Hope Carson may not look like a survivor, but she has escaped an abusive ex-husband and recovered from a vicious assault. Now she endures the painful memories and suspicious rumors surrounding her involvement in the attack. Her ex is a cop, so the last people she trusts are law enforcement officials—and she certainly doesn’t trust how the local DA makes her feel inside.
Remy Jennings should know better. He has no business falling for a woman who he suspects may have a deeply troubled mind. And even if he did make a move, she’d bolt like a frightened rabbit. But how can he deny a burning desire that threatens to consume him? As Hope’s past catches up with her in the worst way, Remy is determined to break through her defenses, earn her trust, and keep her safe in his arms—before it’s too late.
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CHAPTER ONE “She’s a disturbed woman, I’m afraid to say.”
Remington Jennings pinched the bridge of his nose and tried not to think about the sad green eyes and silken brown hair of one Hope Carson. “Disturbed, how? Can you help me out any here, Detective Carson?”
On the other end of the end line, the man sighed. “Well, I’m reluctant to do that. You see, I wouldn’t have a DA on the phone, asking about my wife, if there wasn’t trouble. And I don’t want to cause her trouble.”
“She’s your ex-wife and she’s already got trouble. Do you want her to get the help she needs or not?” Remy asked, his voice taking on a sharp edge. Hell, anybody with half a brain could see that woman wouldn’t hurt a fly unless she was just pushed . . .
“You want to help her, is that it, Jennings?” The detective laughed, but it wasn’t a happy sound. It was sad and bitter.
“If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have called. I’m not trying to lock her up and throw away the key here. Help me out, Detective.” Damn it, Carson, gimme a break.
“Help you out. You mean help you help Hope.” Once more, Joseph Carson sighed. He was Hope’s ex and a cop from out west. He was also proving to be one hell of a pain in the ass.
Faintly, Remy heard a heavy creak. “Mr. Jennings, pardon my French, but you can’t help Hope, because she doesn’t fucking want help. She’s a very troubled young woman. She . . . shit, this is hard, but we hadn’t been married very long when she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. She’s manipulative, a chameleon—she can make a person believe whatever they need to believe. You might think you’re seeing a woman you can help—if she’ll just let you. But that’s not the case. You’re seeing what she wants you to see.”
Remy clenched his jaw, closed his hand around the pen so tightly it snapped.
Shit—that . . . no. Not right. Everything inside screeched just how wrong that was. It couldn’t be right—it just couldn’t.
But his voice was cool, collected, as he said, “Borderline personality disorder, you said? Does she have a history of violence?”
Long, tense moments of silence passed and finally, Carson said, “Yeah. There’s a history of violence. Only against herself . . . and me. I kept it very well hidden. I didn’t want people thinking bad things about her, and on my part . . . well, I was ashamed. For her, for myself, for both of us. It wasn’t until things got really bad that I couldn’t hide it anymore.”
“You’re telling me she was violent with you?” Remy knew he needed to be making notes, processing this.
But he couldn’t—couldn’t process, couldn’t even wrap his mind around it. That woman lifting her hand against somebody?
No. The picture just wasn’t coming together for him.
“Yes.” Carson sighed once more.
“So you’re telling me she does have a history of violence?”
“Shit, didn’t I just go through that?” he snarled.
Remy clutched the phone so tight, it was amazing the plastic didn’t crack. This was wrong—so fucking wrong, and he knew it, knew it in his bones.
She’s manipulative, a chameleon—she can make a person believe whatever they need to believe. You might think you’re seeing a woman you can help—if she’ll just let you. But that’s not the case. You’re seeing what she wants you to see.
Damn it, was he just letting her lead him around, he wondered?
Right then, he wasn’t sure.
He took a deep, slow breath, focused on the phone. “Can you give me some examples? Tell me what happened?”
“Examples. Shit.” Carson swore and then demanded, “Why should I tell you this? Just answer me that.”
“Because if she’s got a mental disorder, then she does need help and if she needs help, I’d rather her get help then get locked up. You should know her better than anybody. So if you do care about her, help me help her. Come on, Detective. You’re a cop. You’re sworn to uphold the law, to protect people. If your wife could prove dangerous . . .”
