Keith Williams has lived on the fringe for more time than he would ever want to admit. Even after he became a huge name in snowboarding, Keith remained aloof and secretive about his past, except with his close friend, Andy. The years spanning his mid to latter teens are something that Keith has managed to bury at least temporarily. Now recovery from a major accident, which removed him from the competitive circuit, threatens to be his undoing. The fear that grips him on the slopes is palpable and all consuming. Keith must not only fight to get his speed and agility back, he may have to confront the dark past that fills him with shame and disgust.
All this is made that much harder by the fact that his friend Andy has asked him to be part of a documentary featuring the outstanding members in his sport. Imbedded in the group is an old acquaintance of Keith’s, Jesse Royce, who is writing an in-depth piece on the snowboarders, specifically Keith. Theirs is a tricky friendship that included a past affair. However, after Keith fell and was two years in recovery, he cut himself off from everyone, once again affirming that he was someone who needed no one to survive. Little does everyone know that Keith is barely holding on to his emotions, not to mention his incredible attraction to one Jesse Royce.
Secrets From the Edge by S.C. Wynne was a sometimes dark and gritty look at the toll keeping secrets does to someone who lives his life in the spotlight. Keith had such deep-seated fear of being discovered—not only for he what feels is his shameful past, but also for the fact that standing at the top of a slope has him sweating in terror of falling again. It really doesn’t help him that some mysterious person is determined to unearth all that he has kept secret for so many years. On top of that, he now realizes he has real potential to develop deeper feelings for Jesse who seems willing to explore more than a simple fling. Unfortunately Keith is about to come up against his teen years in a very real way and is worried that once everyone finds out exactly whom he is they will reject him out of hand.
The way in which this author portrayed Keith was incredibly realistic. There was no easy fix for this guy; he had huge issues he had to deal with and there was no way to escape that fact. The tension that realization created within Keith was so intense, making this story grip the reader and pull them into each scene. There were times this writing was so clear and descriptive I could swear I was on the slopes. The angst and pain Keith experienced made my own heart just bleed for this man and curse those who wanted to pull him down and expose every facet of his life. The hurt that Jesse felt once Keith confessed his past life to him was just gut wrenching and I feared our guys were not going to ever bridge the gap that secret had created between them.
Perhaps the only two elements in this story that left me puzzled had to do with the mystery surrounding who eventually revealed Keith’s past and what I felt was an ending that wrapped up just way too fast. Once the news story broke, the author dropped the riddle as to whom the informant was. That coupled with a rather tentative happy for now resolution to Jesse and Keith’s on again, off again, relationship made this story just a bit too unfinished by novel’s end.
Secrets From The Edge by S.C. Wynne was an excellent character driven novel that just needed a bit more page time to make it completely work. Still, this is well worth the read and I would encourage you to pick up a copy and enjoy this delightful story.