Author: Shiloh Walker
My Rating: A
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Barnes Brothers #3
Main Characters: Trey and Ressa
Release Date: May 2015
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
Like his brothers Zach and Zane, Trey Barnes thought he had found the love of his life. But fate had other plans. A widower who’s had to raise his five-year-old son on his own, Trey has not allowed himself to be with another woman. Until he meets Ressa Bliss at—of all places—a children’s library program. The beautiful librarian is wonderful with his son, Clay, but every time Trey even considers asking her out, he is tortured by guilt.
Fate is indeed fickle. When the two meet again at a conference, this time the attraction is too powerful to resist. But is their connection and passion strong enough to survive Trey’s deep inner torment?
It's like this book was written specifically for me...a librarian and an author with incredible chemistry...I LOVED THIS BOOK.
The book begins the night of the funeral when Trey buried his wife. Needing to forget, just for a few hours, he went out with the intent of getting drunk and forgetting for just a few hours. She died during childbirth and the baby is still in the NICU. Trey wakes up in his own hospital bed after being drugged and beaten with very little memory from what really happened. Then the real story picks up 6 years later with Trey and his son at the library, where Trey is awestruck by the pretty librarian...a reaction he hasn't had to a woman since he buried his wife.
Everything about this book is good. My heart aches for Trey...he's just so wounded by the loss that was compounded by the attack at the bar that night. It's been 6 years and he's had exactly 3 really awful first dates since. He's a shell of his former self, but it's his son that has kept him moving forward with his life. And then he meets Ressa. I liked how the first six months of their interactions are entirely at the library where they both feel the chemistry, but neither is brave enough to do anything about that. Trey has had issues and though he's showing signs of recovery, he really doesn't want to go through that kind of humiliating experience again...esp. not with her.
But Ressa has her own issues. She's raising her 5 yo cousin and with school starting for her soon, Ressa has decided it's best if she moves to a library branch closer to home...No more Clay and his sexy daddy (who she doesn't even know his name.) But then she comes across Trey at a book convention and realizes that he's the author they've been trying to get to come into the library for ages. She had no idea...and yes, the chemistry between them is just as strong.
Like I said before, I really liked the way the story set up. Ressa and Trey are combustable together, but it's still a slow build-up just in them getting brave enough to make a move. That part of the story line takes months and although they are still virtual strangers...they aren't. They've seen one another regularly through that time.
I loved the aspect of the story with the books (I know...no huge surprise there). But Trey's passion for writing is expertly woven into the story and I love when Ressa goes all fangirl over the romance author. That's a strong tie between them. And Trey's book-themed tattoos...ADORE! The other aspect of the book that really worked for me was Travis and Trey. They're twins and have that elusive twin connection that makes for great reading. I loved that Travis always knew when Trey needed him. And although Trey is a bit caught up in his own drama, he's not oblivious to Travis's pain either...although I really wish he had pushed that aspect a bit more. I cannot wait for Travis's story! I want to know exactly what he's been up to...
I highly recommend this series. I'm a huge fan of Shiloh Walker's writing and these contemporaries are so sexy and fun and yes, they have that classic Walker angst, too, but that just makes them that much better. I've read both this one and #1. Number 2 is in my print TBR...I need to go dig it out and read it soon. I love these brothers!!
Note: I love this cover for Ressa, but...ugh...Trey is not black. I hate that it's so wrong for the story. While it's not a HUGE thing in the story, the fact that they are a mixed race couple does come up, so to have it wrong on the cover is painful.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.