Author: Shiloh Walker
Date of publication: 3 March 2015
Genre: Romantic suspense
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My rating: 4 stars
LUST FOR LIFE
No matter how many times he’s left her in the past, Sybil Chalmers can’t ignore her feelings for the one man who stole her heart years ago. For countless nights, she has waited for him—for his kiss, his touch—and has longed for him to emerge from the shadows of his past. Only when she is in his arms does Sybil really feel alive…and finally, after all these years, that time is now.
A DEADLY DESIRE
He’s a man raised in a world of strict rules and unbreakable traditions and he’s always yearned to break free. But when a family tragedy lures him back home, he finds his one true passion has been there all along. With Sybil, he can explore his greatest potential—and allow her to discover a whole new level of ecstasy. But will a long-buried secret threaten to tear them apart? The only thing he knows for sure is that he will do anything to keep Sybil in his life…and keep her coming back for more…
This the final book in the Secrets and Shadows series and it concludes a very gritty and raw romantic suspense/mustery story. I liked this series but I have to warn it's not for the faint of heart. There is no real grpahic description of the violance the characters suffered but we see its devastating consequences everywhere and there were parts that were painful to read through.
It's a character driven story of dark secrets and even darker past and in this book we finally see the mystery fully unraveled. Ms Walker has managed to keep the suspense throughout the three books building the tension to its culmination here.
I'd say this was the hardest story of the three since it focused on the main victim, Cain/David. We see a grown-up man who had suffered horrible abuse as a child which has shaped him today. His struggles with himself broke my heart for him more than once. I understood his need to act cold and unfeeling, running away hiding but the time has come for him to face the past, and try to look forward to the future.
Sybil was a great character - complex, strong. She has been in love with David for years and has tried to give him eveyrthing he needed - understanding, acceptance, love. Still, she wants all or nothing with him and doesn't let him push her around, even if he thinks it's for her own good.
The mystery plot had quite a few unexpected twists and turns which I really didn't see coming, some action, but most importantly some passionate, rough well-deserved love.
It's a dark, but felt real, very emotionally intense, the consequences of child abuse are horrific. It's not by any means a comfortable read, yet an engaging, I-put-it-down book.
It can be read as a standalone, though we see a lot of characters from the previous books, we even often get their POVs and it could be confusing. I recommend reading the whole series in order to get a better understanding of the thriller aspect of the story.
My only minor complaint is that I felt some things were left unresolved in the end. I'll put them in spoiler tags in my GR review if you are curious about them. They didn't affect the romance at all and the mystery was also resolved to my satisfaction even these tiny loose ends.