Guilty Needs, by Shiloh Walker
Should I admit upfront that I’m a fan of Ms Walker’s? Well, I am. And I think her writing gets better with each book.
At 150 pages, Guilty Needs is a longish novella rather than a full novel and despite its (lack of) length, it manages to be a very engaging read. How engaging, you ask? Well…My eyes are burning and I’m awake in the middle of the night after having read it in one sitting. One. At the stupid desktop. (Yes, I know I need a better way to read e-books, thank you.)
The usual warning: this erotic romance has graphic language and sexual content. If you are a minor, or bothered by either of the above, do yourself a favor and don’t read on. Thank you.
With that done, here’s the blurb:
The day his wife died, Colby knew his life was over. At least, that’s how he wanted it be. He didn’t want to feel anything, not even when his wife’s best friend, Bree, offered him solace.
He just took off. But he couldn’t outrun the pain and he couldn’t outrun the dreams. Hot, sweaty dreams that threaten to drive him mad. He can’t stop thinking about Bree.
A year later, he returns home, determined to close the book on his old life. But those dreams–those dark, guilty needs–haven’t gone away. They threaten to consume him. And it doesn’t help that his wife’s ghost is haunting him… encouraging him…
Colby, his wife Alyssa, and Bridgette (Bree) have known each other for most of their lives, and the three have been best friends since forever. The couple is blissfully happy and even though Bree has been in love with Colby for all that time, she’s happy for him and for Alyssa.
But when Alyssa succumbs to cancer, everything changes for—and between—these two people that she loved, and who loved her. Now, there is nothing stopping these two friends from exploring the attraction they feel towards each other.
Nothing, that is, except guilt.
Have you ever noticed how insidious a feeling guilt is? It is the easiest feeling to insinuate into our souls, and the most difficult to get rid off—no matter how illogical or baseless it may be. Guilt often controls our actions to unhealthy degrees without our being aware of it.
In this story, Ms Walker explores the meaning—and strength—of guilt and grief, of healing and love.
Guilty Needs is a very intimate love story—there are no intrusive subplots, mysteries to solve, worlds to save. The reader follows these people as they work out their feelings, and then heal enough to accept them.
The success of Guilt Needs hinges entirely on its characterization, which Ms Walker handles with sensitive and careful writing. Both Colby and Bree are entirely believable, their reactions and emotions natural for their situation, and even if at times there was a smidgen of impatience watching them cling to a negative emotion, there is also heartfelt sympathy for their plight.
8 out of 10.