5 star book review for Archer’s Voice, a contemporary romance/new adult novel by Mia Sheridan—now available at bookstores and retailers.
[Some Spoilers; For Mature Audiences]
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I think there comes a point in an person’s life when we realize our parents are imperfect human beings, just like us. For many of us, we grow up idolizing our parents and placing them on a pedestal: they’re the moral authority and the idea of them doing something “wrong” doesn’t compute. But then perhaps we go off to college and encounter different viewpoints; maybe we have a huge argument (where we’re *actually* right and they’re wrong); or potentially we witness our parents in a “do as I say, not as I do” moment and the imperfections come shining through. In any event, something happens that knocks our parents right off that moral high ground. Yet some way, somehow, we deal with it. It’s even possible that realizing our parents’ flaws serves as a bonding moment.
However, in some instances, children pay for the their parents’ imperfect decisions and it’s a high price, indeed. This is, in fact, the core of Archer’s Voice—a young boy bears the consequences of the poor choices the adults in his life make and grows into a reclusive, wounded man with the physical and emotional scars. However, there’s hope, and it manifests when a young woman seeking refuge comes to town and finds a kindred spirit. Archer’s Voice is heart-breakingly beautiful, intensely evocative, and uplifting too. I love this book so much that I read it twice in four months and still adore every moment. I think Mia Sheridan says it best herself: “personal pain, both physical and emotional, can become the source of great moral and spiritual strength.”
We begin with Bree Prescott six months after losing her father in a tragic incident. Being home in Ohio isn’t helping her grief and claustrophobia, so she takes a roadtrip to the last place she remembers being happy, Pelion, Maine. When Bree gets to the small town, she has a surprisingly easy time settling in—Bree is renting a beautiful little cottage on the lake, she has a friendly neighbor who brings her delicious baked goods, and a waitressing job at the local diner that she enjoys. Slowly, but surely, Bree starts to relax into a routine, and the very best part of that routine is her new friend, Archer Hale. Despite their initially embarrassing meet-cute (and Archer’s determination to stay away) she and he develop a friendship. Moreover, it’s quite clear that Bree is the first person he’s communicated with in a long while.
Over time we learn that Archer suffered a bad accident when he was a child and afterwards, was largely ignored by the rest of his family and community. Truth be told, Archer has wanted it that way. But there’s something about Bree’s persistence and warmth that draws him out of his cocoon. And for Bree, Archer reminds her of the best parts of her past. However, not everyone appreciates their newfound strength. Bree and Archer are eventually forced to deal with people who resurface from their past, aiming to preserve the status quo and their silence.
I like Bree so much. Even though it might initially seem like she’s running away from her issues, I think we soon come to see her strength. Sometimes the best thing we can do to protect ourselves and heal is to get out of dodge. Bree does just that and I love seeing her reclaim her old self, acknowledging the trauma, but having the strength to get up each day and try again.
And Archer, darling Archer…goodness, from the beginning, I just want to grab that sweet, gorgeous man to my bosom, envelop him in a hug, and protect him from the world. Archer might be reclusive, but he’s intelligent, a fast learner, *very* good with his hands, and oh so passionate. These are likely the attributes that pique Bree’s curiosity and draw her in:
Our eyes met and seemed to tangle. His were deep and whiskey-colored, framed by long, dark lashes. Beautiful. As I stared at him, it felt like something moved between us, almost as if I should reach out and try to grab the air surrounding our bodies—like perhaps my hand would come back holding something tangible, something soft and warm.
*SWOONY SIGH* At very first sight, there’s such palpable feeling. This is fate, isn’t it? It’s not surprising that Bree is the first person in ages who wants to reach out to Archer or that she’s the one person he’d allow to get past his barriers.
When their relationship becomes romantic, there are definitely bumps. This is a first for Archer’s and he initially has a difficult time picking up on cues. But as I said before, he’s a fast learner and eager to please. There’s thunder, lightening, and so much sexy:
After several seconds, he moved his body closer to mine and his tongue swept across the seam of my lips to which I immediately opened, inviting him in without reservation…he pressed his body even closer and a small exhale released from his mouth to mine, as if he was breathing life into me. And maybe he was. Maybe he had been all along…The kiss went deeper and his tongue continued to sweep inside my mouth, mine meeting his in a slow, erotic dance. And nothing had ever felt more right…
“I know you like my hands in your hair. Show me other ways you like to be touched. Teach me what you like, he said.”
And just like Archer, he became a master in the fine art of lovemaking—leaving me languid and drugged with pleasure at the end of every interlude. Not only did he know how to make me wild with desire with his hands and his tongue and his impressive male parts, but he knew that when he scratched the back of my knees with his short fingernails, I would purr like a cat, and that it relaxed me entirely when he ran his fingers through my hair. It was as if my body was his instrument and he learned to play it so perfectly that the melody vibrated within my very soul…
See what I mean?!
As you can tell, I adore the characters and the romance is beautiful and SEXAY, but I think what I enjoy the most about Archer’s Voice is the structure of the story itself. In this world, history doesn’t necessarily repeat, but it rhymes in a way that could prolong the miseries of the past.
No spoilers, but the Hale family drama is intense and at times bitterly cruel. Archer has been knocked down and forced into silence for a long time. He’s had to keep secrets and harbor guilt for things outside of his control. But being with Bree jolts him out of that condition and gives him the confidence to finally assert himself. Unsurprisingly, Archer has a similar effect on Bree.
I have to be honest, when I got to the end of the book I threw my kindle and flounced for out 30 minutes, but there is an HEA that is lovely and well-earned.
I recommend Archer’s Voice to readers who enjoy contemporary, new adult romance, some suspense and angst, beautiful boys with painful pasts, and resilient girls who love them.
In an awesome turn of events, earlier this year Mia Sheridan announced that Archer’s Voice has been optioned for a film:
I am THRILLED to announce that Lauren Levine, award winning producer of Bridge to Terabithia, has purchased the film rights to Archer’s Voice!
I am beyond excited about Lauren’s vision for Archer’s Voice as a Major Motion Picture and have the utmost confidence that she will create something very special and very moving. Just the thought of Archer Hale on the big screen . . . WOW! 🙂
Mia is working on the film and has promised to keep fans updated. So trust me, you’ll want to read this book ASAP—you’ll fall in love with Bree and Archer just in time to enjoy them on the big screen. I look forward to hearing all about potential casting choices!
Take a look at a fan-made book trailer HERE (my fellow Twilight fans will LOVE the acoustic version of A Thousand Years in the background). Then add Archer’s Voice to your Goodreads page and order your copy HERE!