I usually have a hit-and-miss think with Ms. Roberts' books, because of her heroines. They're always strong and independentOh, wow. Now we're talking!
I usually have a hit-and-miss think with Ms. Roberts' books, because of her heroines. They're always strong and independent women, but sometimes they come across as too strong, too stubborn, too independent, and I end up not particularly liking them, and not particularly understanding what the appeal is for the hero. And sometimes the heroine is just perfect, with 'perfectly proportioned' strength and vulnerability, steel and mushy core, her sense of humor is right up my alley, and she's so cute and adorable trying to wiggle out of the 'thing' with the hero I just love her to bits.
Lila was one of the latter. An amazing heroine, a great NR heroine. Funny, smart, stubborn, capable of taking care of herself, sometimes closed-of, sometimes afraid, caring, giving, sexy without knowing, a writer, and a gipsy. I won't lose words about Ash, the hero, because the guy was a typical NR hero. Not in a stereotype, cardboard cutout kind of way, but he had that NR-hero vibe, that air about him. Strong, silent, sometimes broody, all-the-time protective, and falling head over heels for the heroine in a chapter or two. Unlike NR heroines, I never find any fault in NR heroes, because they're 'normal'. Not overly alpha, not overly beta, but just the right mix to knock you off your feet when you least expect it.
So, with the heroine and hero just perfect, the story could not have been any less. It was pretty much a typical NR suspense fare (again, not stereotypical or predictable, but...just right). There was a hunt for rare objets d'art with some great research on the Romanov family and the Fabergé collectibles thrown in (perfect for a history junky), a murder or two, a crazed killer for hire, a transatlantic trip, a weirdly large family, two wonderful friends, a few pets, great H/h, and, of course, the romance.
The suspense part was edge of the seat, biting of the nails action in parts, the romance was heartwarming, because I just love how Ms. Roberts writes romance (and everything that goes with it), and there was the requisite humor (I love the one-liners Ms. Roberts characters deliver).
I just can't seem to get enough of NR's romantic suspense novels, and I can't seem to write a decent review of it without using stupid superlatives or starting to repeat myself.
Suffice to say, this one was a perfect package. One of those books, you want to read all over again as soon as you finish.
Another NR winner for me. Though I haven't read a real book in a while, this one truly felt like 'it's like riding a bicycle' book. I dived into it, iAnother NR winner for me. Though I haven't read a real book in a while, this one truly felt like 'it's like riding a bicycle' book. I dived into it, it grabbed me, and it didn't spit me out (figuratively speaking) until the very last page.
Don't get me wrong, it had its weaknesses and weak moments. Like the heroine whom I couldn't bring myself to love, I simply liked her, because she was there, I just didn't feel for her. She was too tough, too stubborn, too everything for me to realy emphasize with her. Sure, she witnessed a murder, sure, she lived in hiding, sure, they hunted her, but still, lighten up a bit, trust a little, live a little, love a little.
But that's just a very NR thing to do, create a character the reader feels strongly about—whether in a good or a bad sense. It's useless creating a bland character the reader will forget about the next day.
The hero, on the other hand, was the usual NR fare. Protective, sexy, hunky, persistent, an irresistible Alpha/Beta mix one just wants to find on their doorstep one morning. ;)
What was unusual was the suspense part. It was rather bland, in my opinion. It wasn't on-the-edge-of-the-seat suspense, but that's not what I expect from Ms. Roberts. I expected something a bit more than what I got in this book. It seemed like the real threat was always somewhere far on the horizon, never really that close, never really that dangerous. And that was quite disappointing after the last few suspense-y NR books I've read lately.
But this was still in a league of its own compared to the rest....more
Second winner in a row, I'm really on a roll here. ;)
I can always count on Nora Roberts (in all her incarnations) to deliver a solid, gripping read thSecond winner in a row, I'm really on a roll here. ;)
I can always count on Nora Roberts (in all her incarnations) to deliver a solid, gripping read that will keep me entertained, guessing, sighing, cursing (sometimes), and flipping the pages yearning to know what happens next.
