The Hollow continues Nora Roberts’ Sign of Seven Trilogy. Fox O’Dell and Layla Darnell are connected in ways Layla would rather not think about. They share the ability to see into others’ minds and it is something she is not comfortable with. Unfortunately, it is a power, a tool, she is going to have to learn to use if they are ever going to beat the evil that used to be Lazarus Twisse.
Layla is also nervous about the intimate connection that is growing between herself and Fox. She does not want to be attracted to him, to share any kind of connection whatsoever, but both are starting to realize that it is only when they give into their desires, and learn to work as a team, that they stand a chance of beating the demon that haunts Hawkins Hollow.
Nora Roberts always knows how to write a compelling back-story and that is certainly the case in The Hollow. Unfortunately, the mystery of Lazarus Twisse and Giles Dent proves to be more gripping than the romance brewing between Fox and Layla. Theirs is a rather flat courtship. While readers get to know much about Fox through his interactions as the town lawyer, and through his connections growing up in town, the same cannot be said about Layla, who remains a rather stock female character through the story. Usually Nora Roberts writes interesting, intense women, but Layla was just boring.
The saving graces of this story were the continued hunt for clues to defeat the demon that has been hurting the town, and to watch the budding romance between Cybil and Gage, the last of the pairings. Also, there are few authors who write thoughtful group dynamics the way Nora Roberts does. I look forward to seeing how the battle for good and evil plays out, but in terms of romance, this is only an average read.