Jera’s Jamboree reviews Hidden by Shalini Boland

Format: Kindle Edition

File Size: 695 KB

Print Length: 415 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1461012287

Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.

Language English

ASIN: B004SCS738

HIDDEN is a paranormal romance that spans the centuries from modern London to 19th century Paris and ancient Cappadocia.

Sixteen-year-old Madison Greene is in foster care until one day she inherits a fortune, she inherits a house, she inherits a cellar full of danger.

Eighteen-year-old Alexandre lives in 19th century Paris. On an archaeological expedition he discovers a lost underground city where his life changes forever.

For each of them, life is finally starting. Little do they know it is closer to ending. Something lies buried which should have been forgotten. A Pandora’s Box that was meant to stay shut. But Madison and Alexandre have never been any good at following the rules. They are about to find everything they’ve ever desired and everything that could destroy them.

Falling in love has never been so dangerous.

 

Intriguingly, Hidden starts with a Preface which tells us nothing much.  We know someone is experiencing a type of bliss that is a connection to everything that makes up the world but they are in pain.  We don’t know where the pain is or who the person is.

Chapter one lays the foundations for Maddie, she is at school in the Deputy Head’s office being reprimanded.  She is accused of something she hasn’t done and is excluded.  We get to know what it’s like for her as an orphan in foster care and we find out that Ben (her brother) has in the past, lived apart from Maddie.

In Chapter two we meet Alexandre Chevalier in Paris in 1881 and the circumstances that lead to his whole family being sent on an archaeological dig in Cappadocia in Turkey.

Maddie (aged 15, almost 16) is the heir to the Middlemarch estate, which is in Tetbury, Gloucestershire.  The ancestor who made the will has been dead for almost a hundred years – Maddie and Ben are the only surviving relatives.  There are conditions attached to inheriting.

In Turkey in 1881 Alexandre proves that the lands legends/myths are true.  The clue is in the title …

What I thought

I really enjoy reading a story that encompasses two different timelines.  To me, this makes it much more interesting.  We know there is a connection and the intrigue is in trying to work out how they connect.  Hidden is no exception.  I loved reading about Paris in 1881 and the two families journey to Turkey.  Alongside that, I also loved reading about Maddie in the present day.  Each timeline has its crisis point until the timelines merge.

The characters are brilliantly portrayed.  The leads, Maddie and Alexandre just took up residence in my life and I couldn’t stop thinking about them, even when I wasn’t reading about them.  Maddie is so down to earth and caring despite the trauma of her father leaving during her mum’s pregnancy with Ben …  and then her mum’s death when she was eight after which she spent so many years in care homes and foster care.  She still has a fear about the world she lives in but it doesn’t paralyse her – she is a very strong character.  Alexandre is HOT.  Scorching hot!  Besides his physique, there is a lot to endear him to the reader.   Boland lets the reader right into his psyche and it’s interesting to watch his arrogance in 1881 and then his vulnerability in the present day.  The characters on the periphery are all solid.  I didn’t like solicitor Vasey-Smith from the very first moment he entered the story and even though he did everything right for Maddie I sensed something underlying in his character.  He was way too smooth…

Alexandre and Maddie’s love is very refreshing.  Maddie’s feelings begin with awe, change into anger and hatred and finally develop into something stomach churning and bone melting (in a good way!)  Despite the depth of her feelings there is also an innocence about it all.  Their relationship doesn’t get started till quite a way through the story and I’m so looking forward to seeing how this develops in the second book.

The environment is very apt for a paranormal read.  The estate in Tetbury is isolated with only the Morris’ as caretakers for Maddie and Ben.  In Turkey, the exploration and then discovery of the underground city is full of tension.  Quite a lot of activity takes place in ‘basements’ without light but with shadows.  Even when the timelines merge, at crisis points outside of Marchwood, they are full of tension.  It’s not all ‘dark’ though as this is balanced by the romance!

Hidden is not your average vampire story.  The vampires themselves are not your usual run-of-the-mill type.  It’s hard to say why they are different as its all a part of the weave and weft in the tale but it does cause an anomaly, which is quite central to the final crisis.  This crisis is very dramatic and nail biting which I loved!  The tension, fear, relief, then tension, fear and hope repeated is a double whammy.

Boland’s writing carried me along and allowed me to experience many emotions in this world she has created.  Before I started writing my review I couldn’t make my mind up whether I was going to give a three or four fairy rating but I think it’s quite obvious now how I feel about Hidden.  The second story should be published in about two/three months and I seriously can’t wait :

I would definitely recommend Hidden if you like YA, paranormal romance or vampires.  Even if this isn’t your usual genre, I think you may well be surprised.  At only £1.99 on Kindle (Amazon) at the time of my review, my recommendation is to buy a copy for yourself.

I would like to thank the author for providing me with a copy for a non-biased review.  All the opinions in my review are my own.

Shalini Boland can be found tweeting , on Facebook  or you can catch up on her website 

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5 thoughts on “Jera’s Jamboree reviews Hidden by Shalini Boland

  1. Great review, I also really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read on into the second book.

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