Author: Kristen Heitzmann
Publisher: bHd Books
Source: Author Provided (Launch Team)
Publication Date: 2015
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Series: Told You, Book 1
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Fiction, Indie
Rating: 5 out of 5
Review: I still remember reading my first novel by Kristen Heitzmann. It came about thanks to the INSPY Awards and the specific book was The Breath of Dawn. Needless to say and without getting into detail, I was wonderstruck by it. That was three years ago and since then, there has been nothing new from this talented author. Until now. Now, Kristen Heitzmann is revisiting the title of author in a big way: she has joined the ranks of Indie authors. Her first Indie book just released and is as delightful as one would expect.
The story chronicles best-selling author Grace Evangeline. Her path crosses with playwright Devin Bressard, a man who believes Grace’s novels are anything but worth their status. This immediately pits the pair as kind of enemies which is inconvenient since Grace and Devin are tapped to write a play together by aging producer, a woman in need of a new off-Broadway success. As tensions mount between this unlikely pair, their passion leads to life-changing events. Whether they like it or not, their hearts may never be the same.
Told You So is certainly its own story however the one thing that did flitter across my mind while reading through its quick-witted barbs were reflections of Darcy and Elizabeth. The story is completely different, but the structure of the lead characters is very reminiscent of the fan favorite and iconic literary couple. The bickering between Grace and Devin is beyond brilliantly imagined and composed. Words fail to describe my feelings of this. Kristen knows all of the right bits of dialogue to craft so that the entire novel really feels like one marathon string of witty dialogue montages and it really reads like that as well. This book was so impressive and entertaining, counterbalancing the elegant prose with an equally sophisticated plot that exceeded my expectation of this novel.
The shift that happens at approximately the halfway point left me stunned. Not in a bad way, rather in an unexpected-plot-twist kind of way. The simmering between the characters was one thing, but because of who they were and what I’d come to expect of their behavior, where the book led was a bend that completely shifts the otherwise clever albeit humorous attitude the novel had adopted. Not to be slighted, the characters are also more than just the exquisite wit. Kristen places a depth to these characters that too frequently is missing from the lines of romantic-comedy. Grace isn’t the average “pretty face” her made up persona would suggest and Devin, well, he’s not the man your first impression might draw of him.
If you liked Kristen’s prior novels, be sure you pick up a copy of Told You So. It’s a grown-up kind of romance that the author had the freedom to explore and push further than she’d have had with traditional publishing. The balance between the give-and-take and knowing where to pause is well executed as is the sense of complexity the book puts out. Much as I enjoyed reading my Kindle copy, this is one book I will be adding in paperback to my bookshelf because it effortlessly earned its place among my favorites. This is one book I heartily anticipate re-reading because it’s one novel that – I believe, will only grow more and more engaging as I’ve a feeling I missed some of the cleverness. Simply put, when there is that much volleying, a reread is bound to allow a reader to catch missed nuances.
Content note: this book would be rated PG13 though it never crosses into graphic territory, instead remaining classy at all times. If you’ve read Kristen’s Breath of Dawn, you have an idea of the reason why though anyone who prefers clean fiction might wish to be aware there is some adult subject matter and implications to deal with.
Synopsis: 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 rarefied air long enough to make her point, even if it involves stalking him and infiltrating his friends and colleagues. It’s research, after all. 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 detente that could shatter their bond—or resound through more lives than their own. – Goodreads
Coming Next from Kristen Heitzmann, Told You Twice arrives in 2016!
Sincere thanks to the author (and Rel) for providing a complimentary e-copy of this book for reviewing purposes.