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Monday, October 27, 2008

Tree of Buried Secrets

Tree of Buried Secrets by Cassie Exline
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4 Books
Review by Amaranth

A dark night. A terrible tragedy. A buried secret.

On the night of her elopement, Julia witnesses a tragedy that spawns generations of secrets. For too long she's managed to remain silent. Only when Julia is unable to carry her burden any longer does she dare confess what she saw that one dark night decades ago…

Warning: explicit sex, dark secrets and a lost love.

On the night of their planned elopement, Julia and Alex meet under the apple tree where they first met and fell in love. Alex wants to make love one more time as single people. Julia has reservations, afraid that her father may return home and catch them, but she cannot refuse Alex. They make love on the bed of white apple blossoms; and then tragedy strikes.

Julia keeps the dark secret of that night for fifty years. On the anniversary of that fateful night when her life was changed forever, Julia overhears her two children discussing what they believe is her secret. She is horrified by their assumptions and decides that she must tell her son, Edward, the truth, or at least, the part that relates mostly to him and his father.

This story centers on Julia, the apple tree, and her memories. The plot is simple, yet the way that it was written was both intriguing, and, at times, confusing. Before I understood that Julia was reminiscing and that the author was taking me back and forth between present and past, I became slightly confused. Once I figured that part out, it was a heart-touching story. I never guessed what the secret was until Julia revealed all to her son.

Cassie Exline did an excellent job of bringing to life the sorrows and joys that Julia experienced all those years ago, and her melancholy over what really happened that night. Ms. Exline spent a little time explaining Julia’s and her husband’s families and how the family business came to be. At the time of reading, I felt that it was too much information and taking from the story a bit. However, after finishing the book and understanding the secret that Julia had to reveal, I feel that Ms. Exline gave just enough information to help her readers understand the full story; and without that story, it would have all been a bit confusing trying to follow how that night and the following days and years progressed. The writing and editing was clean, and I am happy that I had the opportunity to read and review this book.