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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Seductive Musings

Sunday, November 13, 2011

WHISPERING ROCK by Robyn Carr

Whispering Rock (Virgin River, #3)Whispering Rock by Robyn Carr

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I hate it when I buy a book and then discover I already have it. Such was the case with Robyn Carr's WHISPERING ROCK. I owned it — and then spent $23+ to buy it for my iPod. Oh, well. I should check Goodreads more often to see what I already own. But I digress...

WHISPERING ROCK was a delight and helped me make it through a difficult weekend when I need escape more than anything else. As I told my mother, the VIRGIN RIVER SERIES is “comfort romance” at its best, featuring a town of heroic men and women who are thoughtful, resourceful and care about others more than themselves.

This is the third book in the series and tells the story of Brie, a tough assistant district attorney, who has just been the victim of a brutal rape, and Mike (Miguel), a friend of Brie's older brother Jack and retired cop who is himself a survivor of violent crime — and deeply attracted to Brie.

As with all the Virgin River books, readers are brought up to date on the other characters' lives. Carr has a gift for involving us in multiple story lines involving primary, secondary and even tertiary characters without losing the readers' interest. This gives Virgin River the feeling of being a real town (though I have to say its residents are a lot nicer than the residents of my town).

While Jack and Mel and Paige and Preacher — characters from the first two books — deal with their own challenges, Mike slowly helps Brie back from the brink, offering her an understanding that no one else can. Having been shot and almost killed, he knows what it's like to survive trauma. Because one of the bullets struck his groin, robbing him of his ability to get an erection, he also understands what it is to be robbed of one's sexuality, something that's very real for Brie in the wake of this terrible rape.

As a rape survivor, I guess I'm drawn to stories about healing from sexual assault because it resonates. Mike was a true hero for Brie, putting her needs before his own on every single page. And although a few times — the initial sex scene between them, for example — I felt Brie's healing was a little too miraculous, lacking the darker edges of reality, I realize there's only so much an author or a reader wants to dwell on that in a novel with a happy ending.

Overall, I felt Carr did an amazing job of crafting a trauma victim's sense of reality, showing the way post-traumatic stress takes over a person's life. (I dealt with that for five long horrible years.) In one scene, Brie faces her first night in a house alone, and I felt every moment of it with her. I have lived that night many, many times — holding the gun, staying awake almost all night long, heart racing, stomach sick, every noise making me jump. Even the thoughts Brie had were familiar to me. Carr really did her research here — or perhaps has had experiences of her own.

Fortunately for Brie, there is Mike, who provides her with the healing that many rape victims never receive. The result is a poignant, beautiful romance that left me smiling.

For those who love babies in romance, the Virgin River series delivers... no pun intended. I happen to love babies and have a real interest in midwifery and home birth, so I love it.

It's the third book in the series, and I've enjoyed them all so far. Listening to it on audiobook as opposed to reading it forced me to slow down and appreciate Carr's use of language more. She has a very smooth, silky style that seems very simple but which, in truth, requires some serious skill.

When it comes to steam, I was satisfied. I'm more interested in story than sex. I'd rather feel connected to the characters than watch them do gymnastics on the bed. There is romantic, touching sex in this story, and I think most readers of contemporary romance will enjoy it.

As a P.S., just let me add that Audible.com really ought to make certain that its narrators and voice actors can actually speak the languages they’re speaking. Mike is Latino and spoke Spanish as his first language. The narrator, bless her heart, couldn’t speak Spanish at all, and her abysmal accent made me, a multi-lingual person, cringe.



View all my reviews

2 comments:

Hope said...

I love love love this series. I was a little hesitant to read it cause I am more of a romantic suspense kind of gal. But once I started, I couldn't stop. If you are reading in order, you haven't yet got to my favorite, but Robyn has a way of writing trauma that you not only understand but relate to, if it is rape, or some of the other trials that some of the women face in the books to come. I won't ruin the surprises in store for you, but in one particular book, it hit so close to home that I put my Nook down to clean my glasses cause I couldn't see only to figure out I was crying. That has NEVER happened to me, but it really struck a cord with me. I agree with her writing, it is like getting to see all of your friends and catch up with each book. I hope you continue the series Pamela, I highly recommend them all.

Thanks for your thoughts about the series, Hope. Carr really does seem to tap into women's psyche's, doesn't she? I'm so glad to know there are great books to come. I don't get to read often, but when I do, I really want the book to satisfy.

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"I am an artist. I am here to live out loud."
—Emile Zola

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