Whispers in the Reading Room - My Review  | The Engrafted WordThis story started with sparks and kept me turning the pages as quickly as I could read them. I loved the hero and heroine and their bond over books. Who doesn’t love to read about a character who loves books as much as we do, right? πŸ˜‰ AND it’s set in a library! The mystery of this tale, along with the romance and unique historical setting, is one I won’t easily forget.

I was pulled into the intrigue and suspense of it all, but throughout the book it was the love story that fully captured my heart. I instantly fell for Sebastian, just as Lydia did. He was a great hero who is battling his past and present with who he wants to be in the future. I enjoyed watching their relationship take hold and his protectiveness over Lydia from the start.

There’s a sense of magnetism about this story that will easily hook readers. Even though this book is part of a series, it was strong enough to be a stand-alone as well, in my opinion.

I couldn’t really find anything I didn’t enjoy about it. I always like “walking in the shoes” of people from the past, especially those from different walks of life. Whispers in the Reading Room was a delight from start to finish.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Thomas Nelson & Zondervan’s Fiction Guild for my copy.



Lydia’s job at the library is her worldβ€”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 Marksβ€”the man so many people fearβ€”is actually everything her heart believes him to be.

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Whispers in the Reading Room - My Review  | The Engrafted Word


Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), The Protector, recently made the New York Times best seller list. A native of Texas, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Colorado and taught school for ten years. She and her husband have two children and live in Southern Ohio. Visit her website at www.shelleyshepardgray.com Facebook: ShelleyShepardGray Twitter: @ShelleySGray