Release Date: Sept. 30, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Romantic Suspense
CAN’T FORGET THE PAIN
It took years for Adam to stop drowning his regrets in alcohol, and running the local bar doesn’t make it any easier—especially not when everyone he knows gathers there to discuss the shocking allegations that have shattered his hometown. When another murder rocks sleepy Madison to its core, it becomes chillingly clear that even more vicious wounds are waiting to be exposed.
WON’T RESIST THE PLEASURE
Nothing is sacred anymore, and no one is safe, least of all the mystery woman who shows up in town out of the blue, looking like every fantasy Adam’s ever had. She may have her own dangerous secrets, but she can’t ignore the urgent heat between them any more than he can. As a killer’s quest for vengeance explodes into violence, Adam is tempted to lose himself in the delicious promise of her body—until he realizes he’ll risk anything if she’ll give him her heart…in Sweeter than Sin by Shiloh Walker.
Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! SWEETER THAN SIN by Shiloh Walker is one of those novels that's hard to get through because it deals with heavy issues like rape and child abuse exacerbated by the small town setting and complicated by vigilante murders. I have to say that I was more invested in the murder cases and the who, what, and whys of it than Adam's romantic life.
It's been twenty years yet two decades is not enough time to bury a secret the small town of Madison has, The Cronus Club. A boys and men only club where fathers and sons gather a few times a month in a secret location, initiating their progeny to "manhood" by having their "brothers" by raping and passing them around. This has been going on for several generations until one of the victims dared to reveal this ugly secret only it backfired and turned into the death of a prominent family with the last witness/suspect missing or presumed dead. A dead body followed by a series of murders finally outed the infamous club rocking Madison and its residents.
The suspense element of SWEETER THAN SIN is pretty mild. I want to know who is behind the vigilante murders but I wasn't kept at the edge of my seat. What had me glued was the human element of the story which SWalker wrote in a very effective way and it's almost impossible for us not to get invested by it.
I love the ripple The Cronus Club caused on the town of Madison, naturally there are people who are enraged, disgusted, and surprised by the whole thing, cheered the vigilante on, and expressed zero sympathy for the club members; then there are the collateral damage, the people who are caught in the middle because they're seen as guilty by association; lastly you have the ones that are in denial who, IMO, are the scum of this story because they choose to ignore and/or even try to justify the actions of their husbands and refuse to acknowledge the bestiality of the club's activity and instead chose to demonize the victims, passing fault and judgment to them.
I was so enraged by this story because of the precedent and it doesn't matter if you have children or not, the crime is despicable and simply evil! I found myself responding too all of the characters in varying ways and degrees and relating to their reactions to an extent. It's simply a tragedy because The Cronus Club was seen as sort of a tradition and surviving the initiation a badge of honor by its members, which is beyond idiotic to me but heck, I guess you really CAN'T FIX stupid so whatever on that. And of course my heart broke for their victims who are the sons, THE SONS of these monsters! I can't even begin to comprehend how can one simply watch as your flesh and blood gets sodomized before your eyes?! And the mothers who chose to turn their head the other way had my blood boiling to the point of evaporation! Goodness I think I lost blood without bleeding!
The romance sizzled but it didn't burn as hot as the suspense. And even if SWEETER THAN SIN is Adam's HEA story, he was like us, waiting and watching as this Grecian-like drama unfolds in front of him, a witness rather than the hero who saved the day. I didn't care much for him but that didn't not deter me from enjoying this novel. The romantic and suspense elements of the story might not have melded seamlessly for me but as SWalker is such a talented storyteller, I didn't mind it at all.
So I left out deets about the heroine on purpose, I got to hang y'all like that to get you looking up SWEETER THAN SIN, sampling it, and hopefully read it.
Shiloh Walker is an award-winning writer…yes, really! She’s also a mom, a wife, a reader and she pretends to be an amateur photographer. She published her first book in 2003. Her newest series, Secrets and Shadows, launched with Deeper than Need, followed by Sweeter than Sin and Darker than Desire. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance, and urban fantasy under the name J.C. Daniels.
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