A SMILE IN A WHISPER, my sixth novel — a past/present timeline, second chance summer romance set in Scotland’s Orkney Islands — is really special to me. I know, I know! Authors say that about every book they write (and yeah, it’s true!), however, A SMILE IN A WHISPER with its Crohn’s disease rep (which my husband lives with) and panic disorder rep (which I have) is a story I’ve wanted to explore for years. Add in its Orkney Island setting where my family comes from and this tale wouldn’t leave me alone! I’m really proud of Evie and Nick’s story, and how it depicts romance and invisible illness, and I’m absolutely thrilled that it’s winning over readers and industry reviewers!
Here’s a sampling:
“One thing that you can always count on in a Jacquelyn Middleton novel is meaningful representation. I’m sure it is challenging to write a romance novel that tackles mental health and chronic illness in a real and engaging way, and Middleton always seems to strike the right balance between heart and heat… I devoured this book. It gave me all the warm, gooey feels I love when reading a romance.”
~ Jennifer Bairos, reader and Goodreads reviewer
“I adored the way Middleton represented mental health and chronic illness in her characters…. Battling my own form of chronic illness for a decade now, Evie’s experience with Crohn’s disease was all too familiar in many, many ways. Nick’s panic disorder was shockingly relatable and well-handled… Middleton has quickly become an author I can trust to handle these types of themes candidly and respectfully, and stands out as an authentic and original voice in the romance community.” ~ Meagan Oliver, reader and NetGalley reviewer
“It’s a beautifully written, well researched story that left me feeling all the feels. I just wanted to wrap the the book in a big hug after finishing!” ~ Suzanne Bennevendo, reader and NetGalley reviewer
“Middleton spices this dual-timeline teen and second chance romance with heaps of Scottish character and a deeply compassionate approach to challenges in physical and mental health…Middleton does a lovely job blending romance beats with the vividly realized setting, enticing readers with memorable local dialect and charming traditions, all captured in brisk, buoyant prose that lights up the characters’ inner lives. Evie’s Crohn’s diagnosis is treated realistically in terms of teen embarrassment and implications for her social life, and nicely balanced with Nick’s secrecy about his own panic attacks. Takeaway: Buoyant second-chance romance with Scottish flavor.” ~ Publishers Weekly’s Booklife (STARRED REVIEW)
“The couple’s young romance crackles with breathless wonderment and is shaped by tenderness, and their journey to reconciliation in adulthood leads to a well-deserved happily ever after that showcases the power of forgiveness…Romance fans will fall head over heels for this layered, second-chance love story that delivers frank emotional vulnerability, optimistic triumph, and all the feelings genre readers relish.” ~ BlueInk Review, a partner of the American Library Association’s Booklist (STARRED REVIEW)
“Middleton shows a real knack for creating realistic and deeply developed characters…An often charming tale of youth, forgiveness, and second chances.” ~ Kirkus Reviews
And now you can meet Evie, Nick, and the Orkney Islands, too!
Here’s the description:
A SMILE IN A WHISPER is a dual timeline love story ideal for fans of Carley Fortune’s Every Summer After and Chloe Liese’s With You Forever.
NOT ALL FAREWELLS ARE FOREVER…
Evie Sutherland throws herself into everything. Like many on Scotland’s picturesque Orkney Islands, she works several jobs: managing her family’s shop, researching genealogy for tourists, and writing historical romance novels. Evie aces most challenges—except love. With a childhood diagnosis of Crohn’s disease and a disastrous dating history, Evie has convinced herself that guys won’t date the “sick girl” and the blame falls on the shoulders of her first love, a famous boy from London who spent his summers on her island.
To the outside world, Nikolai Balfour lives a charmed life. Starring in a popular British TV series as a teen, young Nick stole fans’ hearts from the Isle of Wight to Shetland. However, that was a lifetime ago, and the years since have been filled with “Didn’t you used to be…” moments, career wrong-turns, and empty relationships. Now finding success behind the cameras, Nick is still racked with regret and guilt over how things ended with the Orcadian girl he’d loved and left behind.
But when a television series filming in Orkney blows Nick back into Evie’s quiet life, they’re forced to face their heartbreaking past and revisit old secrets that should never have been kept.
Unfolding in alternating past and present timelines, A Smile in a Whisper is a touching story of first love and second chances, and the enduring summer memories that shape us.
To purchase the beautiful paperback with its summery yellow spine visit:
To purchase the ebook, please visit:
Content warnings: coarse language, open— and closed—door sex scenes, Crohn’s disease/chronic illness, panic attacks, hospital scenes, under age drinking, drug use, infidelity (parental backstory), and divorce (backstory).
Thank you for visiting, and happy reading. x
(featured thumbnail image of A SMILE IN A WHISPER in the garden by Katy Roberts)
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