Title: Secrets
Series: The Glenbrooke Series
Author: Robin Jones Gunn
Publisher: Waterbrook Multnomah
Published: February 16, 2010
Pages: 288


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. Jessica wants a fresh start so much that she conceals her identity from everyone she meets including the handsome compassionate paramedic that seems interested in more than friendship.

Kyle Buchanan has had his share of heartbreak and loss. He wants to start moving on but doesn’t know how to, but when he meets Jessica, he starts to consider what life might be like without grief weighing him down. If only she trusted him enough to share her secrets with him. He’s willing to protect her from whatever she’s running from if only she would tell him what it is.

The closer Kyle and Jessica get, the more Jessica struggles with keeping her identity a secret and her past behind her. She wants to trust Kyle with her past but trust isn’t something that comes easily for her. The last thing Jessica wants is to lose him because of her past but she has to decide if it’s worth the risk to fall in love with an amazing guy. Her choices don’t just affect her anymore and she’s scared it might all com crashing down with one utter of he past.

Will Jessica be able to trust Kyle with her secrets or will she remain untrustworthy about everything? How will Kyle react to Jessica’s secret? Will he stick by her through it or will he abandon her when she needs him most? Can Jessica start over in Glenbrooke or will her past’s tentacles reach even to Oregon?

This author is a best seller and sold a ton of copies, so when I got the opportunity to review a book by her, combined with the synopsis, I jumped at the chance. However, I’m afraid the story fell short of my expectations and left me wanting. This book had great potential but the storyline ended up being a huge miss for a great book. This is this author’s firs adult fiction so I’m hoping that maybe her next ones will be better.

The storyline premise is amazing, but the execution wasn’t. Most of the stuff in the book wasn’t realistic. For one, I don’t live in a really tiny town but last time I checked day old bread doesn’t cost 69 cents. Two, I highly doubt that a church would let a woman who doesn’t go to their church or even have a solid relationship with Christ chaperone a mission trip. Three, her secret was horrible and her reasons for leaving were okay but the way she let was just uncalled for and an over exaggeration of the situation. Four, if you leave home and have access to money wouldn’t you use some of it? She only uses 300 dollars and then only has like 14 dollars for three weeks worth of food. Not happening. I think this book could’ve been executed so much better.

The romance wasn’t the best either. Kyle was so perfect and was willing to take care of a perfect stranger, which is noble just not practical. Jessica was full of secrets, secrets that weren’t even worth keeping. Besides most of this “romance” was taken up with watching our protagonist almost starve to death and being too proud to even ask to borrow a little money from her friend. This romance wasn’t the best but I’m sure it wasn’t the worst either.

Even the spiritual transformation Jessica goes through isn’t very climactic. I’m not saying that every transformation has to be but she gave her life to Christ and it’s not really mentioned again, other than to inform her friend and Kyle. That was extremely disappointing because I feel like this book would’ve been better if we could’ve seen her grow in Christ and seen her grow after her giving her life to Christ, but it was not to be making to the list of disappointments.

This was this author’s first adult book and I feel like maybe her more recent novels are better but this book wasn’t up to my standards, which admittedly are high. I love this author and her take on teens, but if this is the best she’s got, though I highly doubt it is, I think she needs to stick to teen books. I do intend to read more from this author but I won’t be quite as excited next time. This book isn’t really recommended.

Overall, this wasn’t a very good book. It’s this author’s first adult book an it shows. This book is best for those who are looking for a good story and aren’t looking to analyze it, like I have to. This book could be read by mature tween and teens but it’s probably best for adults. I give this book a two out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*