Review – Hidden Depths by Emma Holly

Hidden Depths
Publisher: Self
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: From the author

James and Olivia Forster have been happily married for many years. A harmless kink here or there spices up their love life, but they can’t imagine the kinks they’ll encounter while sneaking off to their beach house for a long hot weekend.

Anso Vitul has ruled the wereseals for one short month. He hardly needs his authority questioned because he’s going crazy from mating heat. Anso’s best friend and male lover Ty offers to help him find the human mate his genes are seeking. To Ty’s amazement, Anso’s quest leads him claim not one partner but a pair. Ty would object, except he too finds the Forsters hopelessly attractive.
I got this blurb from the author’s website here.

Hidden Depths is the second in Ms Holly’s Hidden world following after Hidden Talents which I reviewed here. Unlike the majority of other series I read, which are set in the same world and have some reoccurring characters or events that provide continuity, this seemed much more of a standalone novel. Yes, it was set in the same world but dealt primarily with a different species and environment not to mention an entirely different theme. I will admit when I read the blurb and saw that this featured a married couple I had my doubts but I should have trusted that Ms Holly would make it work.

Ms Holly does not pull any erotic punches with the main characters coming on scene and pretty quickly enjoying an intimate moment with their respective partner. Those encounters displayed not only what types of things the characters enjoyed but also the emotional trust and caring they had within their relationships. I think their caring relationships were the key that allowed the merging of the couples to work. If any individual had been less committed to their partner’s happiness I think the outcome would have been entirely different. I liked that while Ms Holly did use the ‘fated mate’ trope she did not use that trope as the final solution but as the reason for meeting. I also liked how both James and Olivia experienced what the wereseals could give them at the same time but in separate locations. That continued to keep them on an even level with their relationship with each other.

The inclusion of several twists in this story helped elevate it above the increasingly more familiar multi-partner erotic romance. The woman scorned, while determined to get her own back, did not go down the typically well-worn path. As I mentioned earlier the idea of fated mates was not the ultimate answer. Ms Holly also did not make the focus of this as three close male friends/relatives all interested in sharing a single female but more about four people initially two separate couples building a relationship with each other. And then there was the setting…I have always be fascinated with the sea and this certainly fed my imagination. The wereseal world was full of some pretty intriguing creatures and seascapes. I wish we could have explored it and some of the wereseal culture a bit more.

My only quibble is that it seemed some things were accepted a bit too easily not just by the main characters but by the entire ensemble as a whole. Aside from the group of dissenters, which included “the woman scored”, everyone else went along with and loved what James and Olivia brought to their world.

I give Hidden Depths a B

Links to purchase

Barnes & Noble | Kindle eBook

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