I'm still a little in shock that I didn't like this book.
Dee Henderson is one of my all-time favorite authors. Danger in the Shadows, the O'Malley series, The Witness--I've read everything she's written and loved it. Until now.
Unspoken, Henderson's latest, is the story of Bryce Bishop and Charlotte Graham. Bryce is a Chicago coin dealer who is starting to get just a little bored with his successful business. Charlotte shatters that boredom one evening with an unusual method of enlisting Bryce's help with selling the rare coins from her grandfather's estate. As Bryce spends time with Charlotte, the secrets of her past begin to come out. Bryce begins to realize that God may have brought them together and that he may be a bigger part of the solution to Charlotte's dilemma than she had originally planned.
This book really did not work for me. The plot dragged, I never connected with the main characters, and I felt the conclusion didn't make sense. Here are the three major reasons I didn't like the book:
*Bloated exposition. The first 200 pages are about coins. Seriously. I applaud the author for doing her research, but I'm not that into rare coins. There's too much jargon and too much detail. I got tired of hearing all the details about every new batch of coins, how much they were worth, and how they were going to sell them. I can't even say that I learned anything about coins because there was never an explanation of the terms or jargon.
*Never heard Charlotte's voice. One of the things I loved about Henderson's earlier books was getting to know characters like Sara, Kate, and Shari. There were a few scenes from Charlotte's point of view in this book, but we never got inside her head. I suppose this was so her secrets could be revealed like the bombshells they're supposed to be, but it left me feeling disengaged from the book.
*Lack of suspense. Henderson is known as a romantic suspense writer. This book was really lacking in that area to me. I could understand Charlotte dealing with trauma from her past experiences, but it never seemed that she or Bryce were in any danger that kept me turning pages. Additionally, the main device for moving the plot forward seemed to be Charlotte telling Bryce something she had kept secret. That's fine, but sometimes I didn't see why she felt she had to keep silent about some of the details. There were several times when other characters said "Oh, well, I understand why she never talked about that." I kept thinking "I don't--would you explain it, please?"
I was disappointed with this book. Here's hoping Henderson returns to form with her next book.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a quality review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I did not guarantee a positive review.
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