Elsa (The Secret Heritage Series, Book One)


HISTORICAL:  Elsa Beatrice Garrett comes from the ultimate dysfunctional family, 1904 style. Though young and still in school she shows an ability to love and empathy many others do not. Being a social outcast doesn't keep her from her beloved, the center of social standing, Cora Raymond's older brother, Franklin Thaddeus Raymond. Franklin stands front and center with his Asperger autism, a sharp contrast to his sister in this historical romance. Add diabetes and romance to the mix and Franklin appears doomed to the asylum. 


Ms. Bruning embraces the difficult task of showing what life is like on the flip side of autism, taking the reader into the controlled structure that stumbles over daily life with all of its unexpected twists and turns. Heavy information dumps may cause the less-hardy reader to set the story aside. Others may question several facts used in the story that don’t ring quite true to the era. Male characters are long-winded with a single speaking part containing multiple paragraphs of back story. There are also assorted clichés that don’t quite work within the story as well as the occasional jarring word usage. The novel also contains several formatting issues and could use tighter editing. However, even with its short-comings, this family history of a tale succeeds in staying interesting and capturing the heart of the reader.


Shaunna Gonzales