Monday, 29 July 2013

Blog Tour: Selena Laurence's "Hidden."


The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog are pleased to be part of the Blog Tour for Selena Laurence's "Hidden."

Amazon UK:


Nick Carlisle comes to Hawaii to hide—from what happened during his service in Afghanistan, from relationships, from his future. Lyndsey Anderson came to Hawaii to hide too—from the man who abused her, from the sacrifices she made, from her dark past. But when Nick meets Lyndsey, Hawaii gets a whole lot hotter, and they find they can’t hide their hearts. As Nick fights to come to terms with what he’s done, Lyndsey struggles to forgive herself for the choices she’s made. But when the dangerous past threatens the beautiful present, can they survive to learn how to love? And who will finally reveal what’s hidden?

Review: Surj Harvey

For me, "Hidden" was a book of two halves. In one breath, I found it a "kick back and relax" Sunday read which had me feeling all warm and fuzzy because of the romance. But in another breath, certain aspects of the book really took me by surprise and left me feeling completely shocked and upset. Yup, difficult to sum this one up. 

"Hidden" tells the story of Nick and Lyndsey, two individuals who moved to Hawaii to escape their demons, neither was looking for love but surprise surprise because that's exactly what they found. Although their pasts were very different, both suffered from a guilt complex and the last thing either wanted was a relationship: 

Every choice you make, every moment you spend alone, every relationship 
you avoid is because of this. Right here. You don't deserve love. 
You don't deserve happiness. Not after what you've done. 

Having read the synopsis, I knew Lyndsey had been abused by her partner so I was completely intrigued as to why she felt this way about herself. Where did the guilt come from and why did she feel unworthy of love? As for Nick, again, I thought I had sussed the reasoning for his behaviour.... I mean serving in Afghanistan, I could only think of one reason why there was guilt. Had he made a wrong decision and got some of his men killed? 

"You're not dangerous, Nick. You're a guy who made a mistake and all of us do every single day, so you're not alone."
"Yeah, but you're mistakes never got anyone killed."

I was so off the mark on this one!!!! 

As I worked my way through the story, I was given little snippets of information and from these, I was able to put together the puzzle that was "Hidden." If wasn't difficult to work out but that didn't make it any less heart breaking. Lyndsey's trauma didn't stop when she escaped her ex husband. Unfortunately there was more to come and my heart hurt for her. Huge decisions were made on her part and I started to realise why  the past still haunted her and just how selfless a person she was. 
And Nick's story was just horrific. When he finally opened up to Lyndsey, I was given an insight into the horrors of not only war but of religion and culture and it really did shock me to the core. It was graphic and left me feeling completely shattered:

... that was something she and I had in common - this aura of damage that floated around 
our heels like cursed halos. Maybe it was one of those things that drew me to her; we 
were both trying so hard to be "normal" when we were anything but.

But you can't save someone until you save yourself and this was the realization both characters would have to come to. 

The first half of the book was a walk in the park for me. It focused on the cat and mouse game Nick and Lyndsey were playing. He had decided to give in to temptation and she was trying desperately to run from it. Nick was relentless in his pursuit and I loved it. It gave me those heart fluttering moments when you see two people on the verge of finding happiness, where they have those intense moments where they almost do but they don't... and you're screaming inside for them to just get it on!!!! lol. 

But the second half of the book was very different. The tone of the book seemed to change from a light read to a book that was quite heavy and that touched on some very serious subjects matters. To a degree I was expecting it but definitely not in the detail I got. It was definitely graphic is some parts but I guess that just made the reasons for their behaviour all the more understandable. 

The secondary characters all added a little something to the story from Raoul and Leesa who were big supporters of Nick and Lyndsey's relationship but had heart breaking problems of their own to Gabe who had me chuckling at times. Another tortured soul who will be getting his own book!!! 

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It gave me romance, sex (not that that's the be all and end all.... lol) and there was a good deal of drama in the second half which you'll need your put your big girl panties on for.

"love is something you don't throw away, because you'll never know when you'll see it again."

I rated this book 3.5 Hearts

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