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.
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