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.


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