Tuesday, July 2, 2013

**** Review: A HIDDEN AFFAIR by Pam Jenoff

 

PAST WARS, PAST LIVES, PAST LOVES . . . CAN WE EVER REALLY LET THEM GO . . . AND SHOULD WE?

Ten years ago, U.S. State Department intelligence officer Jordan Weiss’s life was turned upside down when she was told her college boyfriend, Jared, drowned in the River Cam. In a shocking discovery, though, she realizes that things weren’t as they seemed and that she had been lied to and betrayed by those closest to her. Reeling from the shock— and the knowledge that Jared is still alive—Jordan resigns her State Department post and sets off in search of answers. Traveling to Jared’s last known whereabouts on the French Riviera, she encounters Nicole, a mysterious woman who flees after refusing to disclose what she knows about Jared.

Following Nicole across Europe, Jordan soon discovers that she is not alone in her pursuit— Aaron, a handsome and enigmatic Israeli, is chasing Nicole for his own cryptic reasons. Though distrustful of each other, Jordan and Aaron join forces on a journey that takes them half a world away, and only steps ahead of grave peril.

As Jordan draws closer to finding the answers that have eluded her for a decade, larger questions remain: Can she reconcile her attraction to Aaron with her unresolved feelings for Jared, the only man she ever loved? Will the truth be too devastating to handle or finally set her free?

Will she have a chance at happiness at last? Thrilling, romantic, and impossible to put down, A Hidden Affair gives us a brave and relentless heroine who never gives up on her search for the truth.

My **** Review: Pam Jenoff continues Jordan's Weiss' story from her first novel,  THE OFFICER'S LOVER. As she says in her acknowledgement, her first novel is about Jordan coming to terms with her past, A HIDDEN AFFAIR is where she meets Aaron, and is the other half of the story, the future.

I enjoy Jenoff's descriptive style of writing and the locations where she set this fast-paced novel. It's a well crafted romantic suspense. I didn't guess who the villain was and neither did I predict the ending.
Ten years have passed. After Jordan Weiss finds out from a friend who initially betrayed her that Jared is alive, she resigns from her State department job and heads to Europe to search for him in the last place he has been seen.  She believed their relationship was special, that nothing could ever come between them, but Jared has lied to her and left her believing him dead. Jordan is compelled to find out the truth,  unsure how she'll feel when she finally catches up with her former lover. Even the handsome Israeli Aaron, who seeks Nicole, Jordan's only connection to Jared, doesn't sway her from her quest. Strongly attracted, she and Aaron join forces with danger lurking at every turn, but they aren't always truthful with each other. Who is Aaron really, and what does he really want with Nicole? Jordan's not sure if he's a friend or working against her until almost the end.
I would not class this as an on-the-edge-of-your-seat spy novel, nor is it quite as chilling as Nicci French can be. But there are some exciting moments. I loved the romance and there are nice historical touches which ground the story and create an intriguing mystery.

I can recommend this for a rainy day read. It was raining buckets here on a Sunday afternoon as I keenly scanned the final pages.

A satisfying read. I look forward to reading more of Jenoff's books.






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