Whispers of You by Catherine Cowles Book Review
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One night—a single moment—cost me everything.
My body, broken beyond repair. The boy I’d thought was my forever. The life I’d always dreamt of.
Now, Holt’s back. And he’s no longer a boy, but a man with shadows in his eyes and demons haunting him.
He says he’s here to make things right. To get back a little bit of all we’ve lost. And he doesn’t show any signs of leaving the small town that has been my refuge.
As stolen moments turn to days, Holt’s around every corner. With his burning stare and lingering touches. Before long, my walls come crashing down and I’m just hoping that taking this second chance isn’t as reckless as it feels.
But not everyone is happy that Holt has returned. As tragedy strikes again, I’m the one left in the crosshairs. And Holt might not be able to save me this time…
This book does not have any sensitive content warnings. Here is the potentially sensitive content that I observed:
- Gun violence
- Mass shootings
- PTSD/Panic Attacks/Anxiety
- Sexual content
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There are possible **SPOILERS** beyond this point!
Whispers of You was very mid for me. I didn’t feel wildly connected to either main character. This book is at a slow pace for a romantic suspense novel and the romance was very weak. I felt like it was both too long and too short. Too long because we spent way too much time with the side characters. Too short because this book should have had more substance to the romance and character development.
I didn’t love the small town and the family continuously butting into the main couples’ love life. I actually never enjoy that but in this book, their interference would often push the couple’s second chance progress back which was even more frustrating. Most of the character development happens when the main characters interact with their friends, family or coworkers. For the first 50% of the book these two characters aren’t even together and they barely talk to each other. Then, they’re hooking up because Wren has a mental breakdown in the shower…What? Wren and Holt’s conversations never had much depth to them either. They would go as such:
Holt: I’m the worst. I’m not good enough for you.
Wren: I’m weak and lonely. You’re the only person who can save me. (Even though I’ve just been attacked again and you didn’t help me…) Don’t leave me!
Holt: I’m the worst. I’m not good enough for you.
And it goes on like that until the end of the book in various different semantics.
The romance really lacked for me because the happy times these two have together are mostly in the form of flashbacks or cringe-y sex. The closeness we see between them is usually after something horrible has just happened to Wren as she is still a big target. I get that they grew up together but I still want to see why these two people love each other and I didn’t. I wanted Catherine to show me and not tell me that they were perfect for each other. I don’t think Holt deserved a second chance with Wren. I really would have preferred that they be friends and move on in separate directions. I didn’t believe in their love and I certainly wasn’t rooting for it.
Finally, let’s talk about the mystery subplot. This aspect of the book really intrigued me and was why I was still reading. I loved the guessing and misdirection! But ultimately… You guessed it… it fell flat. The 3rd shooter’s identity did shock me but the reasoning behind it was… pretty dumb. It didn’t make sense to me at all but they were not sane so, I guess take that for what you will.
The passion, the tension, the spark never kicked in for me. Whispers of You read very much like trauma bonding and defense mechanisms syncing up. I don’t recommend or not recommend this story. If you’re interested in the story or the author, then go for it! Who knows, you might enjoy it more than me. I’m happy I finally gave this author a try but I just don’t think her brand of romance is for me.
There are a couple of open door scenes in this book. But they are short.
Female Main Character
This character was extremely forgettable. I couldn’t tell you much about her besides she cries a lot and likes Little Women, the movie. Very, very boring. She really needed to see an actual therapist or someone to talk her through the trauma she was still holding on to from when she was shot. There was so much that didn’t make sense to me about her life choices. I didn’t understand why Wren, chose to forever punish herself with holding this love for a man like Holt. I didn’t see why she continuously tortures herself as a dispatcher. Please get another job Wren.
Male Main Character
Holt, the MMC, came off as very self-righteous and not necessarily in a good way. His self-loathing over not being Superman ruined his whole life. It was hard to forget that fact even when they spent time together and you could see the ruin he really left behind. I don’t feel like there was real character growth or enough groveling for him to have earned or deserved a second chance. He literally abandoned her for years and the reasoning was absurd. His protectiveness over Wren really fell flat for me and seemed more overbearing than anything else. You left her to fend for herself for TEN YEARS, you being back for a couple of weeks and showing up too late (every time) when she’s in trouble now doesn’t make it better.
Genre & Tropes
- Second Chance Romance
- Small Town Romance
- Forced Proximity
- Childhood friends to lovers
Check out Whispers of You on Amazon here.