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simple-secrets

Can graphic designer Gracie Temple have it all: the big city life and a job at a successful advertising firm? Just when she feels life coming together she receives an unknown uncle’s inheritance in a quiet Kansas Mennonite community. The house comes with dark legacy and a cast of interesting neighbors, including farmer Sam Goodrich. Can Gracie shake off the dust of this toCan graphic designer Gracie Temple have it all: the big city life and a job at a successful advertising firm? Just when she feels life coming together she receives an unknown uncle’s inheritance in a quiet Kansas Mennonite community. The house comes with dark legacy and a cast of interesting neighbors, including farmer Sam Goodrich. Can Gracie shake off the dust of this town or will its secret charms pull her in to stay?...

Title : simple secrets
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ISBN : 8691434
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 322 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

simple secrets Reviews

  • Beth
    2019-02-12 17:48

    I didn't have any expectations when I received this book, but just a few chapters in, I was hooked. Mehl crafts the perfect setting and mystery that did keep me guessing as I read. I thought it would be a light Christian romance, so the added twist was very intriguing.What confused me a bit at the start was that the main character, Gracie Temple, didn't demonstrate any outward expressions of her Christianity until she arrived in Harmony. I felt like it was a bit strange that she didn't pray or mention her faith while living in the big city, but all of a sudden started talking about her spirituality and showed how she is led by the holy spirit in her prayers, in asking for God's will to be done. It just seemed like all of a sudden she showed up in Harmony and it was helpful for her to be a Christian so oh, yes, Jesus this and scripture that. I didn't feel the book was overly preachy, but just wished that her faith was integrated in the story earlier on.I loved learning about the Mennonites as I read and growing in an understanding of their beliefs and desire to live simple lives focused on God. I also felt that the message of "relationship over religion" rang very true. I know too many people, myself included, who have been hurt by the church or a pastor who has lost sight of what is important and what the Bible says. Silly rules for the sake of control, power, greed, etc. Religion for the sake of religion and denominations being a source of divisiveness instead of pulling together in love of the same God and Christ. Mehl does a wonderful job of gently turning the negative thoughts of the church as a whole back towards what religion is supposed to be. That the thoughts of a congregation or the actions of a priest/pastor/church leader, do not necessarily reflect the message of Christ or the feelings of Christians as a whole.

  • Lyn
    2019-02-17 14:03

    I truly enjoyed Nancy Mehl's Simple Secrets, the first in her "Harmony" series. Her heroine was a believable, complex character. Her hero was a man any woman would fall for. The conflicts were real, not forced. The suspense thread was intriguing and compelling. I guess the theme is Sir Walter Scott's: "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." I would recommend this for anyone 13 and older who enjoys a sweet romance and a good mystery.

  • Marta Perry
    2019-02-04 13:01

    If you enjoy Amish fiction, I'm sure you'll like Nancy Mehl's new book, SIMPLE SECRETS, out now from Barbour Books. SIMPLE SECRETS is the first of a series combining mystery, romance, and suspense, set in the fictional small Mennonite town of Harmony. The town itself becomes a character in the story, and you'll find yourself wanting to settle in for a visit...a place populated by nice, friendly people, one of whom happens to be a killer. SIMPLE SECRETS is a charming read with a likeable heroine who resolves a family secret, solves the mystery, and finds love.

  • Sheri
    2019-01-22 15:03

    I just completed reading the copy of Simple Secrets that I received in the goodreads giveaway. It was a great read that included both romance and mystery. The characters were well-developed, the conversation was believable and the setting was unique. Sam and Gracie both were great main characters and the supporting characters were interesting as well. The mystery kept me guessing until the very end! That's awesome because it makes the read so much more enjoyable. I will definitely be reading the second book in Mehl's Harmony Series. T

  • Rachel
    2019-01-28 14:41

    This was an interesting Christian mystery novel with a love story intertwined with it. I liked the characters and the overall story line. All of the twists and turns of the plot were exciting all while keeping the slower pace of a novel set mainly among the Mennonites. I liked it even more this second time reading it.

