Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray (review by Kristi)

Whispers in the Reading Room

From Goodreads: Lydia’s job at the library is her world—until a mysterious patron catches her eye . . . and perhaps her heart.

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.

My review: After reading the first two books in this trilogy, I was a bit hesitant to read this one. The reason being I didn’t want to be disappointed if the story was not as good as the others. Shortly after beginning this book I realized I had nothing to worry about. Whispers in the Reading Room is just as good as the first two books in the trilogy.

I immediately liked Lydia. What’s not to like, though? She loves books. I love books. It was so easy to relate to her. Sebastian was likable as well. He was mysterious and had a bit of a “bad boy” element, but it was easy to see through to the vulnerable side he had. It soon became apparent that he was a good guy and tender hearted. I found myself hoping these two could find happiness in a world that wasn’t the kindest to either of them.

Shelley’s writing style in the book stayed true to the other two books in the series. The story is written with an intensity that propels the reader from chapter to chapter and keeps them on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens next.

If you are looking for a good mystery that delves somewhat into the shady underbelly of 1893 Chicago then this is the book for you. Definitely a quick read that has the perfect blend of mystery and romance.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.

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