Hide and Seek
J. Taylor/March 5, 2012/pb $14.99, digital $5.99
Lie, cheat or steal, no one can catch Tripp Fox. Except one woman.
Lexi Shepherd’s knack for finding whatever is asked of her isn’t sheer luck. It’s a gift from the Greek god Zeus.
That Lexi doesn’t use her ability to search for “Mr. Right” comes from one of many personal rules she has set for herself. Number one is not to let fate dictate her future.
Falling in love with Tripp breaks all the others....
I have always been fascinated with Greek mythology. I can trace my fascination back to childhood and reading about Atalanta in Free To Be You and Me (I had the LP, too). My fascination continued to my years as a senior docent with the North Carolina Museum of Art, and my specialty in ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. And is precisely why I love Aimee Laine’s Hide and Seek.
Of course we’re pleased that Prometheus gave us the gift of fire, but do we really want the gods meddling in our affairs? Do we really want Fate to decide what we can or can’t do, or do we want to be responsible for our journey?
Hide and Seek introduces Tripp Fox and Lexi Shepherd, players in the ultimate paradox designed by Zeus himself. Fox and Shepherd are two ‘celestially-tied’ people who never thought they would meet, much less consider they could have a life together. Ever seen Ladyhawke?
“According to the mythology, Zeus had to send the original fox and dog to the sky as stars, remember? All because at each step, when one or the other should succeed, they failed. A never-ending game isn’t any fun. A never-ending fight isn’t either. Who wants to go that route if it will end up that way, no matter what?”
Lexi’s a seeker. She’s responsible and careful, and thoughtful in the way she chooses to use her gift. As a real estate agent, she can find anybody’s dream home. Foresee exactly what they’re seeking, even though they haven’t identified it themselves yet. Sort of like finding the one true answer to life when you hadn’t even voiced it yet. Only life’s getting a little dull so she tries to mix it up a bit and take on other things to find. Other things such as jewels. Tripp’s a hider. He can be invisible when he needs to be, and though he’s not unlawful, he isn’t opposed to pushing the line on lawful when the occasion presents itself. He’s a retrieval expert, and because of his gift he can get into and out of sticky situations at will.
“That’s kinda freaky. The only person that could pull a sleight of hand on you is—” Her eyes grew wide. A hand slapped to her mouth. “Oh, my—”
“Therein lies the problem.”
“You actually found him? I thought that wasn’t supposed to be possible?” She stood, paced to the kitchen counter and back. “Do you know what this means?” Soft footsteps made their way across the carpet.
“Lex, this is awesome! This is—” Emma’s hands wagged in the air, slapped the legs of her pants and went still. “This means you’ve broken the cycle, right? If you guys have actually met, then there is no game, no challenge, no—”
Lexi sat up right, shaking her head. “No, Em. That’s not what it means. Think through it a little more.”
But meeting each other doesn’t turn out to be their greatest hurdle. In hindsight, it may be one of their easier tasks in the story. In the game of hide and seek, someone is always on the run and someone is always on the chase. In real life, with adults who make decisions and mistakes, it’s important to have a moral code. A sense of right and wrong. It’s even more important in celestially-tied people who come equipped with a built-in advantage from Zeus himself. Sort of like Spidey; with great power comes great responsibility? In many ways, Tripp and Lexi are just like you and me. They have to know the difference in right and wrong, they have to follow the laws and the rules, and they have to work at relationships to know what works and what doesn’t.
Except their reality is slightly skewed. And that’s what makes this story so fun. The book’s celestial circumstances add an extra edge; not quite paranormal, because they live in and operate in the here and now, and their supernaturalness isn’t marked by demons residing inside sexy shapeshifting werewolves. Instead, Lexi and Tripp are imbued with the power of Zeus. It’s subtle, and it’s sexy.
“I don’t even know how I got it.” Lexi took the journal back. “No one, that I have found, understands what Tripp or I can or can’t do in its entirety. We don’t have the condensed or even full version of the Mayo Clinic’s medical journal for people with ties to Zeus’s paradox. Just a star emblazoned on our skin.”
The big caveat to the paradox is that the hider is always hiding, and the seeker is always seeking. Can you blame Lexi for being cautious, for telling Tripp, “I don’t want to love a man who goes invisible because some force causes him to, whether you faked it or not”? And can you blame Tripp for worrying, “And what will losing do for me”?
A paradox, by definition, is a proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd, but in reality expresses a possible truth. It’s also a puzzle, and one that our two pawns are compelled to solve.
“Everything’s all connected. In this huge, huge world, we’re all connected. And I don’t know what to do about it.”
If you were a player in Zeus’s paradox, what puzzle might you wish to solve?
Dolly Sickles is a Southerner with a lifelong penchant for storytelling. Her Secret Squirrel identity is Dolly Sickles, but she also writes romance as Becky Moore, and in the spring of 2012, her first children’s book will be published as Dolly Dozier. She’s an avid reader of all literature, but she takes refuge in the romance genre, where despite the most grandiose, exhilarating, strange, and unlikely plot that’s out there, every story has a happy ending.