The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann

I was quite intrigued by this lovely novel from Kristen Heitzmann. The story development was superb, and the character development exemplary. The character that stole the show was Livvy, the two-year old daughter of Morgan. Quite the charmer and cute, I thought she may have been attributed some dialogue that might have been a tad too old? Maybe not. I found myself caring about what happened to both main characters, and especially to Livvy.

What I did not like was the head-hopping. Flipping from one character to another to another stopped the story flow and did nothing for suspense or intrigue. What could have been a nail-biter, turned out to be an average read. No suspense at all. We are all scared of the unknown. If Heitzmann had just capitalized on that, this story would have worked very well as a love/suspense story. But, she didn't and it doesn't. Jumping into the head of the crazed-maniac does not create suspense. It only adds another character that no one really cares about because he is the evil genie of the story. We readers do not want to feel sorry for him; we want him caught, and we want him to pay for his evil.

If you really like anticipation in your love stories, this one won't do for you. This book reads like it was intended to be a much shorter love story with a suspense back story that was only supposed to play a minor  role; but then was short-circuited by an editor for more fluff and added dimension to make it a longer version. 

There were several places that just didn't make sense like a paragraph or a couple of sentences were removed with no bridge put in place, and that made some places choppy. I had to reread several paragraphs to make some kind of sense and in one or two places, it never did make sense. 

However, on the whole, the book is enjoyable and is very well written. If for no other reason, the book is truly remarkable in how much a two-year old can add to the plot without being a victim. There is good balance with how the characters interact, and this gives the novel a good level of realism. Heitzmann also weaves a nice subplot in how humans need each other, and need to let go of the past as well as loved ones who have passed on. 

I give it 3 stars out of 5.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Breath of Dawn
Bethany House Publishers (November 1, 2012)
Kristen Heitzmann


From the time my dad taught me to read at sit-on-the-floor school when I was four—launching me past kindergarten into 1st grade—I have loved learning and expressing what I know through art, music, and especially writing. Education came easily, and I grew accustomed to having my work read and displayed. But breaking out of the family mold, I left college to marry my husband Jim (celebrating our 29th this year.) Since then, life and all kinds of research have provided the grist for my stories. We have three awesome adult kids, and one incredible teenager. (You might think I’m biased, but ask anyone who knows them.)

While home schooling my four kids, I wrote my first novel. I pitched it for publication, and it became the first of a five book historical series. Since then, I have written three more historical novels and nine contemporaries. The Still of Night was nominated for the Colorado Book Award. The Tender Vine was a Christy Award finalist and Secrets won a Christy in 2005.

People often ask why I started writing, and I say to get the stories out of my head. Some say they’d like to write a book, but I say if you’re not wracked with labor pains, there are easier ways to express yourself. Being a writer is a solitary, eccentric, and often compulsive path. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.


Kristen Heitzmann Delivers Powerful New Romantic Suspense
Morgan Spencer has had just about all he can take of life. Following the tragic death of his wife, Jill, he retreats to his brother's Rocky Mountain ranch to heal and focus on the care of his infant daughter, Olivia. Two years later, Morgan begins to make plans to return to his home in Santa Barbara to pick up the pieces of his life and career.

Quinn Riley has been avoiding her past for four years. Standing up for the truth has forced her into a life of fear and isolation. After a "chance" first meeting and a Thanksgiving snowstorm, Quinn is drawn into the Spencer family's warm and loving world, and she begins to believe she might find freedom in their friendship.

The man Quinn helped put behind bars has recently been released, however, and she fears her past will endanger the entire Spencer family. As the danger heightens, she determines to leave town for the sake of the people who have come to mean so much to her.

Fixing problems is what Morgan Spencer does best, and he is not willing to let Quinn run away, possibly into the clutches of a man bent on revenge. But Morgan's solution sends him and Quinn on an unexpected path, with repercussions neither could have anticipated.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Breath of Dawn, go HERE.

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