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Unforgotten    by Kristen Heitzmann order for
by Kristen Heitzmann
Order:  USA  Can
Bethany, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Lance Michelli and Rese Barrett have traveled from Sonoma, California to New York City to tell Lance's grandmother what they discovered about her past. Although sending Lance to Sonoma was his grandmother's idea, now that he has answers, Antonia isn't sure she's ready to hear them. Already knocked down by a stroke, she has a further attack that prevents Lance from forging ahead with the news. Rese has come along to clarify ownership of the home in Sonoma, which she now runs as a bed-and-breakfast - but papers have surfaced that show Antonia is the true owner.

Rese is immediately overwhelmed by Lance's myriad of family members, all insanely curious about Rese's and Lance's relationship and unafraid of putting in their own opinions. Rese wants to turn and run in the other direction, back to her safe life in California. Events move forward, and Antonia wants Lance to open a safe deposit box before she will listen to the rest of his story. Will Lance and Rese decide where their relationship is headed? Can Antonia manage to hear about her past without breaking down?

This is the sequel to Kristen Heitzmann's Secrets, which focused mainly on Lance and Rese and their developing relationship. Though enough backstory is given to understand events, I recommend reading Secrets first, to get the entire picture. Unforgotten looks at Antonia, and how her past shaped both her and her entire family, as well as the romance between Lance and Rese, how their backgrounds affect them, and how they relate to each other. Secondary characters - Star, Chaz, Rico, Brad - are all further developed and contribute to a fascinating plot.

A twist toward the end might astonish and appeal to a large number of readers, but it left me blindsided. It creates the potential for another book in the series with a completely different direction. The faith message is at the forefront of the story and adds meaning to the search for clues in the mystery about Antonia's past. The slow pace of the unfolding tale often drags Unforgotten down, but the original plot carries through and keeps the reader turning pages to discover all of the secrets the book has to reveal.

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