Tag Archive | Dee Henderson

Unspoken by Dee Henderson

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.

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Undetected by Dee Henderson

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I finished reading this book almost two weeks ago but have been debating how to write a review without revealing what happens. I am usually disappointed when a book ends because I want to know what happens later in the characters’ lives. I enjoy reading books in a series because the author provides glimpses into her past main characters’ lives. I felt like this book offered more than a typical stand-alone book, and I appreciated the depth Dee Henderson gave her characters.

I like reading books about characters in the military–I usually learn a lot, and I can live vicariously through the characters. Top Gun was one of my favorite movies growing up, and at one point, I wanted to be a “naval aviator”. Unfortunately, I have terrible vision (very thankful for contacts!), I’m afraid of heights and falling, and I don’t like to hurt anyone or anything (I have a hard time squishing bugs), so I probably wouldn’t make a good fighter pilot. Books like Undetected allow me to get a taste of life in the military–the tension, the suspense, the action and adventure–without leaving the comfort of my home.

Undetected focuses on life in the Navy–on a naval base, on a submarine, visiting family between deployments. Dee Henderson provides many details about life on a submarine without going into too much detail. The characters are deployed for 90 days at a time, but their deployments only span a couple of chapters each, leaving plenty of time to keep the reader engaged in a budding romance while revealing the nuances of life in the Navy.

I believe Dee Henderson has improved her writing style over the years, and this may be her best work. It was thoroughly-researched, well-written, interesting, funny, suspenseful, and romantic. I hope I have convinced you that it is definitely worth reading without spoiling it for you. I tried to be vague but still give you a taste of what to expect.

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Jennifer by Dee Henderson

20130615-101206.jpgDee Henderson is one of my favorite authors of Christian fiction, and I have read most of her books. When I learned that she had written a new one and that Jennifer was a prequel to the popular O’Malley series that she wrote several years ago, I couldn’t wait to read it. The O’Malley series focuses on the lives of seven adult siblings who had “adopted” each other by legally changing their last names to O’Malley after growing up together in an orphanage. Jennifer is the youngest of the seven and an integral part of the whole series. Jennifer is a love story that leaves off where book one in the series begins. Even though I knew how this book would end, I enjoyed reading this tender love story between Jennifer and Tom and learning how Jennifer developed a relationship with Jesus. This smaller, gift-sized book (154 pages) made for a light and quick read, which is perfect for summertime. The story is touching, moves quickly, and yet touches on difficult questions about faith and dealing with pain.

If you have never read the O’Malley series, this book will leave you hanging at the end. The author’s note at the end informs you that Jennifer’s story continues in the first book of the O’Malley series. While I loved the series and didn’t want it to end because I was so interested in the characters’ lives, I was eager to finish the series to find out how Jennifer’s story played out. If you are looking for a quick, light read but haven’t read the series, this book is probably not for you. I HAVE read the series, and Jennifer still left me wanting to read all of the books again! On the other hand, if you have read the series, you will enjoy this glimpse into the previous lives of two of the characters from the series. If you are looking for some new books to read, I would highly recommend beginning with the prequels Danger in the Shadows and Jennifer, then reading all six of the O’Malley books, and finishing up with Full Disclosure, in which we meet up again with some of the O’Malleys.

Bethany House Publishers sent me this book free upon my request and agreement to post a review (positive or negative) on my blog and on a retailer’s site. This review is my personal opinion and has not been influenced by the publisher.