Hidden Gem by Enni Amanda is the second book in her Love New Zealand series. Prior to receiving the ARC for this book, I had not yet read book one in the series, Nest or Invest. So of course I had to go back and read that one first. I don’t think it would be necessary to read the first to enjoy this second book, but I’m a completionist by nature and I like to start at the very beginning of any series.
Our heroine in this second book is Marnie, best friend of book 1’s Shasa. She is staring down the barrel of the big 4-0, and has recently been diagnosed with early-onset arthritis, which only serves to make her feel even older than her age. She is a divorced mom of two, one who has already flown the nest, the other a typical teenage girl who doesn’t have much use for her mother. All of these factors lead her to believe that she has an “expiry date” and should give up on silly things like finding love.
Enter Jason, a handsome political type, who meets Marnie at an arts gala featuring work done by Marnie’s son. Jason brings his own demons to their budding relationship. His insomnia is out of control, mostly due to some issues plaguing his conscience, and he really doesn’t like his prestigious job.
I enjoyed watching the relationship between Marnie and Jason grow (and OMG I so want to stay in a lighthouse now!), and although they have some significant hurdles to overcome, our Cinderella eventually gets the HEA with her Prince Charming.
The only stumbling block for me with this book is solely because of my age. I would kill to be 39 again! I do remember the angst involved with turning 40, but honey, that’s got nothing on realizing you’re a half century old! For me this book was a solid four stars.
These were the first books I have read by this author, but I will certainly be checking out her back catalog. She writes authentic, enjoyable characters and sweet yet complicated relationships.
Thank you to the author for providing me with an ARC of this book for review.