“You fucking lawyers, you always know what to say,” Carson muttered. But there was no anger, no malice in his voice. Just exhaustion. “Yeah, you could say she has violent tendencies. You could say she has a history of violence. She’s very manipulative and all those violent tendencies get worse when she doesn’t get her way. She becomes unstable, unpredictable. There is no telling what she might do to somebody she perceived as being in her way.”
Abruptly, his voice lost that calm, detached tone and he snarled, “There. I gave you all the dirt you needed and don’t tell me you can’t use that. God help me, I hate myself even though I know she needs help. Now tell me what the fuck is going on!”
Remy blew out a slow breath and said, “She’s in the hospital at the moment—attempted suicide. Plus, there was an attack on a friend of hers. It looks like she might be responsible.”
“Fuck.” The word was harsh, heavy with fury and grief. “She’s tried to commit suicide before, so as much as I hate to hear it, that’s not a big surprise. But the friend . . . you said there was an attack on a friend?”
“Yes.” Remy scowled absently at nothing. “Maybe you’ve heard of him—it seems like the two of them go back quite a while. The name’s Law Reilly?”
“Reilly.” Carson grunted. “Yeah. I know Law. I wish I could say I was surprised to hear that she’d turned on him, but Hope’s always had a way of turning on those who’ve tried to help her. Those who care about her.”
Remy closed his eyes.
Damn it, was there anything this guy could say that would make it a little bit easier for him to figure out how to handle Hope?
Of course if he wanted her put away, this guy would be making his whole damn night.
But right now, he could almost hear the cell door swinging shut on her and it was just turning Remy’s stomach. “So you think she could have hurt Mr. Reilly?”
“With Hope, I just don’t know. The one thing I do know? She’s capable of just about anything. I also know that I wish I could help her. Hell, I’d like to believe you can. But I know I can’t, and I can’t believe you can either. She doesn’t want help, won’t admit she needs it. Look, if there’s anything I can do to make sure she gets that help, just ask. I don’t want her in trouble, but I do want her to get help. Before it’s too late.”
Remy barely remembered the rest of the conversation. He was too busy finally processing the fact that he’d more or less gotten the supporting evidence he needed.
Hope Carson’s fingerprints had been found all over the weapon used to beat Law Reilly.
She had slit her wrists.
She had a history of violence.
A history of turning on people who cared about her.
According to her ex-husband—who seemed to care about her—she was manipulative, prone to doing whatever it took to get her way.
Fuck and double fuck.
Instead of feeling satisfied with what he needed to do, what he could do, he found himself thinking about those sad, sad green eyes . . .
By the time she landed at Blue Grass Airport, Nia Hollister was so damned tired, she could barely see straight, so sick at heart, she ached with it, and she longed to curl up in a dark, quiet room and just . . . sob.
Giving in to tears had never been her way, but this time, the temptation was strong, so overpowering, there were times when she felt the tears swelling in her throat like a knot. And a scream—just beyond the tears, there was a scream begging to break free.
She kept it held inside through sheer will alone.
Now wasn’t the time to scream, or to cry.
Somewhere inside her heart, she still wanted to believe they were wrong.
All of them.
Joely wasn’t dead. She couldn’t be. They were like sisters—almost closer than sisters.
They rarely fought. They were best friends, in their hearts, their souls. Even when Nia was on the other side of the country for half the year—or out of the country . . .
They could be wrong. All of them—Bryson, Joely’s fiancé, who wouldn’t even go with her to identify the body, the cops who insisted it was Joely . . . everybody. They could all be wrong.
It might not be Joely.
But if it wasn’t her cousin lying dead in a morgue in Ash, Kentucky, then where was she?
Her fiancé hadn’t seen her in more than a month.
She wasn’t answering her cell phone or e-mail.
It was like she’d dropped off the face of the earth.
No . . . she hasn’t dropped off the face of the earth. She’s been lying dead in the deep freeze in the morgue, you selfish bitch, while you’re off on assignment.
Abandoned—because law enforcement always turned to family, although Bryson might have been able to do it if he’d pushed, especially since Nia hadn’t been reachable. Out of contact—fuck.
She hadn’t been around, while her cousin was kidnapped, hadn’t been around while she was killed, hadn’t been around at all and because of that, Joely was treated like some worthless piece of garbage.
Nia hadn’t been around. Oh, God . . . Tears pricked her eyes. She’d been out of contact for almost three weeks. Joely could have reached her, but would she have shared that information with her fiancé? Probably not.