  • Abbie
    2019-02-09 16:35

    Gracie is happily working as a graphic designer when she gets a call that her uncle had died and left her his house. She soon finds out that her parents do not have fond memories of the area and she plants to visit get the house ready to sell and leave. But nothing goes as planned once she arrives in the small Mennonite community of Harmony Kansas. She soon meets the odd neighbors. One is an older lady who goes by the name Sweetie and the other is a very handsome man named Sam. Gracie has no intention of staying but she finds herself drawn to the town.Another hiccup in her plan is a letter her uncle leaves for her telling her of a dark family secret. Gracie feels she needs to find the truth before she can sell the house and the adventures begin. She soon finds a friend in both the neighbors and maybe she will even find love.When I first started to read this book I was not sure I was going to like it but I did. The author does a very good job of balancing the mystery/suspense with the romance between Gracie and Sam as well as adding some humor to the story which kept me smiling. She is also very descriptive. Telling many details of rooms that the characters are in etc. The only negative I have for this book is the fact that its only told through Gracie’s eyes. I really wanted to know more about Sam as I got to know him. A lot of times I have trouble finishing a book when only told by one character but this author is really good and it was not a deal breaker for me just a little bit of a disappointment. This is book one in the series and I am looking forward to reading the other two books as well.http://abbiesreadingcorner.com/2011/0...

  • Chelsea
    2019-02-15 18:43

    When Gracie Temple gets a phone call from her father saying that her Uncle Ben has passed away and has left his house and belongings to her, she sets out as soon as she can. Her Uncle lived in a small Mennonite community in Harmony, Kansas and Gracie has never even met him. She arrives with the intention to get things sorted rather quickly, but soon discovers there may be a greater plan at work. A letter addressed to her from her late Uncle causes her to stay and solve a decades old mystery. She meets the handsome Sam Goodrich, who instantly volunteers his assistance. Together they discover sinister things going on in Harmony, including a former corrupt Bishop, a thief, an evil man, and possibly an attraction to each other.I liked that the way the mystery unfolded over the course of the plot. There were no slow points, and since there were clues in just about every chapter, the reveal wasn't left for a huge climax at the end. I thought Sam was quite the romantic guy! Gracie is a fish out of water for most of the book, a feeling that many readers will be able to identify with. I enjoyed being there with her as she saw the Mennonite people as something other than her back woods country assumptions. It seemed we met more modern Mennonites than the more conservative "old ways" ones. Nancy Mehl adds a ton of little details on their way of life - especially when it comes to the cooking - my mouth was watering the whole time! With a last shout out the beautiful cover, this series is sure to be a hit with the Amish and Mennonite readers.

  • Christy Lockstein
    2019-01-23 16:02

    Simple Secrets by Nancy Mehl is the first book in the Harmony series about a mostly Mennonite community in Kansas. Gracie Temple grew up disliking her family's hometown because of the Ban on her parents for their marriage against the bishop's wishes. When her uncle Ben dies, whom she's never met, and leaves her his home, she's forced to go to Harmony to deal with the home. A letter from Ben tells her of a thirty year old murder and secret that she must get to the bottom of if she is ever to return to her life as a graphic designer in Wichita, but after meeting Sam Goodrich, Gracie isn't so sure that Wichita is where she wants to be. Mehl puts an interesting spin on the extremely popular Amish or bonnet fiction genre. Gracie is an outsider with a prejudice against Mennonites, and the community has plenty of secrets to hide. The reader comes to understand the differences between Mennonite groups as Gracie meets her neighbors and the townsfolk. There's a couple of strong messages: people are individuals regardless of the groups they belong to and sometimes the past must be dealt with before the future can be lived. I hope in future volumes Mehl finds companions for lonely Sarah and bitter Sweetie, but the town of Harmony will provide plenty of compelling romances for quite some time.

  • Lynda
    2019-02-18 17:47

    Simple --- MennoniteSecrets --- Nothing simple. And there are a lot of them.I've read this author's work before but it has been awhile. I like her books. She weaves a story and before you know it...you HAFTA keep reading.This has lovely romantic elements. But the mystery honestly is what pulls you in. Who? And why? I'd love to meet Ida. And visit Harmony, Kansas.

  • Denise
    2019-02-01 13:39

    Good read, I liked the story. Of course you knew all along that Grace was going to end up moving to Harmony but the story along the way was solid with a few interesting twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Even though Mehl is classifying this book as a romantic suspense I felt that it had all the trappings of a cozy mystery. Dead body (from 30 years ago), no blood & gore, protagonist and male companion searching for clues and trying to figure out who the killer was. It was a surprise to me to find out "who done it". I would recommend.

