Published by Oxford South Press on March 23rd 2015
Give in to the Glamour…
Sixteen-year-old Ryann Carroll has just run into the guy who saved her life ten years ago. You might think she'd be happy to see him again. Not exactly. She's a bit underdressed (as in skinny-dipping) and he's not supposed to exist.
After her father's affair, all Ryann wants is to escape the family implosion fallout and find a little peace. She also wouldn't mind a first date that didn't suck, but she's determined not to end up like her mom: vulnerable, betrayed, destroyed. Ryann's recently moved back to her childhood home in rural Mississippi, the same place where ten years earlier she became lost in the woods overnight and nearly died.
She's still irresistibly drawn to those woods. There she encounters the boy who kept her from freezing to death that long ago winter night and was nowhere to be seen when rescuers arrived. He's still mysterious, but now all grown-up and gorgeous, too. And the more she's with him, the greater the threat he poses to Ryann's strict policy-- never want someone more than he wants you.
Seventeen-year-old Lad knows the law of his people all too well: Don't get careless and Don't get caught. It's allowed his race to live undetected in this world for thousands of years, mentioned only in flawed and fading folklore…
Lad's never been able to forget about Ryann since that night ten years ago. When he sees her again, his fascination re-ignites and becomes a growing desire that tempts him to break all the rules. He's not even supposed to talk to a human, much less fall in love with one.
And the timing is atrocious. The Assemblage is coming, the rift between the Light and Dark is widening, and mysterious celebrity fan pods are becoming more and more widespread and influential. Lad may have to trade his own chance at happiness to keep the humans, especially Ryann, blissfully unaware and safe.
By happy accident I found Hidden Deep on Amazon while scrolling through the section called “Customers who bought this item also bought”. Hidden Deep was a hidden (pun intended) gem among a large selection of books that didn’t interest me at all.
Hidden Deep is a beautifully written love story between Ryann and Lad. Their story began ten years prior to Hidden Deep when six year old Ryann got lost in the woods and young Lad saved her. Ryann never fully understood what happened in the woods and when she tried to explain to her parents what she did remember, they brushed it off as nonsense caused by hypothermia. Ryann and Lad’s story continues in Hidden Deep, when after ten years, they meet again in a most unique and funny way.
Ryann is miserable in the beginning of Hidden Deep because she and her mother recently had to move in with her grandmother. Her grandmother lives in a secluded log cabin in the middle of the sweltering Mississippi woods. Ryann’s life gets a lot more enjoyable and exciting when she meets the handsome and peculiar grown-up Lad. Lad has a lot of secrets that are slowly revealed when he and Ryann spend many sweet moments together.
When Lad’s secrets were revealed I was really happy because I did not expect them. I mean, I had an inkling, but the unveiling was larger than I imagined it to be. Luckily this isn’t one of those books that reveal the number one question at the end. In Hidden Deep we get some time post-reveal before, of course, the dreaded cliffhanger.
I also want to mention that there’s another guy in Ryann’s life, Nox, a teenager who is the complete opposite of Lad. Lad is like the sun; he has golden features with bright eyes and a sweet, kind, and chivalrous persona. Nox is like the night with dark hair and eyes. He’s seductive and a bit aggressive. Nox also had secrets he was keeping. I didn’t like Nox because he was too aggressive. He often pushed Ryann into thinking badly about herself which is a no-go for me.
And guess what!! No insta-love! It’s such a gratifying moment when two characters gradually share their past and current emotions and grow closer instead of two people ogling each other, declaring vows of love, and then hopping into bed.