Tag Archive | nora roberts

Black Hills by Nora Roberts #review #romance

Black Hills

2heart

Synopsis

Cooper (Coop) and Lillian (Lil) meet as children when Coop goes to visit his grandparents for the summer in South Dakota. They keep in touch over the years and eventually fall in love with one another. They are both in their early 20’s at this point.

Coop is nowhere near having his life together. On the other hand, Lil has her career path laid out. Feeling as if he does not deserve her, he breaks up with her.

Years later, he is back in South Dakota to help out his grandparents and decides that now he is worthy of being with Lil. Meanwhile, there is a psychopath serial killer that is obsessed with Lil.

Opinion

Since this is a Nora Roberts romance, I really wanted to like this book. I do not think you can fully understand my desire to want to like this book. I was so excited to find it in a used book store and was looking forward to curling up and reading this, having warm fuzzy feelings, and re-reading again and again. Since most of my books these days are on my kindle, I was going to treasure holding a book in my hand and adding this one to my bookshelf collection.

The good

(1) I like the demonstrations of love between Lil’s parents and Coop’s grandparents. It is evident that these two couples have been in love for decades.

(2) Lil’s mother pragmatic approach to Lil’s hang ups is probably what helped her to get over herself and give Coop a second chance.

The bad

(1) The story seemed to drag on and on. I do not mind 400 pages if the book is interesting enough to keep my interest

There was so much detail about wildlife preserve and the big cats (cougars, jaguars, etc) held there that I began to feel overwhelmed with the details. Maybe that would have been more interesting to me if I already knew more about it. If it was not for the fact that I wanted to find out how the showdown between Lil and psychopath went, I probably would have stopped reading.

(2) Coop’s attitude of “I’m going to stay here until you want to make love to me” would have grated my nerves more if I was not already perturbed with Lil. He was clueless when he thought that they amicably broke up. But for him to think years later that they would pick up where they left off was laughable.

(3) Despite the fact that there was a psychopath on the loose, it seems that the authorities did little to notify the public of the danger he posed. Why were there not posters of his face everywhere? The news outlets should have been warning people. Why did people not lock their doors? He should not have been able walk in public or talk to anyone without an alarm being sounded.

The ugly

(1) Lil’s you-broke-my-heart attitude was exasperating. OKAY! We get it. He broke you heart 10 years ago.

Stop sleeping with him. It sends mixed messages. Did you forgive him or not? It seemed irrational that she would “trust him with her life” but at the same time be worried that he would leave her.

(2) Both are so wrapped up in their own feelings that they do not recognize how their actions affected the other. Granted, I think that Coop eventually understood how his misguided attempt to ensure Lil’s happiness backfired. But I do not think that Lil really fully appreciated the intent of Coop’s actions. Whether she wanted to admit it or not, he was partially right. He would have been an anchor on her boat to success, weighing her down and probably preventing her from achieving much of what she accomplished. The fact that she could not admit even a little that his thought process had some merit is what disappointed me most about Lil’s character. It is as if she discounted all that he was dealing with at the time because it caused her discomfort.

In the end, I was confused. I never experienced these types of negative emotions with a Nora Roberts’ book.

Should you buy? I cannot really recommend Black Hills, but if you are a die hard Nora Roberts fan, you might want to read just to say you have read all her books. Then again, if you like whiny heroines, you will like this book.

Book Details from Goodreads
Hardcover, 472 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Putnam (first published 2009)
Setting Black Hills, South Dakota, 2009 (United States)
Available on Amazon

buy_this_book

A matter of choice – Nora Roberts

A Matter of Choice ♥♥

Synopsis

James Sladerman (Slade) is a detective sergeant that was picked for an undercover assignment to look after the Commissioner of Police goddaughter. Her antiques business is suspected of being part of an international smuggling ring. Since he is a writer, his guise is that he is going to stay at her house temporarily to do some writing.

Jessica Winslow is the daughter of a prominent New England family and is oblivious to the fact that someone is using her business to smuggle illegal goods. The suspect is someone she trusts and her life is soon to be in danger because of it.

Opinion

This is one of my least favorite books by Nora Roberts.

Jessica’s main fault was that she was so dumb and oblivious to all the signs that someone she trusted betrayed her.

As hard as I tried, I did not like Slade. Slade was so bitter over everything.

It was as if he was mad at the world-

  • mad because he had to take care of his family and could not work in a job he liked
  • mad because his novel had not been sold
  • mad because Jessica’s family was rich
  • mad because he was attracted to Jessica
  • mad because he had to protect her when he wanted to be far away from her

 This comment from Jessica sums it up, “ I realize you might think differently, but you don’t go to hell for being kind.

I cannot understand how or why Jessica fell in love with Slade. He was sullen or yelling at her most of the time. Even when he declared his love, he sounded angry about it.

His attitude killed the romance for me.

Additionally, consent in this book was not straightforward enough for me.

“ ‘No. This isn’t what I want’

Yes, yes it is, her eyes told him even while her hands pushed him away”.

Ick. I am more sensitive to this issue because so many women get raped when they say no, but the attacker says that they were saying yes with their body.

I do not care what signals a man thinks her body is giving him. If a woman says “no”, then the man should stop.

Should you buy? Only if you are a die hard Nora Roberts fan and have to read every book she has published. Otherwise, pass on this one. It is dark, the heroine is dense, and the hero has too many issues.

