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Whispers of Heaven by Candice Proctor

Whispers of Heaven (original 2001; edition 2001)

by Candice Proctor

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725166,644 (4.12)1
Title:Whispers of Heaven
Authors:Candice Proctor
Info:Ivy Books (2001), Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

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Whispers of Heaven by Candice Proctor (2001)



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The author probably could have had her heroine use another phrase than "warm and trembly," but the unusual setting and great historical details earn her a pass for a few cliches. ( )
  MelissaZD | Jan 1, 2014 |
WOH is set in Australia on the island of Tasmania in 1840. Jesmond Corbett has just returned home to Tasmania after two years abroad studying geology. While she was away her beloved father died and now her disapproving, controlling mother is pressuring her to set a date to wed her long time fiancé, Harrison Tate, a neighboring wealthy landowner. Their engagement was arranged by her father before she left and Jessie is resigned to the marriage. They have been friends since childhood but Harrison does not stir her emotions and Jessie can't help feeling restless and reluctant to marry. Harrison loves her but his prim and proper demeanor and demands of obedience makes her question the arrangment.

Australia was established as a penal colony and English families, such as Jessie's, came and settled there to take advantage of the cheap convict labor and amass vast fortunes. Lucas Gallagher is a convict laborer on the Corbett homestead and has been transported for life with no hope of parole. Lucas works in the quarries but when Jessie's brother Warwick discovers his talent with horses, he assigns him to the stables where Lucas meets Jessie and immediately becomes her groom. Lucas spends his time taming the magnificent horse Jessie brought back from England and accompanying Jessie on her ramblings over the estate.

Jessie is fascinated with Lucas and their growing attraction quickly becomes dangerous. In Australian society it is strictly taboo for anyone to wed an emancipated convict, let alone one who has no hope of a pardon. Add to this conflict the fact that Lucas is desperate to escape and you have an overwhelming sense of doom and hopelessness in their relationship.

This is one of the most unique historicals I have read in a long time and I found it a powerful, emotional, and truly unforgettable story. The setting was beautifully described and the characters were authentic and well-developed. The historical detail seemed accurate with an intriguing plot filled with conflict and sexual tension. Throughout the book I could not see how these two would ever get a happy ending, but they did and it was perfect. The secondary characters were also realistic without descending into stereotyping. Proctor is such a talented author it's a real shame she no longer writes romance. (Grade: A) ( )
  reneebooks | Sep 6, 2009 |
Whispers of Heaven is a refreshing departure from the norm in its choice of setting - Tasmania. Candice Proctor evokes the sights, smells, and sounds of this colonial island so beautifully, I wish I could visit it. I can't say, however, that the romance between the main characters, Jesmond Corbett and Irish convict Lucas Gallagher who works on her estate, was the strongest or most compelling aspect of the book. Given their identities, their love is star crossed and seemingly doomed. They are divided by family, society, past, and prejudices. Proctor paints Tasmanian society so well that the obstacles dividing the two - the stigma of being a convict, the demands of Jesmond's position (she's also betrothed to her childhood friend Harrison Tate) - are rendered stark and believable, so that their relationship really does feel like a tragedy - a bit dramatic, but still so sad. Even though I knew they were supposed to end up together in the end, while I was caught up in the story, I wondered how things could possibly work out and felt their pain and despair. No fluff and fun here. But there's just something lacking between the two of them, chemistry perhaps, that left me feeling a bit dissatisfied in this respect. Individually their characters are superbly done - Jesmond's path to self discovery and freedom is great to follow and Lucas is very steamy - not that there's not more to him than that : )

Despite the less than breathtaking nature of the romance, I still enjoyed the book immensely, proof that it is strong enough in other areas. Proctor's way of representing all the other sundry characters in the book completely won me over - no one is evil, no one is perfect (except for maybe Lucas - his railings against British tyranny can seem a bit preachy.) Even Harrison is human. They all have their own problems, their own pains and joys and hopes. The relationship between Jesmond's brother Warrick and her friend, the sister of her betrothed, Phillipa Tate, was where I found powerful romance in this book, and I wish they had been the stars. Still, the ending was one of the better ones I have came across - it really gripped me as I cheered Jesmond and Lucas on to their happily ever after, so overall, a very well done book. ( )
  theshadowknows | Nov 25, 2008 |
Historical romance novel set along the coast of Tasmania. Jesmond Corbett has been to school in England and returns home. Engaged since childhood to a wealthy neighbor, Jessie doesn't expect the mysterious stranger who works in the stables, a man with searing eyes who haunts her dreams and awakens passions she never knew existed.
1 vote DunnFunKat | Sep 12, 2007 |
This is one of my top 5 all time favourite books and if you've checked my library here, you'll know just how much I think of this book. This is primarily the story of Jessica Corbett a young woman who has just returned to her home in Tasmania after spending a few years in school in England. She slowly begins questioning her life with Lucas Gallagher a young Irish convict acting as a catalyst. As she learns more about him her world begins to expand until finally she is willing to take a life-changing step because of her love for Lucas. A truly wonderful book, I can't recommend this one enought ( )
  dkthain | Feb 13, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804119317, Mass Market Paperback)

Acclaimed for her unforgettable characters and bold storytelling, bestselling author Candice Proctor takes readers to the lush vistas of Australia for this magnificent tale of two people who share a love as forbidden and dangerous as the land that surrounds them. . . .

After years of schooling in England, Jesmond Corbett finds little has changed on her family’s estate along the sea-battered coast of Tasmania. Betrothed since childhood to a wealthy neighbor, Jessie comes home determined to conform to the expectations of her family and the society in which they live. But nothing in Jessie’s life has prepared her for the mysterious stranger who works in the stables, a man with searing eyes who haunts her dreams and awakens passions she never knew existed.

Irishman Lucas Gallagher arrived on the island in chains, a convict sentenced to a lifetime of slave labor for the English gentry. For four years he has lived a dead man’s existence, using every spare moment to plan his escape. But when he meets Jessie, she touches his cold, angry heart. And although their love has no future, he finds himself unable to deny the longings of his battered soul– longings that threaten to destroy what may be his last chance to reach for freedom. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:54 -0400)

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