Review: A Hidden Affair by Pam Jenoff

by Mandy Dougherty on August 18, 2010 · 3 comments

in 3 Stars, ARC, Contemporary, Crime and Protection, Government, Guest Reviews, J-L, Secret Agent, Suspense/Thriller, Travel

by Mandy Dougherty, guest reviewer

Jordan Weiss is an agent with the U.S. State Department with a broken heart and ghosts from her past haunting her every step.  Nearly ten years ago, she was a carefree twenty-two year old at Cambridge University in England with a promising future within the United States government.  Today Jordan, now thirty-two, is a shell of her younger self.  After losing the love of her life, Jared, when he drowned in the River Cam, Jordan has worked hard to build walls that keep not only her heart but herself guarded.  Her world is suddenly turned upside down by the shocking revelation that Jared didn’t drown in the river all those years ago.  Determined to find answers she sets out to find her lost love at any cost.

Jordan walks away from her position within the government and begins her hunt.  Betrayed by those closest to her, she carries with her a file that contains Jared’s last known whereabouts.  Her travels bring her to Monaco, where in attempts to find Jared she runs into the mysterious and beautiful Nicole.  Confronting Nicole, the woman who may hold both the key to her past and her reunion with Jared, may not be an easy task.  For Jordan, knowing that the man that she once loved lives and breathes is not enough.  As Nicole refuses her and denies all ties to Jared, Jordan is left hopeless until her  path collides with Aaron, a man that is on a mission quite similar to her own.  Teaming up they follow Nicole as she flees across Europe and Aaron exposes the truth behind the mysterious blond and her connection to Jared.  Will the words of a stranger change the course of her quest for answers and the man she loved?

As the tales spin deeper, Jordan is left to judge the truth from the lies and whether the connection that she feels to Aaron can outweigh the love she lost so many years ago.  Is Aaron the man he claims to be? After finding that Jared is shrouded in this web of lies and deceit, is he really the man that she fell in love with nearly a decade ago?  Will love prevail even through the years or will Jordan succumb to the passion she finds in the arms of Aaron, the handsome, Israeli operative that may have a hidden agenda?

Pam Jenoff  mildly impresses with this suspense filled thriller that pulls readers into the dark world of espionage, fraud and secret lies. Though the world building is essential to the plot at times, the reader is left overwhelmed by exorbitantly detailed descriptions and the main characters sub par internal monologue.  A Hidden Affair is filled with jet-setting, counterfeiting, and a somewhat confusing plot line.  I was hoping that the climax would tie all of the details together nicely, but instead the author expanded on the confusion with more twists and turns.  Though some would say that the ‘multi-layered’ effect in Jenoff’s writing is unique, I find that it created a slew of unnecessary questions for the reader.

Rating: 3 Stars

Buy: A Hidden Affair

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan S. August 18, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Was there closure at the novel’s end, or a cliff-hanger with an unresolved plot?

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2 Erotic Horizon August 18, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Thanks for the intro…

I admit the internal monologue might drive me batty, but I like info dump and I like the sound of this one…

:)

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3 Mandy D. August 18, 2010 at 5:05 PM

@ Susan: There is personal closure for the heroine, but it feels like the door isn’t entirely closed on her past. The plot/conflict itself builds so much and there are so many different levels and people involved that it leaves you scratching your head. Jenoff does have some fantastic scenes, but tying all of the loose ends together didn’t work well.

@Erotic Horizon: I wanted to love this…..I really did. The book had all of the ingredients to be fantastic. If you are someone who loves the ‘chase’ of a storyline, you will no doubt love this book. Every time I felt that the author was tying the ends together she added more people and more conflict. The final resolution left me wanting more as well. There is such potential in Jenoff’s actual writing that I wish this book delivered. It was just OK for me.

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