Kristen Heitzmann,
(Bethany House, 2004)

Secrets, the 13th novel by Kristen Heitzmann, doen't have any bad luck associated with it. Heitzmann artfully creates a story that is pleasing to the reader, mainly through the two main characters.

Rese Barrett is a skillful carpenter who's trying to renovate an old house as a bed & breakfast, which she plans to run. She's not too great with social niceties, but she sure has a trained eye and talent for restoration.

Along comes Lance Michelli, who's got some family history buried in Rese's property. He's a social person full of expressed emotions who runs roughshod over Rese's introverted nature.

It's a barrel of laughs and so easy to empathize with Rese as Lance slowly and good-naturedly invades her grounds, her kitchen and her business. Things have to come to a head, and Lance -- guileless as he appears -- has a secret motivation to remain where he can dig around to discover what made his old granny so unhappy.

I enjoyed Secrets so much. The mystery, the romance, the history and the small-town politics all play intriguing roles in this book. It's a winning format with a great cast of characters, an entertaining and enjoyable read for those lighter days.

by Virginia MacIsaac
22 April 2006

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