Desiree Chevalier is determined to control her own destiny, and that includes shaking her mother’s iron grip on her life. Rosalie Chevalier is not going down without a fight. She’s a corporate raider after all and it just wouldn’t do to have a wayward daughter. When Desiree steps away from the Chevalier fortune to put herself through Mount Holyoke College, Rosalie decides to show up on her doorstep. Although her mother digs in, Desiree refuses to bend. Rowan Knight is working just as hard as Desiree to put herself through school. She is intrigued by Desiree but also wary of the icy reception she receives each time they meet. Rosalie’s persistent interference in Desiree’s life intensifies the tension between Desiree and Rowan. Will they be able to move past the obstacles in their path, or will their love remain unspoken?
I've had a passion for history and world religions since I was a little girl looking up at my Dad as he told me stories. I fed my addiction to politics, history, mythology, and religion while at Mount Holyoke College and during my junior year abroad at Trinity College in Dublin. I spent six weeks as a turtle (aka backpacking) around Europe, visiting all the places I had been reading about. Although my title as the Traveling Where's Waldo of the family has been retired, my wanderlust lives on in my writing.
3 stars This was passable. The story was relatively good, the MCs too, but the story flowed in a weird way, that made you feel as if you've skipped some pages and were missing crucial info. Which I didn't enjoy, but could power through. Otherwise not bad.
When I started to read this book I did feel potential in the story however there were just too many issues that had me struggling to finish this book. The dialogue between all characters for me just did not flow well. They would be talking about one thing then all of a sudden switch to a random story mind conversation. It just lost my interest. The humour for me was forced. I just can't get into a book when the characters are laughing so hard they have tears in their eyes but I don't find it the least bit funny. I kept losing interest in the story and finding myself speed reading to get through different parts of the book.
The characters romance was just a little all over the place for me. Desiree's rudeness towards Rowan in my opinion wasn't really there. She seemed stand-offish but I wouldn't say she was really rude the way it was made out to be. The story with the mum that the book description describes was just weak. A false attempt to create angst.
When you get frustrated with a book you tend to find everything annoying after a while so I will stop with my negative comments. I will say as I said before the story hand potential which did keep me wanting to read to find out how things ended, so there is that. I am sad that I didn't enjoy this book more.
I was given this book by NetGalley for an honest review.
'Unspoken' is a beautiful love story set in the most wonderful place. It made me feel at home and had a group of characters I would love to know and a setting I want to visit. Desiree is an adorable woman who wants to make her own way in the world, without the interference of her dragon of a mother. Her attraction to gorgeous butch Rowan causes her to think seriously about what she really wants. Liz McMullen has an amazing gift of writing likeable and lovable characters and making the reader really care about them. Her story had me grinning from ear to ear with joy. I am so glad it is the first in a series as I can't wait for the next one! Highly recommended.
An honest review thanks to NetGalley. This book did not meet my standards. I felt throughout the whole thing that I was missing so much going on around me and with the characters. There were parts where I had to keep on going back to see if I missed any pages or if there was even a previous book. I could go into detail of what I did not like about this, but overall, it was hard to read, hard to follow, and even though I did feel the chemistry between the two main characters, there was nothing substantial. Once character goes from being rude and obnoxious to the next falling over themselves for the other. On the way to the third date, a car crash makes them realize that they are in love. It just didn't add up and made my expectations for this author in the future to be very low.
Today, I read "Unspoken" by Liz McMullen for the third time and it was just as good a read as when I first opened its pages.
Like any book there are a few small wrinkles (for example: some descriptors were used too many times). But, the overall writing of "Unspoken" is wonderfully appealing! The pacing is spot on, nimbly sidestepping instances to be overly dramatic, maudlin and riddled with angst.
Ms. McMullen captures the college experience perfectly (at one time I thought I was back in the stacks at my own alma mater!) and her nuanced portrayal of all things Irish - the peculiar sense of humor and direct approach to life - is one of the best I've read.
I'm hesitant to rate this book. In some ways, I liked the book so much more - I liked the characters, I liked the setting, I liked the relationships in the book. Based on that much, I may have rated the book higher. Based on other things, I would have rated the book lower. I felt like there were a couple of things I would have liked done differently. First, after that first chapter, which I actually will address again later, the story starts at the college where our two mains are attending. My problem is that in the first couple of chapters, I got a LOT of names, and relationships that I struggled to keep straight in my head. And that tiny bit of stress turned out to not matter as much as I thought it would; most of the names that were introduced weren't as integral to the story as their initial mention would imply, which made me wonder why they all had to be introduced one right after the other in the first place. Next, there were breaks in the narrative where we jumped from one thing to another with a kind of disconnect, or a break in the logic chain between events. This may simply be the fact that I don't click with McMullen's style of writing or follow her logic. That seems to me to be a bit of a copout, because I really liked the story that I read. What seems to me to have happened is that McMullen knew the story, meaning she knew what everyone was feeling, and how they reacted to each other, and what happened to make each react the way that they did, but sometimes she forgot to tell us everything that happened. My reaction to this was mild confusion in certain scenes where I wondered if I'd missed something. If I'd been reading the story as a beta, I would have marked those places and asked about them, but it looked as if there were quite of few people who'd read this for her, so I wonder if it was just me, and something not clicking between me and the story. I don't know for sure. Last, we come back to Chapter One. First, I know some people don't like prologues, but something that happened five years prior to the few weeks/months when the story occurred seems like a prologue to me. But more importantly, I'm not sure why the scene was included, especially in this way. Rowan was deeply impacted by this event, and even has flashbacks and an almost catatonic reaction to a similar occurrence near the end of the book, so I understand why what happened was important. But nothing that happened in the details of that chapter was integral to the story enough to make it a whole chapter. Perhaps it would have been better if it were integrated within the story; using the actual accident scene during the flashback that occurred during Desiree's first ride with Rowan, and the subsequent hospital scene during Rowan's mother's attempt to bring Rowan back to a conscious awareness of her surroundings. Having it separated so much made it feel a little like an add-on, especially because so much of the story was more about Desiree than Rowan. And that's what this book felt like, the story of how Desiree matured more than how Rowan recovered. Desiree's struggle against her mother's overpowering personality, her fight to stay focused on her schooling, and her eventual realization that some things in life are just as important, if not more, as success that led her to open her heart to the possibilities that Rowan offered. That was an excellent story. I received a copy of this book from Inked Rainbow Reads in return for an honest review.
