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Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: The Missing, #2
Hero: Taylor Jones
Heroine: Desiree Lincoln
Date of Publication: January 3, 2012
Started On: January 5, 2012
Finished On: January 6, 2012
The Departed by Shiloh Walker is apparently the book that she never thought she would write. However, questions from fans of book 1 which happens to be The Missing finally managed to convince her to dig deeper to find the story that Taylor obviously had to tell. And what a story it was that woke me up last night half way through my midnight slumber and refused to let me succumb until I had read enough to satisfy my curiosity about a story that is filled with dark elements which sometimes tended to creep me out but nevertheless managed to deliver a great read which any fan of Shiloh Walker ought to read!
Desiree Lincoln is a psychic who can communicate with the ghosts of the dead, those who continue to linger on Earth because for some reason or the other, they have unfinished business that keeps them around without giving them the closure that they require so badly. A part of the team that is headed by FBI Special Agent in Charge Taylor Jones, Desiree or Dez knows no respite from the ghosts that continue to seek her out, wanting and craving the one thing that had been denied from them for so long.
Special Agent in Charge Taylor Jones comes across as a controlled man who seems emotionless to the point of being considered coldhearted. But beneath the tough shields that he puts up to keep emotions at bay lies a soul that continues to churn in turmoil, the hidden depth of pain deep inside of him so vast that its a wonder he is able to function the way he does. He has the uncanny ability of identifying people with special gifts who helps him keep the dark and twisted souls that roam the society at bay, and hopefully prevent another little girl from going missing like what happened to his sister.
For Taylor, there is nothing more dangerous to his peace of mind than letting himself care about someone else, but the way his emotions go haywire whenever Dez is around tells him that remaining aloof when it comes to her is an option no longer available to him. When Taylor’s impeccable shields crack, out comes pouring the passion and desire that he holds in on a tight leash, but the joy of the moments of abandon he finds in Dez’s arms is a short lived one when reality intrudes and Taylor drives them apart with his need to control his emotions.
It is 14 months later that Taylor comes across Dez in the one place where he never thought he would find her. Dez is drawn to a small town in Indiana by a ghost that draws her to the midst of the evil that lurks in the mind of a crazed teenager who is willing to do anything and everything in his power to play out the games that lurks deep inside of his mind no matter what the consequences. But something much deeper and elusive than the evil that lurks in the shadows keeps a hold on Dez until she starts digging to unravel secrets that could forever change the lives of so many people, for better or for worse.
The Departed is a story that definitely has a lot of dark elements to it, and yet or maybe because of it, I found myself totally fascinated with the tale that unraveled. Shiloh Walker has a way of surprising the reader with her villains and she definitely has the talent for muddying up the shades of gray when it comes to right and wrong that just has the reader on tenterhooks. For me, The Departed worked well because I was so in tune with both Dez and Taylor, whose need for one another grounds them and makes them cope better with all the darkness that is so much a part of their daily lives. I had nothing but admiration for both Taylor and Dez who works relentlessly to find the worst sort of scum that wander the Earth and it is a job that I know a lesser person would never be able to handle without breaking apart.
Though the romance aspect of the story was a bit laid back when compared to the suspense and paranormal elements in the story, The Departed nevertheless kept me riveted on the relationship that unfolded between Dez and Taylor as well as the huge hurdles that both Dez and Taylor cross to reach the ultimate truth that seeks to be brought out into the light. The one thing in my opinion that would have made the book better was an epilogue; for me the book tended to end a bit abruptly to bring me the closure that I wanted and needed for both Dez and Taylor.
Heartbreaking at moments and wonderfully moving at times, The Departed is a novel that combines elements of suspense, paranormal and romance to deliver a read that would linger on long after you are done!
He hauled her against him and as his mouth crushed against hers, her brain clicked off, shut down…
And her body came to life. After more than a year of existence, Dez felt like she was living again. His free hand gripped her hip, keeping her body pressed close to his while his other hand tangled in the short strands of her hair to yank her head back.
This wasn’t just a kiss, she thought. It was…more. It was everything. He breathed her in, just as she breathed him in. After so much time apart from him, she felt complete again. Whole.
Taylor worked a hand between them and stroked his thumb over the erect little nub of her clit. Lifting his head, he stared at her, watched as a harsh, broken sob fell from her lips.
Her nails bit into his skin as she started to come and he gritted his teeth, holding back until he saw her going over. Then, and only then, did he bury his face in her neck and start to move again, hard, fast.
He muttered her name, blind to everything but her…completely and utterly lost in her.
“My name,” he muttered. He turned his head, pressed a kiss to her palm. “Say my name, damn it.”
Chuckling, she pulled his head close. “Taylor.” She said it against his lips. As she did that, she rolled her hips against him, squeezing down with her inner muscles so that she milked him in a teasing, taunting caress.
Little warning tingles were already shooting straight up his spine, but he gritted his teeth. No, damn it. He wasn’t going to lose it after thirty fucking seconds. Especially since he hadn’t told her yet.
But then she did it again, and again.
“I love you.” It came out a broken, harsh groan against her lips, the words he could no longer keep trapped inside. The words he had to share with her, now.
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