November 12, 2015 | By: Cynthia Marcano

Review: Whispers In The Reading Room by Shelley Gray

Whispers In The Reading Room
Author - Shelley Gray
Rating - 4.0 out of 5 Stars
Would I Recommend: Yes

Back Cover...

Just months after the closure of the Chicago World’s Fair, librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself fascinated by a mysterious dark-haired and dark-eyed patron. He has never given her his name; he actually never speaks to a single person. All she knows about him is that he loves books as much as she does.

Only when he rescues her in the lobby of the Hartman Hotel does she discover that his name is Sebastian Marks. She also discovers that he lives at the top of the prestigious hotel and that most everyone in Chicago is intrigued by him.

Lydia and Sebastian form a fragile friendship, but when she discovers that Mr. Marks isn’t merely a very wealthy gentleman, but also the proprietor of an infamous saloon and gambling club, she is shocked.

Lydia insists on visiting the club one fateful night and suddenly is a suspect to a murder. She must determine who she can trust, who is innocent, and if Sebastian Marks—the man so many people fear—is actually everything her heart believes him to be.

What I Loved...

Not what I expected! Admittedly, this is my first read by Shelley Gray although I have seen many of her books. From the beginning of the book I was surprised, partly because I judged the book by its cover (Tsk Tsk Tsk) and mostly because I never imagined the story to unfold as it did. Whispers in The Reading Room is far from unpredictable and I love that! I love romance and this book has plenty of it in an unconventional way.

What I Liked...

The characters were written well and not your average "hero" and "heroine". They were very, very flawed, but I couldn't help but get caught up in their story and cheer for them.

Lately I've been reading a lot of books centered or including Chicago's World Fair and that isn't necessarily a good thing. However, this book took a completely different approach having set the place after the fair's end. I enjoyed a sneak peek into life after the fair.


Shamefully I admitted that I judged the book by the cover, which I do like by the way, but I don't believe the cover or the title actually capture this book. The whispering that take place in the reading room is a very minor part of the book.

One of my pet peeves is Christian Fiction not encompassing the Christian part of Christian Fiction. To mem without a character coming to the feet of Jesus or solving a problem through faith or something along those lines, I don't consider it Christian Fiction. Unfortunately Gray missed the mark on that aspect. So if you are looking for an unpredicatable clean romance, I recommend Whispers In The Reading Room. If you are looking for a more faith inspired book, this isn't the book for you.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher through Netgalley. The opinion of this book is my own and I was not paid or compensated for my review.

November 6, 2015 | By: Cynthia Marcano

Review: Love's Sure Dawn by Naomi Rawlings

Love's Sure Dawn
Author - Naomi Rawlings
Rating - 5 out of 5 Stars
Would I Recommend: A Big Fat Yes!!

Back Cover...

No matter how hard she tries to help, Rebekah Cummings always ends up causing more problems than she solves. This time, though, things will be different. She'll find a way to pay her family's debts, even if doing so requires leaving Eagle Harbor. Maybe then they'll start treating her as a capable woman who makes her own choices.

Gilbert Sinclair is going to marry an heiress. With his latest business venture sunk at the bottom of Lake Superior, he needs money to replace the steamship he lost, so he heads to Chicago where his father's business connections should land him a suitable wife. Like most things in his meticulously planned life, everything goes as expected—until he discovers Rebekah Cummings working as the new cook on his ship.

Rebekah well remembers the pain she endured the last time she tried trusting Gilbert, and Gilbert can't afford to pursue the love of a working class woman. But they can't stop the forgotten feelings swirling between them—or ignore the sacrifices they'd both have to make for a future together.
If you love Christian romance, small towns, and historical places that come alive on the page, then you will love Love's Sure Dawn.

What I Loved...

Love's Sure Dawn is one of those rare books where I loved both main characters. Rebekah Cummings is a sassy heroine that goes after what she believes in. She is a strong character that I couldn't help but root for her wholeheartedly.

My love for hero character Gilbert Sinclair astounds me. If you read Love's Evey Whisper (Naomi's previous novel in which Gilbert is also a central character -you can read my review HERE) - you can fully appreciate my astonishment. How Naomi managed to make me fall in love with the same Gilbert in this novel still boggles my mind. Naomi did such a great job not changing the essence of Gilbert keeping him a true and consistent character from one book to the next. She took me on a journey to discover why Gilbert was worth loving despite his many flaws all without changing who he was. That's great writing.

Full of romance, a little action/suspense, comical moments and inspiration, its one of my favorite reads of the year.

What I Liked...

The introduction to new characters (and future lead characters) was seamless and not forced. There were a few "I didn't see that coming" moments which are always a treat.


The cover is lovely and I pictured Rebekah that way throughout the book which is rare for me. Most of the time I have a whole different picture in my head of what characters look like. Love's Sure Dawn is a stand alone novel, BUT I suggest reading Love's Every Whisper first!  It will enhance your reading experience, especially for Gilbert's story.

So Naomi released three books within a very short amount of time. Yay! Her next book in the series isn't due to be released until winter 2016 (I think)...Booooo!

Naomi you spoiled me with quick release dates. I may never recover having to wait a year! As a writer I completely understand. As a fan, I am crushed.

If you haven't read any of the books in the series, pick them all up, you won't be disappointed.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author in an exchange for a review. The opinion of this book, is my own and I was not paid or compensated for my review.