 / 5 cupcakes

If you want to go some place where you are not likely to be found, you might want to try Earth's End, Alaska. That's what Shay Morgan determines when she decides to escape a torturous, abusive life in Arizona. The good news about Earth's End is that Elliot Winter is there ... and Elliot Winter is HOT.

Shay lives alone and pens novels under the pseudonym of Shane Neill, whom many assume is a man. Despite having dated Elliot, she never let him in on the whole Shane Neill thing - and Elliott owns a bookstore. In fact, it was Shay's inability to let Elliott in to her life that caused their break up.

Now, however, Shay needs him, even if she doesn't realize it herself. The book opens with her returning home after spending three weeks in the hospital for injuries sustained in an accident. She has scarce memory of what got her there, and even scarcer memory of her childhood As the book unfolds, we discover that someone is pretending to be Shane Neill and that even Earth's End is not far away enough.

There is the mystery part of this story - who is pretending to be Shay's alter ego and why - and there is the romance. When Elliot and Shay reconnect, they do so passionately. Each has trust issues; Shay is not the only one who has had a rough go, and Elliot's problems continue to haunt him. Thanks to her history, Shay needs a man who moves with a slow hand, and Elliot, who loves her desperately, wants to be that man. By the time the headboard rockin' begins, we have waited for it, and the payoff is HOT. Elliot knows what to do, girls. He knows where to go, how to get there, and what to do upon arrival (and departure).

As the mystery deepens, so do Elliot's and Shay's feelings. But you cannot forget that each has endured a sort of trauma, so nothing will come easily for these two.

Much about this book is very good. Shay and Elliot's relationship moves realistically, and you can't help but like the two of them. The mystery is not as difficult to uncover as it should be; what becomes a greater mystery is the "why" question, but even that is solved fairly easily. The sex scenes are good, if not too few in number (yes, that old complaint again). I guess my biggest issue with this book is the ease with which some of the problems are dispatched.

Still, though, part of the mystery is strong, and those sex scenes are hot. And that counts for something, non?

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