And this new installment in her writing opus sure didn't disappoint. Actually it surprised me. Surprised, because she chose a different path to her story. In the way of the hero being the center point of the plot, in the way of the hero being the main character, in the way of the hero being in danger, in the way of the hero being the most damaged, the most brooding, the most hurt of the pair. That spot of the 'main' character the plot revolves around is usually (in mostly all romance novels, be it straight romance or romantic suspense) reserved for the heroine.
Not this time and I'm really glad for it. This 'new' offered a nice respite from the template, if I dare call it that way, and it offered a nice respite from being constantly stuck in a female's mind—this story is (mostly) told from a man's point of view through a third-person narrative, so we get to see what the not knowing, being in danger, having the world turned upside down, having the rug pulled from under the feet...feels like from a male perspective. I'm not sure I make much sense with this, but hey, I felt (read) the difference.
Also, Ms. Roberts also freshened up her story by not having her usual 'I'm tough, I don't need anyone, I don't lean on anyone, leave me alone' type of heroine. Those were starting to get a little old and tiring, so Abra was truly a breath of fresh air. She was bubbly, optimistic to the point of being slightly annoying, new-age-y, pushy, adorable, slightly know-it-all type of person that one cannot help but love from the get go. And I did love her. I'm not saying I wouldn't slap her (tenderly) if she was a real person and I knew her, because she did have a tendency to be annoying at times with her optimism and her positive energy and positive thinking and her mothering, but still she was endearing and adorable and a complete opposite of Ms. Roberts' other heroines.
And I'm more than thankful she didn't turn her hero into one of those heroines. Yes, he was broody, yes, he wanted to be left alone at the beginning, but being accused of murder, being dogged by an asshole detective, being the center of gossip and media attention for a year, probably does that to a person. He didn't keep being a broody-leave-me-alone kind of guy, he let the heroine push, mother, and annoy him, he let her in, and he let her help him heal her.
God, I loved the story, as you've probably realized already. ;)
Enough with the romance aspect of the story, which was sweet, sexy, adorable and fun to read, let's get to the suspense part of the story. Which was also great, let me tell you. I had no idea who did it, though I had a pretty good idea who the other one, the intruder was, but I had no idea who killed Eli's wife. And I still have no idea how he figured it out, and that bugs me a little, but I'll get over it, because I'm glad I didn't spot the murderer from the get go. I always suspected the lover, but I was wrong, and I'm very happy about it. I also felt the other sub-plot, the intruder, the obsession, etc. remained a little loose around the edges, I needed some real closure on that, but hey, it helped solve the real question, the first murder, so let's not nitpick.
All in all, a great NR story, gripping, intense, sexy, suspenseful, romantic, 'tight'...I could've done without the large print though, but that's on me. I learned my lesson, read the description thoroughly before purchasing a book online. ;)...more
Seth Quinn. The last Quinn brother. A Quinn by blood and not just by name.
His artistic endeavors have made him travel around the world, but now he's fSeth Quinn. The last Quinn brother. A Quinn by blood and not just by name.
His artistic endeavors have made him travel around the world, but now he's finally back. Back home. With his family, where he belongs, ready to spend the rest of his life in St. Christopher. And he has an inkling as to whom he might like to spend it with.
If and when he gets rid of the burden that he's been carrying for more than a decade.
With Seth's story we've reached the end of this series. In more ways than one. All the Quinn brothers are accounted for, they all have their stories and their happily-ever-afters. And the past has finally been laid to rest. So to speak. And maybe not finally. But Quinns being Quinns they'll deal. As is the Quinn way—together. One for all and all for one.
It was great seeing the Quinns doing what Quinns do best in this book as well—at the top of their lungs, curses and insults flying, people flying in the water, punches and hugs evenly distributed...What a great, loud, warm family they are. Full of love, and full of heart. Nowadays you don't see such families in real life so its great at least to be able to read about them. They're a unit. Indestructible, connected by bonds that transcend blood. And it was amazing having spent these past few days in their company. (Yes, I know their fictitious!)
Well, I'm rather at a loss for words with this one, so I'll keep it short and simple. Nora Roberts knows what she's doing. There was drama, there was romance, there was laughter, there were tears, there was angst...All wrapped up in a nice package of tight plot, wonderful characters, great 'landscape', and fluid storytelling.
