Book Review: Told You So by Kristen Heitzmann

August 14, 2016 Christian, contemporary, Kristen Heitzmann, romance 26

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about the book

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 rarified air long enough to make her point, even if it involves stalking him and infiltrating his friends and colleagues. 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 détente that could shatter their bond—or resound through more lives than their own

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SERIES: Told You #1
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: bHd books
RELEASE DATE: November 9, 2015
PAGES: 408

“Words unsaid can change a course as surely as words said.”

One word: BANTER

Told You So is full of fabulous dialogue between the main characters – Grace and Devin. Every time they share a scene, their bickering steals the show. The back and forth is an expertly choreographed dance guaranteed to ramp up the romantic tension as well as keep a smile firmly on your face. You’ll probably definitely want to keep a fan handy too … and some facsimile of a fainting couch too.

Told You So book reviewThat’s the thing about Told You So though – it’s incredibly sexy but the kisses aren’t even really descriptive. The passion sizzles as much in what isn’t said as it does in what is.  Even the bordering-on-PG13 implications (necessary to the story) are written tastefully and redemptively but in such a way that the electricity between these two characters is tangible.

Which brings me to the characters themselves.

There is more to both of them than first meets the eye. To be honest, Grace kind of annoyed me at first. She’s cute, yes, and sweet. But she’s famous and she embraces the fame. And while she has a huge heart for other people, she also seemed a little stuck on the fame at times. Once I got to know her more, though, she grew on me. Her fantastic Southern sass, her genuine love for Jesus, her already-mentioned heart for others, and her authenticity when it mattered – these all won me over to Grace’s fan club. Now, Devin? He didn’t need to grow on me. He had me solidly in his corner from the beginning, thanks to his Darcy-ish tendencies. The more I learned about him, in layers, the more I loved him. I also knew that when he fell, he would fall hard. The delight came in watching Grace work her way into his heart and then watching her soften his soul.

And that is perhaps my favorite part of Told You So – the redemptive theme that takes your breath away.  It’s written as tastefully and subtly as the intimacies in the book, not something that requires you to pause the story for a sermon. But even in its subtlety, it packs an emotional wallop that will refresh your own soul if you allow it to do so. You see, I grew up like Grace – the good girl. The one who kept the rules, the ones at home and school and church. As I got older, I put myself under more and more pressure to hide my failures and maintain the image of a perfect Christian who never struggles with anything. And frankly? It was exhausting to keep up a pretense like that. In Told You So, I saw myself in Grace. Our sins weren’t the same, our consequences weren’t the same, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that she and I both experienced the soul-cleansing power of this:

…she’d waited for the wrath of God.  What she’d felt instead was mercy.

Bottom Line: Kristen Heitzmann’s first book in the Told You series is fun and romantic and full of grace. Not just her sassy catastrophe-prone heroine with a heart of gold and a diehard fan base. But the kind of grace that washes over you when you least expect it and most need it. The kind of grace that amazes and humbles and redeems. On top of it all, you are treated to an absolutely swoonworthy story and two characters that have enough electricity between them to power New York for at least a few days.  A cast of vivid supporting characters rounds out the mix, and while a couple of the subplots seemed unnecessary to me they did add dimension and drama to the story! If you enjoy Becky Wade, Pepper Basham, and/or Victoria Bylin, you should check out Told You So.

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Loved it!

KissingBook Level: 4 / Break out those fans and fainting couches!

Reviewer’s Note: Heitzmann doesn’t shy away from real issues, real consequences, real life. As a result, there is a minor scattering of profanity (the same word about 5 times or so) as well as some situations typically limited to general market fiction. However, I have absolutely no problems recommending this for my Christian fiction readers as well as for my readers who wouldn’t be caught dead with Christian fiction 😉

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about the author

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Kristen Heitzmann is the bestselling author of two historical series as well as ten contemporary romantic and psychological suspense novels, including The Still of Night, nominated for the Colorado Book Award; The Tender Vine, a Christy Award finalist; and the Christy Award-winning Secrets.

