Hideaway Cove by Anna Sullivan

download (2)Title: Hideaway Cove

Series: Windfall Island #2

Author: Anna Sullivan

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb: SOME PASSIONS CAN’T BE DENIED . . .

Jessi Randal walked away from her last relationship with a baby and a broken heart. Now, years later, the last thing this single mom wants is to give Windfall Island—and all its nosy residents—anything more to gossip about. But the moment she lays eyes on the tall, sexy stranger with the slow Southern drawl, she knows she’s in delicious trouble . . .

Holden Abbot is on the island to find the missing heir to the Stanhope family fortune. It’s his job to charm as many secrets out of the town as possible. And if he can charm Jessi into his bed, even better. When all evidence points to her as the heir, a dangerous enemy sets his sights on Jessi and her son. Now Holden will have to risk everything to protect the family he’s come to love.

Thoughts: Even though this isn’t the first in the series, I read this book without reading book #1 and was able to read this as a standalone novel. The backstory (figuring out who is the missing Stanhope heir) continues in book 2, but I believe I was able to pick up the crucial elements of this backstory from book 2. The couple highlighted in book 1 was different than book 2.

Jessi was in love with Lance and ended up pregnant at the ripe old age of 18. She thought they were going to get married, but Lance took off before the baby was even born. Jessi was left to raise her son on her own and deal with a town full of gossip and judgement. Now it’s been 8 years and Jessi is completely devoted to her son and making their life as normal as possible. She doesn’t date and that is ok with her.

Hold is in town working on a genealogy project, which is really a cover for figuring out the identity of the Stanhope heir. Working in close quarters is proving difficult as he’s ridiculously attracted to Jessi and she won’t give him the time of day. He’s determined to find a way into her life, but he’s not ready to make any commitments yet. He’s been burned before, so he keeps a secret. The question is when is the right time for him to share his secret with Jessi?

I have a love/hate relationship with romantic suspense novels. They can range anywhere from boring to way to farfetched for me. I need to be engaged in the romantic element as well as the suspenseful/mystery element. This was more of a mystery than suspense, but the good news for this book was that I did stay interested in both. The mystery of the Stanhope heir is the piece that keeps you guessing. Hold and Benji (yes, Benji, not Jessi) kept me interested in the romantic element. Yes, it’s strange that I picked the kid, but his reaction to Hold and their interaction kept me involved more than Hold and Jessi. Yes, she had her heartbroken by Lance, but it’s been 8 years! I also thought she made some goofy decisions and keeping secrets that seemed juvenile. What I did find honorable about Jessi was her ability to put Benji first and include him on decisions.

Now, let’s move on to Hold. I’m sure he was introduced in book 1 and his role may have been clarified better there, but I didn’t read that one. For me, he started off a little suspicious/creepy. It didn’t take long to see that he was a good guy and I have an appreciation for a guy that goes after what he wants. I also have a thing for nerdy types, so Hold was a nice change of pace from the normal dominate, controlling alphas we see (and love) a lot today.

This isn’t the last in the series and the Stanhope heir is still out there.

Grade: B

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