Secrets (The Michelli Family Series #1)

by Kristen Heitzmann

Paperback, 2004


Checked out
Due 30 June 2024

Call number



Bethany House Publishers (2004), Edition: Reprinted, 416 pages


Fiction. Romance. Christian Fiction. Historical Fiction. You'll never guess what comes next in this romantic suspense about family secrets and one man's search to uncover the truth. From bestselling author Kristen Heitzmann.

User reviews

LibraryThing member debs4jc
Lance Michelli leaves his grandmother's sickbed on a quest to discove what is it she so desperately needs him to find. This leads him to an old villa in Sonoma, the villa his grandmother used to live in, but now it is owned by a young woman who neither knows nor cares about his mission. He gets a
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job at the villa, but finds the owner Rese Barret a force to contend with, and her own impending storm could sweep him up as their sparring creates a fierce and uncomfortable attraction.
As romances go, this was well done. The gradual uncovering of past secrets interwoven with the ups and downs of the romance works well to keep the readers interest.
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LibraryThing member judyg54
Secrets – that is the name of this book and this story was filled with all kinds of secrets! I won’t give any of the secrets away, but will tell you a little about some of the characters in the story. But before that, I must say, pay attention, to the first couple of chapters, because a lot of
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history is taking place and you need to understand the “jump” in time as you begin this book.
First there is the main lady in the story, Rece. She has grown up trying to be the best carpentry person she can be to make her carpentry Dad proud of her. But she has decided to start over again and has bought a old villa in the wine country and is restoring it as a bed and breakfast. She is tough lady to get close to, but deep down, she is yearning for acceptance and praise. Then there is the leading man, Lance. What a great character! He knows how to cook and reading about his dishes made me “drool” and wish for what he was making. He is in search of something for his grandmother and he ends up answering the add as a cook for Rece’s bed and breakfast, because what he is looking for is somewhere on her property. He tries so hard to break through Rece’s tough exterior. I loved it when he helps her “stress” at times by just taking her in his arms and giving her a good “ole” romantic kiss. Rece finally starts to share some of her secrets with Lance, but the problem is Lance does not reciprocate by sharing his. So when Rece realizes she has not been told the truth, she wants nothing more to do with Lance. There is also the feisty tell-it-like-it-is neighbor lady Evvy who doesn’t pull any punches, and Star, Rece’s friend from childhood who has a hard time knowing what true love and friendship really are. I enjoyed the story a great deal and I am getting ready to read the next book in the series and see what happens next with Rece and Lance and their relationship.
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LibraryThing member edspicer
The story is real good. I think the story starts out slow and king of confusing for me. It a really god story of hurt and love. The story was really good in the end. It leaves you wanting more. I read this book because my mom put it on my kindle and the back made it sound appealing and interesting.
LibraryThing member SherylHendrix
This first in the Michelli Family series makes me want to read more in the series; nevertheless, the book itself feels somewhat like "Star Wars: Episode 4" when you read it. There is so much that has transpired before the book takes place that you feel as though you are reading the middle of the
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series. I'm curious as to whether further books in the series take me back to the middle of Prohibition in the Sonoma Valley so I can find out what happened that led to the current scenario: a sick grandmother, a loving but sometimes confused and alienated grandson, a lost young woman desperately seeking to find her future in an enterprise doomed to failure if she doesn't enlist help. I found the book compelling, but leaving me with many questions.
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LibraryThing member sunnydrk
Slow and confusing to start but, about halfway through the storyline, characters and dialogue really picks up. I like the stark contrast with each of the characters all so different, yet all seeking the same thing - love and acceptance.
LibraryThing member Violet_Nesdoly
Twenty-seven-year-old Lance Michelli and his Nonna have a deep connection in Secrets, Book one of Kristen Heitzmann's Michelli Family Series. That's why when Nonna has a stroke and can no longer talk, Lance is still able to understand something of what she wants. It has to do with righting a family
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wrong--a mission that takes him eventually from New York to Sonoma California and the estate that the family once owned.

Twenty-four-year-old Rese Barrett has recently bought that property and is renovating it as only this female protege of a construction-company-owning-father knows how. She is going to turn it into a B&B--her last renovation project ever. Though her deep love for working with wood hasn't lessened, it's too painful to continue in the line of work that so brutally snatched her dad.

Lance manages to convince Rese to hire him on as a cook, entertainer (he's also a musician), and jack-of-all trades in helping to finish the reno. With full run of the property, he unearths all kinds of family-related baggage but not before his relationship with Rese develops way beyond what he planned.

For her part, Rese is a tough nut to crack, but once charmer Lance has her in his spell, she becomes an unwitting temptress, challenging Lance's Christian standards on more than one occasion.

The book is beautifully written. The characters are complex and loveable despite their faults. Lance struggles with his Christian faith in a believable way but is a truly warm, caring guy, even though the fallout from his lack of limits in some areas (there is a lot of kissing and other touching) seems to surprise him.

The questions still unanswered at the end of Secrets make the description of Unforgotten (Book 2 in the series) awfully inviting: "Unforgotten returns ... to the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx where Nonna Antonia hopes to find peace. Instead she learns that what she thought she knew was only a shadow of the truth..."

Secrets was a free Kindle download. As of this writing, it's still free, so go and check it out!
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LibraryThing member JenniferRobb
Since the three main characters (Lance, Rese, and Evvy) are introduced separately and none of their stories seemed particularly compelling, at first, I wasn't too sure about this book. then, I realized that Lance is an ancestor of Quillan and Carina Shepherd whose trilogy by Heitzmann I read last
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year and my interest was piqued. I could identify with Rese feeling like she needed to be strong and stoic. I could also identify with Lance's heart-to-help getting him into trouble.
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LibraryThing member nlpolak
At first, I have to say that I didn't like the way the book started out, and it was confusing at times with the start of each chapter as far as whose point of view was being explored. I had high hopes for the book being that I liked the last book I read by Kristen Heitzmann, and so I held on to see
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if it would get any better. Fortunately it did, and then it sped up. I did feel like part of the plot was drawn out too much, the characters too intense, and almost annoying. But once it did pick up, the plot smoothed out and became more exciting.

In Secrets, Lance is sent on a mission for his grandmother. With her in the hospital and recovering from a stroke, he's hard-pressed to help her, and would do anything for her. The only wrinkle to his plan is meeting Rese, and having to befriend her to get what he wants. It doesn't help that she's a prickly construction gal whose idea of living doesn't involve letting people get too close. With the secrets they both are keeping, though, it's anyone's guess as to whose plans will unravel first. I am already on to the next book in this trilogy so I can see what happens to them next!
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LibraryThing member KaylaLowe
Great book. Romantic as usual but with an intriguing plot.


Christy Awards (Nominee — Romance — 2005)


Original language


Physical description

8.25 inches


0764228277 / 9780764228278

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