Sunday, April 25, 2010

Secrets by Robin Jones Gunn

book cover

by Robin Jones Gunn

Trade Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Waterbrook Multnomah
First Released: 1995

Source: Won in a twitter giveaway held by the publisher.

Back Cover Description:
Jessica ran from her past...but can she hide from love?

Jessica Morgan wants desperately to forget the past and begin a new life. She chooses a small, peaceful town tucked away in Oregon’s Willamette Valley as the place to start over—Glenbrooke. Once there, Jessica conceals her identity from the intriguing personalities she meets—including the compassionate firefighter who desires to protect her and the jealous woman who wants nothing more than to destroy her.

Will Jessica’s deceit ruin all hope for the future? Or will she find a deeper peace that allows her to stop hiding the truth from those who love her most of all?

This heartwarming bestseller, book one in the Glenbrooke series, introduces the fascinating people of Glenbrooke in a compelling tale of romance and spiritual truth.

Secrets is a contemporary, sweet romance novel. This novel had the most romantic car accident scene I've ever read. I'm half in love with Kyle, myself.

The characters were engaging, and the world-building and pacing were very good. The theme was about the burden of keeping secrets and what that can do to your life. Enough hints were given early on and throughout the book that I had a general idea of what Jessica's secret was, so I wasn't disappointed by it. (Generally, I've found that "hidden until the end" secrets rarely live up to the expectations that have been built up.)

There were several Christian characters, and their faith made a meaningful difference in their lives. A character who was a cultural Christian did decide to pursue a personal knowledge of and relationship with Jesus, but this came about more from her daily interactions with the Christian characters than their "preaching" at her.

There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this novel as enjoyable, clean reading.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
Jessica Morgan gripped her car's steering wheel and read the road sign aloud as she cruised past it. "Glenbrooke, three miles."

The summer breeze whipped through her open window and danced with the ends of her shoulder-length, honey-bond hair.

"This is it," Jessica murmured as the Oregon road brought her to the brink of her new life. For months she had planned this step into independence. Then yesterday, on the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, she had hit the road with the back seat of her used station wagon full of boxes and her heart full of dreams.

She had driven ten hours yesterday before stopping at a hotel in Redding, California. After buying Chinese food, she ate it while sitting cross-legged on the bed watching the end of an old black-and-white movie. Jessica fell asleep dreaming of new beginnings and rose at 6:30, ready to drive another nine hours on her birthday.

I'm almost there, she thought. I'm really doing this! Look at all these trees. This is beautiful. I'm going to love it here!

The country road meandered through a grove of quivering willows. As she passed them, the trees appeared to wave at her, welcoming her to their corner of the world. The late afternoon sun shot between the trees like a strobe light, striking the side of her car at rapid intervals and creating stripes. Light appeared, then shadow, light, then shadow.

As Jessica drove out of the grouping of trees, the road twisted to the right. She veered the car to round the curve. Suddenly the bright sunlight struck her eyes, momentarily blinding her. Swerving to the right to avoid a truck, she felt her front tire catch the gravel on the side of the road. Before she realized what was happening, she had lost control of the car. In one terrifying instant, Jessica felt the car skid through the gravel and tilt over on its side. Her seat belt held her fast as Jessica screamed and clutched the steering wheel. The car tumbled over an embankment, then came to a jolting halt in a ditch about twenty feet below the road. The world seemed to stop.

Jessica tried to cry out, but no sound came from her lips.

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