Saturday, 25 April 2009

Review – Beautiful Girl – Shiloh Walker




The Blurb

Sometimes getting to heaven requires a trip through hell.
Twelve years ago, it looked like Del Prescott had it all. The wealthy family, the car, the looks and charm, and the perfect boyfriend. Then, mysteriously, she disappeared to “study abroad.” Now she’s back, and it’s not merely to attend a high school reunion. She’s here to face her demons—and Blake, the man she has never stopped loving.
Blake Mitchell is a changed man, thanks to surviving twelve long years of difficulties that began after Del dropped out of his life. Now she’s back, and she’s nothing like the polished, stylish world traveller he imagined she’d be. There’s a darkness about her, and a grim expression in her eyes that says she’s prepared for fight or flight.
Blake’s concern for her breaks down the walls Del has built around her heart and she finally begins to heal from the abuse she suffered at the hands of her own family. But the betrayal goes deeper than either of them ever imagined—and it’s about to come back to haunt them.



The Review

Characters

Del Prescott – The girl who had everything, the home, the friends, the lifestyle and the boyfriend – she is also the girl who grew up into a woman who had lost so much and had not now only come home, she come home to collect on a past that she has never forgotten.

Blake Mitchell – Blake has had a hard few years and it all sort of started when his girlfriend up and left – since then nothing as gone right. Now is life is about to be turned upside down and it again starts with Del Prescott.

The Plot

Del Prescott has come home for her high school reunion, having never returned home since she left twelve years earlier she has come back a changed woman and the town had just better be prepared – because Del has also come home to fight some demons.

Blake Mitchell is a survivor, from the moment his girlfriend packed up and left him as a teenager he has been surviving one battle after another. Now things are looking up for the first time in a the long time and he is comfortable. Del has come back home and he wants answers from her if nothing else.

There is however an evil undercurrent to Prescott and only Del holds the key and she is better prepared than twelve years ago to deal with any consequences. However is Prescott prepared for the repercussion when Del has had her say.

He stopped a few feet in front of her and Del held herself still as he looked her over, starting at the thick-soled boots on her feet and travelling upwards. His eyes lingered on her hair and she braced herself for the questions. They didn’t come, though. Instead, he just smirked a little and said, “Nice to see you again, Deedee.”
His voice was soft and casual, not showing one hint of the betrayal he’d felt when he had come home and his girl was gone. She hadn’t called him, hadn’t left him any kind of note—Deedee had just been gone. This was the first time Blake had seen her in twelve years, but he wasn’t prepared for it.
Not one bit.
Her eyes met his, solemn and unsmiling. Her mouth was naked and set in a flat, unyielding line. Deedee had loved to laugh but the cool stranger standing before him didn’t look like she knew how. He held his hand out. She hesitated before placing her www.samhainpublishing.com 23
Beautiful Girl
hand in his. Her nails were unpainted. Blake didn’t think he’d ever seen her look so—bare. No makeup. No jewellery that he could see, except for that black cord around her neck. It had some sort of pendant on it, but it was hidden under the high neck of her shirt. No earrings.
Nothing.
Her voice was soft, huskier than he remembered. “I go by Del now.”

Beautiful Girl © Shiloh Walker

Surprise Element

I knew from the outset that much trauma would be involved in this book. However i was surprise at how Ms. Walker brought so much different perspective together in one book to make this read stand out. Another surprise was that at the end of the book everything more or less comes full circle.

Predictability

From the blurb you know something evil had happened to Del, for her to leave town. However from that moment on – nothing happens as expected. Individual traits comes to the forefront and long suppress emotions rares it’s head and Del and Blake – literally burn the pages with angst's and issues.

Smut/Ick Factor

This book was not a book catering to the up against the wall sort of smut that i have been reading lately. This is more like a getting to know you sort of love. Tentative steps to the big moment – but when it did happen it was a moment to remember.

Positive

I love the long lost love returning home theme, it grab me every time and when an author gets the mix right as Ms. Walker does with BEAUTIFUL GIRL, its a winner.

The character development was nicely down, you got to know every single person in town. You knew their habits, their faults, and what made them happy.

