Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Hideaway: Lauren K. Denton's Debut Novel

Greetings!  I hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday.  If you enjoy suspense/thriller novels, I would like to suggest you check out Angela Marsons and M.J. Arlidge.  They both write wonderful novels that will keep you riveted.  Angela Marsons writes the D.I. Kim Stone Novels and M.J. Arlidge writes A Helen Grace Thriller series.  Dead Souls by Angela Marsons will be out on April 28.   You do need to read each book in the series.  They are not stand alone novels!

The Hideaway is a debut novel by Lauren K. Denton.  Sara Jenkins lives in New Orleans where she owns her own shop called Bits and Pieces.  She gets a call from her grandmother’s attorney asking her to contact him.  Later that day Sara calls Vernon Bains, the lawyer and discovers that her eccentric and fun loving grandmother, Mags passed away.  Sara was raised by Mags after her parents passed away in a car accident.  She was raised at Mags’ bed and breakfast, The Hideaway along with the guests that checked in, but never checked out.  Sara leaves the shop in the care of Allyn, her trusty assistant, and heads back to Sweet Bay, Alabama (three hours away).  When the will is read, Sara finds out that she has been left The Hideaway, a bed and breakfast, along with funds to restore it.  Her grandmother’s wish was for Sara to restore The Hideaway.  Sara is reluctant to stay in Sweet Bay for that length of time, but she feels a pull to the home.  As Sara starts going through the house, she finds a box in the attic.  It contains mementos belonging to her grandmother, Margaret Van Buren (aka Mags).  Mags had wanted to share her story with Sara, but she died before she could accomplish the task.  Mags’ friends (the permanent guests of The Hideaway) along with the possessions in the box, Sara starts to piece together her grandmother’s past.  Mags was not always the flamboyant free spirit that Sara knew and loved.  Sara discovers that she is enjoying staying in Sweet Bay, but then Sammy Grosvenor threatens The Hideaway.  Sammy has been trying to buy the land for years to develop it and Mags refused to sell.  Now Sammy has found another way to accomplish his goal.  Can Sara find a way to save this special house or will she return to her life in New Orleans?

The Hideaway is a sweet novel that I enjoyed reading.  I found it well-written, contained a good setting, and had a good pace.  There are a variety of quirky characters that enhance the book and go along with the Southern charm and setting.  The book is written with alternating chapters.  We are in the present with Sara’s story and then in the past with Mags’.  I give The Hideaway 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it).  While The Hideaway is released by a Christian publisher, it is not a true Christian novel.  There is no foul language or explicit sex scenes (thank heavens), but there is adultery.  Religion is not a factor in this story.  I appreciated the author’s descriptive writing that made the setting and characters come to life.  Ms. Denton also did a good job with mingling the past and the present.  There is the requisite romance in the story between Sara and the contractor (Crawford) she hired to restore The Hideaway.  I did feel that the book was just a little too long and there were a couple of slow, meandering spots.  The end was a bit rushed with some strange details (I was say but then it would be a spoiler). Otherwise, I enjoyed Lauren K. Denton’s debut novel The HideawayThe Hideaway is a charming novel that readers can enjoy on a slow, summer afternoon with a glass of cold, sweet tea.

I am going to enjoy a nice, relaxing Saturday before a busy Easter. I hope each of you have a lovely day.  I will be reviewing One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline next.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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