Cate’s ordeal, though, was far from over. First came the discovery of a betrayal that would send someone she’d trusted to prison. Then there were years away in Ireland, sheltered and protected but with restlessness growing in her soul. Then, finally, she returned to Los Angeles, hoping to act again and get past the trauma that had derailed her life. What she didn’t yet know was that two seeds had been planted that long-ago night—one of a great love, and one of a terrible vengeance…
Synopsis from Goodreads
I love Nora Roberts and she tends to take up the most space on my bookshelf with her many, many romances, trilogies, and family series, so naturally I'm always excited when a new book is published. The long-standing "queen of romance", Roberts has always done a great job in writing her standalone novels that include romance, suspense, and a wonderful happy ending. Sadly, Hideaway just didn't seem to hit any of these marks for me...
Great Family Dynamic, Boring Romance
This was a great book about the Sullivan family and their beautiful relationships with each other (it made me really think about how I need to do better to keep in touch with my grandparents) and I love the way Roberts builds her family structures. However, the romance was so anti-climactic. We know that Dillon and Caitlyn will end up together, but the process of them becoming a couple was both fast and boring. Where was the build-up, the tension, the learning about each other? There was more love between Cate and her NYC boyfriend, Noah, than between her and the guy she's going to end up with. I just didn't believe Cate and Dillan's love story, and that was really disappointing because I liked both characters!
Felt Repetitive of Earlier Novels
Even reading the synopsis of this book, I kept being reminded of earlier Roberts books, specifically Public Secrets and The Search. Like Public Secrets, Hideaway begins when Caitlyn is very young and we follow her through her formative years until she comes home again as an adult. And similar to The Search, we know who the kidnappers and "bad guys" are the entire time, which was equally annoying and anti-climactic in both books. The missing element in Hideaway when compared to an earlier book like Public Secrets is that the romantic relationships between characters are almost non-existent. While the family dynamic is equally well done (Roberts is excellent when writing about families), this book doesn't stand out as a compelling romance...especially when thinking about her previous novels.
For about 2 days after finishing this book, I kept thinking that I was excited to finish this book...the ending was so forgettable that I honestly kept forgetting that I was done! This is rarely the sign of a successful novel and I was really frustrated by such a lack of a compelling ending. The bad guy comes out of nowhere and is thwarted within a page. After some hugs and kisses that every is alive, the book is just...done. Ummmm, what?! The lack of build-up towards the climatic face-to-face should have tipped me off that this wasn't going to be a satisfying end, but I was still really disappointed with it.
Overall, this was a pretty disappointing book from the queen of romance. I actually found myself going back to reread a lot of her older books after finishing Hideaway to satisfy my need for a good love story. Hideaway isn't a bad book, it's just ultimately very anti-climatic. The Sullivan family is lovely, Dillon's family is lovely, and the story moves at a great pace. But the romance fell flat and the end was a joke, which completely dropped my rating. I'd suggest this to long-standing fans of Nora Roberts so that you can feel satisfied that you're continuing to support her, but this is definitely not the book I'd recommend to new Roberts readers.
Am I being too hard on this book? What did you think of Hideaway?
FINAL RATING: 2.5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
Follow Me on Instagram