Dec 1 2014 9:30am

First Look: Shiloh Walker’s Razed (December 2, 2014)

Razed by Shiloh WalkerShiloh Walker
Berkley / December 2, 2014 / $7.99 print, digital

Keelie doesn’t believe in the “perfect man.” But the men who are worth the trouble are usually taken—like her business partner Zach Barnes. After a string of bad luck and the lost chance with Zach, Keelie decides that maybe flying solo—and living with suppressed desires—is the key to happiness.

As a photographer, Zane Barnes has an eye for the human form, and his eyes can’t get enough of Keelie’s curves. Unfortunately, Keelie is like most women—always fawning over his little brother, Zach. Zane is about ready to give up, but then a few stolen moments at his brother's wedding have him thinking maybe there's a chance there after all. Now he just has to prove that the perfect man does exist...for her.

The Shoop Shoop song tells us, “If you want to know if he loves you so/It’s in his kiss/That’s where it is.” The heroine of Shiloh Walker’s Razed believes firmly in that advice and puts it into action by planting a big one on her tattoo parlor business partner/co-owner Zach Barnes. She’s had a crush on him forever and is determined to ignite the fire between them. 

Only, that’s not exactly what happens:

Kissing Zach was like kissing Javi. There’s nothing there. If I felt what I thought I felt, there should be something there, right?

Now Keelie Jessup is sitting at Zach’s wedding to Abby and wishing she could find that someone who will turn her into a sappy, love struck idiot the way Zach is this minute. She doesn’t have far to look. Coming up behind her to ask her to dance is Zane, Zack’s oldest brother and the quiet one among the Barnes brothers. Or is he? Dancing in his arms makes her feel all kinds of aware.

The muscles under her left hand glided and shifted and she realized her mouth had gone a little dry. Nice muscles, she realized. Really nice.

When the dance ends, the two step outside for some cooling down. Only the heat intensifies once they step through the French doors. A trip lands her squarely against Zane’s chest and then:

Keelie didn’t know what she’d expected when she’d kissed Zach a couple of months ago. A chorus of angles, an explosion of stars. . . something. Anything would have been nice.

But there had been nothing. Now, though. . . Her brain kicked off as Zane’s mouth brushed against hers. It was a soft, almost questioning touch. As if he sought permission. Curling her hands into the lapels of his suit, she sucked in a breath as he lifted his head. Permission granted! She might have shouted it except she couldn’t breathe. Instead, she did what he’d done—focused her attention on his mouth and that seemed to convey the message just fine, because his head lowered once more.

At the same time, one big hand came up, cradling the back of her skull, and she shuddered as his tongue stroked along the seam of her lips.

Starts exploded behind her eyes.

Zane Barnes kissed her and stars exploded.

There might have even been angel song but how could she tell? She heard nothing over the roar of her own blood rushing in her ears.

Keelie isn’t prepared to deal with the aftermath of that kiss. It takes three months for Zane to get her attention once again, when he rescues her from a date gone very bad. At first, she advises him she had things well under control but later, when guilt and honesty have worked a number on her conscience, she goes by his condo to apologize. Once more, the lure of a kiss with Zane becomes irresistible:

With her heart drumming in her ears, his hands gripping her wrist, she leaned in and kissed him. Her heart stuttered as her mouth touched his, driven by memories of those few stolen moments, a kiss that still burned through her memories, drawn by emotions she didn’t entirely understand. His mouth was firm under hers and he tasted like coffee, like sin, and she wanted to wrap her body around him and never let go.

But stolen kisses aren’t what Zane is looking for.

“I want. . . “He slid his hand down from her throat to rest on her chest, fingers spread wide where it rested above her heart. “This.”

The simplicity of the gesture stunned her into passivity. She held still as he lifted his head and stared down at her. She blinked, not moving, as he continued to stand there, his hand on her chest. “I want five minutes of your time. . . over a cup of coffee. An hour for lunch. I want you to pick up the phone when I call, talk with me for a while,” he said, staring into her eyes while the blue green of his gaze cut into her.

The he leaned in and pressed a hot, open-mouthed kiss to her chest, just above the neckline of her sweater. “I want to peel your clothes away, learn each and every one of these insanely sexy tattoos. . . and the reason behind them. I want to know what makes you laugh, and I want to know what makes you mad. I want to know what sort of book you’re reading whenever I’m in the office – I’ve asked but you always toss it down when I walk by and you never answer me.”

How to tell when you find the right one? It’s in his kiss. And the romantic words that flow from his lips afterwards. Keelie Jessup learns that passionate kisses can come from a dependable, loving man who helps you overcome the pain of the past. Both characters learn that a history of failing in relationships doesn’t mean that the future is destined to be that way too.

If you have fallen in love with the Barnes brothers, then you sure don’t want to miss Zane’s story. And to think we have at least three more brothers to look forward to!

Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Razed by Shiloh Walker, available December 2:

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

Buy at iTunes

Buy at IndieBound



Maggie Boyd, blogger, reviewer, avid reader

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Scarlettleigh
I like that -- "It's in his kiss"
2. Kareni
I'm looking forward to this! Thanks for the review.
Maggie Boyd
3. maggieboyd66
@Scarlettleigh I love that song!

@ Kareni - I think you will like it.
5. Kareni
And I finally got to read this. As you predicted, Maggie Boyd, I enjoyed it very much!
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