I know this was Seth's book, but his life and his story was so intrinsically enmeshed in the overall family unit that were the Quinns, that I think of him, of all of them actually, not so much as separate individuals, but Quinns. Simply Quinns. And I'm glad Seth, and the others, found wonderful heroines that fit into the family so well.
And what I loved best about this story? Beside the family and the humor? The fact the romance didn't suffer from a road-block toward the end of the story. There was no separation, no big argument, no threats of leaving...Dru and Seth did face a hurdle, but they overcome it, rather quickly and smoothly, making me breathe a nice, deep sigh of relief....more
Phillip Quinn. The urbane one. Advertising executives, Armani lover, wine connoisseur. The only one of the Quinn brothers who was partly responsible fPhillip Quinn. The urbane one. Advertising executives, Armani lover, wine connoisseur. The only one of the Quinn brothers who was partly responsible for what happened in his childhood, deciding to make the best of it. The last adult Quinn brother to be brought to St. Christopher.
After months spent juggling his job and his responsibilities toward his youngest brother, Seth, something good has finally happened. Something good wrapped in an aloof, distant package. But he knows there's more to Dr Sybill Griffin that meet the eye. And he cannot wait to discover what lies beneath. The question is, will he be able to handle it when truth finally comes out?
I know there's another book, the final book in the series, still waiting to be read, but this one was sort of an ending to the older Quinn brothers era. And I'm glad it succeeded in improving my opinion of the series (as a whole) after the fiasco of the second book. Still, nothing cannot come close to Sea Swept, the first and best in the series.
Yet again we received a great glimpse into the Quinn family dynamics, this time with two added Quinns by marriage, but it was the interactions between brothers (Seth included this time) that had me riveted once again. As said in the review for the fist book, these guys were a real hoot. And a real pleasure to read.
Thankfully the pacing also got a nice boost in this one, and the story flowed almost hiccup-free, letting the characters (all of them!) guide the plot forward.
Unfortunately, the heroine ruined the experience for me. The secrets, the hiding, the half-thruths really bugged me. I'm all for keeping secrets when need arises, but in this one, I simply didn't care for it. Maybe it was because I 'couldn't relate' knowing the entire sordid story, but the bottom line is, I didn't like it. And the fact she did feel guilty about lying didn't compensate one bit. I simply didn't get her reasoning. Knowing her sister the way she did, she still had reservations about calling her a liar from the get-go. Nope, I don't get it. I was prepared to let the emotional 'handicap' would bug me, but it didn't. Go figure.
All in all, it was a good story, a vast improvement from its predecessor yet failing to reach its potential or come even close at achieving what the first book in the series did....more
Ethan Quinn. The quiet one. The steady one. Always staying close to home, living on and for the water. Because of his past and dark secrets buried inEthan Quinn. The quiet one. The steady one. Always staying close to home, living on and for the water. Because of his past and dark secrets buried in that past, he's decided long ago never to marry, never to have a family. And because of that he thinks he can never have the one woman he loves, the one he's loved forever—Grace Monroe.
Unfortunately he didn't consider his sister-in-law's stubbornness. Or Grace's determination.
While the first book in this quartet, Sea Swept, delivered on the promise in the blurb and made me giddy to read the next book, Ethan's story turned out to be quite a let-down.
It sure was Ethan's story, slow just like its hero. "Slow as a lame turtle with bifocals" Cam described him to his wife. And while I love me some slow moving stories, the slowness sometimes helps in keeping things real, this one was just too slow. Any slower and it would've been going backwards.
Nothing happened. Sure, things happened between Ethan and Grace, but I simply didn't care. Because I didn't care about them. While Cam and Anna were exciting, funny, and sexy, these two were just meh. I really could not have cared less whether they actually ended up together. Beside Ethan and his slowness that had mostly to do with Grace. Proud, stubborn, annoying...stupid. Yes, I hate that word, but that's what came to mind with Grace and her 'fantasies'. Sheesh.
Also there was no camaraderie between brothers, the interactions I came to love in the Cam's book. They barely spent any time together. And two big problems I had with this book were Seth (though he was a bit tiresome in the first book, he's escalated in this one—shouldn't be the other way around?—I kept waiting for someone to kick the crap out of him, because he deserved it) and Anna (I loved her in the first book, in this one she was just too annoying to bear).
