Friday, January 1, 2016

ARC Review: HEADED FOR TROUBLE by Shiloh Walker

Headed for Trouble
by Shiloh Walker
McKay's, Book 1


Nine years ago, Neve McKay fled her small Southern town and disapproving family to seek a career in the big city. Now she's finally coming home - and hoping for a fresh start. But the relationship that shattered her world still haunts her. And even among her nearest and dearest, she doesn't feel safe.


Ian Campbell is a pure Scottish muscle - as hard and handsome as they come. But when Neve walks into his bar, his heart melts . . . and he vows to have this gorgeous and somewhat vulnerable woman in his life - for better or for worse. What is Neve's tragic secret? And how can Neve expect Ian to protect her, when doing so could put his own life at risk? The only thing Ian knows for sure is that he will do whatever it takes to keep her out of harm's way - and in his loving arms.
Neve McKay
Ian Campbell

Headed for Trouble is book one in the McKay’s series.  Neve McKay comes home after a decade away.  Not sure what kind of reception she will receive from her brother and sister, she comes home to recuperate and reconnect.  On her first night in town, she meets the local pub manager, Ian Campbell.   They are overwhelmed by their attraction, but things get complicated by his friendship with Neve’s brother Brannon and the circumstances of her return. 

Shiloh Walker’s characters tap into deep emotional reservoirs in this story about surviving abuse, coming home, and forgiving yourself and your family.  Having read several of this author's other series, including the Ash Trilogy, Rafferty and Secrets and Shadows, there one thing I know for sure, Shiloh Walker knows how to write about the emotional cost of survival.  Neve returns to confront her past and find strength to address her present situation.  She has to learn to forgive herself and grow from her past.  She learns how guilt can be debilitating.  This growth takes place in the context of coming home and a new relationship.  

I really enjoyed the relationship between Neve and Ian. I was a little worried at first that this was too much insta-love as their first encounter was incendiary, but I really liked how the relationship evolves. The way Ian behaves toward Neve is so tender.  He knows when to handle Neve with kid gloves, knows when she needs space, and knows when to give her a hug.  His emotional awareness makes him one of my favorite heroes.  I also appreciate that Ms. Walker refrains from making this relationship overdramatic.  Neve’s character is already dealing with multiple issues and this connection is a safe harbor.  

As the first book of the McKay’s, we are also introduced to the characters that will populate the series including Neve’s sister, Moira, and her former boyfriend and current police chief, Gideon; and Neve’s brother, Brannon, and his neighbor and friend to Neve, Hannah.  I really enjoy these personalities and Ms. Walker gives us just enough to hook us for the forthcoming stories.  I’m particularly looking forward to Moira and Gideon’s story because I’m a sucker for second chance themes and this one promises to be a doozy. 

In A Nutshell
Headed for Trouble is an irresistible start to a new series.  Filled with colorful characters, emotional drama and suspense, I’m looking forward to reading more. 

Thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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