Title: What He Doesn’t Know (“What He Doesn’t Know Duet #1)
Author: Kandi Steiner
Edition/Pages: Audiobook, 8 hours, 22 minutes
This opens with the main character, Charlie, admitting that she just cheated on her husband. The story immediately flashes back to 2 months prior and the events that led to that night. Between a strained marriage, the return of her childhood friend and first love, Reese, and a tragedy from 5 years ealier, Charlie is broken and tired. But as Reese helps put her back together things only become more complicated.
I think what was so surprising and amazing about this book was the way it handled the topic of infidelity. I spent this whole book completely unable to decide who I was siding with, because there honestly was no right option. This highlights the struggles of marriage; the heartache and loss that can break apart even the strongest relationships.
“They say there are two sides to every story, and I suppose in most cases, that’s true. But the one I live inside of? It has three.”
What I Liked
1. The lines between what was right was so perfectly blurry here. Through the whole story I just wanted what was best for Charlie but I honestly struggled with what option that was. Relationships and life are messy, I loved how this showed that things aren’t always black and white.
2. I always appreciate when stories highlight fertility or pregnancy issues. This is a topic that’s dear to me and I felt like it was handled with such care.
3. There wasn’t a ton of steaminess in this, but the main scene between Reese and Charlie.. damn.
What I Didn’t Like
1. Okay my only dislike is an audiobook exclusive thing, so if you’re planning to read this physically, ignore the rest of the this. This audiobook has a voice cast for each of the main characters – Reese, Charlie, and Cameron (who only narrates once). I liked Reese’s narrator just fine, but really disliked Charlie’s. Her voice was so overly breathy and it just felt so unnecessary and uncomfortable. I HAD to listen to this on 1.5 speed to make it less cringe worthy.
Overall this took me by complete surprise! I’ve already started book 2 so keep an eye out for my review on the second half of the duet.
AND Kandi Steiner just announced that there will by a third book coming next year to tie up some loose ends!