  • Karen Fenton
    2019-01-21 10:59

    This was a sweepstakes win from Goodread for me. That is exactly what it was a good read. I found it to be one of the most interesting suspense, mystery, romance book I have read in a long time. It was a page turner for me, and I really enjoyed it. It was interesting to read how Gracie and Sam narrowed down the murderer, and to learn more about the town of Harmony, the people living there and their beliefs. With Gracie moving to Harmony from Wichita made her relationship with Sam all the more believable. Truly a very good story line.

  • Frank
    2019-02-02 16:54

    This was the perfect one day read....I was so drawn into the story immediately I just couldn't put it down. Well developed characters and story line....a bit of drama, romance, and mystery. The ending came together in a twist in the last few chapters (not an easy guess the end of the book).......and left just enough wondering to make you eager for the second book in this series.hurry fall2010..I can't wait~!

  • Natalie Muhler
    2019-01-22 19:03

    This book was a warm friendly, family, loving type book. Taught you ways in which community's should work together, not only mennonites.Was very surprised by the ending had you thinking a totally different person. But some very different leads and different descriptions that I had not known of mennonites.

  • Tammie
    2019-01-21 16:50

    This book was so good...excellent story line...character development and enough drama to keep you turning the pages.I can't wait for book 2

  • Jan Hall
    2019-01-30 10:45

    Simple secrets are not always so simpleI loved this book because of the secrets and mystery. The setting of a small town and all of the characters was great. The book held my attention from the very beginning. The descriptions of various people who seemed disagreeable and how they became that way was enlightening. I loved getting to know more about the Mennonite community.

  • Katya Shpak
    2019-01-19 17:36

    Simple SecretsBy: Nancy MehlGenre: Romance, Mystery, Christian FictionHaving a successful job in the big city seems like the American dream, but Gracie Temple's uncle's hidden past catches up with her and brings her to a completely different scene - a small town. When Gracie moves there, she rejects it and wants to be back in the comfort of her hectic, but organized life. But when Gracie starts to fall in love with a man who lives in the small town, while unveiling the mysteries of her father's and uncle's past, she unexpectedly begins to fall for the boy, and the town. Gracie Temple is a successful woman living in a big city as a graphic designer. One day, she received an unknown inheritance of her uncle's in the very small town of Mennonite, Kansas. She finds out that the inheritance is her uncle's house, who recently passed away. Gracie never knew her uncle was very skeptical why he gave the house to her. Despite this, she packs up her things and moves into the house to see what's now hers and to sort through it. During this process, she meets many unusual towns’ people, including Sam Goodrich, a farmer that lives down the road. Even though Gracie is attracted to Sam, she decides that she is in Mennonite on strict circumstances and cannot get involved in a relationship because she needs to get back to her big city life. While at her uncle's house, now hers, she discovers a note with a deep secret that includes something about her uncle and her father. Gracie had a very unusual and stressful situation in Mennonite after her experience. The primary motif that recurs in this book is the importance of prayer and religion. Gracie reflects on her situation and prays, "“As I stumble through this life, help me to create more laughter than tears, dispense more cheer than gloom, spread more joy than despair. Never let me become so indifferent that I will fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child, or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged. Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people, make them happy, and forget momentarily all the unpleasantness in their lives. And in my final moment, may I hear You whisper, 'When you made My people smile, you made Me smile.” (Mehl 66%). This experience had a very large impact on Gracie’s and potentially changed it forever. She lost some important aspects of her life, but she also gained some different ones that are important, too. Her religious beliefs helped her in overcoming the events that happened in Mennonite, and the events helped strengthen her beliefs.When I first started reading this book, it started off a little slow, like most books do. After getting past the first 30 pages or so, I was so hooked onto this book and could not stop reading. The mystery aspect of the book kept me wanting to keep reading to discover the secret, and the romance that develops with Gracie and Sam keeps me interested in the story. This book can relate to other people’s lives, like it did to mine, but in a less drastic way. Gracie’s experience was very extreme, but many people have family issues and the story line of Simple Secrets could relate to other people’s lives. It also incorporates the importance of church and religion, and how it can be supportive during difficult times. I value this because that has helped me in many ways, just like it helped Gracie. I think that anyone who likes a moderate romance book with the application of religious basis would like to read this book. The mystery part of it doesn't overwhelm the plot line of Gracie and Sam's blossoming love, and the romance part does not overtake the mystery aspect. There was a good balance between the two that I think would be appealing to most readers, just like it was appealing to me.