And the biggest problem of them all? It arises quite often, but I manage to swallow my complaints because usually the story keep me interested, here...Not so much. I'm talking about the whole marriage thing. What's with that?! So Ethan didn't want to get married. So what?! I mean, who's to prevent the two of them from shaking up together? Is living together without the ring and the paperwork suddenly a sin? And what was with the need to procreate? She wanted to have his babies. What if he couldn't have them (not wouldn't, but couldn't)? Would he still be the big, bad Ethan? Didn't the idiot woman ever hear of adoption?
Argh. Frustrating. That's what this book was. Frustrating. And disappointing....more
Cameron Quinn. Thrill-seeker. Speed-lover. Living on the edge. He loves it fast and impersonal. Especially with women. And he loves living in Europe.Cameron Quinn. Thrill-seeker. Speed-lover. Living on the edge. He loves it fast and impersonal. Especially with women. And he loves living in Europe. Alone, doing what he wants, when he wants and how he wants it. Away from home, from his two brothers, from his father. No responsibilities, no accountability except to himself.
Then, one night it all comes crashing down with a fax message. His father has had an accident. And after years of staying away, Cam finally has to come home.
Though this is categorized as romance, I didn’t love it because of the romance. In fact, I could’ve done without the romance in this case. Not because the book didn’t have a good romantic subplot (it did, I loved Cam and Anna together, they were rather like two peas in a pod), but because everything was overshadowed by the Quinn brothers and their interactions with each other.
The Quinn brothers, Cameron, Ethan and Phillip were a real hoot to read about. Grown men, each independent, employed etc., but when they were together they acted like teenagers—throwing one another off the dock, kicking the car seats, throwing insults here and there, kicking the crap out of each other...Laughing like lunatics together. Despite them not being brothers by blood, they were family and it showed. Yes, we were shown not told, which is something I love about Ms. Roberts’ writing. And because they were family they were willing to put everything aside and join forces to keep their last promise to their father.
This book had great characters, multi-layered and flawed, which for me makes them that more real, good writing, which isn’t surprising because of the author, good story (though I’m more used to Ms. Roberts’ suspense novels, I like something more ‘normal’ from time to time), and great character interaction (which was, as noted before, what I loved most).
A great, heart-warming, funny, laugh-out-loud, sweet story. I just hope the other books keep up with the expectations....more
I never thought I'd give it five stars in the end, but there you have it. The entire premise of this book (not the series!) was based on the fact a niI never thought I'd give it five stars in the end, but there you have it. The entire premise of this book (not the series!) was based on the fact a nineteen-year-old girl knew what love was when she loved Sam Logan eleven years ago. A love so strong, so powerful, she'd shattered when he left. You were nineteen, girl! What did you know?!
Lucky he left, because he did them both a huge favor. She grew stronger as a witch, he became a man who finally knew what he wanted, and they could discover what love was together when they were both adults.
I didn't like the fact she held a grudge so long, because the reason for that grudge was stupid, if you ask me. Lucky for her (and me), Sam had a (rather) reasonable head on this shoulders—all men had in this series, while the women, the strong witches that spoke against strong negative emotions held grudges, were angry, wanted to kick Sam's butt etc. Very mature, ladies.
And I still gave it five stars. Why? Because, despite the stupid grudge-holding, this book rocked. The last in the trilogy, it was the most 'action-y', it had the most spells, it had the final battle between good and evil (which never gets old, it seems)...And it was scorching hot (you know what I mean). I never expected such 'burn' from NR, let me tell you. She usually writes rather tame love scenes that are all about imagination, but this time...Whoa. There was imagination involved, but she also 'showed' the heat.
Not as 'gripping' as the first book in the series, mostly due to my dislike of the heroine. I didn't like Ripley in the first book and I didn't like hNot as 'gripping' as the first book in the series, mostly due to my dislike of the heroine. I didn't like Ripley in the first book and I didn't like her in her own story, though she sort of redeemed herself in the end.
