Review: Sweeter Than Sin by Shiloh Walker00:00
Title: Sweeter Than Sin (Secrets and Shadows #2)
Author: Shiloh Walker
Date of publication: 30 Sept 2014
Genre: Romantic suspense
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My rating: 4 stars
CAN’T FORGET THE PAIN
It took years for Adam to stop drowning his regrets in alcohol, and running the local bar doesn’t make it any easier—especially not when everyone he knows gathers there to discuss the shocking allegations that have shattered his hometown. When another murder rocks sleepy Madison to its core, it becomes chillingly clear that even more vicious wounds are waiting to be exposed.
WON’T RESIST THE PLEASURE
Nothing is sacred anymore, and no one is safe, least of all the mystery woman who shows up in town out of the blue, looking like every fantasy Adam’s ever had. She may have her own dangerous secrets, but she can’t ignore the urgent heat between them any more than he can. As a killer’s quest for vengeance explodes into violence, Adam is tempted to lose himself in the delicious promise of her body—until he realizes he’ll risk anything if she’ll give him her heart…in Sweeter than Sin by Shiloh Walker.
It's book 2 in the Secret and Shadows romantic suspense series Secrets and Shadows and it can be read as a standalone though since there quite a few characters involved, it would be better to start from the beginning with book 1, Deeper Than Need.
This books was not what I expected initially - it was an intense, complicated, painful, heart-breaking story with focus is more on the suspense/crime aspect than on the romance. It's a very character driven story which explores the aftermath of some terrible crimes and their effect on everybody in the small town when abominable things have been happening for far too many years now. (A note of warning: the story involved the worst possible child abuse and though there are no graphic scenes, the violence and pain are tangibly present in the story and they do make one heavy reading at times).
I liked how Ms Walker didn't shy away from discussing the consequences of all this violence on everybody involved directly or indirectly. The main characters, Adam and Lana, are both rich and well-developed characters, and their romance is very passionate and turbulent. They come together after she had been missing for 20 years and there are a lot of issues to be cleared between them. They have to deal with the pain from their past and it involves a lot of guilt and regret. At the same time the story is action packed, all of the characters are trying to move forward with their lives
There is depth to the story which I especially liked. Nothing is simple, the reality is not sugarcoated and that makes it all the more thrilling to read. There a numbers of twists and turns in the story that kept me feverishly turning the pages. Even though Lana and Adam are at the center of the plot, we also see a lot of Noah (the hero in book 1), the hero in the next book (I'll keep his identity a secret to avoid a major spoiler) is also prominent here, as well as a number of secondary characters. They move the suspense forward but I felt that their plot lines were sometimes distracting me from the main couple.
The ending is the Happy For Now type and the main mystery plot remains unresolved. The healing the characters need to get has started but there is a long way to go before a true HEA is achieved.
I liked the writing and the story is very engaging, yet I had one major issue with this book and it's that the plot is too messy. There are too many POV introduced and it's difficult to keep track of who is speaking.
Despite its rather dark subject, this story is also about justice, hope and redemption and I can recommend it to all fans of great romantic suspense intriguing mystery and flawed, yet strong and complex characters.
Now, I'll be going back to read book 1 as soon as possible while waiting for David's story in book 3, Darker Than Desire, which is to be released in March 2015.