With weariness and grief dragging at her steps, she lugged her carry-on through the airport. Years of living out of a suitcase had taught her to pack light and the bag was all she carried. The rest of her stuff was being shipped back to her house in Williamsburg.
Soon, she’d have to find a Laundromat and wash her clothes, but that was a problem for another day.
Now, she needed to get a rental car. Rental car. Then she needed to . . .
She stopped in front of an ad—it was brightly colored, displaying a chestnut horse racing across a field of green grass. Numb, she just stared at it for a minute and then once more started to walk.
What People are Saying About This
"The second installment of the Ash trilogy maintains the taut thrill quotient while giving [fans] a beautiful romance at the same time." -Romantic Times
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My Thoughts: If You See Her is book 2 in Shiloh Walker’s Ash Trilogy. In book 1 If You Hear Her we are introduced to the town of Ash, Kentucky. In book 1 we are thrown into a murder mystery. If You See Her picks up where we left off in book 1, I would highly recommend that you read If You Hear Her, before If You See Her. This was a great, highly intense, fast moving story, with lots of twists and turns along the way. You never know who is the good guy or the bad guy. And just when you think you have it figured out you find you are wrong. I truly enjoyed this story. Each story in this Trilogy keeps getting better and better. I am so looking forward to the third and final book in the Ash Trilogy-If You Know Her. If you have not started this series and you love romantic suspense stories. I would highly recommend you read the Ash series
It started a little slowly for me, but it picked up. It was a good second book in the series...so ready for book #3!
If You See Her is a good story, intriguing plot, and great characters (main and auxilliary). If you like romantic suspense this is a good book. BUT - it is part 2 of 3 -- the romance for the main characters (Remy and Hope) is resolved but the mystery/bad guy is not. I'd highly suggest already having read book 1 (If You Hear Her) and have 3 (If You Know Her) on hand to finish out the story. The book would be ok on it's own, but definitely better when you get the back story from book 1 and ending from book 3!
4 1/2 stars 'If You See Her' by Shiloh Walker is the thrilling sequel to the enthralling 'If You Hear Her'. Both are set in a small town that has been devastated by the depredations of a deranged killer. Hope Carson has survived abuse by her sadistic ex-husband who is an influential detective in their own small town. She has finally succumbed to her friend Law Reilly's repeated requests to join him in the town of Ash, Kentucky after two years of a nomadic life designed to avoid being tracked by her ex-husband. A horrific attack nearly kills Law and may result in Hope being charged or committed, depending on the findings of lawyer and occasional investigator Remington (Remy) Jennings. Remy is conflicted by his desire to do the right thing and his attraction to the ostensibly frail woman who turns out to have a formidable backbone. Remy inadvertently causes Hope even more grief by consulting with her ex-husband who does his best to undermine her reputation and ensure that she is discredited even as he plots his revenge. Matters continue to escalate as Remy attempts to insinuate himself into the life of a woman that he longs to cherish even as she is struggling to find her way out of the nightmare that she has been enmeshed in. Unfortunately, there seems to be more than one person who wants to ensure that their relationship is permanently ended before it has a chance to begin and the town of Ash may never recover from the horrors being visited upon it. (slight spoiler) Another great addition to the series. A couple of startling developments accompany this seriously creepy tale that ratchets up the tension started with the first work in this fascinating trilogy. There are brief appearances by Lena, Puck and Ezra but there is not much progress toward catching the killer who terrified Lena. I am not thrilled by one of the developments although it is not unexpected but I enjoyed the gradual flowering of the relationship between the badly damaged Hope and the previously self-assured Remy. There are some actions by Law that are uncharacteristic but help connect this tale to the next. I am really glad that the last book in the trilogy is already out although I will be sorry to see the series end.
