Book Review: Hideaway by Penelope Douglas

Hideaway is the second book in the dark romantic suspense series Devil’s Night by Penelope Douglas.  I absolutely recommend reading the first book, Corrupt, prior to reading this one because it a true continuation of the series, and is not a stand alone, despite focusing on different main characters than book one.  If you read this book first you will likely feel confused and it will spoil book one. Also, as this is a dark romance, basically the whole entire thing is triggering as the book includes rape, incest, abuse, issues with consent, violence, and misogyny.

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DEVIL’S NIGHT is returning! Hiding places, chases, and all the games are back…

BANKS
Buried in the shadows of the city, there’s a hotel called The Pope. Ailing, empty, and dark—it sits abandoned and surrounded by a forgotten mystery.

But you think it’s true, don’t you, Kai Mori? The story about the hidden twelfth floor. The mystery of the dark guest who never checked in and never checks out. You think I can help you find that secret hideaway and get to him, don’t you?

You and your friends can try to scare me. You can try to push me. Because even though I struggle to hide everything I feel when you look at me—and have ever since I was a girl—I think maybe what you seek is so much closer than you’ll ever realize.

I will never betray him.

So sit tight.

On Devil’s Night, the hunt will be coming to you.

KAI
You have no idea what I seek, Little One. You don’t know what I had to become to survive three years in prison for a crime I would gladly commit again.

No one can know what I’ve turned into.

I want that hotel, I want to find him, and I want this over.

I want my life back.

But the more I’m around you, the more I realize this new me is exactly who I was meant to be.

So come on, kid. Don’t chicken out. My house is on the hill. So many ways in, and good luck finding your way out.

I’ve seen your hideaway. Time to see mine.

A few words that come to mind when thinking about this book: scary, demented, terrifying, thrilling, erotic, and then right back to scary, demented, etc.

Every character in this book has mental health issues and needs counseling – this series is not going to give you a romance with healthy relationships. They all go too far, their morals and ethics are highly questionable.

The story goes back and forth between present day and Devil’s Night six years ago (which is before the gang met Erika from book 1), and there are some flashbacks as well to Banks’s youth.

The heroine Banks was a bit annoying that she so often contradicted herself about what she did and did not want. She struggles throughout the story with her loyalty to her brother and making choices for herself.  It was frustrating that she could so easily see how her brother was abused but couldn’t see how she was being abused too – but I saw this as a symptom of her grooming and abuse.

I’ve liked the hero, Kai, since book one, and I think Douglas did a great job with writing him.  Even though we found things to like about him in the last book, Douglas didn’t have a problem making him into a creepy character that pushes and scares you, sometimes making you forget that he does have a good side.

Damon is back and continues to be a threat – he seems completely demented, even worse than before.  And I’m pretty sure the next book is about him and I don’t think there is any way – even in this fucked up series that he can redeem himself after the evil things he did in the last two books. Granted, we get some compelling back story that makes you sort of understand why he’s so fucked up – but some things are unforgivable.

Banks’s dad was probably the scariest part of the story – in that we’ve learned from the books so far that the Horsemen do have limits, even if it doesn’t seem like it, but we don’t yet know how far her dad would go and that’s unsettling.

This book made me want even more of Alex and even though she’s not a horseman I really hope we get a story for her HEA. This book also really made me feel bad for Will and want his story – that dude needs some happiness ASAP.

Overall, this story was just as bonkers as the last book if not more and I’m still shocked at how well Douglas pulls it off – it’s all absolutely insane but in this world she’s crafted its so real you just accept it. Every time I start describing these books out loud it sounds like a hot mess of disturbing events but I swear the way Douglas writes is so captivating that it does not come off messy at all.

Also, though you might think it’s obvious from the title of the series, Devil’s Night, but these romances really are perfect for Halloween time – they are so scary, violent, atmospheric, and erotic (with HEAs!). I’m still shook that I love these so much but whatever! I liked the first book better than this one probably because I went in with no expectations but honestly this was a great follow up to continue the mood, feels, and plot of the story. Excited to be disturbed and likely blown away by book 3, which has yet to have an announced publication date.

Recommend for fans of Corrupt and dark romantic suspense set around Devil’s Night/Halloween.

4.5 stars!

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