In Kristen Heitzmann’s Secrets, Lance Michelli’s grandmother, debilitated by a stroke, sends him to her old villa in Sonoma to discover the secrets she cannot voice. Rese Barret has bought the aging building with hopes of turning it into a thriving bed and breakfast, and she’s suspicious of Lance the moment he steps in the door.
Lance persuades her to hire him as a cook/maid, despite her misgivings. When she’s unimpressed by his superb culinary skills, he determines to break through her crusty shell, but his first priority is uncovering his grandmother’s secrets. Rese’s nosy-but-sweet elderly neighbor Evvy suggests he could be the key to opening Rese’s heart toward God, but Lance isn’t so sure. And every day that he keeps his secrets only makes it worse.
The sparring and often humorous conflict between the two main characters contrasts poignantly with the heart-rending mysteries in their lives. Fans of Heitzmann’s Diamond of the Rockies series will enjoy its distant connection to this contemporary story. The author’s skillful handling of an expected plot device – Rese discovering Lance’s motives right before he confesses them – transcends cliché in a way other authors should take note of. A stirring read that women will enjoy. -- Katie Hart, Christian Book Previews.com
Long-Hidden Secrets Unveiled at a Lovely Old Villa
Antonia stared out the Studebaker's rear window as it sped away from her grandfather Quillan's Sonoma villa, leaving behind the vineyard that had been life to her family -- a life now lost....
The old villa needed what Rese Barrett could do as well as any man on the crew. Trained by the best, she had honed her skills with a passion for quality, an eye for detail, and no room for compromise. Renovation was her joy--taking something old and making it new without changing the heart if it. But this time the inn she restored was hers, and this time she worked alone....
The answers were there if he could find them, and the commission from his grandmother Antonia compelled him to do so. Brash and impulsive, Lance Michelli arrived at the inn sure of his quest and sensing his right. After all, it was part of his heritage.
Chef, musician, and spellbinder, Lance talked his way into her plans before she'd even made them and had Rese telling secrets she'd never before revealed. He spoke of faith as if he could touch it, but how much more was left unsaid?