Read with: Bluefire Reader & Stanza for iPad
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Ash Trilogy, Book 1
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Hero: Ezra King
Heroine: Lena Riddle
Date of Publication: October 25, 2011
Started On: October 14, 2011
Finished On: October 16, 2011
The scream Lena Riddle hears in the woods behind her house is enough to curdle her blood—she has no doubt that a woman is in real danger. Unfortunately, with no physical evidence, the local law officers in small-town Ash, Kentucky, dismiss her claim. But Lena knows what she heard—and it leaves her filled with fear and frustration.
Ezra King is on leave from the state police, but he can’t escape the guilty memories that haunt his dreams. When he sees Lena, he is immediately drawn to her. He aches to touch her—to be touched by her—but is he too burdened by his tragic past to get close? When Ezra hears her story of an unknown woman’s screams, his instincts tell him that Lena’s life is also at risk—and his desire to protect her is as fierce as his need to possess her.
Certainly different from the various other published works by the author, book 1 of the Ash Trilogy signifies the growth of Shiloh Walker as an author towards excellence and beyond. Even from the very start, ever since I stumbled upon Ms. Walker’s Her Best friend’s Lover, I have been drawn towards the effortless ease with which she draws the reader into the story that makes a book hard to put down and of course the way she delivers scorching hot scenes of passion that one cannot help but absolutely revel in. If You Hear Her delivers on all of the above and takes it just a step further with a bone-chillingly maniacal and yet methodical villain together with a lot of multi-faceted and appealing characters that just makes this book one of her best stories yet!
Laying the groundwork for the rest of the titles in the trilogy, Ms. Walker introduces the reader to characters whose stories are just begging to be told, the next book of which I am just practically itching to get my hands on. Though at first I was of the mind that there wasn’t enough focus on Ezra and Lena to do them justice, I did a complete turnaround once I realized where the story was heading. The story especially picks up pace after the first couple of chapters, leaving the reader with no doubt that the ride ahead would turn out to be an edge-of-the-seat one at that.
Ezra King with his unusual name turned out to be such a compelling hero. There is no doubt that he is tortured, sweet, sexy, determined & dangerous all rolled into one. Ezra’s past keeps on tormenting him, making him question his abilities in judging people which is more than a requirement when it comes to being a cop. Ezra never expects to find anything more than the peace of his mind when he moves to Ash, Kentucky, and he certainly does not expect to find himself falling for a woman who makes his senses reel and heart beat faster just with her presence alone.
Lena Riddle’s entrance into the story surprised me big time. Ms. Walker has done such a swell job with her character that its hard not to “see” her in your mind’s eye as you read along. She is strong, confident, sassy and beautiful inside out, her keen sense of hearing one of the reasons why the nefarious killer’s less than stellar activities comes to light. Even though Lena faces ridicule from the one law enforcement official who made me grind my teeth out of sheer frustration, it is Lena’s determination that she would not give up until someone believes her well enough to at least try and find out the reality behind the gut chilling screams that jump starts the series of events which just seems to accelerate in intensity as time passes on.
While the passion between Lena and Ezra burns hotter than wildfire with each encounter, with it comes forth the more tender emotions which neither of them counted on, but inevitably embrace with the danger escalating to proportions neither foresaw coming. I loved each and every passionate encounter between Lena and Ezra and I have to yet again bow down to Ms. Walker’s superb ability when it comes to delivering on just the right amount of passion, suspense and character development to make a story that much harder to part with.
I nearly whimpered in agony when the story was over, leaving the reader with no choice but to pray that the publication date of the next book rolls in before you die out of sheer curiosity. Most of the time when it comes to suspense novels, its almost always pretty darn easy to identify who the killer is, but in this case I have a feeling that Ms. Walker is going to be keeping the reader guessing until towards the very end, which would mean a job well done for the author and continued ravage of my fingernails in the foreseeable future.
For die-hard fans of Shiloh Walker like myself, this is an absolute must-read. For fans of romantic suspense, I dare you to pick this up, just to find out whether you can pin-point who the killer could be. And for fans of character-driven romances with a strong element of suspense, this one’s just what the doctor ordered for the day.
He had the sexiest damn voice, Lena thought. Sexiest voice . . . and he was still staring at her, too.
She could tell, all but feel the warmth of his gaze. Feel it, almost like a ray of light traveling over her body, leaving seductive warmth in its wake.
[Lena] “You’re asking me on a date?”
From the corner of his eye, he could see the bartender listening and not pretending not to. The kid barely looked old enough to be out of college— hell, high school.
Tuning the kid out of his mind, he focused on Lena. “Yeah, I’m asking you on a date. At least, I’m trying to. It’s been awhile since I’ve asked a woman on a date, so maybe I’m doing it wrong.”
“Well, it’s been awhile since a guy asked me on a date, so maybe I’ve just forgotten how to recognize the clues.” That pretty, wide mouth curled up in a slow smile.
She was easy to talk to, easy to look at it . . . and when she smiled at him . . . well, he couldn’t call that easy. It hit him in the chest, in the weirdest damn way.
Swallowing, she licked her lips and then she could have whimpered, begged for mercy, because she could taste him. Taste him, and it made her want to throw herself against him and kiss him. Again, and again .
[Lena] “This is crazy, you know. How can you know me well enough to love me?”
“Lena.” He pressed a kiss to her temple. “I know what I need to know. I know that your laugh makes me want to smile, and I know that when you’re sad, it bothers me. I know I love to watch you, I know you blush when you realize I’ve been staring at you, even though it makes you smile, too.”
He combed a hand through her hair, angled her head, and brushed her mouth with his. “I may not know everything there is to know about you, Lena, but I do know I’d like to spend my life learning the things I don’t know.”