Title: Hideaway Cove Author: Anna Sullivan Genre: Fiction, Romance Copyright: 2014 Publisher: Forever Pages: 416 ISBN-13: 978-1455525409
I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Some say love makes the world go round, but I put my money on trust. With trust, love is guaranteed; in its absence, though, are wars, loneliness, and heartbreak. Countless novels pivot their pages around trust as does the novel Hideaway Cove by Anna Sullivan.
Hideaway Cove regales the reader with the story about a mystery being researched on Windfall Island. Private investigator Dexter Keegan and genealogy expert Holden Abbot have been hired by the Stanhope family to discover the missing heir to the Stanhope fortune, an heir who is thought to reside on the island. Not all of the Stanhopes are thrilled about splitting their considerable inheritance and at least one is willing to eliminate the competition. After a failed murder attempt, few folks can be trusted with the investigation’s discoveries. Maggie Solomon and Jessi Randal, owners of the island’s charter airline, are two of those trusted. Maggie’s trusted because she’s engaged to Dexter and Jessi because she’s Maggie’s best friend and business partner.
Hold and Dexter rent office space in the airline’s hangar. Their space links off the front office where Jessi, a single mom, runs the administrative side of the airline. Jessi seems to be the lone woman on the island not smitten by Hold’s charm. Yet, after weeks of saying no to his dinner invitations, she’s worn down by his persistence and agrees to a momentary cessation of her man ban.
He’s a gentleman and a scholar, but, attraction alone won’t unite these souls. They both cling to their ragged and overstuffed emotional baggage, refusing to unpack for the prospect of love. Jessi’s luggage totes her abandonment by baby-daddy, Lance Proctor, and Hold’s lugs an insecurity that women only want him for his greenbacks. Basically, they each have major trust issues.
Trust cascades from one minor plot to another in the tale. Maggie and Jessi’s once best friend, Paige returns to the island and stirs up bad feelings for Maggie. Paige broke the girl code in high school and eight years later, despite being in love and engaged to Dexter, Maggie’s still pissed. Then there’s the pendulating trust between Jessi’s son, Benji, and his birth father, Lance. Benji questions whether Lance came back to the island to be a part of his life or if there’s something else going on.
Hideaway Cove is a read for quick snatches of time, waiting for soccer practice to end or sitting in the lobby of your dentist’s office. The writing reads well, the pages turn at a clip, and the characters metamorphose, but the story lacks conviction. Several times events unfolded in a staged manner. Most memorable is Jessi not confiding in Maggie. They had been BFFs since childhood. So why wouldn’t Jessi have immediately confided in Maggie, especially since Maggie was one of the Stanhopes’ attempted murders and, of all people, would have understood the gravity of Jessi’s secret?
Adding to that inconsistency is all things Lance. He’s Benji’s father and Jessi’s high school ex-boyfriend. He’s not portrayed demonic enough to be a likely murderer. Plus, Lance’s mom heralds him as a prize. If he was pampered and doted on that much, he’d have come back more than once in eight years and in doing so he would have met his son because his mom spent time with Benji weekly.
Minor implausibilities aside, Sullivan leverages well Hideaway Cove’s tale to emphasize how trust is the keystone to any relationship.