Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hideaway Cove (Windfall Island #2), by Anna Sullivan

Forever (Grand Central Publishing), ISBN 9781455525409, July 2014

It's barely a week since Maggie Solomon was nearly killed because she might have been the missing Stanhope heir, and DNA testing revealed that she isn't. Her friend and business partner, Jessi Randal, has realized that she's a likely next target, since her family history also makes her a possible heir. And there's a limit to how long she can protect herself by pretending the possibility doesn't exist. Genealogist Holden Abbot is on their side, but he's not the only one who can study public records and identify her as a possibility.

She's also finding Abbot way too attractive. Jessi's last relationship left her alone and pregnant at sixteen, and her son Benji, now seven, is her primary concern. Jessi doesn't want either of them getting attached to another man who won't stay in their lives--and Hold Abbot is a handsome, smooth-talking southerner who doesn't share anything about his personal life. Not a good risk, she thinks, not a risk she's going to take for herself or Benji.

But when Benji's father Lance returns to the island, suddenly interested in a relationship with his son, or so he says, and Jessi goes through her late mother's possessions in the attic and finds a baby blanket that potentially ties her to the lost Stanhope heiress, Eugenia, she needs support and protection.

There's a nice mix of romance, mystery, and suspense, here, and the characters are solid and likable. Well, except Lance. Lance is almost stereotypically shallow, self-absorbed, and amoral. For the most part, though, this is an enjoyable story, and we learn more about the Stanhopes, the events of the 1930s, and even Paige Walker, who will be the focus of the next installment.

This is a satisfying second installment in the series, and a good beach read, but it's really not a standalone novel. Definitely find and read Temptation Bay first.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.