It’s probably appropriate that I publish this review on a Friday the 13th given the dark undertones to Kristin Heitzmann’s novel, Secrets. Well, that’s if you are in any way superstitious.
Lance Michelli is a young man burdened with a big heart and impulsive, passionate nature that sometimes gets him in trouble, in spite of his best intentions. In trying to live up to his deceased brother’s memory, he embarks on a quest to discover the secrets his grandmother cannot tell. What has her so agitated? Will he uncover the answers that will soothe her soul as she recovers from a stroke? Or will he be too late.
His quest takes him from the East Coast to Italy and now to Sonoma where his cooking skills win him a place in the home that might legally belong to his grandmother. The new owner, Rese Barret is fighting her own demons as she remodels this home into a bed and breakfast. Lance agrees to cook, clean and fix up part of the property but never tells this young, tightly wound woman, the real reason he is there. How could he, when he doesn’t even know himself?
Attraction builds as secrets are uncovered for both Lance and Rese. Lance tries to share his faith with Rese but she refuses to believe in a God she can’t see. Having a mother who had a boyfriend she couldn’t see has made her wary of anything spiritual. Understanding more about schizophrenia though and the truth about her mother, is enough to push her over the edge – to madness- or to faith. Will Lance be there to catch her when she falls?
Complex character with an organic faith line woven in, Kristen slowly peels back the mystery of the secrets in both her main characters lives as they are drawn to each other. A fascinating tale and the subject of mental illness is handled with great care and realism. This is only the second book of Kristen Heitzmann’s that I’ve read, but I will gladly pick up another by this gifted author.