By: Linzi Meyer
Publication Date: July 2010
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: November 2010
Every once in a while a reviewer is lucky enough to come across a book that actually "speaks" to them; a pearl in the sand, if you will, that people have perhaps overlooked and definitely shouldn't have. Bliss Whisper is a "general" romance, that's true, that's it's category. However, general, to me, is just another word for regular or normal, and this book was far more than a run-of-the-mill love story. The characters who are presented in this fantastic book, that focuses on a decades-old romance, feel almost like people you know; friends that you rememeber from a time long ago when life was a little easier and much more fun. Not to mention, Shell Bliss Island is the ultimate setting for a "perfect" life filled with happiness and joy that every reader will want to move to the second they're done reading the last page.
We begin with Karen Kole. Karen is like a lot of women; she has a job that stresses her out like crazy, and she's stuck in a fiasco of a marriage that's been going on for the past five years and hasn't improved one iota over that time. She met her husband in college, where her best friend Charlotte threw her into a relationship with a pre-law student named Matt. Matt was from a wealthy family and he wanted to get his hands on his trust fund. Therefore, he attached himself to Karen and they ended up getting married in the ever so romantic flashing lights of Las Vegas. Karen has certainly seen Matt's true colors over time - especially after he had an affair with one of her closest friends, and the stress at her job is getting to be absolutely ridiculous. All Karen wants is to head to Shell Bliss Island and spend some time with her beloved Aunt Belle.
Aunt Belle is the wonderful woman who raised Karen after her mother literally left the hospital after giving birth and disappeared into the night. Aunt Belle was always there for Karen, giving her a pleasant and loving upbringing. Unfortunately, the call comes that Aunt Belle has passed away, and what started out as a visit home, turns into a sorrowful trip where Karen must go over Aunt Belle's assets and liabilities with her attorneys. Surprise is an understatement when Karen shows up on the island and begins to uncover the fact that Aunt Belle owned an Inn, an art studio, as well as a number of businesses that helped a myriad of people living on Shell Bliss. As she goes through her Aunt's affairs, one other small surprise happens on the beautiful landscape, when she stares directly at a man with a face and body so stunning she can barely breathe.
His name is Jon Waters, and he and his twin sister Joan are a very close family. In fact, they can feel what the other one does, and knows what their sibling needs and what lies deep in their heart. What Joan knows is that Jon needs a woman who is deserving of such a good man. You see, Jon - like Karen Kole - is going through a messy breakup with an unfaithful woman, and when he sees Karen back on his island, the past hits him in the face full force. As the island begins to whisper in Karen Kole's ear, the voice of Aunt Belle begins to tell her a story from the past; the story of a night long ago when Jon Waters was Karen Kole's Knight in Shining Armor. And Jon hasn't forgotten a moment of time that went on so long ago. He, too, can hear Aunt Belle whispering, and wants nothing more than to finally claim the heart of the woman who stole his ages ago.
Truly a pearl in the sand, this wonderful story offers the best characters I've read in a long time. On the island is a young man named Lance who Karen knows. What she's about to find out, however, is that Lance is a relation as well as a friend. In fact, all the secrets that Karen begins to uncover makes this story not just a romance, but an extremely well-thought-out mystery, as well.
Quill says: I so enjoyed reading about these fantastic chraracters on Shell Bliss Island. In fact, I want to go book my ticket there so I can meet these people face to face and re-start my life in the amazing sun-drenched streets with these loving, kind people. I guarantee that this will be a book that will earn a prominent place on your bookshelf and you, too, will come to the conclusion that Bliss Whisper is anything but general. Full of surprises; full of fun characters, especially Lance; with a back story of a deep, true love that has survived the harsh realities of life - all of these things combine to create a story that will surely sweep you off your feet.
To learn more about Bliss Whisper, please visit the book's website at: www.outskirtspress.com/blisswhisper