By Robin Jones Gunn
Secrets by Robin Jones Gunn, book one in the Glenbrooke series, is actually the first novel that Robin wrote for adults. Readers will enjoy the small-town setting, interesting characters, and strong spiritual themes.
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 paramedic who desires to protect her and the jealous woman
who wants nothing more than to destroy her.
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 fairly light, predictable novel that is easily read, but I enjoyed it.
Jessica, hoping to escape her past, moves to the small town of Glenbrooke, Oregon, and begins teaching school. Kyle, a paramedic who rescues Jessica from an accident, is instantly attracted to her. Both have secrets of their own, and one incident after another proves that hiding can be difficult. Frustrated at the barriers Jessica keeps putting up, Kyle confronts Jessica about her secrets: "The longer you carry them, the heavier they become."
Robin did a good job of visualizing Jessica's struggles, especially during those early weeks - struggles with a jealous principal and having to seek creative ways to find food to eat. I had a hard time connecting with Jessica's character, however. Her "secret" was different from what I expected, and I wish she had been more open with her friends from the beginning.
I enjoyed several characters in Secrets and hope to see more of them in future books. In addition to Kyle, one of my favorite characters was Teri, a fellow teacher. Kyle and Teri were strong Christians, loved to work with teens, and were eager to share their faith.
The scene depicting the completion of a church building in Mexico was a highlight to me. Teens and sponsors joined with Mexican Christians in an inspiring worship service to dedicate the building. Leaders held the Bible over their heads, symbolizing their desire to be under God's authority.
Secrets successfully conveys the messages of placing one's trust in God, investing in the lives of teenagers, and also the need for relationships. Recommended for those who enjoy contemporary Christian fiction.
Thank you to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing and the Blogging for Books program for providing my copy of Secrets in exchange for my honest review.