Joe has a job that requires him to travel a lot, but he also has his old family home that needs attention while he is away: the solution is to hire a house sitter. Tess is desperate for a change and an escape, so when she sees the ad for a house sitter she makes a call and throws all her belongings in her beat-up car and drives 6 hours even though he didn't really offer the job and she did kinda accept it. Now Joe has a house sitter with a small child filling his home and changing everything around him. When did life get so complicated?
First off, this story was a great story. There was great character development, great analogies, and great romance. If everything was so "great" why am I only giving it 3 stars? Well, a few reasons really.
Firstly, everything was so drawn out. Yes, it did help with the grounding of the characters and the changes in their emotions, but oh it just took forever for anything to ever happen. It kinda sapped any enjoyment I had out of the story because EVERYTHING took too long. I felt like I was reading a 900 page book.
Secondly, the book was written in a "stream of conscience" type of way where we are privy to the characters (and I mean ALL the characters) complete thought process. I'm not a big fan of this type of narrative. This is completely personal and subjective, but there you go. This narrative style also lead to the feeling of everything being drawn out.
Thirdly, I had a few issues with Joe. He is a 44 year-old man who builds bridges for a living, which requires him to travel and work from different locations all the time. But, he has a woman stashed in each city. Now, these women aren't "kept" by him, nor do they expect commitment from him, but he shacks up with them whenever he is in their town. Now, it's not really this I had a problem with. The problem I had was that once he got into Tess' bed, he kept up with this behavior. He even talked to himself that he was a creature of habit, which is why he's now shagging another lady he has no real interest in; but Tess better not be talking to that Seb guy who came around last week asking for her. Nope, he can get his jollies off with some skank in France but she better be keeping house. Okay, so it wasn't really as bad as that, but it really rubbed me the wrong way. It smacked me of betrayal, of cheating, and of deceit--Especially because he made it seem, led Tess to believe, that all the other woman were no longer a concern...yet he goes a whoring as soon as he's gone.
Usually, I'm not one for romance stories involving single parents of young children. I'm not sure why. However, Ms. Freya did such a great job in including little Miss Emmaline that she didn't detract or derail the story or romance. Also, I loved how Tess had her friends and interests and helped define her.
SECRETS was a nice contemporary chick-lit romance about how secrets can affect how you perceive life and keep true relationships from forming. A lot of bridge analogies were used, as Joe loves and builds bridges. This story is about the bridge Joe and Tess build to span their lives into a solid relationship together.