Tag Archive | Chicago

Unspoken (Book Review)

UnspokenI was looking forward to Dee Henderson’s latest release with great anticipation. Unspoken, while not a part of a series, per se, does follow up on Paul and Ann Falcon’s story from Full Disclosure, but only as a background to the story that Bryce Bishop lives through.

The story is intriguing as it starts out with Charlotte Graham but is never written from her point of view. She was involved in a crime that was supposedly solved. She had been kidnapped at 16 and released four years later, changed her name and never spoke of what really happened.

Bryce Bishop is a God-fearing man who runs a successful coin business. Charlotte approaches him with the opportunity to purchase and resell, at a significant profit, millions of dollars worth of valuable coins she inherited from her grandfather. Neither knows at first that their partnership was set up by her security agent and her best friend.

Bryce had been bored and praying for release from that when Charlotte mysteriously appears in his life. She’s a mystery that he slowly begins to uncover as he falls in love with her. Charlotte is not quite so convinced that they could be anything more than friends.

As Ann and Paul Falcon work on trying to solve a cold case, and an investigative reporter digs into Charlotte’s past, it soon becomes clear that the two crimes are intertwined and that the criminal is still at large and a threat to Charlotte and her family as well as others.  Can she, with Bryce’s help, come to help with the investigation? Can she also managed to answer the hard questions that plague her faith of where God was in the midst of terrible pain?

This book was evidently heavily researched and I admire Dee Henderson for that attention to detail. The story itself is a slow-moving one. While dubbed romantic suspense it does not reach the level of intensity of previous stories she has written and is in essence more of a love story with a mystery woven in.  Written only from Bryce, Paul and Anne’s perspectives, it is missing some intensity by not giving Charlotte’s point of view and perhaps letting us in to her deep inner struggle that goes beyond the words she shares with Bryce or her friends.

While the ending was nice and all the loose ends were tidied up – it left me wanting more and in a way feeling cheated that there was only that hint of the healing that Bryce had been praying for. Unlike Full Disclosure, this part of their relationship was not explored further, but with the mystery solved, I suppose that was just not going to happen in at least this book. Maybe Bryce and Charlotte will show up in the next book and we can see how their relationship develops as the backdrop to another story.

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Broken Things (Book Review)

Broken thingsBroken Things, re-released by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, is an unusual romance novel by Andrea Boeshaar, that looks at the choices of Allie Littenberg and Jack Callahan. Both were in love long ago in Chicago but separations and miscommunication led to them never reuniting. Well, at least until Allie returns to Chicago for a consulting job and decides to look up her former love. She’s a widow now with one son who is in ministry and married. She’s hopes repair some bridges that may have been burned by her choice to leave.

Jack Callahan is not happy to see his former girlfriend, the woman he had wanted most to marry. Sure he had eventually married, but his wife had left and was dead and he had to raise their son. Wounded and broken by life, this cop had abandoned God and would like to keep it that way if his son and now Allie would leave Him out of the equation.

Allie is hurt by Jack’s refusal but understands it, so she steps back and does her job which leads her to taking on abuses at the nursing home she is working for. The woman she found being abused is dying and has no family interested. So Allie pours her time and heart into ministering to this broken woman on the verge of eternity.

Andrea does a beautiful job weaving in the emotional turmoil of the characters in her book. As Jack struggles with his conflicted feelings towards Allie, he’s forced to confront his anger towards God and own up to his past mistakes along the way. How this all blends together is beautiful. Broken people can be used by God and God never gives up on those who have been broken and living apart from Him. He always stands ready and waiting with open arms. He is the master of fixing broken things (aka hearts).