Title: Nowhere to Hide
Series: Hollywood Heat #2
Author: Leslie A. Kelly
Format: Paperback/eBook, 370 pages
Publication: Aug. 25th 2020 by Forever
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Police officer Rowan Winchester wants nothing to do with his celebrity family's legacy. Working with the LAPD is his way of atoning for the Winchesters' dark and secretive past. And, right now, the last thing Rowan needs is true-crime novelist Evie Fleming nosing around the most notorious deaths in Los Angeles -- including the ones that haunt his own family. To make things worse, he's torn between wanting the wickedly smart writer out of his city . . . and just plain wanting her.
While researching her latest book, Evie suspects that a dangerous new killer is prowling the City of Angels. Now she just has to convince the devastatingly handsome cop that she's right. Soon Evie and Rowan are working together to try to find the killer, even as their attraction ignites. But when the killer hones in on Evie, she and Rowan realize they'll have to solve this case fast if they want to stay alive.
Nowhere to Hide continues the Winchester brothers' story, this time following Rowan as he rescues Evie and becomes attracted and entwined in murder mysteries. If you haven't read the first in the series, Rowan's twin brother Reece's book (I'll Be Watching You) introduced readers to the Winchester family, brothers that grew up in Hollywood. Rowan is out of the acting business and is a detective now. The author does a good job rehashing important points, the brother's sister's death that impacted them all and learning a secret about their Hollywood agent, Harry Baker, and his murder. You could easily start here as Evie is a new character to the series and while the story continues some plot threads from the first, it also takes on new ground.
What secret was Rowan hiding about Harry Baker that made him pretend he felt nothing for her when she knew damn well he did?
Evie was a great character, she's a true crime novelist that survived her own entanglement with a serial killer. Her roommate was killed by Evie's mechanic, Evie put together the puzzle pieces to discover he was a serial killer. She's now in Hollywood to research infamous murders for a new book she is writing. Through her research she also thinks she might have discovered a new serial killer, yeah, there is a lot of murder in this book. Along with Evie's baggage of having a serial killer in her life, the killer is trying to get a new trial so she might have to testify again, research for her infamous murders book, investigating a possible undiscovered serial killer, she also wants to do a chapter on Harry Baker. This brings in the conflict between her and Rowan, he wants nothing brought up about Baker because of how it could put the spotlight on his brothers again and bring possible ramifications.
And here he was, about to spend another glorious day with the woman he wanted an insane amount but had to pretend he did not.
From their first meeting when Rowan helps to save Evie from a possible mugging, physical attack, he and Evie had some heat. He's fully aware that it is not the time to come on strong to her but as circumstances get them to spend more time together, they both lean more towards each other. When he learns that Evie wants to write about Harry Baker, he gives her the deep freeze. These two move from hot to cold and the middle of the book is filled more with redherrings and murder mystery. The latter half then moves to the bedroom (there is some credible emotional work to move Rowan there) and then they jump to love pretty quickly. I ended up feeling like the romance was only around twenty percent of this book; Evie and Rowan do spend a good amount of time together, the focus just wasn't enough on the relationship side as the murders plot.
He covered her hand with his. Their fingers entwined. Finally, he said, “Okay, Evie. I'm in.”
While redherrings are great and keep the guessing and mystery alive, some of them in the story ended up feeling pointless and clogging. When reveals happened, it made me feel misled in some secondary characters that had me questioning the point of them because of how their conclusion was wrapped up or just left to fade away. There really was just too much on the murder plate and it hampered not only the romance between Rowan and Evie but also the continued plot thread involving the Winchester brother's sister's death and the murder of Harry Baker. There is still an intriguing readability to this author's writing and with some unanswered questions for the last Winchester brother Raine to discover, I'll be reading the next in the series.
Suggested Reading Order:
Book #1 I'll Be Watching You
Book #3 Waiting for You - To come...