At thirty-seven, Tessa Harlow is still working her way down her list of goals to “fall in love and have a family.” A self-described rolling stone, Tessa leads hiking tours for adventurous vacationers–it’s a job that’s taken her around the world but never a step closer to home. Then a freak injury during a trip already marred by tragedy forces her to begin her greatest adventure of all.
Located high in the New Mexico mountains, Las Ladronas has become a magnet for the very wealthy and very hip, but once upon a time it was the setting of a childhood trauma Tessa can only half remember. Now, as she rediscovers both her old hometown and her past, Tessa is drawn to search-and-rescue worker Vince Grasso. The handsome widower isn’t her type. No more inclined to settle down than Tessa, Vince is the father of three, including an eight-year-old girl as lost as Tessa herself. But Tessa and Vince are both drawn to the town’s most beloved eatery–100 Breakfasts–and to each other. For Tessa, the restaurant is not only the key to the mystery that has haunted her life but a chance to find the home and the family she’s never known.
Barbara O’Neal is one of my recent found indulgences, if you follow my twitter it’s obvious that I’m a huge fan-girl! Thankfully, The Secret of Everything (the 4th of her books I’ve read in the last month) was no disappointment. In fact, it was one of those cannot put it down, slump breaking books and I treasured every moment of it.
Tessa Harlow is possibly one of my favorite characters from 2012. I related with her on many levels, perhaps it’s her love for hiking and travel – the time she spent traveling with the Renaissance Fair. Or maybe it’s her passion for photography and food. But I just felt like Tessa was me, or at least the me I’d like to be! And her relationship with Vince is so real, so hot! I just loved Vince, a widowed father of three and emergency responder in the mountains of northern New Mexico. And best of all? He’s smokin’ hot!! I could really go on and on about the characters in this book, Natalie (Vince’s oldest daughter) is fantastic, and just as lost as Tessa. Tessa’s Dad? Sam, he’s the ultimate hippie – and his secrets kept me turning pages. And in the end, all of these fabulous characters (and more!) come together in a way I never could have expected.
Other Barbara O’Neal Books