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Posted August 17, 2011
As soon as I read about the novel I knew that it would be a delectable mix of chick lit and romance with a splash of mystery thrown in for good measure. I was intrigued and I have to say that I wanted to devour this novel as much as I wanted to eat the home made blueberry pancakes that the character Frankie makes Samantha in the novel.
Samantha Witherspoon is a sexy, independent businesswoman living in Paris, who is coming to terms with the recent death of her grandmother. Samantha soon comes to realise that it seems as though her grandmother may have been keeping secrets from her. Turns out her grandmother kept Samantha's childhood home and one of her last wishes is for Samantha to return to Canada to renovate it. Another stipulation? She is to use Matt Sullivan as the contractor. Matt, however, has other ideas and stubbornly refuses the job. Samantha decides to return to her childhood home in order to convince him to take the job. Turns out that befriending rugged Matt may be a lot harder than Samantha ever thought and along the way not only do tempers flare but sparks fly between the pair, leading to a romance she never thought possible. When a mystery box is found revealing devastating family secrets, Samantha decides she has to tell Matt the truth. But will it be too late?
Over the course of the novel I grew to love the character of Samantha. She is someone everyone will want to be, with her designer shoes and successful business while not being greedy. On the contrary Samantha, someone that readers will relate to, she has had hard times in the past and you will sympathise with her as you come to find out about her life. I also enjoyed the way that Darlene manages to mix chick lit with romance and mystery within this novel, meaning that the story never becomes boring or predictable. There are many times in the novel where curves are thrown which I did not see coming. I don't want to reveal too much but lets just say there are lots of surprise in store in Keeping Secrets.
While I really enjoyed the storyline of this novel I did find that the way Samantha and Matt fall in love so quickly while hardly even knowing each other is a little unrealistic. I felt that their relationship could have been given more time to develop before they fall in love. I don't want to give too much away in regards to the storyline, but some of the elements involving Matt and Samantha's relationship again felt as though they moved a little fast for my liking.
Overall, I really enjoyed Keeping Secrets, finding it to be a compelling story of love, romance and secrets, showing that true love wins out every time. I love the way Darlene tells a sweet story of love without ever becoming predictable. I fond Keeping Secrets to be touching and heartfelt. If you enjoy chick lit and contemporary romance novels then Keeping Secrets is defiantly one for you.