Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Allison Bottke's One Little Secret ~ Reviewed

One Little Secret
By Allison Bottke
Published by Bethany House
ISBN 10: 0-7642-0058-5

Click here to see an interview with Allison.

An invitation to record a CD with a hunky, young pop star? It's the stuff dreams are made of...right? For Ursula Rhodes, a suburban wife and mom, one little secret is about to change her whole life.

In the land of glitz and glamour, Ursula isn't fazed in the least by the constant parade of Prada and Tiffany's or the high-profile celebrity sightings. A beautiful home, a loving family, and fulfilling volunteer opportunities leave this fashionable and faithful housewife completely content, even if she did have to give up her dreams...

Nikolai Prevelakis, or Nik Prevel to his fans, is the hottest young music star in the country. But it isn't enough. Handsome, famous, and living like a rock star, Nik isn't content. When his path crosses Ursula's he sees the opportunity he's been waiting for.

One Little Secret contains all the right stuff—good writing, deep characterizations and a great story from an author who lives in the midst of it. Bottke knows L.A. and all its burbs. And it shows. The Southland, with its sun, beach communities and Hollywood, almost becomes a character in the book.

Creating a twisting, totally non-predictable plot, Bottke infuses a witty chick-lit style to contemporary fiction. Her voice is fresh and unique. I was drawn into the story from the first page. Her characters are real and fall into the same traps we do. When the wife of one of her husband's law partners is condescending to her, Ursula wants to dig into the grocery cart, grab a fresh lemon pie and shove it in the woman's face—but knows she can't. I laughed out loud numerous times at Ursula's thoughts and reactions. And I blinked back tears a few times, too.

With characters I could relate to, I found myself getting angry at Nik, fearful that Ursula was heading toward trouble, and worried that Don, her husband, would be blind to a sexy new law partner's advances. There's conflict at every turn! A few times I wished I had Ursula's cell phone number. I'd call her up and yell at her. But as the story unfolds, Bottke kept surprising me with a new twist I hadn't expected.

In Ursula, Bottke gives us a portrait of a Christian woman living in a fallen world. She faces temptations; she sins but keeps going, assured of her Savior's love and forgiveness. How she shares her faith with those around her is well written, never schmaltzy or preachy. This reviewer gives it her highest recommendation—a must read!

Reviewed by Ane Mulligan

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