Review: Brush of Shade by Jan Harman

Brush of Shade
(The Whisperer's Chronicles #1)
by Jan Harman

Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance

[Goodreads | Amazon]

Olivia Pepperdine has a love hate relationship with quiet.

Silence reminds her of the accident that killed her parents and left her trapped in a mangled car. On that isolated stretch of road with the weight of all that silence pressing against her mind and body, something sinister had kept them company. Since that night a voice haunts her nightmares and snakes out to torment when she is alone and vulnerable.

Still recovering physically and mentally from the loss of her parents, high school senior Olivia finds herself living with an aunt she hardly knows in a small town in the middle of nowhere. Spring Valley, Colorado should hold the connection to her father she longs for, but that longed for connection turns out to be more than Olivia ever imaged. Behind closed doors things in this sleepy community are far from ordinary.

One by one fundamental truths are stripped aside as everything she ever believed about her family is called into question.

Why had her father never mentioned the valley, a place he’d been making routine trips to throughout most of her life? Why had she been told her mother was from Nebraska when she’d been born in the valley? Why had her aunt lied to people about where they would be living? And who was the guy that seemed to appear out of nowhere to give comfort at the wake and then had disappeared just as fast?

Despite Olivia’s determination to be normal, ignoring the reason for the flashes of movement she’d been seeing out of the corner of her eye since her discharge from the hospital proves to be impossible when a sinister voice terrorizes her dreams. Dismissing the unnerving local residents who gawk and pay for her purchases is the least of Olivia’s worries. A spine-tingling electric shock that lifts her off the pew at her parent’s wake, half-truths, plotting elders, and an impossible rescue draw Olivia deeper into a web of secrets and the realization that the accident that killed her parents might have been a cover for murder.

An after school job at Hattie’s quirky tourist shop brings Olivia into the life and arms of Shade, a guy who could put prince charming and the sexiest man in Hollywood to shame. Mesmerizing eyes unlike anything she has ever seen literally reveal the depth of his emotions that he can’t keep hidden. While his eyes may reveal all to the world, it’s his irresistible drawl that whispers to her wounded soul. Noble to his core, Shade is determined to treat her like a kid sister despite the connection between them that fills the empty places in her heart.

But Shade, like the residents of the valley, hides a secret. One that compels Olivia to take on an inherited responsibility that upends the future she’d envisioned. Secrets, hidden chambers, and an ancestor’s alliance propels Olivia into a world where voices are both weapons and instruments of comfort. As the line between sanity and fantasy blurs, Olivia must dig deep to unearth the courage to redefine what it means to be normal. Unfortunately, believing in the paranormal may be more than Olivia’s troubled mind can handle. It might very well be the straw that sends her back into her cushioned world of prescription drugs and psychiatrist visits. To keep Olivia safe, Shade pledges his life to her side in a move that could rob her of her will and turn the elders against him.

Olivia is in someone’s way

Undercurrents within the quaint western town surge to the surface as those that oppose centuries of traditions begin to plot their rise to power. When the threat risks the lives of those close to her, Olivia must learn the identity of the people out to destroy the valley or face losing what could become the permanent place to call home that her heart has been searching for.

Quick gif review.
  First of all, I love the name Olivia Pepperdine. I wasn't sure what to expect whenever I began reading this book, and after reading it, I'm so glad that I took a chance on it. This story is absolutely unique, and I was blown away by the plot. With one more edit to polish out the few errors, I would gladly give it five stars.

This story is such a seamless mix of intrigue, and my need to figure out where the twists and turns were leading me kept me racing through this novel! It didn't have the first in a series downfalls that I normally expect, either. Olivia was such a strong character, and I felt close to her the entire time. Protective, even. Her arc over this part of the story was well developed.

  Even though this book can get heavy at times, there's still a fun side to it. It was an enjoyable read, and I'll be looking out for more books in this series to follow Olivia's journey. I can't recommend it enough. If you're a fan of the paranormal but you need a break from the usual offerings, Brush of Shade will prove to be welcome relief.   

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Jan Harman.

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