Sometimes, when I think I’m busy, I think about Nora Roberts, and I realize that there is no way I can possibly be as busy as she is. This woman has written approximately eleventy billions books, and Hideaway is her latest. Normally, I like Nora’s stand-alone novels. Yes, they’re predictable in that Nora-esque way, but they’re like watching an episode of Law and Order. You know the characters, you know pretty much what’s going to happen, the details don’t exactly matter because the basic framework is kind of the same, it’s perfect for hour increments while you’re supposed to be doing something else. But I have to say, this one didn’t really blow my skirt up.
Hideaway centers on Caitlyn Sullivan, whose family is Hollywood royalty, from her silver screen starring great grandfather to her Broadway star grandmother, and everyone in between. As a child, Caty is kidnapped from the family ranch in Big Sur, and after a harrowing escape attempt, winds up at a nearby ranch in the middle of the night. The young son of the family discovers Caty hiding in the kitchen, and, together with his mother and grandmother, helps reunite Caty with the Sullivans. Once home, it’s discovered – quite heavy-handedly – that Caty’s mother had actually orchestrated the kidnapped in a misguided attempt to… I’m not sure. Fame? Fortune? Money? Divorce? It’s never really spelled out. Mom goes to jail, along with the kidnappers, and Caty and her dad take off with her great grandmother to Ireland for a while.
Fast forward ten or so years, and Caty is nearly eighteen. She’s, of course, beautiful, but doesn’t want to follow in the family footsteps in front of the camera. She accompanies her grandmother to New York while she does a Broadway run, and falls in love. The relationship doesn’t last, however; the young man is attacked and nearly beaten to death, and that incident ends their relationship. So back to California Caty goes, staying at the family ranch and developing a friendship with the family who saved her all those years ago.
There are the usual ups and downs, Mom gets out of jail, someone is stalking Caty, Caty falls in love with her long-ago rescuer, there’s some (pretty tame) sex, and the penultimate scene is Caty in serious danger until she manages to save herself (with the help of her guy and his dogs). It’s all very vintage Nora, and at the same time, a bit of a snooze-fest. I finished this book two weeks ago, started the review almost immediately, and couldn’t remember most major characters’ names. It’s now two weeks later, and I can’t remember most of the story.
I don’t know. Nora’s usually my girl, but… I just can’t star this one any higher. It was fine, I guess. But I got it for free from the library. I’d have been mad if I spend $8.99 on it, and even more angry if I’d bought the hardcover.