  • Camille
    2019-02-13 17:37

    Simple Secrets is the story is the first book in the Harmony Series by Nancy Mehl, and soon I will be delving into the second book. But more about her second book when I've read it!Simple Secrets is about Gracie Temple, a city-girl from Wichita who has just received notice that her uncle whom she only met once has passed away, and surprisingly he left everything to her. Now Gracie must go to Harmony, the small Mennonite town her parents and grandparents are from, to deal with his estate.When Gracie heads to Harmony she plans to stay for only a short while, sell the home, and quickly leave to get back on with her life as a graphic designer in Wichita. However, when she gets there it quickly becomes clear that things will not be nearly as easy as it had seemed. As she looks through the family Bible she finds a letter, addressed to her, from her uncle, which implicates her father in a murder which occurred in Harmony years ago.Gracie knows in her heart there is no way that her father could have done this, but she now understands that the reason her uncle had stayed away from her father was he thought he was protecting his brother, Gracie's father, from his secret being revealed.Now strange things are beginning to happen starting with the letter disappearing and Gracie being framed for a theft within the town. It appears that whoever did commit the murder does not want it coming to light, but Gracie knows she has to find out the truth.Gracie, with the help of her handsome neighbor, Sam Goodrich, must try to find out who actually committed the murder, and it's looking like more than one person had a good motive, including her own father.Will Gracie succeed? Or will she be chased out of town by whoever wants to hide this secret first?Read Simple Secrets to find out!Personally, I really enjoyed Simple Secrets. The main characters are not Mennonite but the book is set in a Mennonite town where many of the incidental characters are Mennonite. It provides a pretty good look at the Mennonite life, but if you are seeking a novel that fully immerses you in the culture, this may not be the book for you.I love that this quiet peaceful setting is mixed with a murder mystery. I love mysteries and I love this setting, so it made it quite the perfect book for me. I couldn't guess who the killer actually was, which is always a plus. . . I hate when it's too easy to figure out.The writing was pretty good, maybe not the best there ever was, but it was pretty easy to get to know the characters and to fall in love with them. Perhaps this wasn't my very favorite Amish/Mennonite book, but I still would give it 4 out of 5 stars.I definitely look forward to reading the second book in the series, Simple Deceit, in order to find out what happens next in Harmony!

  • Lorie
    2019-02-19 14:57

    Simple Secrets by Nancy Mehl is the first book in her Harmony series. I was able to read this book through Net Galley and Barbour Books and was provided with a digital copy for this review. I love Amish fiction and after recommendations from friends, I decided to read this book. While it is not about the Amish it is about Mennonites, a close relative of the religion. The Simple Secret in the book really is not so Simple! The story starts off introducing us to Gracie Temple, a graphic designer who loves her job in the big city. Gracie gets a phone call at work from her dad telling her that her uncle Benjamin, who has placed the Bann on his family, has died and left her his house, land and everything in the house. She decides to take two weeks off from work to go to the Kansas Mennonite Community of Harmony and collect some family heirlooms and sell the property. When she gets to the house, she discovers a letter her uncle left her about a secret he has been keeping. The secret told her that a man was killed and he buried the body on his land to protect Gracie’s father who he thought killed the man. Gracie and a neighbor, Sam Goodrich, who befriends her and introduces her to the town and then later helps her try to solve the mystery of who is the real killer. Gracie finds out that Harmony has a lot of secrets and someone even tries to scare her out of town. Will they find out who the killer is? Will the town secrets come out? Read to find out how the story all comes together. Sam and Gracie also seem to be falling for each other after only knowing each other a few days. How will they act on those feelings since Gracie has her dream job in the big city and Sam has no plans of leaving Harmony?I was drawn to the story from the first chapter. My friends were right. If you like Amish fiction, you will love this book. This book had mystery, romance and even suspense. Sometimes I felt like the day in the life of Gracie and Sam went on forever since so much happened in one day. Overall, I LOVED the story and can’t wait to read the second book to the series called Simple Deceit. Simple Deceit comes out December 1, 2010. You can find Simple Secrets in stores now.

