Series: Honey Creek
(created by Turquoise Morning Press imprint Honey Creek Books)
Author: Suzanne Lilly
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Publication Date: February 2013
Edition: Ebook (Trade paperback to follow)
Also available from Turquoise Morning Press
From the publisher—
Aspen Dwyer, recently emancipated from foster care, is searching for a place to hide from a past with secrets too dark to share. Honey Creek, Ohio, presents itself as the best place to start a new life and stay undercover. There she meets Colton Moraine, a man with strong family ties and an even stronger sense of loyalty. His boisterous, loving family welcomes Aspen with warmth she hasn’t felt in years. She’s surprised at how quickly and deeply she falls for Colton. When a dangerous criminal comes to Honey Creek, intent on his revenge against her, Aspen must choose between two options. Should she stay and risk her life and the rejection of the people she’s grown to love? Or should she run again and leave behind any chance of a happy future?
I don’t often read contemporary young adult fiction but something about this one caught my interest and I’m not sorry it did. What could have been just a routine coming-of-age story turned out to have just the right amounts of suspense, romance and a look at a family that is not, big surprise, dysfunctional. How refreshing!
When Aspen first sets foot in Honey Creek, we don’t have any clear idea of why she is so defensive and aloof so I was a bit put off at her initial reaction to Colton but also charmed at his willingness and confidence to persevere. This was a very likeable young man and the mother in me wanted to make Aspen take a good look at him. Not only is he nice, he’s also got a lot of other things going for him.
Then she meets her new employer and all the family that comes with her in a nice, neat package, the kind of family any sensible person would love to have—except for one person. I have to confess, I couldn’t stand Elise, just could not stand her. Other readers will no doubt have a different reaction to her but, to me, Elise is excessively nosy and a self-centered idiot who cares ONLY about herself and what she wants. That does not change even though she becomes the catalyst for a very dark episode in Aspen’s new life.
Aspen’s background is painful but she has two wonderful people in her corner from years gone by, her grandmother, Millie, and her social worker, Margot Finkler. These are two caring, loyal women and it’s questionable whether Aspen would be as strong emotionally as she is if these ladies had not been part of her life. They also play an integral part in the inevitable disaster that is about to befall this girl whose secrets are as terrible as they can be.
What happens when her dark past comes to town is chockful of suspense and danger and lifts this tale above the ordinary. I didn’t have any real concern about the eventual outcome but Ms. Lilly completely engaged me with the unfolding of events (although Elise’s behavior afterwards did nothing to improve my opinion of her since she made all her journalistic plans before asking what Aspen might want).
Honey Creek is the setting for a number of books by different authors and is the eponymous name of an imprint of this publisher. Untellable is a nice introduction, although I wish this novella had been a bit longer, and I’ll be looking for more tales of Honey Creek and more books by Suzanne Lilly.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, July 2013.
About the Author
Suzanne Lilly writes lighthearted young adult stories with a splash of suspense, a flash of the unexplained, a dash of romance, and always a happy ending. Her debut novel was Shades of the Future in 2012 followed by Untellable in 2013. Her newest novel, A Thousand Little Secrets will be available in August, 2013.Her short stories have appeared in numerous places online and in print, and she has placed and received honorable mentions in writing contests. She lives in Northern California where she reads, writes, cooks, swims, and teaches elementary students.
You may find Suzanne Lilly online at these sites: