Book Review: J. Cafesin’s Reverb

Posted October 31, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the author as a free story in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: J. Cafesin’s Reverb



J. Cafesin

romantic suspense that was published by Entropy Press on January 19, 2013 and has 326 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads five-stars

A standalone story revolving around music and psychological suspense that had my heart in my mouth. Right. Up. Until. The. Very last word.

My Take

Ultimately, Reverb is about isolation with a bleak tone throughout until the end. How using an outside passion allows one to avoid interaction with people and James is a master of it. Reverb is an extremely suspenseful tale of James’ journey into realization and we get one hell of a ride through James’ mind. Both with the hell he suffers in the present and in flashbacks as well as an intimate look at how a musician thinks and creates. I absolutely loved Cafesin’s use of music terminology to bring us deep into James’ creative mind. It made my connection with James so much more intense. As for Edward’s thinking that James learning about himself excuses what happened to him…I don’t think so! What an ass!!!!

Loved the prologue and then the segue into the first chapter…wow!

I love how Cafesin uses sharp, abrupt sentences to reflect how James is thinking. Very effective.

Early on in the story, I get the impression that Edward is more concerned about his family name than about the welfare of his child. So, it’s not surprising when James continues to throw his passions into his music. A passion that, if Edward were truly as all-seeing as he thinks, Edward would have held off from his actions. But his selfishness insists that he act on what he believes without a greater, more in-depth investigation and so he sows the seeds of his son’s destruction. Edward certainly doesn’t do himself any favors when he drags James in the second time either. Just why would he think James might consider listening to him when he’s simply repeating his earlier actions? Why wouldn’t James assume the worst!

On a less specific point, I love how Cafesin set us up in the beginning with how incredibly attractive James is so that by the time we arrive in Corfu, it becomes more of a statement when Elisabeth discounts his attraction to her even as James forces Elisabeth to see her own beauty.

Elisabeth kind of bugged me with her intrusion into James’ life: taking his photograph after he’s already indicated he doesn’t want her to, constantly picking at him about his past, whining when he drifts off. Jesus, lady, give the guy a break. Did she learn nothing from her life with Jack??

I do love how supportive James is of Elisabeth’s ambitions. I also enjoyed the perspective Cafesin gave us onto how a photographer thinks. It wasn’t as intense as James’ musical thoughts but just as enlightening. Beautiful.

And then Harvard’s attitude at the end!!! Excu-u-u-se me…!!? No, I’m sorry, as far as I’m concerned, Howard is taking his own feelings of guilt out on James trying to make James feel guilty. Howard is as big an ass as Edward.

Quibbles: There’s the odd bit where Cafesin confuses with statements about Whren being royal, 700 years of lineage, and then 200 years of being buried in one graveyard. I certainly don’t see a point in using “Edward Charles Whren XXI” when it would have been more appropriate to say “Edward Charles Whren, twenty-first Earl (or whatever) of Castlewood” instead. Or, am I missing something’?? Is Edward a lord or what??

What was the point of the production about Father Albert Tenant at the funeral?? I kept waiting for something from James’ childhood to crop up in relation to the priest? Were the Whrens Catholic???

I’m confused as to what “let surreal temper too real” means. As much as I enjoy reading about a guy’s stacked abs, it is possible to go overboard on telling me about them every time the guy shows up. Does a thirteen-month-old “bound” on a hillside? I would have liked a bit more of an emphasis on the different cameras Elisabeth uses. One minute, she’s using a Canon and then all of a sudden she pulls out a Nikon. It took a bit before I figured out she was doing digital and roll film.

If you’re providing a translation for Cam’s “more, more”, why not provide us with one for the more extensive Greek conversations?? I’m completely missing the context for “caseium”.

This story was absolutely excellent. The intensity and passion of the action and its characters kept me on the seat of my chair throughout. This is one of those tales that you must set time aside as you won’t want to put it down. It more than makes up for the bad punctuation and misspellings which is what brought the review assessment down to a “4”.

The Story

Having just lost one son to drugs, Edward Whren is not prepared to lose another, and he sets his son up in the way that only an all-powerful, businessman thinks. Without thought for future consequences simply because he thinks he is omnipotent.

Once the current action starts, it becomes a race between surviving and salvation as James escapes his captivity desperately searching for refuge as he races from Boston to California. He needs money. His money. With luck, he can meet up with Stephen and not see Julia. Ah god, Julia. His memories of her were all that sustained him throughout his tortured imprisonment. He did so many things wrong and he can never go back. Never fix their relationship. He’s on his own. Never again can he create music. Compose. Let loose with fellow musicians. He’s lost everything that made him who he is. God. God. God. Please.

It takes Corfu and Elisabeth. Elisabeth and Cameron who teach him what went wrong. What he did right. What he must do to come back to life.

The Characters

James Whren, a.k.a., James Logan, a.k.a., James Matthew Raine, is a renowned musician with a controlling father. As beautiful as Michelangelo’s David, everyone is attracted to him, yet, it is the intimacy of attraction that terrifies him.

Edward Whren is James’ biological father and of noble blood. Caught between being English and a business-obsessed man, Edward has no idea how to handle this son who comes to live with him in his early teens. Howard, a.k.a., Harvard, is Edward’s right-hand man and appears to have had more of an influence on James than his father.

Elisabeth Whitestone is newly widowed with her thirteen-month-old son, Cameron. Still trying to come to terms with Jack’s death, the thought of beaches and waves lapping on shore have enticed her with its peacefulness and isolation.

The Cover and Title

At first glance, I thought I had the wrong cover because the “James” depicted did not match up with the “James” I read of inside the book. Now, I wonder if this particular image is meant to evoke the darkness within the written James.

Omigod, the title is so absolutely perfect! Generally accepted as a musical term for amplification, Reverb is also about echos, repercussions, consequences, aftermath, fallout, backlash… Reverb is all about James in every sense of the word.


2 responses to “Book Review: J. Cafesin’s Reverb

    • I love this one and it certainly suits the reverb BUT, as much as I don’t care for the other cover, I do think it suits the topic better. James is tortured and the cover reflects that.

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