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When a young woman stumbles out of the Hanalei Mountains on the island of Kauai with no memory of who she is or how she got there, Cameron Pierce reluctantly agrees to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding her arrival. Now known as Jade, the woman begins to recall fragments of what led her to this place, and she realizes the danger isn't over.

464 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 2006

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About the author

Kristen Heitzmann

47 books848 followers
Kristen Heitzmann is the award winning author of contemporary romantic suspense, psychological suspense, and historical series. An artist and musician, she'll also be found hiking the Rocky Mountain trails.

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5 stars
1,601 (39%)
4 stars
1,453 (35%)
3 stars
780 (19%)
2 stars
190 (4%)
1 star
57 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 272 reviews
Profile Image for Amanda Stevens.
Author 8 books336 followers
November 11, 2012
My first Heitzmann read ever, I picked this book up because of the cover (and no shame in that: the cover did its job). I read the back blurb and thought, Hm, okay, maybe. I read the first two pages and bought the book.

In reality, Christians know life is gritty at times. Even those ready to "give an answer for the hope that is within" us sometimes struggle with those answers. Our fellows in fiction ought to struggle, too. Kristen Heitzmann understands this and writes this. Brilliantly.

Jade's moral dilemmas relating to her career are refreshingly real, and no quickie solution is offered. Her determination and vulnerability as she regains her memories are well-portrayed. Cameron is an even deeper character--hiding a broken heart behind gruff suspicion, terrified of the world's propensity to steal what he loves, and continuing to believe in God despite it all, just no longer willing to trust Him.

When summed up that way, neither of these characters sounds original, but they are. Jade's version of strength is willingness to trek into the Hawaiian wild by herself before asking a man who doesn't believe her for help. Cameron's version of heavenward fist-shaking is to pit his surfboard against the sea and beat it one wave at a time. What makes these characters work? A familiar core demonstrated by original quirks--quirks that at times actually drive the plot, rather than being submerged in it.

In addition, Heitzmann's prose is a step above, treating us to interesting similes and specific verbs. A pitiless editor could have slimmed the book down a bit, but on the whole, I loved the writing here. I also loved the vivid Hawaiian setting, and there was nothing more fun than Cameron breaking into pidgin.

Of course, expect the main characters to end up together. But Heitzmann's approach is far from syrupy, honest instead. The attraction between Jade and Cameron is rooted in their souls, not their bodies, yet this author acknowledges the physical desires of men and women. There are realistic reasons for them to be together but also realistic obstacles to keep them apart.

This book made me a Kristen Heitzmann fan and pushed me to find more Christian fiction written as well as hers. So glad that cover caught my eye.
Profile Image for Stefanie.
788 reviews61 followers
April 24, 2018
Freefall by Kristen Heitsmann was an overall good read.
The setting was Hawaii, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There’s just something about diving into a book and immersing yourself in a place that is unlike your present home. I loved the touch of Hawaiian dialogue throughout the novel and learning a few Hawaiian words. I enjoy authors who take the time to research those things. It makes the book genuine.
Gentry was a very relatable character and I enjoyed getting to know her and her heart. Cameron, or Kai, his Hawaiian name, was also a character I really enjoyed getting to know, especially after his walls were broken down.
There were parts of this novel that were long and drawn out to me, which gave it a sleepy effect, but other sections seemed to move so fast that it felt rushed and unnatural. Overall though it was a wonderful story to read.
Profile Image for Dani H.
455 reviews192 followers
November 5, 2015
I wanted to approach this book with an open mind (having never read any Christian Fiction before), but I will admit that although I had my intentions, I was still sceptical. However, before I knew it I'd passed page 100 and found myself fully involved with the story. I found the characters mostly amiable, and I found them convincing enough to want things to work out at the end. Although too idealistic in some ways, I enjoyed Gentry and Cameron's relationship and found it to be convincing most of the time; it even managed to give me goosebumps near the end of the novel.