  • Clare
    2019-01-29 10:39

    Mystery. Murder. And Mennonites? Oh, yes. This book was a well-seasoned mix of Christian fiction, romance and mystery.Grace inherits a house from her estranged uncle and takes two weeks off work to settle affairs and get some family heirlooms before selling the house. What Grace also inherits is the property that her uncle says hides the body of Jacob Glick, a rival for mother's hand. Her uncle believed that Grace's father, his brother, murdered Jacob Glick. Uncle Ben (yes, I know) had hidden the body all these years to protect his brother. Grace knows her father is not a murderer but resolves to solve the mystery of who murdered Jacob Glick, so she can sell the property free and clear.The Mennonite town of Harmony, Kansas welcomes Grace and Sam is designated to show Grace around town. Sam and Grace fit well together, but Grace can't ever imagine giving up her job in Wichita to stay in backwards Harmony. Why, some houses don't even have telephones!But as Grace and Sam try to interview other town people to find more about Jacob Glick, the list of suspects keeps growing. Is it even safe for Grace to uncover the truth? The sabotage doesn't fit with the Mennotite community but somebody has been carrying a deadly secret for 25 years.Grace's relationship with God is a subtle part of the book, not beating anyone over the head, but supplying Grace with a steady hand and guidance. The tender romance between Sam and Grace is written with just enough tension that you could almost forget about the mystery and the dead body in the north forty. Quite an enjoyable read. Don't let the Mennonite factor scare you off. www.bookreviewsbyclare.blogspot.com

  • Paula-O
    2019-02-12 10:44

    Harmony Series by Nancy Mehl #1book "Simple Secrets""Can Love Overcome Evil in the Mennonite town of Harmony, Kansas?"Grace Temple never knew her Uncle Benjamin that lived in Harmony but now she finds he has left her his home and land there, Many years ago her father left the town and his brother behind when his relationship with a young woman was not looked favorably on..Grace meets Sam soon after getting to the town and he offers friendship and to give her tour of the town.Sam lives with his aunt and they have an orchard and huge home that Grace finds she would like to know more about. As Grace meets all the townfolks she finds herself being pulled into their simple lifestyle though she has always thought herself a "city girl". She plans to settle the estate -sell and move back to the city but plans just dont always go the way we plan them...Soon after arriving she finds a letter in her Uncle's Bible that tells of a death and burial and not in consecrated grounds, it explains why Benjamin lived so reclusive and would never leave his home...A Secret he wishes Grace to fix if she can...some secrets are not so simple as this one turns out to be.I love a mystery and this book will have you wondering what is going to happen next and if Sam and Grace will have a relationship or not, many of the folks in town are suspicious of Grace and others love her and want her to stay in their midst....You will enjoy reading as this story unfolds and we learn about the folks of Harmony -I was anxious to start book #2 and find out more about Grace and Sam and Harmony ....thanks for the mystery Nancy.

  • Kay Defreese
    2019-02-03 13:00

    Just like the name Harmony is a wonderful place to live with friendly down to earth people and quaint little shops. Everybody seems to love each other and help each other out but it was not always this way. Over twenty years ago, the ladies in town were afraid of a Jacob Glick and the harsh Mennonite bishop seemed to turn his head as to what Jacob did. Gracie's parents once lived in Harmony but left that town along with Gracie's grandparents. The only family member who remained was Benjamin who did not communicate with his family all these years. He cut off contact because he was protecting Gracie's father from a crime he thought was committed. Benjamin dies and leaves everything to Gracie. Gracie comes to the town in order to sell off the estate. While there she learns through a letter that Benjamin left that he thought his brother was responsible for Jacob Glick's death which was the reason he cut himself off from his family all these years.While in Harmony Gracie meets Sam, a local farmer and together they find out all the secrets that Harmony holds.With a lot of mystery/suspense books I will have the murderer figured out before the end of the book. Jacob Glick was not liked by ANY person in Harmony so it could have been anybody who decided to rid Harmony of this menace. I did not figure this one out until the author revealed who it was and then it all made sense. There are two more books in the series and I can't wait to read them. I have recently discovered this author and looking forward to reading more works by her in the future.

