***3.5 ‘Almost Charmed’ STARS***
A little suspense, a little sexy tension and a little bit of story, the second book in Shiloh Walker’s F*ck Club Trilogy took me on an unanticipated ride. For all my expectations, this short story left me with a feeling that I’d missed out on something special. I enjoyed the story for what it was – an erotic tale, but I really wanted the connection and depth I found in book one. The elements were all there to a degree, but in the end I wanted, expected, more.
“Some people wear masks as easy as they breathe.”
Working with his brothers in their new venture as bar owners, Connor Steele is officially retired from the male escort business. If only their new bartender Shawntelle Callahan would let him forget it. She’s got secrets and is on a mission to bring Con out of retirement – only he’s snubbing her at every turn. They both feel the pull each other has toward each other, and if they can manage to drop the masks they both wear maybe, just maybe there really IS something worth investigating…and it isn’t Con’s past.
“The woman infuriated him. And he wanted her more than he’d ever wanted anybody. That just made him madder.”
I had a hard a hard time with this novella. We get a story for Con, are introduced to Shawntelle, and get some snippets of the set-up that’s sure to be Shame and Charli’s (Con & Riley’s sister) book but nothing is really delved into. Con mentions his past in prostitution with casual ease, but you see some pain behind that persona – and he never mentions or deals with any fallout or pain he may hide. On the other hand Shawntelle has secrets that are kept throughout a fair amount of the story, but the reveal was lackluster and nowhere near has angsty and suspenseful as Ms. Walker’s previous books. In the end we’re left with an implied HFN although it’s hard to swallow because the character depth and motivations are lacking. I did love that we got more pieces of Shame and Charli as well as Riley interspersed here and there. The sexual tension and sexuality of the characters was on par as well as the banter between Con and Shawtelle. As a quick erotic novella I enjoyed it. As a part of a series that I expected deeper development and slower pacing and at least a bit of a love story – it missed the mark for me.
“You’ve never come to me without having some sort of…motive.”
Although I found Con’s tale slightly lacking I am intrigued and looking forward to the last book in the trilogy featuring Shame. The artful placing of little nuggets of his past and possible future with the brothers’ sister Charli will have me hopeful I’ll experience all the twisty emotions, complex characters and sultry seduction wrapped up in an erotic love story that I’ve come to expect from Ms. Walker.
“Then I met you and everything…changed.”
*I received this ebook as an ARC. This in no way effects my rating or review.*
K’s Category: Serial Dater – I’ve read every novel/novella released to date.
Sex: Yes, descriptive.
HEA: Implied HFN
Standalone: Yes, although there are references to secondary characters that you’d relate to better having read book one.
Also Available in the Series:
From Dates With K’s Playlist:
About the Author:
Shiloh Walker has been writing since she was a kid. She fell in love with vampires with the book Bunnicula and has worked her way up to the more…ah…serious vampire stories. She loves reading and writing anything paranormal, anything fantasy, and nearly every kind of romance. Once upon a time she worked as a nurse, but now she writes full time and lives with her family in the Midwest.