Reviewed by April Gardner
Freefall by Kristen Heitzmann
"Every character is a complex creation ... creating drama and emotional turmoil that is all too real."
No strength to answer.
“Hey.” The hand on her shoulder was gentle. “Are you all right?”
Her sand-filled head refused to nod.
“Here, sit.” The woman helped her onto the bench. “I’m Monica.”
Raising her eyes, she searched Monica’s heart-shaped face, looked into the dove gray eyes and registered nothing familiar.
“Can you tell me your name?”
Soaked and shaking, she parted her lips. Her mind groped, but with panic rising in her throat, she whispered, “I don’t know…could you tell me…” Her mind clogged with questions, all the things she didn’t know. “Where am I?”
“Hanalei. On the island of Kauai.”
She bit her lip. What was she doing on Kauai?
“Come and eat something.” Monica stood and glanced over her shoulder. “It’ll all work out.” But her smile didn’t hide the shadow on her face.
~excerpt from Freefall
The opening chapter of Freefall is one of the most catching I’ve read in a long while. “Jade” as she is temporarily called, discovers herself at the base of a waterfall, fighting the current for survival. Reaching the river’s edge, she pulls herself free of the water and collapses. Upon waking, she finds a bloody gash on her head and a blank sheet for a memory.
The scene switches to another of the waterfall’s prey. However, this one is lying in a cave hidden behind the cascade. Legs broken on the rocks at the base of the falls, Jade’s uncle is dependent on her for rescue. Little does he know that she is the victim of amnesia, and as his body deteriorates with disease and hunger, he waits for help in vain.
Enter Cameron Pierce, investigator, skeptic, and all around gorgeous. Together he and Jade unravel the details of her life while trying to resist the intense attraction they feel for one another. After discovering Jade’s real identity, they realize that the relationship they both crave was not meant to be…or was it?
Set on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, Freefall lacks nothing in the way of large-scale action, intense plot twists, and a healthy dose of romance. Throughout this spellbinding novel, the same myriad questions that plague Jade keep the reader turning pages. Who is she? What is she doing in Kauai? What is this foreboding sense of evil that hovers in her sketchy memory? Was the fall an accident or something worse? As each question is answered, another takes its places, leaving the reader hanging to the last page.
Not afraid to take romance a step further, Heitzmann unabashedly reveals her characters’ inner thoughts as they fiercely battle their premarital sexual desires. By doing so, she breathes life into them, and gives the novel an extra zing not normally found in Christian fiction. Every character is a complex creation that interacts well with the others creating drama and emotional turmoil that is all too real.
I give Freefall two thumbs up and Heitzmann my heartiest “you go, girl!”
April W Gardner writes adult and middle grade historical fiction. Her first novel, Wounded Spirits, releases with Vintage Romance Publishing in November of this year. She is a member of ACFW and reviews for Title Trakk, At Home With Christian Fiction, and FIRST Wild Card Blog Tours. A military spouse, April has performed the art of homemaking all over the world. Currently, she lives in Georgia with her darling Hubby. A homeschool mom, she fills her mornings talking fractions and phonics with her two sweet kiddos. In her free time, April enjoys reading, gardening, and DIY. In no particular order, she dreams of owning a horse, visiting all the national parks, and speaking Italian. Visit April's Website or her blog, A Writer's Journey. You can also get to know April on Facebook and Twitter.