Although the Christian theme is something that I am unfamiliar with, and although I do not share the religious views of the author, I didn't find the religious theme to be too overwhelming and was still able to enjoy the story.
I'm not sure I would read anything else by this author, but I did enjoy Freefall and would recommend it to a friend.
Profile Image for Stephanie Agnes-Crockett.
168 reviews24 followers
December 25, 2021
As I read this book, I kept going back and forth on whether or not I would review the title. This was a book I picked up from the library's used book sale, so I hadn't offered to review it, nor do I review every single book I read.
There was some excellent content that made this book feel very sharable. There was also a good deal of romantic content that made me feel uncomfortable. Ultimately, I decided to write a review for GoodReads, only. Since purity is such an active emphasis on my blog, I decided to forego that step of active promotion.

With that said, here are my thoughts:
The writing was excellent. Stylistically and plot-wise, Heitzmann's writing reminds me of Ted Dekker's. He is one of my very favorite authors, so that resemblance was a strong point of connection, for me.
The suspense was masterfully executed and I appreciated how the story came together through multiple points of view. There were also several mystery/subplots woven together, which I really enjoyed.
As I see referenced elsewhere on this page, the book is well-researched. I recently read another novel with a little bit of pidgin dialect, but this book did an excellent job of introducing the language. In addition to providing context clues, there's also a scene where a former resident breaks down the basic grammar for a haole (white foreigner). As a result, it was much easier to interpret the dialect, throughout.
There was some beautiful spiritual content, including very real encounters with Jesus: His love, grace, protection and forgiveness. We also see Jesus' followers acting in His name through acts of compassion, tenderness and forgiveness. These moments-- and there were quite a few-- were so redemptive. For those who are not sensitive to the content concerns (which I'll describe below), the spiritual content is a high point of commendation. God did use this book to speak to me in a personal way!

Content Concerns
For me, the romantic content crossed the line-- not enough to keep me from finishing the book but enough to keep me from unreservedly endorsing it. There was kissing fairly early on, followed by quite a bit more kissing, as well as discussion/thinking about moving beyond kissing. And while I appreciate that the characters didn't actually have sex, being in their heads while they thought about it was too much for me.

As a reviewer, one of my goals is to point readers toward books that proclaim truth-- and this one does! Another of my goals is to promote books that showcase purity. For me, "Freefall" oversteps the line in its portrayal of romantic relationships. The romance was just too graphic. My review comes with a strong READER DISCRETION warning.
Profile Image for Loraine.
2,957 reviews
July 21, 2016
SUMMARY: When a young woman stumbles out of the Hanalei Mountains on the island of Kauai with no memory of who she is or how she got there, Cameron Pierce reluctantly agrees to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding her arrival. As pieces begin to fall into place, he suspects her injuries were no accident, but he's far from convinced she's an innocent victim. And there's that nagging feeling he's seen her somewhere before....
Now known as Jade, the woman begins to recall fragments of what led her to this place, and she realizes the danger isn't over. Jade and the cynical Hawaiian investigator attempt to reconstruct the threads of her identity, but the stakes are far higher than either expected.

REVIEW: Freefall is another excellent romantic suspense thriller from Kristen Heitzmann. The plot is jam packed with action and keeps the readers attention from start to finish. The characters are very realistic. I particularly liked the quandry Gentry found herself in as an actress in a city filled with immorality. She faced the issue of whether or not she could be a representation of morality or would she cave in to the demands of the movie industry in order to further her career. Cameron faced many issues from his past as well and had to determine how he was going to live beyond them as well as the fact that his faith had been shaken due to these issues. The secondary characters, Allegra, Rob, TJ and Nica, Okelani, all added unique perspectives to the storyline.

I loved Heitzmann's descriptions of Hawaii which made me feel like I was right there in the midst of the story and gave justice to the beautiful island of Kauai. I thought that Okelani's use of the hula to speak in prayer to God was a unique and lovely form of worship using her own cultural heritage.

My rating is a 4.5 overall because of one thing that bothered me. I sometimes felt uncomfortable with the dreams/sensations/auras that were sensed by Okelani, Nica and Cameron. But this is just my personal opinion. Still a book I would definitely recommend.

FAVORITE QUOTES: "...while he didn't look for God's hand in everything, he paid attention when it slapped him in the face."

