Rob has been searching all of his life for others like him. Since his mother died, he’s been alone and finding other shifters has not been easy. There’s a reason they are called The Hidden Ones.
Rob’s search leads him to an east coast beach and a group of shifters that have made themselves into a family. The group is protective of each other, but take care of their own and give Rob a place with them. Jack is the leader of the group and the men take an immediate interest in each other.
Besides companionship, Rob does have another reason for searching for the others. He has health issues and no one to turn to for answers. Rob is trying to find his way after all these years and he may just be able to have it all with Jack at his side.
Hidden Ones read to me like the beginning of a much larger story, but I have not seen any indication that it is the start of a series. We meet Rob as he arrives at the beach house where Jack and his friends live. Rob knows the basics of what he is, a shifter, but he has never known any others. His mother was human and his father, who he never knew, was a shifter and Rob has had no guidance with that part of his life. He wants to find Alex, another shifter in the group, who may be able to help Rob with his medical issues.
We then meet all the people that Jack lives with and all of their stories are a mystery. They talk about leaving Home, which is the place they come from, and choosing to live amongst humans. The group has to move every few years as they age slower than humans and, while some of them have been around for many decades, they all act like teens. Rob seems to be one of the youngest and his mother passed away 40 years ago when Rob was already fully grown.
Not much happens during the story. Rob tries to find some relief for his medical issues, but it’s all vague, and Rob tries to fit in with the group, but many of them don’t want to open up to him. There are many characters and then more are brought in and stories are told about off page characters, but nothing more comes together from it. Jack and Rob become friends and Jack confides he is asexual and tells Rob what he doesn’t need, but other than telling Rob that he doesn’t want him to leave, he doesn’t tell him what he does need. And, Rob never does state what he is looking for from Jack.
By the end, I wasn’t sure what the purpose was here. The type of shifters this group is was about the best thing the story had going for it, but details of that were fairly vague as well. I didn’t feel that Rob knew a whole lot more at the end than when the book began, what Rob and Jack’s relationship was going to look like wasn’t all that clear, the backstories of the group were not disclosed, and I didn’t feel that anything had moved on much from where it started. This book was a cute premise that didn’t evolve much beyond that for my tastes.