by Amy Mistretta

September 2006
ISBN: 1-59998-138-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Samhain Publishing, Ltd

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Reese Abbot finally takes a stand against her family. In her great-auntsí will, someone in the family had to move into the house or it would be sold. Reese decided she wanted the house; she had great memories of it when she was a child. But her family doesnít understand her at all.

She is looking for an all around handyman to help her restore the house to its once glory. The only possible candidate was Evan Payne. Who once he realized who Reese was, didnít want the job.

Evan was convicted of rape and was now released from prison. He really wanted to work on restoring that house but he wanted nothing to do with the Abbotís. The whole town treated him like he was lower than dirt and always had, but it was worse now that he was an ex-con.

Reese always felt that Evan was innocence, that he would not have raped anyone. She wanted to believe that fact but was afraid to push Evan for answers. But she knew she would discover the truth one way or another.

Reese and Evan get into a verbal sparring match from the first meeting and it doesnít end there. They canít be around the other without words being said. They are both attracted to each other; in fact Reese had a crush on Evan back in high school. The crush was blossoming into more from the time Evan stepped into Reeseís house.

Everyone was against Evan working for Reese and they tried almost everything they could think of to get Reese to fire Evan. Even going as far as trying to fire Evan themselves. No one seemed to be able to look past the conviction to the man that he was before and the man he was today. Sure he had a chip on his shoulder but who wouldnít after being convicted of a crime they didnít commit?

Secrets Within by Amy Mistretta is exactly that, secrets within the small community that if found out could cause some major disruptions among some of the wealthiest and prominent people in the community. Reese gives Evan a second chance at life and with it gives herself one as well. Along with the ability to finally stand up to her family and not bend to what they want her to do. The secret kept is dangerous to not only Reese and Evan but to other people as well.

Ms. Mistretta certainly gave us a story that had quite a few ups and downs. It kept Reese and Evan on their toes and it kept us trying to find out just what was happening in the small community. The ending I did not see coming at all. Iím hoping that Ms. Mistretta will visit Reese and Evan again in the near future.

Reviewed in August 2006 by Pam.

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