Hope is no helpless Tinkerbell. I really liked this book. I loved Hope, and her grittiness; I loved Remy, for not buying into her ex-husband's lies about her. And yet. This is the second book in a trilogy about a vicious serial killer, and he doesn't do much more than put in a cameo appearance. Plus, TWO stalkers in the woods at the same time - really? There's definitely danger and suspense, but it doesn't much feel like a continuation of the serial killer storyline. I liked this storyline, and Hope working to recovering her independence after a soul-destroying, gaslighting abusive marriage, but it felt almost like a separate stand alone novel. There's also missing "stuff;" Hope left her abusive ex two years previously, and only came to her friend/pseudo brother Law a few months ago, but for both her and her abusive ex, it's as if that time happened only on paper. She doesn't recall any anecdotes in dialogue or internal thought; he reacts as if she's left just the prior week. There should be SOMETHING - she has been followed or pursued, so she's even jumpier, or she hasn't, therefore she's beginning to feel maybe he HAS given up on her. Enjoyed getting another peek at Lena and Ezra, and the peek at the next couple, Law and Nia. A very good read, but for those who read the first book and are looking to move toward closure - you'll have to wait for book #3.
Loved the book!
Cant wait to read the conclusion of this series
This book picks up exactly where If You Hear Her ended with Hope and Law in the hospital after there brutal attack. Remy Jennings who is the DA based on the evidence thinks that Hope killed Prather, beat Law with a bat and slit her own wrist. He is on his way to arrest her after talking to her psycho as hell ex husband and believing his lies. After evidence finally proves Hope didnt do it Remy goes to apologize but Hope not liking and fearing all forms of any one in law enforcement doesn't want anything to do with him. I liked that we finally got to know more about Hope and what happened to her in her marriage to make her the way she was. Remy was very understanding with her and didnt push there relationship. As this series of books seem to just end and start where the last one left off it was nice to also see the continuing relationship of Lena and Ezra. The killer in this book was around but he played a slightly different part in this book which was kind of interesting. I still dont know for sure who it is. I think I have an idea of what his last name is but since there are soo many people with that last name in this series I am not quite sure which one.
If You See Her by Shiloh Walker continues the mystery started in If You Hear Her. Hope Carson desperately needs a new start. She is a spousal abuse survivor and turns to her best friend Law Reilly for support. Law offers her a fresh start and a job in Ash, Ky. When a new death points to Hope it brings her unwanted attention by the law and the DA Remy Jennings. Remington Jennings is honor bound to serve and protect the citizens in Ash, KY. His first meeting with Hope has him drawn to the quiet woman. Remy knows there is a story behind the fear he sees in her eyes. When evidence begins to mount against Hope he looks into her past to see if it has any merit. Remy and Hope start a slow dance of a romance. Hope is trying to overcome her past and but her faith and trust in Remy. Remy realizes Hope is much stronger then he first thought and will do anything to protect her. Remy and Hope romance blossoms and Hope revels in a man who treats her right. But it seems her past is catching up with her and it buts both of them in grave danger. If You See Her is a gripping story that will have you staying up late to finish. Watch Hope come out of her shell is well writing and you are anxious to see the happy ever after for Hope and Remy. The suspense grows more chilling as the body count rises. It makes one eager to read the next story to find out who is terrorizing the town of Ash, Ky.
I couldn't put the book down...
I bought all three of Shiloh Walker's 'trilogy' books because I really love her writing and have rarely been disappointment. Well, I am disappointed. The first book in the trilogy was really good, full of romance, a murderer to find, sexual tension, action, etc..., This second book, 'If You See Her' was dragging, slightly boring until about 3/4 of the way through, no real romance between the two main characters for most of hte book, or sexual tension until the very (VERY) end of the book. For the most part, I felt like I was sitting in on a 'relationship therapy' session because of all the messed up people in this book trying to work through their problems. Remy and Hope when they finally get together start out really slow but soon pick up and you can tell wHile hesitant on her part they really belong together. However, it took a looooonnngggg time to get there. There was an incident in the middle of the book where Hope's best friend, sort of an older brother also betrays here for a stranger. A stranger pulling a gun to kill them. ???? WTH?? Of course forgiveness goes all around but really?? And now I'm on the third book and the crazy woman is the 'heroine'. *sigh* I'm jsut trying to get through the storyline adn then I'm done. Wish I hadn't bought it but borrowed and skimmed. Overall, interesting storyline, was going good but got off track.
The suspense continues from the first book with me still trying to figure out "who done it". I really like this story and how it keeps the characters from the previous book involved while the main couple build their relationship.
I am usually a big Walker fan, but this one is not her best work. The characters are interesting and plot picks up well with where the last book left off. However, the characters are too out-of-character at the end. It is like she needed an ending and tried to avoid a formula. It was too much of a reach for me.