"God had allowed the anger and defiance and carried him safely again and again until he could recognize the authority that gave life grace."

"God showed me once and for all that I'm not uncovering his scam. He's no fraud. He's the only real thing there is."
105 reviews30 followers
October 4, 2012
*sigh. One of those books that ive re-read a few times because of how good it is. Freefall captures the story of a young women who wakes up and finds that she remembers nothing. Not even her name. Cameron, a young man that she mets soon after, thinks that there is more to her story and decides to investigate. Through vivid description and a breath taking plot we slowly learn the story of what happens to our girl and what exactly has brought her to the island of Kauai. Not only does this book have action and suspence but you will soon find that a tad bit of a love story is included in the plot. I enjoyed the way the author uses some of the lanuage that the people speak on the island in the book, this allowed the reader to learn some really kool words and phrases. I didnt particularly like that some chapters told the story of different people (dont worry it still connects to the story!) but I did like that because of these added chapters I couldnt wait to get back to cameron and "the girl". I feel in love with cameron who i think is rugged and rough on the outside but sweet and gently and so caring once you get to know him. Give it a try. When I first read it I didnt realize how good it was and it took a second read for it to sink in.
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 41 books411 followers
January 18, 2016
Okay, I have mixed feelings about this book.
Kristen Heitzmann has incredible talent. A forth of the way through I wondered how she was going to make the story last four hundred and sixty some odd pages. However, she made the pages fly by; it wasn't a stretch.

The first third of the book was amazing. The interaction between Jade and Cameron was realistic as was as gripping. The faith displayed by some of the main characters wasn't preachy, fake, or overdone, but very strong. The amnesia and remembering were well written and believable.

After the first third of the book, I didn't enjoy as much. The story itself was still captivating, but I was disappointed in the characters. The main guy and girl, although they never go beyond kissing, place themselves in compromising situations by CHOICE. I can take it when authors put their characters in bad situations that test their character, but they when they chose those situations, it disappointed me. It wasn't horrible, but I had higher hopes from the start of the book.

I recommend it for older readers who like adventure/romance books will probably enjoy this book.
Profile Image for Sarita.
1,105 reviews637 followers
February 1, 2016
I have read a few Kristen Heitzmann books, and this one was my favourite.

There was a great balance between character build-up (of which there were quite a few - Gentry, Cameron, Nica, TJ, and other secondary characters), characters dealing with heavy issues and the suspense.

The mystery was continuous throughout the book with an action pack ending. There was a lot going on in the first 50% of the book which made for a slower start but I felt the last 50% flew by.
The interaction between the characters were also more flowing for me than her previous books and the culprit a bit more twisted. I did struggle some with the Kuaian lingo but later in the book understood that better.

What I enjoyed about this book was apart from the mystery/suspense, the characters had to heal from past hurts, some even coming from childhood. This process happened over weeks/months and not instant. As a reader you also felt the characters pains, insecurities, struggles and trust issues.

Recommended to mystery/contemporary fans.
Profile Image for Tara.
28 reviews1 follower
April 24, 2010
Though I feel like Heitzmann is repetitive in her description of things from book to book, I liked the uniqueness of her setting. Hawaii is a beautiful place that not a lot of people are able to visit. She really put you there, in the culture and in the traditions. I enjoyed the plot and story line. Instead of one climax, she structured it to contain several. I did feel some parts were predictable, but I really enjoyed the love story and the transformations you see in some of the characters. I do appreciate that it's a "Christian" love story and shows the struggles you really have; not a candy-coated Christian version that so many authors use. (Same thing I appreciate from Francine Rivers).
Profile Image for Liz.
84 reviews14 followers
August 31, 2010
I thought I was going to enjoy this book because the story was pretty interesting from the beginning, and I liked the setting of Hawaii. I was very disappointed with the content, though, and couldn't finish reading it.

I am uncomfortable with Christian fiction using characters that keep mentioning their sexual desire and attraction. When I got to page 100-something and decided I wouldn't read any further, I wanted to get an idea of how the story ended. So I turned to the last couple of pages, and was caught quite off guard by a scene in which two characters were described as "hungering" for each other and one asking the other to "make love". Really?!?

