Synopsis: One night—a single bullet—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…
Whispers of You (Lost and Found #1) by Catherine Cowles.
Publication Date: January 31, 2023
Publisher: Pagesmith LLC
Genre: Romance, Suspense
Purchase on: Amazon,
Add to: Goodreads
The start of a new series from Catherine Cowles, this is a beautifully romantic and swoony second-chance romance with a feisty heroine, a damaged hero desperate to make amends, drama, suspense, and an epic love story. It’s a gorgeous read, and I loved it!
Readers of Cowles’s books will have met Holt Hartley before, as he has popped up in a couple of her books now. He’s an ex-military, security expert and runs his own company, but before he was the badass that we know him as, he was a teenager from a small town who was madly in love with his childhood friend-turned-girlfriend, Wren.
“I love you, Cricket. With everything I have.”
Everything in me soared. “I love you, too. I always have.”
He grinned, the devastating kind that always took me out at the knees. “We’re gonna have a beautiful life.”
Holt and Wren were there kind of couple that are meant to be – blissfully happy, deeply in love, and unquestionably committed. Until one brutal tragedy changed everything. Holt could not deal with the fallout and, consumed with guilt, he left town and didn’t look back, honestly thinking that he was doing the right thing for everybody. Now he’s returning home to see his family, and he’s finally ready to face up to everything that he left behind.
It’s not an easy homecoming for Holt. Not only because he has to make amends with his family and friends for being gone for so long, but he knows that he’s going to have to see Wren again. Wren is the best friend of Holt’s younger sister, and she has been a much-loved part of the Hartley family since she was a kid – even after Holt left town. All of the parts of his past are all tangled up, but at the center of it all is Wren, and with one glance at her, he knows he won’t be able to leave her again.
It didn’t matter if it had been ten days or ten years. A love like that ruined you for all others.
Wren has done her best to move on from Holt in the ten years since he’s been gone. She was at her lowest point when he left, and she’s rebuilt her life without him, and it’s a good life, though definitely lacking in the romance department. But suddenly, her first love and the man she’s never been able to forget is back in town, and showing up everywhere, throwing her calm and peaceful life into disarray.
Sparks fly when Holt and Wren see each other again. Despite their traumatic past, you can see that there is still SO much emotion between the two of them. Holt knows that he has to make up for his past actions and the years of heartbreak between them, and he wastes no time in trying to make up for his mistakes.
Holt held me tighter against him. “I’m so sorry, Cricket. You’ll never know how much. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.”
And when danger returns to their small town once again, Holt declares himself Wren’s protector, promptly moving into her house to provide around-the-clock security (and upping the chemistry), and in no time at all, they find themselves falling back together.
I still couldn’t get close enough. I was a woman starved. Cut off from the most beautiful thing I’d ever experienced and finally feeling it again for the first time.
There’s a lot they need to talk through, and there’s a lot they need to move past, and it’s an emotional journey for them as they revisit that devastating time and work through the trauma, grief and guilt from it all. My heart ached for both of them and all that they have struggled with, but their love for each other shines through all of it, and Holt holds nothing back in his determination to be a part of Wren’s life once again.
“Never stopped loving you. Not for a single second.”
Their reunion is emotional, passionate, and swoonily romantic. Holt is full of gorgeous declarations and I loved seeing them come back together so easily despite all that they’ve been through.
“You with me?”
… “I’m with you.”
But it wouldn’t be a Catherine Cowles book without some sort of mystery/suspense, and this one is intense with some interesting twists. It really makes the heart pound, bringing even more drama to the story and showing the strength of the connection between Holt and Wren as they cling together to get through it all.
Helping and supporting them through it all is the entire Hartley family. Holt’s parents are great, and his siblings are so entertaining and bring a lot to the story. Their reactions to Holt and Wren’s reconnection is so much fun! I can’t wait to get to know them more as the series continues, and there’s already a great set-up for Nash’s story up next.
This is a beautifully romantic story that really pulls the heartstrings, and I loved watching Holt and Wren overcome so much to find their way back to each other.
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