RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: At Hidden Falls by Barbara Freethy


Title: At Hidden Falls
Author: Barbara Freethy
Publication Info: Pocket Star 2011
ISBN: 978-1439176498
Genre: Contemporary Romance

At Hidden Falls This review was written by Carrie S. This story was nominated in the Best Contemporary Single Title category.

The summary:     

Isabella’s drive to Angel’s Bay would have ended in tragedy when her car slid off a cliff if she hadn’t been rescued by Nick Hartley. As he helps her to safety, she realizes he is the man who has haunted her dreams. Nick, however, is committed to reconnecting with his estranged teenage daughter, refusing to respond to his powerful attraction to Isabella.

And Isabella’s police chief brother has his hands full with a missing mother, an abandoned baby, and an unknown father. What is Isabella’s role in the mysteries—both past and present— that swirl around the town?When she starts helping at the Hartley family theater, all the pieces begin to link together. Loves found and lost, heartbreak and happiness, courage and betrayal are all part of the patchwork quilt of the community—and of life. Isabella’s gift is seeing the patterns. . . .

And here is Carrie's review:

I'm not sure if At Hidden Falls is really cheesy or if it's a great book and I'm just a mean person.

The Good:  I read the book very quickly and with great interest.   The pace was fast, the characters varied, and the storylines interesting.  The author excels at creating a sense of place, but it's a pretty twee place.  If you can tolerate endless cutesy contrived festivals, this is the book for you.  I also enjoyed that the heroine is Latina, as is her brother, the town sheriff.  The hero's struggles with his teenage daughter were portrayed well, if resolved rather patly.  The book is part of a series but I didn't feel like I was missing anything reading this as a stand-alone novel.

The Mediocre:  Initially I liked the two leads but their reasons for staying apart seemed completely contrived.  I may have fallen asleep, but I'd swear that at one point they changed personalities and I didn't care about them as a couple even though they were both nice people.

The Horror, The Horror: The fertility/teen pregnancy/adoption storyline is bound to infuriate anyone who has actually had to deal with infertility and with the adoption process.  I would also like to point out that hiring an attorney is, in fact, NOT evidence of guilt regardless of what the author may believe.

Finally I present you with my favorite surreal moment:

“…Cord told me Megan is hanging out with the skateboard crowd, and he's worried about her”.

OH NOES!  Not the skateboard crowd!

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | All Romance eBooks.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Vicki says:

    When my youngest was small, her babysitter’s son was part of a “skateboard crowd.” They would sit her in her stroller to watch them do tricks. If she was unhappy, they’d sing to her (metal, but still), they read skate magazines to her. In short, they probably corrupted my 1 year old. And I didn’t care.

  2. 2
    Andrea says:

    Heh.  If you’re mean for finding the book cheesy, then that makes two of us.  I felt pretty snarky toward the book, but wondered if I was being unfair after getting off to a bad start (I was disproportionately annoyed by her brother insisting that his friend, the ob/gyn, examine Isabella after her car accident despite the fact that the ER docs had already checked her out – she didn’t fall on her vagina!).  I totally agree on the problems with the main couple, and I think that affected my perception of the pacing of the book.  The middle dragged for me because I didn’t really care about them working out their relationship.

  3. 3
    CarrieS says:

    @Andrea:  didn’t fall on her vagina..LOL!!!!!

    @Vivki:  I was I had been corrupted by the skateboard crowd.  Maybe then I would have developed athletism, grace, and a great sense of balance.  We should all be lucky as to have skateboard crowd babysitters – yours sound awesome.

  4. 4
    DreadPirateRachel says:

    “…Cord told me Megan is hanging out with the skateboard crowd, and he’s worried about her”.

    Jesus. And this book was published in 2011? I thought panicking about skaters was a ‘90s trend. Haven’t we moved on to vilify and concern-troll some other subculture yet?

  5. 5
    CarrieS says:

    It’s sad how I can’t type.  I meant “I wish”, not “I was”.  I wasn’t corrupted by the skateboarders, that’s the point.  Darn typos!

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