She lives in the Colorado Rocky Mountain foothills with her husband Jim and sundry family members and pets.

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Other Books in this Series

Other Books by Kristen Heitzmann

What about you? What are some of your favorite stories of redemption?

Carrie

26 Responses to “Book Review: Told You So by Kristen Heitzmann”

  1. Rachael Merritt

    The redemption story and the fact that no Christian can hold themselves up as pure and perfect were very powerful in this book. That was the best part of this read. I think my favorite redemption story is A Broken Kind of Beautiful tied with A Bound a Heart and The Thorn Keeper…all three are wonderful redemptive reads.

  2. Rebecca Maney

    Kristen Heitzmann has been one of my favorite authors for years, but this book took me completely by surprise. While I appreciated the redemptive nature of the story, I felt the innuendos were too border-line to share with others or to place the book in my church library. And that made me sad. But I am open minded enough to read the second book, which I have read is very good.

    To answer your question, Jennifer Rodewald, Heather Blanton, Kathryn Springer, Kara Isaac, Cathy West, Pepper Basham (to name a few) have recently written wonderful stories with deep redemptive messaging that did not make me the least bit uncomfortable.

    Great review!

    • Rachael Merritt

      Rebecca, that was my disappointment…that I couldn’t promote or influence this boo, because it was too borderline and my followers would have been disappointed had they purchased it on my recommendation. Is the second book available yet?

      I have only read West and Basham’s in your list! Totally agree.

      • Carrie

        the second book just now came out – I’ll be reviewing it tomorrow 🙂

    • Carrie

      it is a fine line for sure – and it’s not for everyone. I think for me – i came into it expecting this scandalous book because I’m late to the game and heard a lot about it before I ever read it LOL. So after reading it, I was like, “Seriously? That’s what the big deal was about??” BUT perhaps if I had read it “blind” I might have been more surprised and therefore more bothered by it.

      • Rachael Merritt

        That’s probably true Carrie. I was told that by many about Tamera Alexander’s last book. I think because of what I heard I didn’t get the complaints. I’ve always loved KH’s books, and this one was absolutely nothing like her others that there was some shock factor to it. Freefall is my favorite by her. This book is not a book I would have thought she would have written.

      • Rebecca Maney

        That makes total sense. I actually liked it more than I thought I would, but it took me a couple of tries to read it. I put it down, picked it up, etc. but in the end, I was so glad that I finished it.

  3. Rachael Merritt

    HaHa, never mind I saw the link! I was so busy looking at the ones I had, I missed the new one! Lol Thanks for the link, Carrie.

  4. Marylin Furumasu

    Both books are so FANTASTIC. Kristen Heitzmann a is a great writer and I know she really put her heart in these two books.

  5. Winnie Thomas

    I’ve loved Kristen Heitzmann’s books that I’ve read. I haven’t read this one yet, although it is currently residing on my Kindle patiently waiting it’s turn. This one sound quite different, but if you say it’s all right to read it, Carrie, I’ll go ahead.

    Your little glimpse into your youth makes me think even more that we are twins separated at birth (and time and location). I was a rule keeper, too, and always tried to do the right thing. I think I’ve broken a few once in a while by now, though. Nothing too bad, but enough to let everyone know I’m human. 😀 Awesome review, BFFF. I wish I were your twin in writing ability!

    • Carrie

      Ha! Now, it is different from her other books but if you like RaeAnne Thayne I think you’ll enjoy it 🙂

  6. Stephanie Shelley

    Okay I am very excited to read this book. Really my need to read book list is getting way to long. Ugh, How many hours in a day. I think we need to add a few hours or what the heck just pay to read books. That should bring the money right?!

  7. carylkane

    Ladies, thank you for honestly sharing about this author and her books. I very careful with what I read.

    • Carrie

      Caryl, as you should be! 🙂 There’s nothing explicit at all. Anything alluded to is seen in light of the damage it causes and in the overall redemptive message of the book. If it had been more than what it was, my reviewer’s note would have been much differently worded 🙂