This book was a little more intense in the paranormal/suspense department with the evil entity intruding from almost the beginning. But that's to be expected. While the first book was meant as sort of an introduction into the world on Three Sisters, this second (as is usual in the trilogies) was supposed to introduce the Big Evil, and the third (as is usual in the trilogies) will explain what the Big Evil is, how it had become, what it wants...And the three and their men will send him back to its birthplace. (Very Sign of Seven again.)
I can't wait to read Mia's story. I can't wait to meet Samuel Logan, the one who got away, and had a hand in making Mia the Mia she is today. I only hope she doesn’t disappoint me....more
Another typical NR novel, if you ask me, only this time I much preferred the secondary romance between Pilar and David to the primary romance betweenAnother typical NR novel, if you ask me, only this time I much preferred the secondary romance between Pilar and David to the primary romance between H/h. For starters, because I didn’t particularly like the heroine; she didn’t want to end up like her father, didn’t want people to see her as they did her father, yet she kept making the same ‘mistakes’. Second, I didn’t particularly like the hero, either, though more than the heroine. And I simply didn’t see the connection between them, it didn’t click. Their romance was rather vapid and felt like it was there simply because of the author and her wish for the two to be together.
And the suspense also had much to be desired, especially the ‘revenge is a dish better served cold’ thing. I didn’t buy it, that’s for sure. And the villain turned out to be quite insane in the end and that outburst certainly didn’t gel with what we’ve seen before. I kept thinking he should’ve been more...mellow.
So why 4 stars? Because I liked it, despite all the above....more
Nora Roberts can write thrillers, romantic suspense, and even paranormal. I love these witches she’d created. The series reminds me a little of the SiNora Roberts can write thrillers, romantic suspense, and even paranormal. I love these witches she’d created. The series reminds me a little of the Sign of Seven trilogy, only in this series (the first chronologically) it isn’t about the guys having the power, but the chicks. And these chicks kick some serious paranormal butt. Sure, one is in training, one is in denial, and one is in a league of her own, but together they can do anything. And the bond growing between them is palpable.
But this wouldn’t be a NR without the requisite too-good-to-be-true, to-die-for hero that prevents the story (and series) from descending into the chick-lit territory. A strong, stubborn, capable, honorable hero that sweeps the heroine, despite her many reservations, off her feet (and the reader is right there beside her).
I loved this story from beginning to end, the heroine’s plight, the budding romance, the approaching, oppressing darkness, the final fight for freedom...And I can’t wait to start on the second story in this trilogy. Of course, I also can’t wait for the grand finale—with all the hints that were dropped in the first book, I simply can’t wait to see how Mia resolves it all with Sam, the one-who-got-away.
A highly recommended series from this rather devoted reader....more
Do it to me one more time, once is never enough...
Okay, the song has nothing to do with the book, but this part of the lyrics describe very well, whatDo it to me one more time, once is never enough...
Okay, the song has nothing to do with the book, but this part of the lyrics describe very well, what I think of when I finish a NR book (and it's not about the sex, get your minds out of the gutter, it's the simple fact that once I finish one I want to immediately start the next - on(c)e is never enough).
This one was no different. The strong heroine, a strong, supportive, funny and sexy hero, great plot, wonderful writing, gripping suspense, and a twisted villain.
Loved it and now I want to read another. If only I could decide which one. ;)...more
Oh, wow. No matter the "age of material", Nora Roberts simply never disappoints. I don't know how the woman did it/does it/will probably continue doinOh, wow. No matter the "age of material", Nora Roberts simply never disappoints. I don't know how the woman did it/does it/will probably continue doing it, but she always delivers. (I found that the stories by her that didn't really "sing" to me were just read at inopportune moments.)
And this little, ole gem was no different. With just the right amount of romance, suspense, family, and friends, and a haunted house thrown into the mix, this was a winner the moment I picked it up. Wonderful characterization, just the right touch of wilderness and darkness in Rafe, and annoying primness in Regan, great pacing, a little danger thrown in with an abusive bastard, three additional MacKade brothers that were just itching to tell their stories (and I can't wait to read them)...And the smokin' hot sex scenes written the way Ms. Roberts does—nothing explicit, but packing a sensual punch that always leaves me reeling.