I won't be reading any more of this author's books.
Profile Image for Kate.
1,498 reviews40 followers
February 11, 2016
I really enjoyed this book. I liked the suspense of it: the manifold mystery. I had pegged someone as the culprit, but then decided they were harmless, only to find out later that perhaps they weren't so innocent after all . . .
I really liked the characters of "Jade" and Cameron, and how their relationship grew from mutual distrust to friendship. However, my favourite characters were Nica and Okelani.
Reading about Hawaii in this book made me long to go there: not to the commercialised Hawaii, but to the Hawaii that Nica knew . . . the one of friendship and faith, and the true spirit of Aloha! :)
Profile Image for Dana.
149 reviews2 followers
April 9, 2016
I liked this book I loved the setting of it and want to go visit Kauai now. I loved that you got a peak at the natives and got to hear how they speak it made me want to learn Pidgeon brah. I really loved the storyline but for some reason I wish the book moved a little bit faster. I felt like it took me forever to get through. But yet I don't know how that could of happened! I loved how it all wrapped up nicely and felt content with the ending. A nice read.
Profile Image for Lynn Spencer.
1,210 reviews81 followers
April 3, 2016
I know this book is beloved by many an inspy reader, so I don't know why I took so long to give it a whirl. While not perfect, I will say this is one of the very few amnesia stories that's really worked for me.

Set in Hawaii, a local healer finds a disoriented hiker who has stumbled out of the woods. The woman does not remember her name or how she came to be in a fairly isolated part of Kauai, so the healer, Monica Pierce, takes her home. For the timebeing, she and her foster mother call the woman Jade.

It's obvious Jade has been through some kind of trauma, and the mystery surrounding her appearance unsettles Monica just enough that she gets her brother Cameron, a private investigator, involved. What follows has some farfetched moments (which I'll leave out here so we don't have spoilers), but just enough believable plot twists to keep the reader engaged.

One thing I appreciated in the beginning of the book were all the different reactions to Jade. Some folks are immediately accepting of her while others, such as Cameron, are suspicious of her amnesia story. There are some more mystical aspects of the story that didn't quite work for me (I tend not to be into the "woo-woo" stuff whether I'm reading inspy or secular), but otherwise I enjoyed the characters and the rapidly developing plot.

As the story progresses, Jade does begin to recall parts of her memory. She also finds herself confronted with people who knew her before her amnesia, and that brings its own set of adjustments. And then there is the fact that someone still seems to be targeting Jade, which lends a sense of urgency to the entire story.

If you enjoy romantic suspense, Freefall is a winner. The romance takes a back seat to the rest of the plot action for much of the book, but that works well given the nature of the story.
Profile Image for Peter.
173 reviews3 followers
April 29, 2015
This book starts out at full speed with a woman who falls down a waterfall, hits her head, and then struggles to remember exactly what happened. The pace continues throughout the book, as more things are revealed, and more questions are brought up. I found myself drawn to the book as I wanted to find out the answers to all my questions, and find out what happened next.

The book is written with a Christian bent, mentioning God's providence and the characters' trust in God as they get through different circumstances, but it doesn't come across as awkward or forced into the story line.

For Christians (who seem to be the target audience for the book), there are a few spots that should bring pause:

1> The lady falls in love with the man long before he decides to give his life over to God. In real life, this is a risky proposition, especially in light of the Bible's direction not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.

2> The two of them spend several nights together in the same room, sleeping on the same couch.

3> The man admits to the woman "I want to make love to you," but a phone call interrupts the moment. Later, the woman tells the guy to have sex with her, although he refuses and waits until they are married.

4> There is a reliance among some characters to a Hawaiian mysticism.

In spite of some of these spots that I didn't think were appropriate for characters claiming to be Christian, I enjoyed the book and felt it was well-written.
871 reviews
August 30, 2011
"Another reviewer summed up my feelings about this book pretty well. The dialogue is good, particularly between Jade and Cameron (Kai), the protagonists of Heitzmann's novel. The book could have benefited from some judicious editing, but overall the story flows along nicely, like a stream exiting a mountain.

