Kelley Armstrong, Hidden

Posted March 17, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

HiddenHidden by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld, 10.4
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A novella, 10.4, in the Women of the Otherworld paranormal romance series. The couple focus is on Clay and Elena with their two kids at Christmas in a cabin in the woods.

Jen makes a good point that this story is not for readers new to Women of the Otherworld. Clay and Elena’s past tempestuousness and their current happiness are what really resonates for series’ readers…it’s so sweet! Makes me wanna cry that it worked out so well!

My Take
This was an odd installment in the Clay-Elena story. Armstrong starts out with a very immature prologue that finally segues into a more adult writing style in the first chapter. It made for an awkward start that took awhile to wear off…I kept waiting for that poor writing style to reappear!

Armstrong explores the issue of lying in this story. There are the usual concerns about telling the children the truth about Santa, but the main focus is on the pros and cons of telling the kids about their parents’ two-natured status.

The side bits include Elena working her issues about being the Alpha-elect while she and Clay investigate a mutt who is just too friendly. I did enjoy that bit of speculation about the mice…I suspect they would be crunchy to eat…! Then the shifts Clay and Elena resort to in order to get some nookie in! Parents everywhere will empathize!

Then there’s Reese and all his storytelling. He’s got a new one every time for the kids. All interspersed with snowball fights, bonfires, walks in the woods, and playing cards with Christmas cookie baking. As they track down the truth.

I wish she’d skipped the illustrations…the kids look manic with those eyes!

It’s a nice bit of insight into a very loving family with two precocious kids. Not surprising really considering their parents!

The Story
The children are four-years-old and Elena wants to celebrate with a family Christmas. Just the four of them. To that end, Jeremy has found a cabin where Clay, Elena, Logan, and Kate can enjoy their holidays, but with enough bedrooms that the rest of the shifters can join them the day after Christmas.

Only, everything goes wrong when a lone wolf starts nosing around. Pushing all the wrong buttons.

The Characters
Clay Danvers is married to Elena Michaels…finally. Their twins are now four-years-old: Logan and Katie. A very lively pair with a quick curiosity about everything—cracked me up when Katie thought that her parents worked way too hard during the week. Yup, 15 hours a week is just slavery!

Nick Sorrentino comes up to the cabin early to help protect the children along with Reese and Noah, a couple of shifters adopted into the Sorrentinos’ pack after Elena’s adventures in Alaska (see Frostbitten).

Douglas Eaton is a mutt as well as the small town’s pharmacist. His brother, Mark, stays with him frequently. Brother Mark was also stepping out with one of the local girls whose now-dead boyfriend objected. Bobby Walters runs a sled dog team. Huskies which are only fed meat and their food is held back as part of their training.

The Cover
It’s a stylized cover with Clay as a wolf and Elena in human form wearing blue jeans with a wide belt and heavy brass buckle; a fitted, two-toned blue ski jacket with wrist and front zippers, it’s hem rising up to showcase her belt and white T-shirt underneath; her long blonde hair blowing in the wind. They’re both standing in the snowy woods.

The title refers to Hidden things: the pedophile hiding in plain sight as well as Clay and Elena hiding their true nature from their children.

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