Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
HIDDEN, the debut romantic suspense novel by Kelli Clare, will be published by SparkPress on June 5, 2018. Main character, Ellie James, is an art teacher/bartender in a small Connecticut town on the coast. Her life is rather mundane but happy until she comes home from work one night and discovers that her grandmother and sister have been murdered. As if that isn’t shocking enough, Ellie discovers that her grandmother and sister were keeping secrets from her – secrets that trace all the way back to Richard III. These secrets place Ellie’s life in danger, and the sexy but dangerous Will Hastings is the only man who can protect her. The question is whether she can trust him.
While a compelling read, the plot of HIDDEN can get a bit wild at times, and you might have to suspend your belief. The storytelling is amazing and intense. It is not your typical romance novel. There is a lot going on, and the romance sometimes takes a back seat to the other storyline. Ellie’s life is in danger, and the multiple threats to her life that Will and his team of mercenaries must deal keep the reading very exciting.
Also the two main characters are very bold and in-your-face. Ellie is a bit of a drama queen who can’t handle when things don’t go her way, and the reader might get annoyed with her at times because she doesn’t seem to take her safety or the situation seriously. She also comes off as very fragile and unable to take care of herself. Enter Will Hastings – the man who is tasked with taking care of Ellie. Will says he will do anything he can to protect Ellie – everything except teach her how to take care of herself. Will is possessive, dominate, and dangerous. He also has a jealous streak. The romance between the two is very passionate – as is the sex. The two balance each other out very well, and the supportive cast fills in the gaps.