Today I’m excited to share my review of Kristen Heitzmann‘s latest independent release, Told You So, the first in a new series. Having been a fan of Kristen for a while, I was super excited to read something new from her. To describe this story as unexpected hardly begins to communicate what Kristen has penned between the pages. While it’s classified as a rom-com/drama, it’s really so much more and much deeper than that.
Book summary: From the minute Grace Evangeline throws her sweet tea in Devin Bressard’s face, their battle of wits and cross-purposes overtakes their lives. Sassy “angelic” Grace Evangeline will stop at nothing to see her romance novel produced for Broadway. Devin Bressard knows all about the commercial success of Ms. Evangeline’s “novels”—as far from his literary, nerve-striking plays as anything could be. Grace intends to pull his head out of the rarefied air long enough to make her point, even if it involves stalking him and infiltrating his friends and colleagues. It’s research, after all. Devin knows she’s trouble, but who would guess the spokesperson for strength and virtue would be a calamity vortex? He mounts a fierce resistance, but when he’s forced to work with Grace, his profession and sanity aren’t the only things at risk. Collapsing walls on both sides bring a detente that could shatter their bond—or resound through more lives than their own.
My thoughts: This book is like nothing I’ve ever come across. Granted, every story is unique in some way, even those taking cliche plots and tweaking them to suit…. but this is something else. Maybe it’s the premise, the characters, the dramatic and out-of-left-field plot twist, or just Kristen Heitzmann in every way. It’s the perfect combination of drama and humor, with vivid characters and a hint of suspense.
The witty and layered dialogue alone is worth note. While never mediocre, the conversations between characters can go from funny to personally revealing to reminiscent in a paragraph.
The story follows realistic characters and deals with raw — sometimes painful — honesty. It explores failings and mistakes with the beauty of forgiveness.
Both Grace and Devin escape into their own worlds of writing. When thrown together, their personalities and opposite approaches tear down emotional walls each has built. They are both reluctant to reveal hurts from the past because they are scared of vulnerability (and mistakenly rely on assumptions about each other). Grace and Devin really get under your skin and into your heart.
To comment any further on how the plot moves and delves into unexpected territory for all of the characters would spoil it further! I’m going to end simply by stating it explores the idea of sacrifice and the importance of mercy. It is a beautiful example of God’s plan and purpose prevailing even amidst chaos and imperfection.
I do want to note the content of this novel is just outside of what you might expect in the CBA market. (Think maybe PG13). It does contain a few very mild slang terms, and some suggestive content is implied. Like Rissi explained, it always remains classy! I say bravo to Kristen for choosing to release it independently, because this story carries a message that needs to be heard as-is.