May 28, 2015

Book Review: HIDDEN HEART by Amy Patrick

Author: Amy Patrick
Publisher:  Oxford South Press
Genre:  YA Romance; Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Blurb:

Give in to the Glamour as the saga continues... 

17-year-old Ryann Carroll thought she knew who she was… a small-town Southern girl just trying to survive her parents’ messy divorce and find some peace for herself. She thought she knew what she wanted… a summer job, a car, a first date that didn’t suck, and NO complications from a serious relationship—any guy in her life would simply be icing on the cake.

But now… she’s not only in love, her boyfriend Lad is a member of a secret race that’s lived secretly among humans for thousands of years, mentioned only in flawed and fading folklore. Things could hardly get more complicated than that. 

More importantly, she’s learned the world’s top celebrities… those actors, musicians, athletes, and politicians who seem a little too beautiful and talented to be true… actually are. They’re not human, and they’re using their glamour and the increasing popularity of fan pods to control more and more humans. But why? 

With her best friend Emmy leaving soon to join the fan pod of a famous actor, Ryann has to find out the answer. And she can’t do it alone. But after a shocking murder, Lad can no longer fight his destiny or his duty, and Ryann’s not sure whether his top priority is their relationship or his people. 

In this second book of the Hidden Trilogy, true friendship will take Ryann from rural Mississippi to the glittering city of Los Angeles. And true love will take her to places she never expected to go…

My Review:

Truly, it is never wise to start a book at 10pm.  I just wanted a peek at first….then I needed to read through the first chapter…..a few hours later, at about 4:30am, I was done with the book and wanted to do a reread immediately.  Needless to say, I loved this second installment of the Hidden series by Amy Patrick.

There is no such thing as a perfect book.  I’m sure there is always a flaw to be mentioned somewhere somehow.  I was cool about this book in the first couple of chapters, but after that, I just zoomed through to the last with lots of questions in my head, primarily about which boy I like more for Ryann. 

I know, you’re probably thinking “what? Another love triangle?”.  But let’s be honest.  What would a love story be without tough (and beautiful……even otherwordly) competition?  Or in this case, a four angle love problem.  Ahhhhh…. Intrigued yet?

The things that I didn’t like in the first book….all the unnecessary subplots…. Have thankfully been largely ignored in this one.  Hidden Heart focuses more on the building of trust and connection between Ryann and Nox,  the destruction of Ryann’s relationship with Lad and Ryann’s discovery of who she really is and where she belongs.  The repetitions I mentioned in my review of the Hidden Deep? Gone too.  This is a much smoother and better written book than the first for sure.

I must say, I did not see it coming.  I did not see myself loving Nox.  In much of the first book, he was an annoyance and a distraction.  He was too much too everything.  Here, is tempered down to his barest which is lovely.  From his personal story to his adoration and love for Ryann, he is someone to root for.  Normally in trilogies, by the first book I’d already have a clear choice of whom I want the female lead to end up with.  But here, because of his open heart and big personality, the scales have tipped. 

I know I rooted for Lad in the first book, but that’s only because for most of it, Nox was shown as someone…. well…. obNOXious….who wants to steal Ryann away to hurt Lad.  But in Hidden Heart, he becomes so much more than that and I find myself rooting for him now.  I want him to win Ryann’s heart and I want them to bond because he clearly deserves her.  Not to say that Lad has become a bad elf.  He has such an internal struggle to deal with because of the role he now has to play which is the King of his people.  But he should have dealt with Ryann more gracefully, with more sympathy, much more. 

Nox makes his intentions clear here with no questions, no doubts.  I like him the most.  And My wish is that the third book be unpredictable in Ryann’s choice of mate and she end up with Nox.  I know…it seems next to impossible since trilogies tend to end with the two main protagonists running off into the sunset together.  But then Nox has been made to be too wonderful to be discarded just like that.  He deserves a good ending.  (Go Nox Go!!!)… and you never know, maybe this will be one trilogy to break all Love rules…..either that or maybe have two versions of THE END?

Another thing that came out of nowhere is Ryann’s paternity issue and Nox’s long lost “friend”.  Those are particular twists that should change the entire outcome of the story. 
And The elves….still Orlando Bloom stunning….. or even better from what I see in my head, both Lad and Nox are just over the top angelic in their beauty.  So fun to imagine I must say….no pointy ears and freaky feet.  Fret not.  They are perfection.  (Hello LOTR fans!)

So if the ungodly hours during which I read Hidden Heart and my obvious desire to read it again is not enough to tell you that I enjoyed this book then let me say it straight. I loved Hidden Heart.  Again, as most books, it is not perfect.  There are flaws but not enough to be distracting from the main point of the story.  If you are a romantic at heart and have the need to read a story that will squeeze your heart just a little bit more, pick this up.  I can’t wait for the last book of the series:  Hidden Hope.