At the beginning of my quest to read/review contemporary Ebooks and invite the author to respond, I’ve just finished reading A Different Kind of Honesty by Jane Richardson. Billed as a Contemporary Romance, I found the classification rather narrow for what it actually encompasses. But then, I suppose Contemporary Suspense Travel Psychological Romance would be a bit much to use in marketing.
It is all of these things, and it’s one of those books that will keep you up later at night than you plan and leave you pondering the story during the day while taking care of more mundane activities. I consider a story I wake up thinking about pretty successful.
Maggie, Honesty’s heroine, is such a mix of personality traits that it makes her truly a well-rounded character. Her past affects her current decisions and her present shows her being fully present. She’s spontaneous and cautious, fun and mournful, and the kind of person you’d love as a friend. Sidekick Danny Chang is a delightful addition and I would love to hear more from him. Tony, the hero, remains fairly elusive, despite glimpses into his POV that explains his decision process. I didn’t get a strong grasp of him, which left me to fill in my own thoughts of who he was. Whether or not that was intentional on the author’s part, it was effective in maintaining the suspenseful mood.
What I really liked other than the characters: detail, description, and luscious scents. Richardson did her homework , as is apparent in the details of police work, with enough to keep it sounding real but not so much to make the reader skim over unnecessary bits of info. I loved the comparison/contrast of the three settings, London and New York in particular, but also the end setting, which I won’t reveal here. Many authors forget to let us smell the scenes. Not so in Honesty. When Maggie is cooking or shopping, we are there with her and wish we could taste what we’re smelling. Also, there is the reality of Maggie noting different kinds of scents than Tony does, true to their characters.
There were a couple of things I would suggest to the author/editor as far as a critique. First, there were a few places the POV wavered a touch and I had to remind myself who the POV character was at the moment. It wasn’t enough to throw me out of the story, though. There were also minor editing things such as skipped periods and different spellings of the same word. Of course, as Richardson is a UK author and the editor is US based, along with the story jumping from one country to the other, the word change might have been intentional, as well, and something I would guess most readers wouldn’t bother to notice.
Overall, this was a fun read, at times emotional, and well-written. As a language and travel lover, I thoroughly enjoyed the interplay of British and American phrases and scenes that added to the fun of the story.
A Different Kind of Honesty is Ms. Richardson’s debut novel. We can only hope her next won’t be far behind.
[Stop back by to find out if Jane Richardson will grace us with an interview/Q-A session!]