I just finished Shiloh Walker’s Chains and I have to say I really liked the way she told this story.
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.
For this weeks Weekly Geeks, we were told to ask our readers for questions regarding novels we were getting ready to review. Since Chains was one of those novels I threw up, and all of the questions were ones I was going to talk about anyway, I’m including them right in the body of my review as opposed to below it. The questions were pretty good, and Jacqueline has the first one with: Chains sounds like it’s told from 3 different perspectives. Is it? If so, does it do a good job of connecting the storylines? Oh yeah, Chains is actualy made up of three separate stories that all develop the overall story arc really well. We get our first taste of what is going on with Chains of Rebellion (Renee’s story). Then we have Chains of Longing (Lacey’s story) that shows us how serious the stalker is about attacking these girls and then Chains of Memory gives us the conclusion where we find out who the stalker is and why he’s doing what he’s doing. All three of these girls went to the same high school, but they never hung out or talked with each other. It wasn’t until a tragic incident brought the three of them together and is the basis for the stalkers action. At the beginning of each story, we are also given each girls experience with that night.
The next question comes from The Dark where it was asked: Chains sounds a lot like “I know what you did last summer” but with an erotic romance-novel kind of twist. Is that the case? Quite honestly, I’ve never seen I Know What You Did Last Summer, but after reading the description at IMDB, I would have to say that the stories may share the same idea – something happened to a bunch of teenagers and it comes back to haunt them later – but that’s where any similariites end. Renee, Lacey and Sherra were actually victims of an incident and had to actually fight in order to survive.
The last question comes from gautami tripathy and he asks: Are these romances? How do you rate those? Are those sensual too? Most definitely. In fact, Chains is classified as an erotic suspense novel, so it’s going to be sensual and maybe a little too much for some. However, I will say that I have read a few other novels that were a lot more erotic than this one. While I can see how Chains is classified as erotica, none of the sex involved should hit any true romance readers buttons. In fact, one of the things that I liked about it is that Chains of Rebellion has the most kinky sex elements in the novel and the stories kind of go downhill from there. Chains of Longing is a little safer, but still hitting some kinky moments; but Chains of Memory is more of your sweet and slow and more classic sex.
I also have to say that I totally wasn’t expecting the villain to be who it was. I would have liked to see a little more involving the villain, but all the character development focused on the six individuals in the stories and we’re only giving a haphazard looked at the rest. While that isn’t always a bad thing, there are two instances I would have liked a little more – JD and the villain. JD simply because of his role in the incident (he so needed more of an ass whooping) and the villain just to see what his motivation was. We’re given what it was, but I wanted to know more. Why the villain was going after these girls didn’t seem to viable to me since we never got in his head. It just seemed like there needed to be more from him.
Actually, that is probably the only part of the story I am the most unsatisfied with. The night in question involves 2 would-be rapists (Boyd & JD), the victim (Sherra) and three individuals (Lacey, Renee and Deacon) who intervene. Chains goes on to tell us the HEA that Lacey, Renee, Deacon and Sherra have, but we never really get anything else on JD. We really only see him in one scene in the beginning of Chains of Rebellion, but after that he totally disappears. So yeah, that may be a bit spoilerish, but it’s still irritating. I would have liked to seen him be the villain and actually get what he deserves.
Overall, I really liked how Walker uses the three different stories to illustrate what the stalker is doing to each of these girls, all while giving them their own HEA. Chains really kept my attention and it was difficult to put down. By giving us the three HEA spread throughout the book, it developed a pretty good cliffhanger that made me continue reading instead of putting down the novel and getting to the next story after I did a chore or something. It read very much like a full length novel and the three different POVs were unique enough that it gave Chains more of a well-rounded feel more than anything. Chains is definitely a must for any romance reader.