Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Secrets - 1st in the Glenbrooke series
Author: Robin Jones Gunn
Re-Release Date: February 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Romance
Year/Setting: Present day, Glenbrooke Oregon
Overall Rating: 5.0
Sexual Content Rating: Very Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Robin's Website/Blog: www.robingunn.com
Jessica Morgan needs to get a new start on life. She’s running hard and scared and determined to keep her past a secret. When she starts her new secret life with a car accident on the way into her new hometown of Glenbrooke, Oregon; she figures nothing else can go wrong. Too bad her optimism is misplaced. From a lack of medical insurance because she hasn’t started her new job yet to finding out her car was totaled…and uninsured because she needed her first paycheck to purchase insurance. She’s not used to so many seemingly insurmountable odds stacking up against her.
She likes the paramedic, Kyle, who helps rescue her. But liking him and being willing to share the truth of her life with him are two different things. She constantly has to throw up a barrier between them to keep him from getting too close. She’s determined to keep her secret all to herself.
When she starts her job as a teacher at the high school, she quickly discovers her new boss is out to get her. The boss doesn’t seem to like Jessica and is going out of her way to be difficult. Jessica manages to live on less than a hundred dollars and when money runs out, she has no idea what to do.
Thankfully, the people of Glenbrooke take care of each other. From offers to barter things to dinner invitations, Jessica is constantly surrounded by love and acceptance. It makes keeping her secret hard to do. It’s difficult to look into the eyes of honest, caring people and continually lie to them. Will her lies ever end? Will she be found out and exposed? Will telling the truth end any chance for happiness?
When reading a book, have you ever felt that you’ve come home? That’s exactly how I felt reading Secrets. Everything was so comfortable—the people, the setting, and the sense of community—it was like putting on your favorite bathrobe and comfy slippers.
Jessica manages to hide her secret well. She hides it so well that we the readers don’t even discover the secret for a long time. We are given hints and clues, but not the whole picture. I loved her right away, her spunkiness and dogged determination to keep the truth from everyone. My heart broke with her as she made tough choices that could hurt her future happiness. She’s a dedicated teacher and her students responded to her dedication and her caring.
Kyle is the all-American good guy. He’s a paramedic with a lot of heart. I love his dedication to the youth group at his church and his decision to be a good role model for those young people. His quiet faith speaks louder than any words ever could. You can’t help being drawn to such a genuinely nice guy. I was surprised to find out he was harboring his own secrets. As they came out, it was shocking, but he manages to handle the revelation with dignity
I was enchanted and captivated with Jessica, Kyle and the entire Glenbrooke community from the first page until the last. I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the books in this series. Robin Jones Gunn is one of the best authors I’ve had the pleasure of reading. She is a master at telling a story that the reader identifies with and wants to be involved in.
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