Echoes of You by Catherine Cowles

Title:  Echoes of You (Lost and Found 2EchoesOfYou FOR WEB)
Author: Catherine Cowles
Published: May, 2023
Readership: Adult
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: ★★★★.5
Content warnings: Domestic abuse, intimate partner violence, stalker, neglectful/abusive parents, gun violence

I received a copy of Echoes of You from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Nash Hartley has always been my everything: Protector. Partner in crime. Best friend. The person who was there for me in my darkest hour.

But my heart wanted so much more. So, when I knew for certain Nash didn’t feel the same about me, I tried to move on. What a mistake that turned out to be.

Now, I’m back in our small town, desperate to escape my living nightmare, and the only person I want to see is him.

As secrets are revealed, and Nash finds out what happened to me, he’ll do anything to keep me safe.

But there are those who will do anything to stop him, and this time neither of us may make out alive…

When I reviewed Whispers of You back in January I pointed out that Catherine Cowles incorporates a lot of romance tropes that I enjoy reading about, not the least of which is a small town romance with some suspense. Echoes of You takes that a step further by adding in a childhood friends to lovers trope – admittedly, not always something I enjoy – and making me care about the characters.

Maddie grew up in a family where drinking and violence were her day-to-day, and her only respite was sneaking out to stay with her best friend, Nash, who never questioned her, but made her feel safe. Until the day she ended up in hospital from injuries sustained at home. Flash forward to the present day and Maddie’s returning to her small home town following her decision to break-up with her fiancé. When her nightmare follows her it’s Nash who steps up to keep her safe so he finally has the chance to admit that he loves her more than just as a friend.

Catherine Cowles writes compulsively readable books. A lot – of often quite traumatic things – happen in them, but the desire to see the protagonists reach their happily ever after is always present. As I mentioned earlier, childhood friends to lovers doesn’t always work for me – often because I have to believe that there’s absolutely no reason why the protagonists shouldn’t haven’t gotten together earlier –  but it did in this one because of Maddie’s history of domestic violence and abuse and Nash’s need to make sure she felt safe and taken care of.

I appreciated the time it took for both protagonists to open up to each other, as well as Nash’s protective nature and Maddie’s strong determination to keep herself safe and understand that she’s not responsible for the actions of others.

As with all small town romance books there are plenty of side-characters – specifically, Nash’s family – who feature prominently and are set up as characters (either as characters from book one or) who will feature in future books. I’m looking forward to reading more about them in the future.

Tropes/Keywords: Small town, childhood friends to lovers, local police officer, dual POV


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