  • Margaret Chind
    2019-02-19 10:44

    The title of Simple Secrets means so many different things in the complex threads of this novel. This is my first introduction to the writing of Nancy Mehl and it will not be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed her foray from mystery into romantic suspense. She knows her stuff. Each chapter and page was another hook that made me need five more minutes to find out what happens next all the way to the very end. Love at first sight was palpable between Gracie and Sam and I look forward to seeing how their relationship evolves in the next book, Simple Deceit: A Mennonite Community's Way of Life Is Threatened by Outsiders. Set in a mostly Mennonite Town of Harmony, Kansas readers are taken on an educational journey into the reals of Mennonite personalities versus assumed stereotypes. Every piece of the puzzle was enlightening and interesting. Though the story revolves around something not so pleasant watching how evil can be used and turned for good in the end was enjoyable. Keeping the faith and listening for God's will to come through while attempting to find the secrets between the darker side of the town will keep readers entertained in full. *Thanks to Barbour Books for providing a copy for review through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.*

  • Brenda
    2019-02-19 11:52

    Simple Secrets is a very well written christian mystery that takes place in Harmony Kansas a small Mennonite community. When Gracie Temple inherits her uncles property in Harmony she is sort of surprised. She had never met this uncle, when her family left the Mennonite community years before her uncle decided to stay and never contacted anyone in the family again.Gracie decides she will take a quick trip to dispose of the house and collect some family heirlooms, but once she arrives she finds a letter left to her by her uncle that discloses the murder of a man named Jacob Glick, and her uncle Ben believed that Gracie's dad murdered this man, so to hide the murder Ben buried the man on his property and then spent the rest of his life keeping a secret to protect his brother.Gracie is sure that her dad is in no way responsible for the murder, but who is ? Can she trust her new found friend Sam Goodrich to help her figure out who the real murderer is?The author throws out several suspects for us to choose from, but this is no easy mystery to solve, I thought I had it right but was surprised at the end. This is a very fast paced read full of mystery, suspense, romance and also a glance at the Mennonite community. The author keeps you guessing right up till the end trying to figure out who the murderer actually is.I loved my visit to Harmony and look forward to reading the next book in this great Mennonite series titled Simple Deceit due out 12/10.Thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to read this great book.

  • Sharon Hughson
    2019-02-05 19:05

    I give this book a solid 4.4 out of 5 stars. It felt more like a cozy mystery than romantic suspense to me. I didn't feel Grace came across as the typical heroine of a Christian novel, not really showing her faith until things got "out of control." But aren't many of us the same? Waiting to pray until we're in a bind and see no way out of it?I thought the way Mehl approached the Mennonite religion was interesting. She gave Grace a reason to be skeptical and showed how the secrets people kept hurt on every level: personal, family, church and community. And held power in past and present. The writing was good and the characters realistic. I debated giving it five stars, but I couldn't quite believe the setting. Even though there were a few dramas on a personal level, the community of Harmony felt unrealistic to me. A bit too perfect - even with all those ugly secrets under wraps. Also, the way the biggest secret holders weren't part of any of the three church communities felt a little odd. Church people keep secrets, too (like Emily and the former bishop).I recommend the book to anyone looking for a mystery with a little romance thrown in. It isn't a true romance because the conflicts in the book aren't between the main characters, and those issues push them together rather than pull them apart, like in most romances.

  • Michael
    2019-01-27 18:53

    I won a copy of this book from First Reads.Gracie Temple, a graphic designer from Wichita, gets a phone call that her Uncle Ben, who she has never met, has recently passed away and left all of his belongings to her. Gracie goes to Harmony, the small town where her uncle lived his whole life, and discovers that he has left her a hidden message: He believes that Gracie's father killed a man and buried the body on Ben's property.Gracie knows that her father cannot possibly be a murderer- and she intends to prove it. With the help of Ben's neighbor, Sam, she sets out to uncover the real truth about what happened in Harmony 20 years ago.I would recommend this book to people who like Christian fiction, but not particularly to those who are a big fan of suspenseful mysteries. Although I suppose that this book is technically classified as a mystery, it's not as suspenseful or, for lack of a better word, mysterious, as most of the other mysteries that I read.A lot of the focus of the book is on how small-town life and Mennonite values affect modern-day people. I wasn't in love with the writing style, but Gracie was a very well-developed character. Since this is a series, I am not really bothered by the fact that several characters were relatively flat- the author should have more than enough time to develop them in later books.

