I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dee Henderson’s O’Malley Family series, Uncommon Heroes series, and individual titles. In other words, I have been a fan of hers for many years, and I loved her writing before her hiatus. I waited along with everyone else for her next book after a neck injury kept her from writing for a few years.
There are thousands of readers out there who have voiced their opinions about the direction Dee Henderson has taken in writing her last three books. Her current writing style is different, but I feel Dee Henderson’s writing has progressed, matured to a new level, where we see many layers unfolding as she tells a story. Gone are the high-action, explosive situations that throw two people together. While those are fun to read, how many of us have actually experienced a romance like that? And I enjoy reading about US Marshalls and FBI agents, but how many of us regularly come in contact with these people? I am married to a firefighter/paramedic, but our lives are pretty normal.
Dee Henderson’s last three books have been slower-paced romances (more realistic, I think) about people who were going about life, working, and happened to meet someone or make a new friend. Usually the female character has a unique flaw or gift that prevents her from seeing herself as lovable (most of us have felt that way at some point in our lives). The characters struggle with their faith, interact with their families, say things they regret, pray often, face their fears, and learn more about God’s grace, love, and forgiveness.
I received Dee Henderson’s latest book Undetected from Bethany House a few months ago and just recently realized that I had somehow missed Unspoken, which I should have read first. You can read my review for Undetected here. I read Unspoken last weekend and stayed up too late every night because I couldn’t put it down. It wasn’t entirely suspenseful like her previous books tended to be, but there was a constant undercurrent of not knowing what would happen next that kept me turning the pages.
In Unspoken, Bryce Bishop is a collectible-coin dealer who made the mistake of telling God he was bored. Enter Charlotte Graham with a time-consuming and unique challenge with further surprises to come. As they do business together, Bryce begins to care about Charlotte, but she plans to remain single for life. Charlotte was kidnapped when she was 16 and has refused to speak about what happened to her during the four years she was held captive.
As the story unfolds, we learn more about the characters and their motivations. Bryce wants to help Charlotte heal and prays for help, but he still struggles to find the right words. Charlotte doesn’t want to believe in a God who would forgive evil men for their unspeakable crimes if they were to repent and ask for forgiveness. This is ultimately a story about God’s faithfulness through all situations and His redemption.