Wednesday, January 17, 2018

3 Wine Glass #Review of When Darkness Whispers by Lisa Carlisle

34961830Title:  When Darkness Whispers
Author: Lisa Carlisle
Format: Kindle, 278 pages
Published: May 11, 2017 (Amazon Digital Services, LLC)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Reviewer: Linda
Source: Author
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses

Some memories are better left forgotten...

Haunted by an unclear past, biologically enhanced Marine, Eva Montreaux, can't be distracted from her mission. With American troops being brutally murdered on the island of Okinawa, it's more than priority. It's critical. But when her investigation brings her face to face Marcos Delacruz, it triggers memories. Ones she lost. Memories that somehow include him.

Marcos Delacruz has tried to forget the woman who left him with nothing but empty promises. Even now, three years later, Eva doesn't seem to express any guilt over breaking his heart. In truth, she seems to barely recognize him. This deployment has been challenging enough with too many restless spirits haunting the island. But when his own investigation forces him to cross paths with her once more, Marcos discovers there may be a deeper truth.

With the number of murders claiming rapidly and the rising need to track the murderer across the tropical island, Eva struggles to reclaim what she lost. But the island holds darker elements--a serial killer. One that doesn't appear to be human.

Thrust into a world she can't escape, Eva must discover a way to stop a murderer from destroying anyone else's future, but how can she succeed if she can't even remember what role Marcos played in her past?

When Darkness Whispers is a unique blend of paranormal and military romance you won't want to put down! If you like haunting mystery, spine-tingling suspense, and Japanese mythology, you'll love When Darkness Whispers! 

Linda's Thoughts:
They had a past together. Did it rule out a future?

When Darkness Whispers is a solid tale interweaving a military romance, paranormal urban fantasy mystery and a serial-killer thriller. It is a standalone read primarily set in Okinawa with multiple flashbacks to Afghanistan where the main characters had originally met and fallen in love. Our hero remembers their past history; our heroine does not. This is the story of Latin Gunnery Sergeant Marcos Delacruzz and biologically-enhanced Marine Eva Montreaux.

As the story opens, we meet Eva. She leads a NEO (Night Eagle Operations) team which has been dispatched to Okinawa to investigate the persistent barbarous murders of American servicemen there. Besides herself, her team of supernaturals includes two vampires, two gargoyle shifters and two other shifters who could transform into any animal. Solving the mystery of who or what is committing these atrocities and stopping them, is of utmost importance as the carnage is escalating tensions between the already-stressed relations amongst the American military and the Japanese. As she probes, she encounters military colleagues from her time in Afghanistan and it’s blatantly obvious that the Sergeant believes that he knows her… and that he’s upset.

Marcos has always been able to see and communicate with spirits or ghosts. It’s not something he talks about as most people don’t understand or believe he’s off his rocker. But, his superiors believe that his special abilities will be useful in solving the serial murders of American servicemen in Okinawa so he is also looking into the murders – separate from the NEO. He and Eva were lovers in Afghanistan and shared plans for their future together. Then, she disappeared without a trace until he runs into her while on assignment in Okinawa. He cannot believe that she doesn’t even seem to recognize him when she sees him. Did their time together and the dreams they shared mean nothing to her?

While I liked the characters, I failed to connect with them. The couple’s sexual chemistry slowly built throughout and the sex scenes between them were sweet and hot. Their main issues involved too many secrets and lack of trust. Unfortunately, Eva can’t remember anything after she entered the NEO program and Marcos understandably expects answers – that she cannot give - after three long years of not hearing from her. One thing that united them, though, was a shared goal to solve the murders which, from all appearances, seemed to be committed by something not human.

The setting in Okinawa was a definite plus. I found that part of the story fascinating. The author described Okinawa thusly…
“Okinawa is an ancient land with a rich history and culture dating back centuries. And over those centuries, many legends have sprung up. Some of them are stories, but others, well – let’s just say that this land may have more supernatural elements than anyplace I’ve ever been.”

Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from When Darkness Whispers:

He had made a vow to defend his country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
He’d never expected to fight unknown beings that weren’t human.

“You can’t move forward with your life until you make peace with your past.”

“If you kiss me like that,” she purred, “I’ll take on any danger. I’d rather stay with you.”

I normally thoroughly enjoy paranormal military romantic suspense reads. Sadly, this entry was not one of my favs from Lisa - though I will add that my view is definitely in the minority. This story just didn’t resonate with me with too much repeating of the same information which made the story boringly move too slow for my taste. On a good note, besides the wonderful location and the riveting Japanese legend elements, the action scenes near the end kept me on the edge-of-my seat. If you enjoy haunting thrillers set in exotic lands spiced with foreign legends with a hot romance to-boot, you may want to check out When Darkness Whispers!

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