3 out of 4 stars
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Whispered Wishes by Sue Lilley is a romantic thriller set in England. The plot follows Olivia Wilding whose life turns upside down when her lover, a celebrity photographer, spontaneously destroys her career and their relationship. Humiliated and penniless due to the scandal he created, Olivia retreats to a small cottage she owns in Havenwood. She easily makes friends in the village and quickly catches the eye of her handsome neighbor, Nathan Swift. Unfortunately, Olivia’s past catches up with her and strains the blossoming romance between the pair. She gets caught in the middle of a dangerous feud between Nathan and Lucas who coincidentally have a history together. Can they all put aside their differences and work together when Nathan’s five-year-old daughter is suddenly kidnapped?
Firstly, this isn’t a typical, predictable romance story. I absolutely enjoyed the unpredictability of the events. The plot’s volatility also hinged on the characters, especially Olivia. I could not accurately gauge her dynamic personality so I was shocked by some of the decisions she made. Lucas’ decisions were also hard to predict because he seemed very air-headed. He also had a surprising past with strong connections to questionable sub-characters. I really liked how the book kept my mind alert with this unique blend of characters and plot twists.
What I liked the least about the book was that the author tended to delay giving an explanation or backstory. For instance, Olivia and Lucas’ story wasn’t too clear at the beginning of the book. Only in the fourth chapter did I learn how their relationship began and ended. Sometimes, I felt out of the loop until certain details were revealed. Actually, a couple of times I flipped back to reread certain pages just to ensure I hadn’t missed anything (I didn’t, the author just hadn’t gotten to explaining it yet). A good book immerses the reader in the story, it doesn’t make them feel like an outsider.
A range of themes was explored in this book like lust, friendship, and parenting. Emotional themes of loss are also present. The book contains swearing and occasional erotic scenes. As it isn’t a typical mushy romance tale, younger readers may not appreciate the complex storyline and drama. Therefore, I would only recommend it to mature readers. Furthermore, mature readers will be able to relate to the characters’ experiences as they may have also encountered things like divorce and losing a baby.
Whispered Wishes was fairly well-edited. I only stumbled upon two minor errors. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I deducted a star because specific details for certain events and characters were not logically introduced. This broke the flow of the story and left me confused at times.
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