Ms. Walkers description of Prescott - small town Tennessee, was spot on. She touches on the secrets small towns hold, the traditions that have almost become an institution and of course the upper and the lower class of said town and the place of pride that is involved in being at the top and on the right side of the tracks.

The pace of the book was easy to follow, the story although intense and the plot was a less than forgiving one – all led to the HEA of the protags.

All the side stories were dealt with, nothing was left hanging or left for the reader to wonder at what happened to this or that person.

The emotional aspect of this book cannot be described, it kept pace, it kept on coming and it literally torn you apart and comes full circle to end in a way that was everything i could have wished for, for Del and Blake...

As much as i loved a baddy, the baddies in BEAUTIFUL GIRL were just plain evil and i love how there was clear consistency to them – there was not a nice bone in their body, no matter what they did.

Negative

This book has not exactly graphic details, but details of abusive happening to a teenager that might be a little hard to take. It is however all in hindsight and in my opinion a perfect addition to the book.

Cover

I am still a little indecisive about the cover. The setting of this book was in small town Prescott and none of that is reflected in the cover of this book. A in your face cover that is not easily forgotten.

12 Speak To Me:

VampFanGirl on 25 April 2009 at 17:51 said...

Fantastic Review E.H.!

I have this book on order. I'm a big Shiloh Walker fan and I was so excited to read your review when I saw it.

It's becoming rather obvious to me that Shiloh likes her heroines to be tortured. It makes you wonder when someone writes a lot of abused heroine books...but she's definitely a genius at. Like with 'Fragile', Walker knows how to write about abuse.

I also love, like you, that this novel has the reunited lovers theme. My Favorite. :)

:) VFG

Lea on 25 April 2009 at 18:03 said...

Excellent Review EH!

Shiloh Walker is a good, very prolific writer and she sub-genre "hops", which I like as well.

I have one of her paranormals on my e-reader right now that I am looking forward too.

This book is one I'm adding to my list.

Thank you
Warm Regards
L

Barbara on 25 April 2009 at 18:48 said...

Wonderful review. I haven't read any of Ms. Walker's stories but I do have one waiting in the wings thanks to VFG.

Blodeuedd on 25 April 2009 at 22:07 said...

Great review :)

It sounds intersting, but that abusive part, dunno about that. Right now I am more in the mood for happy books with no pasts.

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) on 26 April 2009 at 06:52 said...

Hi EH!

What a wonderful review! I always torn by the love lost and found, tortured hero and heroine. But I must day, it's one of my favorite reads. I'll be looking for Beautiful Girl, sounds like an emotional read. I don't mind violence in a story if it's well found and needs to be told for the hero/heroine's benefit.

Thanks for the lovely review!

Dottie :)

Erotic Horizon on 26 April 2009 at 07:56 said...

Hey VFG..

Shiloh Walker is definately one of my fav author - and she has gotten the tortured heroine thing down to an art..

Reunited Lover theme - gets me everytime..

very glad you liked the review, hope you like the book when you get it.


E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 26 April 2009 at 08:00 said...

Lea,

She is truly one of the better authors at "Genre Hoping"

This one came out a little over a year, but jut release in print - i am so pleased it went to print, a wonderful book.

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 26 April 2009 at 08:01 said...

Barbara,

Get something of her's soon to read - she is a gifted author.

As mentioned before, she is queen of the tramautised heroine..

Be prepared for a gut wrenching read..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 26 April 2009 at 08:03 said...

Blodeuedd.

I would love if you would read the book, however i understand phases in reading so wait until you are more in a mood to read it.

E.H>

DeSeRt RoSe on 26 April 2009 at 10:56 said...

Interesting review.. I never read anything for this author, but I guess I will have to give her a try :)

Anyways I'm here to pass on to you yet another award :)

http://desertrosebooklogue.blogspot.com/2009/04/super-comments-award-you-dont-say-3.html

Erotic Horizon on 26 April 2009 at 12:47 said...

Hey Dottie,

Beautiful girl sounds like just the book for you.

I myself love a lot of angst in a book..

Enjoy..

E.H>

Blodeuedd on 27 April 2009 at 06:58 said...

I will keep it in the back of my head, cos it does sound good. But I am in the mood for happy go lucky :)

But that do change