Title: Deeper Than Need (Secrets & Shadows, #1)
Author: Shiloh Walker
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Trinity Ewing—she's new in Madison, and her one goal is to put her old life behind her. She's made mistakes. A lot of them. She's done everything short of selling herself to stay alive and provide for her son. Now she's just looking for a place to put down roots and call home. The old ramshackle house on the banks of the Ohio River seem to be the perfect place. It needs work—a lot of it.
A former minister, Noah Benningfield now works as a carpenter. He hasn't entirely lost his faith, but he has lost himself. Which is exactly how he likes it. He doesn't want to find himself, because then he'd have to look at the many ways he failed. Working with his hands is easier. Or so he thinks. He hasn't ever had a job where he uncovers a skeleton, though. Not until now.
He can't help but wonder…are these the remains of Lana, the girl he'd loved in high school? Losing her had all but destroyed his life back then, a life he has only now pieced together. Even as he deals with the turmoil of that, there's a new turmoil, one caused by Trinity—she's everything he won't let himself have, and everything he realizes he wants.
Life becomes even more complicated when a ghost from the past blows back into town… Bethany Sutter—one of the last people to see Lana alive all those years ago.
4 “Secrets & Shadows” Stars
Deeper Than Need by Shiloh Walker is the first book in her Secrets & Shadows series. This book also marks my first venture into the literary world of this author. This is a complex and multi-layered romantic suspense novel set in a picturesque small town. Things are not always what they seem and when old skeletal remains are found, the small Ohio town is turned inside-out as secrets from the past and the present suddenly start coming to the forefront. I really enjoyed this book. Ms. Walker does a phenomenal providing her reader with a suspense-filled mystery and I was thoroughly enthralled as the layers surrounding the said mystery are slowly peeled away leaving some shocking truths out in the open for the first time.
“Noah had existed in a fog, a grey, colorless fog.”
Noah Benningfield moves through the motions of life, but he isn’t living. Having lost the only girl he has ever loved back in high school set his life in a downward spiral, particularly given the fact that the circumstances surrounding her death and disappearance still remain a mystery. Noah has worked hard to straighten out his life despite the fact that he has somehow lots bits and pieces of himself along the way. He is an empty shell, living each day under the fog of past mistakes and the unresolved mystery surrounding the day he lost everything. Now, suddenly, Noah’s life is filled color, emotion and sensation. The cause of all this new inner turmoil for Noah seems to be the town’s beautiful new resident and her young son, a resident who has hired him and his crew to fix up and restore the old dilapidated house she purchased.
Trinity Ewing is new to the town of Madison, Ohio. In an attempt to start fresh with her young son and put the past behind her, Trinity uprooted her life and purchased an old home in need of much tender loving care. Trinity wants to set down roots and provide her son with the stability and care that he needs. The town of Madison feels “right” to Trinity, a perfect place to call home. Upon meeting the contractor she hired to help fix her home, the undeniable attraction she feels towards him and the feeling of “rightness” becomes even more amplified.
“Ever since Trinity had arrived in Madison, Noah had too much life going on. There was too much emotion, too much sensation…too much color. Too much of everything.”
“He wanted to muss her up. Taste her.”
“Somehow, she’d worked herself into the fabric of his soul.”
Both Trinity and Noah have pasts they are trying to forget. Both find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another. Neither of them is looking for love but there is no denying how they each make the other feel. As Noah and Trinity grow closer, danger lurks in the shadows of the small town. An evil that has been fermenting for any years is slowly closing in. When dark secrets are unraveled who will be left standing? Can the fragile and new relationship that Noah and Trinity have begun survive amidst the twisted backdrop of what has almost always been a quiet town?
Most of the story is told from the POV of Noah and Trinity; however there are chapters/sections that are in the POV of other characters that serve to give us a hint as to what is truly going on. This story is filled with deep and dark secrets, deception and hidden enigmas and as each piece of the puzzle is unveiled we begin to realize just how perverted and vile the darkness that envelopes the small town truly is. I will admit that there are a lot of players to take into account and there were a few times that I found myself having to re-read a passage or go back just to ensure that I had all the facts in order.
The budding romance between Trinity and Noah is interwoven nicely with the suspenseful plot. There is no denying that this couple felt a strong and true connection, one they wanted to explore and dive into head first. Noah and Trinity are unable to walk away from their profound connection and find themselves hanging on to what they feel for one another with both hands. I would have liked to see a little more romance in this book. I found myself completely immersed in the mystery storyline but I did have somewhat of a lesser connection as a whole when it came to the love story. There was so much going on that the author obviously had to spend copious amounts of time setting up all the elements that formulated the nail-biting suspense story arc. Because of this, I do think that the romance lacked a little. I still loved Noah and Trinity and definitely wanted them to get a HEA; however, I will say that I was more invested in discovering what the heck was going on more.
All in all, Deeper Than Need was an amazing start to this promising series set in a distinctive small town. This book is definitely worth the read for lovers of romantic suspense. The story continues in the next book called Sweeter Than Sin due out in September 2014. This book is about Adam, one of Noah’s friends. I am definitely looking forward to more.