I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Narrator: Shelly Baldiga
Series: Whisper Cape #1
Published by Amber Glow Books on October 15, 2011
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal Romance, Suspense
Length: 10 hours 25 minutes
Escape to a world where the impossible becomes possible. WHISPER CAPE is a town of secrets and Addison MacKenna soon becomes tangled in a web of them. Plagued with nightmares of her father’s sudden and brutal death, Addie struggles with her anguish and refuses to believe his demise was accidental.
Fighting to shake off one of those devastating early morning nightmares, Addison finds it even harder to escape from the vision of a man lying on the side of the road—a man she may have just killed. When she frantically tries to locate him, he seemingly disappears, just the beginning of strange occurrences in her life. She also cannot ignore the weird sensations in her own body. Suddenly, the impossible seems possible, but is that a blessing or a curse?
Believing that her continual and worsening nightmares are both the key to her own new abilities and the clue to her father’s death, Addie knows she will not rest until she has the answers she craves. As she strives to cope with her new remarkable talents, someone else learns of her abilities—a disgruntled maniacal psychopath with his own agenda that involves eliminating Addie. The only one who can protect her, instruct her in the use of her powers and teach her how to destroy the murderous monster is the same man who makes Addie’s heart race and her blood heat with passion. The same man she’d left for dead.
Cael Sheridan may be arrogant and mysterious but he's also undeniably gorgeous. A member of a secret society, he is sworn to protect the woman he believes to be the daughter of his recently murdered mentor. In the process, he finds it impossible to resist her magnetic sensuality, complicating his efforts to shield and guide her as she learns to manage her newly acquired skills. At the same time, Addison has much to teach him about trust and commitment. Fate has brought them together, but will it make them stronger or destroy them both in end?
My Initial Reaction…
I don’t read a lot of mystery, because I don’t like books (or shows, really) that feel super procedural. But every now and then I’ll find one that merges with fantasy (which I love) and I’ll give it a shot. Whisper Cape was the perfect blend of mystery and paranormal romance for this girl!
I’ve been discovering a lot of new narrators lately and I’m adding Shelly Baldiga to my list of fun ones. Some of the male voices felt a little over accented, as if that was the only way she could make them both male and different, by adding an accent, but it imbued the characters with personality, perhaps beyond what I would have found in reading the book alone. Her female voices felt spot on and the pacing was just right. The villain’s voice was definitely over the top, but it didn’t bother me, it just made me laugh a little. So not a flawless reading, but overall an enjoyable one.
Whisper Cape is told primarily from the point of view of Addison and Cael, though we also get a few glimpses from Darcy’s point of view and even once from Idolan (the villian). I really enjoyed the way Susan used the different points of view, sometimes retelling short pieces before moving forward to really give you a dynamic view of the events. It never felt like too much or got confusing, as can often happen for me with multiple voices.
I really liked Addison – or Addie, as everyone called her. When we meet her she’s struggling to deal with the loss of her father and isn’t happy with everyone’s conclusion that his death was an accident. She’s determined he was murdered and wants to solve his murder, though she clearly isn’t sure how. And then Cael shows up, literally just appears and then disappears in front of her truck while she’s driving to work. Besides scaring her half to death, he sets things in motion, including Addie’s discovery of who she is and her father really was. Addie really struggles with her new found abilities – both adjusting to their existence and learning how to use them, and I loved that. I can’t stand it when someone discovers they have abilities and are just naturally amazing at them. So Addie’s struggle was refreshing.
One of the things I liked most about Addie was that she let herself be irritated with Cael. We are dealing with a bit of insta-love here and it went a bit over the top for me, honestly. It’s the main reason I’m giving Whisper Cape four stars instead of five. But, Addie at least doesn’t see Cael as some perfect creature, she finds him frequently annoying and calls him on it. I agree with Addie, Cael can be a bit annoying. He’s got a bit of an ego and a hero complex. Mostly, that didn’t bother me, though at times I did want him to get over himself. I also wasn’t thrilled with the very predictable romance scenario where he loves her instantly, but doesn’t want to believe it, realizes that maybe she’d be safer if they weren’t a couple so sends her away (in very mean fashion, of course) and then (at that very moment) realizes that he loves her. It did help, I guess, to add some tension to the insta-love, but in such a predictable way that it wasn’t very exciting. Other than that, I liked Cael and thought he was very likeable (though not really book boyfriend material, IMO).
I also really liked the supporting characters. I kind of felt that Darcy’s point of view, though it worked for the story great, was weird in that we don’t really get to know her that well. She just didn’t develop much beyond the surface level, which was a girl consumed by pain because the only man she ever loved cheated on her and she’s trying to get over it. The supporting characters I would have loved to get inside the heads of are Maya and Jerry – Addie’s aunt and her long-time boyfriend. We see a lot of them throughout and I loved them both. Jerry is fiercely defensive of Addie, but it never annoyed me like it did Cael. Instead I found him funny and lovable. Maya was also the very sweet, very intuitive aunt figure and I would have liked to see her more. But they all came together in a great way for the story.
One of the reasons I don’t typically like mysteries is that they tend to be either too predictable or too difficult to solve. When I get to the end of the book I want to be wrong about the bad guy, but I want to feel like I could have figured it out if I had just paid a little more attention. If it was never possible to guess, then it wasn’t a good mystery for me. And if I knew too early, that’s not good either. Whisper Cape nailed it IMHO. I spent the entire book trying to figure out who Idolan was and every time I was pretty sure I was right, a few chapters later something would happen to make me doubt. And then I was caught in that place where you’re just not sure if that was a detail to throw you off the scent or to help you figure out who it is. I got to the end of the book and was like, “WHAT?!? No way!” So a great mystery.
The story revolves around trying to find out who killed Addie’s father – well, you know it’s Idolan, but you don’t know who Idolan is. That mystery is heightened by Addie’s developing her own powers and learning about herself, the people she belongs to, and her father’s secret identity – not to mention some pretty good sex, as you’d expect from any self-respecting paranormal romance. I really enjoyed the way the supernatural elements weaved together with Addie’s old life and look forward to exploring more of the supernatural world Sharon created. She does a solid job of showing us who these people are and what they are capable of, while leaving some questions to be answered in future books.
A fantastic mystery and a fairly solid paranormal romance, Whisper Cape is a fun read I’d recommend and I look forward to exploring more of this world.