The one nagging problem I had was with Jade (aka, Gentry Fox, an actress). Why on earth would any Christian assume that he or she could immerse themselves in the world of acting, film and television and spend countless hours with nonbelievers and come out unscathed, faith intact, given what Paul wrote at 1 Corinthians 15:33 ("Bad associations spoil useful habits.")? Given that this culture in particular idolizes actors, why would any Christian put themselves on a pedestal this way? How is Christ honored by people screaming your name?

Anyone who belives, as Jade/Gentry does, that their faith will remain intact in spite of their chosen occupation and the risks it entails is delusional.

I finished the book in one sitting. It's really not that bad, considering some of the truly idiotic Christian fiction out there, but it's not the greatest novel I've ever read. I'm hoping some of Heitzmann's other books are better."
2,908 reviews1,727 followers
May 7, 2016
Published in 2006 this book is, in a word, mesmerizing. A layered tale of truth and deceit and how they affect relationship. The suspense is enthralling...from the moment Jade staggers out of the jungle until the final resolution, Heitzmann expertly weaves an intriguing mix of clues around a heart-stirring romance. And, oh my, is it ever complicated! She breathes life into her characters. They are realistically flawed, plagued by unique insecurities that motivate their actions for good...or evil. I especially love the depth of connection to God seen in different characters. They don't always get it right but they keep trying. An uplifting and captivating read that I inhaled in one day.

And just because I can totally relate to this line from the book I feel the need to share: "...while he didn't look for God's hand in everything, he paid attention when it slapped him in the face." (p.141)
Profile Image for Jan.
29 reviews5 followers
September 1, 2012
I really enjoyed the "Diamond of the Rockies" series by this author but I did NOT like this book. There were multiple things that I didn't like: the special "senses" of the elderly friend and the sister sounded more mystic than from The Holy Spirit, attitudes of lust, the glamorization of an industry that is usually hostile to the Gospel (Hollywood), lack of high standards made the hero hard to respect - his abstinence did not seem to be based on the firm resolve to obey God's Word, and the divorced hero is the victim but finds true love now.
I also found the writing itself was not as good - certain words & phrases were repeated throughout the book ("hooked his thumbs on his waist", "malice", etc).
I will read more from this author so I can decide what I think - a series I loved and then a book I didn't doesn't seem right! :)
Profile Image for Diane.
70 reviews2 followers
February 22, 2018
The story is very good. I love the suspense, the multiple story lines, even learning some of the pidgin Hawaiians use. The characters are well-developed and believable. I wanted to give this 5 stars, but was disturbed by how physical characters who are supposed to be Christians are willing to get. There is no actual sex, but what does happen still goes against what the Bible teaches. I read Christian books because I don't want to read about the kind of contact these characters had. It was disappointing to have it occur so often in what was an otherwise fantastic book.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
281 reviews33 followers
October 22, 2012
I don't recommend this book. There was too much lust / sexual tension between the two main characters.

I loved the plot for the first half of the book, but it was too long and drawn-out.
Profile Image for Shannon.
17 reviews
April 8, 2014
This book has stayed with me for years as a favorite. Very compelling characters and storyline.
Profile Image for Allie.
327 reviews4 followers
February 20, 2018
I wish I could rate in half stars- this is a 2.5
I enjoyed learning more about Hawaiian culture. I did not enjoy the occasional "big vocab word" tossed in randomly. Don't get me wrong, I love language! I enjoy reading new words- these were not new or interesting. This is not a highly intellectual read. I felt like those words were more of a "uh oh, it's been 20 pages- time for a fancy word!" post-script.
Profile Image for Lauren Acosta.
146 reviews3 followers
August 23, 2022
Nothing wrong with it, I just didn’t really like the storyline. There was so much stuff that could have just been left out. It’s also very long with not enough to keep the story going. I wouldn’t recommend for young readers.
223 reviews8 followers
July 6, 2020
A lot of action & suspense. It starts in Kauai but ends on the coast of California which I thought was pretty fun 😊
18 reviews
February 27, 2019
Very good!

