ARC provided by the author for review
Hidden Seams delivers a high stakes take on the enemies-to-lovers trope set in the world of high fashion. Marco Lent is heir apparent to Vince Horace’s fashion empire, and Avery McKenna is a woman on a mission to determine her paternity. With only a faded photo from LiveAid as evidence, Avery suspects Vince may have been her father, despite the fact that he was gay. She immediately regrets the letter that’s sent to Vince’s estate and goes to New York to intercept it. Instead she ends up throwing herself in Marco’s path.
The attraction between Marco and Avery is instant, before she even reveals herself. With a billion dollar estate on the line, the moment Marco discovers who she is and why she’s in New York, he goes into overdrive to protect his inheritance. But it doesn’t last long. These two can’t stay away from each other and every encounter in Hidden Seams is hotter than the last. Eyebrow-singeing hot.
Enemies-to-lovers is one of my favorite tropes and I was totally hooked by the premise. The characters are intriguing: Marco lived the last decade in a partnership-of-convenience as a gay man. Avery launders money and works to help immigrant women get out of prostitution in Detroit. The juxtaposition of the opulence and glamour of Marco’s world with Avery’s ties to the seedier side magnified the difference between hero and heroine. Fantastic.
The core conflict between these two is discovering Avery’s biological father. If Vince is her father, Avery stands to inherit a billion dollar estate. She contends she only wants the paternity results. The moment she signs away those rights, Marco trades his alpha-hole persona for sweetness, vulnerability and charm. The day she signs the agreement, the two go to dinner, as if they’re dating(!) and then fall into bed as they await paternity results.
If you love the happily ever after, you’ll be totally satisfied with Hidden Seams. I was against it. I saw it as a 180 for Marco in particular. I wish Hidden Seams would have allowed them to pursue their insta-lust as two consenting adults, instead of diving headfirst into conventional notions and insta-love. The final 25 percent of the book ties everything up in a neat little bow without any backlash or setbacks and and checks every box for the HEA.
One of Alessandra Torre’s strengths is developing intriguing characters and putting them into unexpected situations. Her writing is imminently readable and Hidden Seams is a book you can devour in one or two sittings. But for me, Hidden Seams started off as a well-tailored bespoke suit, but eventually turned off-the-rack. 3 stars.
If you’re a fan of her writing, check out her previous release, the Ghostwriter.
Hidden Seams is available now exclusively on Amazon.