Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance

Review – What He Never Knew by Kandi Steiner

What He Never Knew; What He Doesn’t Know #3 (Series)
by Kandi Steiner (Author)

This review is from: February 16, 2019 By Kay Daniels (Kindle Edition-Goodreads)
Heat Level:🔥🔥🔥

Unlike a lot of readers, I did not read the What He Doesn’t Know duet leading into this book and I actually think I’m grateful for that.

Let me explain. Before I purchase anything I always read reviews; first because I find them helpful, second for the pure enjoyment of reading ones that are witty or insightful or for information on assembly. Have you ever noticed that assembly manuals are almost worthless when you buy something that requires lots of parts and tools? You actually have better luck finding information on YouTube or by reading reviews than by reading the manual that came with your new product. Yes, I read the manuals too. I basically read everything.

Anway…after I sat and wrote my review for What He Never Knew, yes, I actually hand write my reviews first before retyping them. FYI, they drastically change by the time it lands here, but at least by hand writing them first it helps me gather my thoughts.

So, as I was saying, I went to post my review on Goodreads and saw there was a duet prior to this book (I actually didn’t know that). When I began reading the book, I suspected there might have been a story leading into this one, but honestly Kandi Steiner never once made me pause and question what was going on. She wove a beautiful, yet heartbreaking story about two broken people and the foundation was all there. Her tragic story about Reese and Sarah drew me in right from the beginning and so many times I wondered if healing was what they needed from each other instead of falling in love.  It was magic to watch their scars heal up and then when Reese and Sarah reached the tipping point when they were actually ready to make that next step. It wasn’t rushed or strained, it was actually quite lovely, so perfectly right, I would say Kandi Steiner is the queen of crafting a difficult story into beautiful moments.

For those who didn’t read the duet, like myself, know Reese does open up and tell his story in this book. So reading the duet prior to this one isn’t a requirement. What He Never Knew is a complete standalone.

Reese Walker is a broken man, in love with a woman he can never have. A married woman. His best friends sister. She’s having a family, she’s happy and she has moved on. Reese wakes up, goes to work, sees her, loves her from afar, goes home to an empty house, goes to sleeps, next day repeat. He hasn’t moved on. What’s the point. He’s already met the woman he was supposed to love and she doesn’t love him back, he might as well resign himself to that knowledge and know his life is what it is.

That is until he meets Sarah Henderson. She is the first person to bring sunshine back into his days. She is the first person to bring meaning back to his piano playing. She is the first person to get his thinking off the girl he can’t have. She is everything he thought he couldn’t have. Although, he really can’t have her either. Sarah is his student. She isn’t exactly available. Why does he always desire someone he can’t have? Why can’t he just be happy?

“I’ve never been one to gravitate toward the things that were best for me in my life.”-Reese Walker

As for Sarah, I will warn, if you suffer from PTSD and are triggered by by the mention of rape in any form this book may not be for you. Now Kandi Steiner doesn’t go into detail by any means, but the aftermath, the fallout, the guilt, the emotional trauma, everything that goes hand in hand with the horrible act is there written in black and white. I have never been through such a life changing event, but Steiner put me there empathically, emotionally, physically. I ached for Sarah everytime she relieved it.

Her abuse, along with an injury caused from her abuser, sets her back on her journey to becoming a concert pianist. She seeks out Reese Walker to mentor her on the road to play at Carnegie Hall. A lofty goal, but one she’s had her entire life. Sarah is very talented, but she has a huge emotional hurdle to jump. She has to learn to love the piano again and not associate the thing she loves with the abuse she received.

For both Reese and Sarah, they are actually perfect for each other, but in reality they have a mountain to climb before they are actually good for each other.

Reese has given up hope, looking at himself as a washed up old man teaching to children who have loftier dreams than himself. However, Sarah looks at him with great potential and constantly reminds him that he is never too old to dream. On the other hand, Sarah who has been told her entire life she is never good enough, is filled with fire and loves proving people wrong. It is this tenacity that Reese discovers and admires in her. He knows she has the willpower to make it to New York now he just has to get her to believe in herself and find her passion to play once again.

These two passionate people made me ache for their pain. Artists in general are known for their deep wells of self-torture and that’s typically when they create the most beautiful and artistic pieces. Know this book will rip you to shreds, the music, at times, may sound harsh, but in the end Kandi Steiner creates a gorgeous, well orchestrated symphony.

“We’re artists. We’re musicians. We’re…We’re not destined to run from our misery, we’re destined to bathe in it – and to somehow find a way to make it beautiful.” Reese Walker 

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐇𝐞 𝐍𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐊𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐅𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝟐𝟏𝐬𝐭.

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Find more of my reviews on Amazon under kayreader
or on Goodreads under Kay Daniels
You can also follow me on Facebook at Kay Daniels Romance

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