I love books sent during college, or at a college. I love all things academia! This probably because for me that time was so filled with great times and great friends. To be quite honest I was lucky to get out of there with a degree, I had so much of a good time. So when this theme in a book I will almost always jump at the chance to read it.
Desiree Chevalier is a French American that is going to school at Mount Holyoke College, an all-women’s liberal art school in Massachusetts. Desiree is there on a demanding academic scholarship. She works two jobs and is dedicated to her studies as a history major. Desiree comes from money, her mother is a very successful corporate raider, but she is controlling and downright mean. Desiree is using college as her chance to break her mother’s hold on her life. She takes no money from her family, and barely takes the time to answer her mother’s phone calls. She has zero time in her life for any distractions, especially love.
Rowan Knight is working her way through college. She takes every job she can get to help her pay the tuition of a private college. She works as handywoman, fixing anything that she can to make an honest buck. She also has a terrible crush on another history major. Yep you guessed it Desiree Chevalier.
So to me, the premise of this book held a lot or promise. And for the first few chapters I was really intrigued on how this novel would play out. Then other characters began to show up and the book got kind of confusing. Everyone was an Irish butch, super-hot, with great hair. Who was who, became a downright mystery. The thing about it was none of these new sub-characters were even needed in the story. You had just a bunch of descriptions on people that had no real place in the story. Fine, I can move past that no problem. What threw me was when a character completely changes her tune in an instance. You cannot go from the ice princess, which Desiree was totally set up to be, to sappy in love in an instant. She went from being cold and standoffish to Rowan, to being her girlfriend in literally a chapter. My head spun! It was unfathomable. Then later in the book the same thing happens with her mother, no not falling in love with Rowan, but becoming nice and understanding. WHAT? It just did not make sense!The story had potential. It just didn’t follow through on what it was set up to be.
Desiree is a woman on a mission. She comes from money but is determined, much to her mother's disapproval, to make her own way through college and beyond. Relationships are simply out of the question she has too much to do. So why does her heart beat faster and her head turns to mush when the lovely Rowan is around? Rowan in also working her way through school. She is very busy and reserved but when she is around Desiree her pulse quickens and she thinks of things she cant have.... Will the two if them manage to find a way around their busy schedules and personal problems? Find out what life has in store for these two beautiful women.
This book has great flow and is technically sound. I liked the conflict between Desiree and her mother It added to the mysteries of the book. I could not imagine why she was so hateful to her daughter and I was amazed when I found out the reasons were revealed. Rowan was my hero as she was so protective of Desiree when they deal with her mother. Rowan is amazingly strong as she guards her secret pain and Desiree is so patient, gentle, calming and soothing when Rowan needs her to be. They really took turns being strong when the other felt weak or sad. I really loved the gentle and tender relationship that Desiree and Rowan formed. I liked how they took things slowly, building a solid friendship before becoming too intimate. They make a great couple. The ending was just so endearing and sweet. I have put this book in my re-read pile and can't wait to get back to it. Thanks Ms. McMullen.
First, I seldom read romance novels of any stripe. I wanted to read this one because of Liz's work with lesbian authors. I know she is educated, a woman dedicated to the les-fic community, and I was curious to read what she'd written.
Second, I was delighted to find this is not a book filled with sex posing as romance, but rather an actual book of romance.
The story is set in and around Northampton and Mt. Holyoke College, is filled with lesbian characters, and the protagonist is French from a family who is "Bill Gates wealthy." Desiree has divorced herself from this wealth and her controlling mother in order to attend college. She works two jobs as well. When she meets Rowan, who we learn in the first chapter is carrying a deep sorrow due to the death of her best friend and cousin, she is determined at first not to be distracted. But this is a romance novel, so of course she is intrigued, and eventually they date.
I enjoyed the different characters, had no trouble keeping them straight, and loved the descriptions of the landscape, the college, the inn. What I most enjoyed is the precious time taken with allowing the love to develop and come to fruition.
Rowan Knight works as a handyman to put herself through school at Mount Holyoke College. Although Desiree Chevalier comes from money, she tries to pave her own path and is is also putting herself through school by working several jobs. When they meet, they are both attracted to each other but Desiree gives her the cold shoulder.
I thought the book held some promise at the beginning but lost its intrigue toward the middle of the book. It did pick up again slightly at the end of Unspoken. I thought that it was unbelievable with the sudden change of heart from Desiree in her treatment of Rowan. This is not one of my favourite books in a college setting. Unfortunately, this book and its characters are not particularly memorable and missed its mark for me, only two stars.
Review also posted here:
I was given a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Uhm, no, couldn't get into this book at all. Abandoning at 18%.
Juvenile, ungrabbing descriptions and language. The characters seems very flat, simple and boring, I didn't care about any of them at all. It all just seemed immature, their reactions, humor, responses.