Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Tropes: small-town romance; second chance romance; romantic suspense; forced proximity; found family; band of brothers
Have you ever seen that episode of Grey’s Anatomy where the active shooter invades the hospital? The one that incites terror in you as you watch it. I will never forget that episode of television. Catherine Cowles’s Whispers of You has shades of that episode with its compelling, terror-inducing hook, incremental slow-burn second chance journey, and the story twist that you don’t quite see coming. For me, Whispers of You is my favorite Catherine Cowles story of her recent stories. In simple terms, this book is the rib-eye of books to her former porterhouse stories. Whispers of You held me in its thrall and engaged me to the very last page of her bonus epilogue.
Here’s the why:
- The hook of this book is terrifying and heartbreaking. Don’t let that dissuade you from reading it. Like I said earlier, it felt inspired by that emotional and anxiety-inducing episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I originally read this book’s beginning in one of last year’s books, and I couldn’t WAIT to read Whispers of You because of it.
- I adore a resilient character. Wren is the embodiment of it. Instead of becoming a victim who lives in the shadow of her trauma, she becomes an advocate, instead. Holt is lucky to earn her heart because, honestly, she is too good for him given his choices. Cowles grants Colt grace for these choices due to his age. But had this been real life, he might not have won over his love.
- The balance, however, of this story is Holt’s capacity to love and cherish Wren. Once he recognizes his former short-sightedness, he’s a delicious male character: all alpha-hero with a protective streak. Cowles deftly balances Wren’s strength and resilience with Holt’s adoration and compassion. So incredibly good!
- I didn’t see the depth of Cowles’s revelation coming. Yep. I’m usually attuned to the story, but I gasped at the story’s twist. I love that Cowles doesn’t take it easy on her reader.
Catherine Cowles knows herself as a writer as well as the interests of her fans. Whispers of You was an unputdownable read. It was impossible to walk away from Wren and Holt because their story is just that compelling. Fans of small-town romantic suspense – this story is for you! Oh, and there’s an impressive husky to boot!
In love and romance,