Friday, March 11, 2011

Review: Chains (anthology) by Shiloh Walker

Title: Chains
Author: Shiloh Walker

Read copy: eBook
Published: May 5, 2009
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
ISBN: 1101046449
ISBN-13: 9781101046449

Renee was the homecoming queen with the perfect boyfriend and the perfect life. Lacey was the golden girl with the bright future. And Sherra always looked like the princess in a fairy tale. The three girls each seemed charmed-until one tragic night shattered their hopes for normalcy.

Now, fifteen years later, the women are returning to their hometown of Madison, Ohio, where three men await them-each dangerous in his own way. And when each of the women succumb to desire, they may also find the safety they've been searching for.

My rating:

Fifteen years ago three girls whose only denominator was their high-school witnessed something that changes their lives and their view on life forever.
This book tells their separate stories of how they went on, how they coped, how their lives are still impacted by that long-ago night.

Book One: Chains of Rebellion—Renee was my favorite of the bunch and earned a whopping 5 stars from the very beginning. Granted, it was also the most erotica-styled of them, and Renee and Deacon went right at it, but strangely the abruptness didn't really bother me. It went with the overall style of the book (with each separate story having a dark and gritty prologue of seeing the poignant moment/night from the POV of each woman).
Renee's story, besides being the only one with a light bondage theme, had the best mix of elements - angst, sex, and suspense.
And the fact I loved both Renee and Deacon to bits helped matters a lot. ;)

The two other stories, Book Two: Chains of Longing—Lacey and Book Three: Chains of Memory—Sherra, fell rather short compared to Renee's story. The suspense was only marginally there (except the climax in Sherra) and they concentrated more on the inner-fears and doubts, and character (flaws) of the heroines. And the fact I couldn't bring myself to care much about both Lacey and Sherra was definitely not a plus.
Compared to Renee, who seemed the most aloof of the three fifteen years ago, it was Lacey and Sherra's turn to be distant and rather cold, IMO. While Renee strove to open up, not to let fear and nightmares run her life, the other two embraced those fears and debilitation emotions and let them govern (almost) every aspect of their lives. It took two (right) men to open them up, but the whole ordeal seemed rather forced.

Yes, Renee's story was my favorite and it is her story that will bring me back to re-read this book. Don't get me wrong, I love SW writing, she's an excellent elements-mixer, but I guess for me to really enjoy this one, Renee's story should've been last, so I couldn't enjoy the buildup, not the down-slide.


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