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B REVIEWS B+ Review Contemporary Romance Review

Joint Review – Razed (Barnes Brothers #2) by Shiloh Walker

Razed cover image

Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: Out Today
How we got this book: NetGalley
Reviewed by: MinnChica & E

Tattoo artist Keelie Jessup can handle that someone else has claimed the man of her dreams. She’s just not pleased with her remaining options…

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.

*Blurb from Goodreads*

MinnChica: I have a special place in my heart for this series. Not only because it takes place in my hometown of Tucson, but also because I was with Walker at the Tucson Festival of Books when she cooked up the idea for this series. Everytime I read about prickly pear margaritas and great mexican food, I can’t help but think back on that weekend and smile at all the fun we had.

E: Just like MinnChica, I have a soft spot for this series. Watching the idea come alive and then seeing the final version of Wrecked was incredible. I spent significant time in Tuscon when I lived in the southwest so reading the descriptions doesn’t just remind me of the fun weekend but transports me back to my time there. I was extremely happy to find out Walker was continuing this series and couldn’t wait for more of the Barnes family.

MinnChica: I was super excited to see what would happen with Zane and Keelie, especially after the way things went with the last book. I wanted Keelie to grow up a little, and realize that Zane was there for her, dedicated to her, and ready to rock her world if she would just let him in. I thought their romance was so great. It was the perfect mix of angst and drama and sweet surrender. I liked the way Keelie finally made a conscious decision to move forward with their romance, even though it was obvious it scared her shitless.

E: I have to admit I was worried about Keelie and Zane. They seemed a bit like star-crossed lovers with Keelie’s actions in the first book and Zane’s years of pent-up longing coming to ahead. I was really worried Zane would end up seriously hurt because Keelie appeared to be rather self-centered, shallow, and impulsive. Boy was I wrong. I really enjoyed watching Zane patiently make his move and learning about what depths Keelie kept hidden, even from herself. The highs and lows Zane and Keelie shared as well as learning about their painful pasts and how they confronted those fears was extremely moving.

MinnChica: Although I liked getting to know Keelie more in this book, I loved LOVED Zane. He was sexy and Alpha and the kind of take-charge hero that I adore and love so much. He knew what he wanted, and he pursued it with a single-minded focus that I thought was perfect for him and Keelie both. And it wasn’t just in their romance, it was also the way he approached life and his career. Once Zane made a conscious decision on how he wanted to move forward, he did it with such determination and focus that he wouldn’t let anything or anyone trip him up or get in his way. I loved that about him.

E: Zane’s focus was incredible. He was much slower in deciding what he really wanted but once he made up his mind, he wasn’t stopping until he achieved success. The thought of that much focus, determination, and planning focused on one person was in a way almost daunting yet he was patient about it. Like MinnChica, I enjoyed seeing this was an integral part of his personality not just something he pulled out for his encounters with Keelie. Zane appeared to be the type of person you could trust to take care of something if he said he would which I think Keelie really needed. On the other hand Keelie gave Zane someone he could open up and expose all of his darkest parts without phasing her because she also knew darkness.

MinnChica: Another aspect of this series that I adore so much is the bond between the Barnes brothers. I’m a huge fan of books that have strong family ties and dynamics, and these brothers are some of the best. They are different and rowdy and loud and playful. They love each other, push each other’s buttons, and are there for one another through thick and thin. I can’t wait to read about the other brothers finding their HEA’s, because I am already so invested in each and every one of them! 🙂

E: I also adore the bond between the siblings. It was interesting seeing glimpses of them interacting more one-on-one instead of in a group, but I will admit I missed the large group dynamic. However, I loved seeing a bit of what those who appeared in this story kept to themselves and getting a bit of a hint about the personality challenges to come in future stories. As much as they bickered it was obvious underlying the arguments was love and the knowledge that they had each other’s backs even when they mistepped because they cared. The women they fall for will have to be strong and stand up to the brotherly concern. I can’t wait **evil grin**!

MinnChica: All in all, I loved the second book in the Barnes Brothers series. Both Zane and Keelie were interesting and wonderful individual characters, and then even better as a couple. I loved their romance and relationship and the way it developed in a way that felt real and genuine. I can’t wait to read more in this series, and hope that Walker pushes writing these books to the top of her list! 🙂
I give Razed a B+

E: I think this is one of Walker’s best series. Her characters are memorable, the setting vivid, and their struggles real without being all-consuming. Keelie and Zane both had to learn to open up and reach for what they wanted taking the chance it would be there. Their journey was moving, measured, and fleshed them out nicely. I will be on the look-out for more.
I give Razed a B+

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By E_booklover

E is addicted to books. She discovered at an early age that not only were they her transport to far off worlds, adventures, and exotic cultures, but that she ran into far fewer objects if she walked while reading then if she wasn't reading. She reads across several genres, such as: romance, western,mystery, SF/F and its derivatives. She isn't too picky except for good characterization, settings she can imagine, and a story that flows logically... umm so ok -- she wants a good story. Have any to recommend?

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