A really thrilling and amazing book. I enjoyed the characters and the suspense. Good wholesome story with los of action!
Profile Image for Paula Vince.
Author 11 books101 followers
May 4, 2015
A young woman in a hiking accident suffers temporary amnesia. She ends up at the home of Monica (Nica) Pierce, who gets her PI brother Cameron onto the case. Nobody expects the girl to turn out to be rising Hollywood star, Gentry Fox. And it seems the cause of the accident may be more sinister than a simple fall.

The tropical Hawaii setting for most of this novel is gorgeous. The wonderful surf, papayas, avocados and guavas growing in people's gardens, the symbolism behind rituals such as hula dances and luaus all make me wish to go there for real. Wise Okelani, one of my favourite characters, demonstrates with her life how the locals work at preserving a culture filled with awe and gratitude. As I read, I wondered whether cultures with English roots tend to be more removed from our own spiritual heritage because everything in our culture and education systems emphasise the cerebral and provable over the deeper, more spiritual and symbolic parts of life.

It's quite a long novel, and I can see why, as many issues were jam-packed into the one book, and not just from the main characters. The motivations of minor characters and 'baddies' were written with equal care. Three of the most unlikeable characters turn out to have similar motivations for their unpleasantness - loneliness and alienation from a history of being overlooked. All the characters' inner lives were written with such depth, it felt as if they could belong to a different story as main issues rather than sub-plots in this one (such as broken marriage issues from some characters' pasts). It made the book a bit like an ocean with lots of peaks and troughs.

Another side issue is Nica's fragility. We're told about it all through the story, yet I only ever saw the opposite. Her brother seemed to treat her with kid gloves and called her a vortex for traumas, yet he seemed by far the more vulnerable of the two. I couldn't help loving Cameron, with his suspicious and abrasive outlook and the depth of his feelings. He could have worked on his phone manner, though. He took several calls during the story, and answered brusquely every time. I wish someone had said, 'Hey dude, remember you're running a business.'

I was a bit disappointed at the end, when what seemed to be the main theme petered out. Gentry had suffered such deep anxiety over the tension between living her life as everyone's public darling, and the suffering she received at the hands of the media. I'd expected things to come to some sort of a head after all the build-up, but didn't feel as if she'd come to any sort of real resolution at the end. It was still, 'I'll keep acting for now and hope the paparazzi don't get too intrusive.' I imagine the same thing will keep happening, and it's sad to think of them living their married life with the same old issues. I can't imagine it will be smooth sailing for them.

Heitzmann has a lovely, descriptive way of writing and I have many other books of hers on my kindle. Maybe it's just a case of more points to notice, in novels which are around 460 pages.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
35 reviews2 followers
June 9, 2015
"In reality, Christians know life is gritty at times. Our fellows in fiction ought to struggle, too. Kristen Heitzmann understands this and writes this. Brilliantly."

Amanda Stevens totally nails how I feel and why I enjoy reading Kristen Heitzmann.

I hate Christian fiction filled with perfect little people that never struggle with their faith, with anything. The heroine (or hero) miraculously comes to faith in the last chapter and (presumably) lives a perfect little life. Because faith is all it takes, don't you know, to solve every problem.


Real people, real Christians, struggle. They make mistakes. They find themselves in less-than-perfect circumstances. Sometimes they even CHOOSE wrongly. They work in Hollywood, and not just on B-rated glossy Christian films. They understand and accept the "mystery" part of faith. They are attracted to the opposite sex, and sometimes they even give in to that attraction. They get divorced.

Having faith isn't about a firm resolve to obey God's word, it's about knowing that every time - EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. - I fall that Christ is there to forgive me. Because we all sin. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the Truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." God's mercy is new every day!

Jade/Gentry, her uncle and aunt, Kai and his family... great examples that faith is a journey and God never gives up on us, no matter how we stumble along the way.

(Yea, I know I didn't write much about the plot or this specific story, but I figured there are a lot of other reviews that do that, so it was okay to rant. :p)
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