Series: Barnes Brothers

Review: Razed by Shiloh Walker

Posted December 23, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Razed by Shiloh WalkerReviewer: Holly
Razed by Shiloh Walker
Series: Barnes Brothers #2
Also in this series: Wrecked
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: December 2nd 2014
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Tattoo artist Keelie Jessup can handle that someone else has claimed the man of her dreams. She’s just not pleased with her remaining options… Keelie doesn’t believe in the “perfect man.” But the men who are worth the trouble are usually taken—like her business partner Zach Barnes. After a string of bad luck and the lost chance with Zach, Keelie decides that maybe flying solo—and living with suppressed desires—is the key to happiness. As a photographer, Zane Barnes has an eye for the human form, and his eyes can’t get enough of Keelie’s curves. Unfortunately, Keelie is like most women—always fawning over his little brother, Zach. Zane is about ready to give up, but then a few stolen moments at his brother's wedding have him thinking maybe there's a chance there after all. Now he just has to prove that the perfect man does exist...for her.

I did a re-read of Wrecked (book 1) before starting this book, and I’m glad for it. It picks up right where Wrecked left off, and I’m afraid I would have been a bit lost if I hadn’t had the refresher.

For years Zane has been playing it safe with his photography, but he’s finally ready to put it all on the line and pursue it as his only career. He quits his job as a bartender and starts scouting locations for a studio. For years he’s been playing it safe with Keelie, his brother’s business partner. He flirts and asks her out, but he hasn’t really pushed the issue.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Keelie, but I really enjoyed her. She’s tough and kind of prickly, but she had a good core. Her past made it hard for her to deal with certain things, like intimacy, but I really liked how she opened herself to Zane.

I like that Zane was all in for Keelie. He was ready to stop playing at being a photographer and make a go of it, but he wasn’t ashamed to admit he chose the location of his studio because that’s where Keelie was.

Between the two of them they had some dark secrets, but as they came to trust one another they really opened up. They healed together, relying on one another for strength and trust.

The story ended a bit sooner than I would have liked, but it was a solid, often intense read. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish it.

4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars

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Review: Wrecked by Shiloh Walker

Posted April 5, 2013 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wrecked by Shiloh WalkerReviewer: Holly
Wrecked by Shiloh Walker
Series: Barnes Brothers #1
Also in this series: Razed
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: April 2nd 2013
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

In the nineties, Abigale Applegate and Zach Barnes were the most beloved sitcom child stars in the world. Then they grew up and left Hollywood behind…
Whatever happened to Abigale Applegate? She’s been wondering the same thing.
With her Hollywood dreams long gone, Abigale now has a nice, neat, uncomplicated life—until the day her perfect fiancé needs to talk. Dumped, a little more than shattered, and totally confused, Abigale turns to Zach, her best friend since forever, to help her pick up the pieces. He does it with the gift of a journal. She can vent her frustrations and sketch out a new plan. Zach just hopes he’s part of it. Because he’s been in love with Abigale his entire life.
When the journal falls into Zach’s hands, he discovers Abigale wants a new man. And fast. Nothing more than a hot distraction. Zach has a plan of his own: He’s going to be that man. It’s his last chance. Abigale might be out to shake up her life, but Zach’s out to reinvent it. Now, all he has to do is convince Abigale that life can go as planned.

I adore a good best friends turned lovers theme and this one was good.

Abigale and Zach were child stars together on a hit TV show. Both got fed up with that life and walked away from it as soon as they could. Now Abigale is a chef who owns her own catering business and Zach is a tattoo artist.

When Abby’s fiance dumps her two months before the wedding because he thinks she needs to go back to Hollywood, Zach helps her realize she needs to shake up her life a little. Because her mother is a crazy, controlling, manipulative woman who used Abby as her own personal gravy train and stole all her money, Abby now controls every aspect of her life. She plans out every step and, aside from taking her car out to the desert and driving fast once in awhile, she doesn’t do wild and spontaneous.

Zach knows she needs to loosen up and let go. He also knows it’s time to make his move. Because even though she doesn’t realize it, he’s been in love with Abby his whole life.

Abby decides to have an affair and Zach decides she needs to have it with him. Only Zach isn’t looking for a temporary fling…he’s playing for keeps.

Walker has a strong contemporary voice. I fell right into the story. I couldn’t wait for Abby and Zach to come together.

I understood why Zach wanted to take it slow with her. She was understandably wary of starting a relationship with her best friend, especially after just getting out of a bad relationship. I loved how well they fit together. They truly were best friends who knew everything about each other. That they had sexual chemistry – once they crossed that line – was just an added bonus. I had no problem believing they could go the distance.

I did think the middle was rather slow. Zach did a lot of internalizing and spent a lot of time explaining his reasons for taking it slow to other people. I wanted him to finally fess up to Abby about his feelings.

Despite that, I finished this novel in one sitting. The characters and the theme really pulled me in. I loved watching Abby wreck her life with Zach helping her pick up the pieces along the way.

4 out of 5

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars

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