I love a story with heart


The Heart of Devin MacKade (The MacKade Brothers) ♥♥♥♥

Synopsis

In the small town Antietam, Devin has loved Cassie for 12 years. When they were younger, he hesitated to make a move, not knowing that she would marry the first man who showed her interest in an effort to escape a miserable home life.

Fast forward to the present day: Cassie is now divorced with two children. Her family carries the emotional scars from the domestic abuse that was a daily occurrence. Her ex-husband is in prison and Cassie is trying to heal.

Still hopelessly in love, Devin is now sheriff and has a list of reasons/excuses to see Cassie every day. Cassie is ignorant to the depth of his feelings.

A friendly gesture ignites the passion between them but can their love last?

 

Opinion

Devin has everything going for him: looks and charm. In my mind, I think he is probably a hotter version of Andy Griffith. It was sweet that he had loved Cassie for so long. When he sees his chance to make a move, he tries but thinks that he might have unintentionally friendzoned himself. I understand that he does not want to make the same mistake he made years ago, but she is not the same person she was years ago either.

“Was he going to have to settle-always- for protecting, for watching over, for being the dependable friend, the favorite honorary uncle?”

Cassie likes Devin’s company but thinks that is all it could be in their relationship. There is the added embarrassment (in her mind) that he is the sheriff and knows more than anyone else about the mistreatment inflicted by her ex-husband. She has only known abuse when it comes to physical relations. When she experienced tenderness from Devin, she does not know what to think. He makes her feel things that she did not know were possible.

“Why did you kiss me like that?”

I loved this story because the characters were so lovable. I could empathize with Devin’s frustration and impatience when things did not go according to his plan. He knew he had to maintain that delicate balance to help her move forward with her life while she healed from the past hurt. Additionally, Devin had to be concerned about the emotional well-being of Cassie’s two children. They were dealing with the consequences of their father abusing their mother. As for Cassie, I admire her strength. She was emotionally abused by her mother and physically abused by her ex-husband, yet her spirit was not completely broken.

In the end, The Heart of Devin MacKade is not a love story between a man and woman. It is a love story between a man, a woman, and her two children.

Great story! Loved it. This is a classic romance to be expected from Nora Roberts.

FYI: While The Heart of Devin MacKade is available for $7.99 on Amazon, I saw The MacKade Brothers Bundle: The Return of Rafe MacKade\The Pride of Jared MacKade\The Heart of Devin MacKade\The Fall of Shane MacKade available for $9.99. What a steal!!!

Unfinished Business – Nora Roberts


Unfinished Business (Silhouette Intimate Moments) – Nora Roberts

Vanessa is a world renown piano player who returns to the town of her youth. Brady was her high school sweetheart, but he broke her heart when he stood her up on prom night. After her father dies, she returns to her home town for some time for reflection and to decide what she wants out of life.

As usual, for romance novels like these, Brady still loves Vanessa. She has feelings for him too, but she is upset with him for what he did to her all those years ago.

I think that there was not enough communication in this story. Brady should have told Vanessa earlier in the story the REAL reason why did not take her to the prom. And maybe I am so used to external forces causing havoc in young romances, but I could tell straight away that her father has something to do with it. He was too controlling and demanding.

And that seemed to be the elephant in the room. No one wanted to tell Vanessa that her father ruined her relationships in order to isolate her. They just made comments like “That’s odd” and dismissed it.  Her father made sure that she thought he was all she had. I am sure he did it to make sure she stayed focused on her career, but it was in the attainment of goals he wanted, not necessarily the life that she would have chosen for herself.

The bright point of this story for me was that Vanessa finally got her mother’s side of what happened. She was able to deal with the bitterness she felt towards her mother and repair that damaged relationship. This also helps her to make decisions about what she wants out of life in order to be happy. The grudges she held for so long were based on distortions of the truth.

Even though Unfinished Business (Silhouette Intimate Moments) was a romance novel, I think that it was more a story about learning to forgive past transgressions and love family. It is a good, predictable book for a Saturday afternoon.

Click Unfinished Business (Silhouette Intimate Moments) to buy on Amazon

He loves her but does she really love him?

Convincing Alex  – Nora Roberts


 

Main characters:

  • Alex – detective investigating the murders of prostitutes by a serial killer 
  • Bess – story writer for a soap opera

Alex meets Bess when he arrests her for prostitution. She is not really a prostitute, but she is trying to do some research to help with character development for the soap opera. In the course of the story, we come to know that Bess is a big hearted, generous person always looking out for her friend’s happiness, even when her latest friend happens to be a prostitute she met during her brief time on the streets.

The attraction between Alex and Bess is very apparent to both of them. What is not helping things is the fact that they have to spend a lot of time in each other’s company because she still needs to do her character research. Alex is a born skeptic when it comes to how Bess feels about him because of what he has read in the weekly tabloids about her romantic history. Plus, he feels like she is from another world and does not see how they could have a normal relationship.

Nevertheless, Alex falls head over heels in love for Bess. It is frustrating for her because she does not know what to do to convince him that she feels the same way. After all, how many broken engagements has she had?

This was an interesting twist to the romance novels that I am used to reading. I cannot remember another novel where the man was the first to declare his love and refused to want the woman to do the same. While I was reading, I was wondering what could Bess do and what her options would be if she is trying to declare her love to someone who is so emotionally involved but distanced at the same time.

Adding the stress of a serial killer to the mix, and this book belongs in the suspense romance category!

Buy Convincing Alex (The Stanislaskis)today!