Hide to Seek is book two in the London Lies series and this review may contain spoilers from events that transpired in book one.
Being a celebrity is all Jackson Young knows. From an early age, his parents pushed him into acting and everyone wanted a piece of “the Jax.” That is until his girlfriend is murdered and Jackson is accused of the crime. With no evidence to convict him, Jackson is released, but the celebrity machine he was part of wants him silenced for good. With nowhere else to go, Jackson goes into hiding and leaves England for a rural farm in Ireland with his host, gossip writer Fletcher Doherty, who Jackson has hired to write his biography.
Fletcher left the family farm years several years ago to become a writer. His relationship with Heston, a man much older than him, has ended and Fletcher knows there is a connection between him and Jackson, but Fletcher doesn’t want to get attached and he’s not sure if he can fully trust that Jackson isn’t manipulating him.
With unresolved family issues, Fletcher sets out to clear Jackson’s name and write his story. Jackson wants to win Fletcher’s heart and they both know their attraction is more than physical. However, Jackson left behind a business that runs on a lot of money and Fletcher and Jackson can’t stay hidden forever.
After reading Fade to Blank, I was anxiously awaiting the next part of Jackson and Fletcher’s story. Hide to Seek picks up immediately after the first book and has Fletcher and Jackson escaping England to Fletcher’s family farm in rural Ireland. The plan is to write Jackson’s biography as fast as possible. While they are able to work on the book, Fletcher hasn’t been home in years, he has issues to resolve with his father, an ex-boyfriend that is still interested, sisters that he wants to keep away from Jackson, and a family farm that is struggling.
The attraction between Fletcher and Jackson has been building since the previous book and Fletcher is cautious about taking things further. Intimacy is emotional for him and, while he wants to think one time in bed with Jackson will get the man out of his system, he knows one time will never be enough. Fletcher is also able to learn more about Jackson’s past and the dark, controlling world he lived in by being the celebrity that he was as they try to clear his name. Jackson is 30 and reads younger and that can be a product of the privileged life everyone thought he lived. Jackson is always waiting for the next person to sell him out and wants to be hopeful that Fletcher is truly on his side. Jackson wants Fletcher to see the real him, the one past the celebrity and doubts continually creep in for both of them.
The atmosphere in this book is once again an important part of the story as the author takes us to Fletcher’s family farm in Ireland. The dialogue and scenery add just enough to remind us where we are, making for a great setting. However, the series is set in 1999 according to the first book and it didn’t feel like 1999 there, and there was no reference to it here, with the exception of an oddly placed polaroid style camera, and I again wondered why the choice to set it in the past.
There is so much to like here between the characters of Fletcher and Jackson, the location, and how the change in that location moves their relationship forward. There are external, as well as internal, forces threatening to keep them apart, but ultimately Fletcher and Jackson will remain united. I would classify this as light romantic suspense, although the ending does ramp up in intensity, along with some insightful reveals. If the next book was released, I would be reading it now, and if this appeals to you, this is the book and the series you should be reading.