Hot Whispers of an Irishman
You know when you’re with a group of people and they suddenly start talking about something or someone you know absolutely nothing about? You feel lost for a minute or two and eventually, decide if you’re interested enough to ask a few questions and try to catch up or just to let it go because of – let’s face it – supreme indifference. With Hot Whispers of an Irishman, my decision is definitely the latter and, as a matter of fact, the words “supreme indifference” pretty much perfectly encapsulate my feelings about this book.
Okay, so I got that heroine Violet Kilbride has issues. Mother issues. Commitment issues. Family issues. What I didn’t get is why I’m supposed to care. I suppose if I’d read the previous two books in this series, I might have worked up a bit more interest, but as it is for a new reader like me, she is one flat heroine. Hero Liam Rafferty, sad to say, doesn’t fare much better. He was Violet’s teenage love, they parted badly, and now he’s returned to Ireland from his new home in Boston to try to rebuild his business. Regrettably, he also comes encumbered with my least favorite type of character – the sullen, surly adolescent. Frankly, sullen and surly isn’t a whole lot of fun in real life, so why would I want to spend my leisure reading time in the company of someone else’s problem?
So, anyway, these two baggage-laden characters meet up again, dance around their awkwardness, and somehow start working together in an improbable sort of treasure hunt. In the meantime, scenes are inserted featuring characters I really didn’t have a clue about and, of course, their equally mystifying conflicts and problems. Everybody in Ireland has issues, it seems, and they don’t go about dealing with them all that cheerfully either.
As for the prose itself, there’s nothing to complain about, though I did find the book painfully slow. But then again maybe that’s got more to do with the fact that I really didn’t understand –or really care – about this lukewarm romance and these equally lukewarm characters.
Still, even if I were familiar with the series, I just don’t see how Hot Whispers of an Irishman could rise above the “eh” level, especially since turning the pages never became anything less than a chore. And, yes, if I hadn’t promised to review it, there’s no way in hell I’d have gotten past page fifty. I also have to say that if you’re going to title a book so provocatively – and from where I sit Hot Whispers of an Irishman is, indeed, an intriguing title – you ought to at least make some effort to live up to it.
As it is, the final in what the publisher touts as the author’s “beloved” Ballymuir trilogy, is ultimately pretty darn lackluster. I can’t speak for the other books in the series, but as for this “exhilarating” (the publisher again) finale, I firmly recommend that readers – most especially those new to the series – take a pass.