  • Carly
    2019-02-11 10:39

    When it comes to romantic suspense, I tend to be a bit picky. I tend not to like books with a lot of tension and sometimes suspense books can have too much tension for my liking. I found Simple Secrets to be the perfect mix of romance and suspense with just the right amount of everything. Nancy did an excellent job of balancing the suspense with romance. She also did a great job with the setting. Harmony, Kansas sounds like a peaceful place to live and Nancy’s descriptions of the people, the town and the places Gracie visited made this book come alive.Harmony is, on the surface, a peaceful and happy place to live, but it has its secrets and it has its dark areas. That is so much like how most people are. They appear happy and peaceful, but below the surface there is turmoil that we try to hide from the world. I think Nancy wrote the town of Harmony to signify how all of us struggle to keep up appearances even when we have our secrets. Overall, Simple Secrets is an enjoyable book in so many different ways. Fans of Christian romance and fans of Christian suspense will find this book appealing, page turning, and surprisingly relaxing. I really enjoyed my first experience with Nancy Mehl’s work and look forward to reading more from The Harmony Series.

  • Diane U
    2019-01-26 12:45

    Gracie had a lot to deal with inside this small Mennonite town called Harmony. She went there with the intentions of dealing with her uncle's estate. Once she got there, she learned of a secret that her uncle had been keeping for several years. The thing is, there are people in Harmony who did not want these secrets revealed.Along the way, she falls in love with the town, the people and even Sam. Sam was the neighbor's nephew who guided Gracie through Harmony and became a wonderful friend. Together they were determined to uncover the truth explained in her uncle's note. Lots of people in Harmony had devasting secrets and the more Gracie dug into the past, the more was revealed. In the end, Gracie, Sam and the whole community came together.This was a heartfelt story about family, friends, love, community and truth. It shows how holding back the truth can have a terrible affect on everyone around you as well as yourself for holding it inside for so long.I honestly enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading more in Nancy Mehl's second book called Simple Deceit which is coming out in early 2011. A special thanks to Net Galley and Barbour Publishing, Inc for allowing me to review this book for them.

  • Maria
    2019-02-12 14:45

    I thought this book was so adorable, fun, and even a little suspenseful. The story focuses around a young woman named Gracie who has to visit the little town of Harmony after her uncle passes away. We come to find out that her uncle has not only left her a house, but a letter that sends Gracie on a mystery quest for the truth. The small, highly religious town, couldn't be more different than Gracie's current city-life, and yet, she finds that the town's residents and charms begin to pull her in.Once I got into it, I found this book to be as charming as the fictional town it's based upon. I thought about what it would be like to visit Harmony myself, and whether the quaint restaurants and shops would have me wanting to stay there myself. I will warn you though, that if you are going to read this book, it is very religious, and very preachy. There were times that all of the bible quoting and praying was off-putting, but overall, I found it to be inspiring and perfectly-placed.I hope you like this book as much as I did. Let me know!!Maria @GoodChoiceReading.com

  • Karagan
    2019-02-09 16:36

    I had some hesitations with this book. From the blurb we learn that the love interest is already engaged to someone else. Not my ideal situation for a blossoming love story, but being that that was exactly what it was, I was moved enough to read it.And it soared above my expectations. Ridiculously so.I am not one to be truly enamored by books where a single day spans chapters. Those can become boring and ridiculously repetitive. However, Simple Secrets has a way of keeping the reader captivated and yes, hooked. While the suspense is constant and the story unfolds slowly, the characters are endearing enough to blind you to the fact that a three hundred plus page book only covers about seven days. I won this in a goodreads giveaway.

  • Jodi
    2019-01-31 12:50

    I'm not usually much of a mystery reader but I really enjoyed this book. Gracie inherieted a house from her uncle in a Mennonite community and discovers a letter from her uncle once she gets there accusing her father of murdering an evil man from the community many years ago. The uncle has covered it up all these years and wants Gracie to decide what to do. With the help of Sam Gracie attempts to solve the murder from many years ago and ends up being the target of a few crimes to try to stop her from finding the murder. She also discovers that many people in the town were also aware of the murder but no one knew who had committed the murder and they all kept quiet for different reasons.