**spoiler alert** Like many others have said about this book, I think it's one of the best Nora Roberts has written in years. It's a nice, solid story...more**spoiler alert** Like many others have said about this book, I think it's one of the best Nora Roberts has written in years. It's a nice, solid story all around with a great suspense angle, a wonderful romance, and fantastic characters. True, there are some negatives, but it's still a great book.
NR did a perfect job with the first section of the book with young Reena. I thought she portrayed Reena's thoughts, actions, words, etc just right. You really got a sense of the young girl in those early chapters, and could see how her life was being shaped and affected by the fire at her family's restaurant. It was such an excellent setup for the rest of the story.
The progression through time is a great dynamic. NR has done that in a few other stories, and I always enjoy it when she does. It gives the characters and situations so much more depth. In this case, you get to witness the various crucial events in Reena's life that continue to push her in a certain direction. The romance with Josh was lovely and tragic, and fitting to the story. Add into all that the hit-and-miss thing between Reena and Bo. That was such a great aspect. So close, but never quite meeting. And I loved Bo's fascination with Dream Girl.
When you finally reach the current setting of the book (2005), everything has been perfectly setup with core building blocks. The characters are well-developed, the scenarios wonderfully plotted, and the romance poised the break loose. It takes almost a 180 pages to get to that point - 180 pages till the male and female leads meet for the first time - but you hardly notice it because the previous chapters are so well-crafted and interesting.
Again, like many others have said about this book, I also felt that Reena should have been suspicious much more early on in the book. With the chain of bad things happening around her, and what she witnessed as a child, I just would have expected her to think a little harder about all those unfortunate "coincidences". Reena is supposed to be such an intelligent, instinctual person that it just seems off that she never has a clue what's going on until it's made patently obvious to her. That didn't quite work for me. Even when she does have a clue, it takes her even longer to figure out the who, how and why; when it seemed rather obvious.
On a related note, one of the things I didn't quite care for with this book was that NR made it so ridiculously obvious who the bad guy was. There's absolutely no doubt who he is, or actually who he is going to be, from very, very early in the book. I never even developed any suspicions elsewhere throughout the entire story. I always knew just who was causing the trouble. (which is probably why it seemed to strange that Reena took so long to figure it out). It takes away a little bit of the suspense of the story to know who is behind everything. It would have added a nice element if NR had made it a little less obvious, or at least given us an alternative suspect.
Aside from all that, the plot was well-done and nicely paced. It really keeps you hooked in the story and on the edge of your seat wanting to know what is going to happen next. The romance was wonderful as well. I loved Bo and Reena together. The whole "fated" aspect between them was fabulous. The set of almost meetings over thirteen years was just great. And I loved their first actual meeting. NR's portrayal of Bo in that scene was hilarious. And once they were together, they had good chemistry. I enjoyed them together, and I liked how they had a more traditional romance instead of one full of angst between them. And lastly, I loved the family dynamic in the book. Reena had the ultimate ideal of the perfect family. It made me envious. They were all such great characters with nicely developed relationships. I enjoyed reading about them. I have one small complaint that I wish NR had written an epilogue that wasn't so immediate, something that didn't have such an underlying sad-vibe like the last chapter did because of all that had happened and O'Donnell's death. But that's just me, I like endings that are on the fluffier side of things.
Overall, Blue Smoke is a great read with one or two flaws that could have been improved upon. I liked it even more the second time I read it, but it still doesn't compare to my two NR favs Public Secrets and Honest Illusions.(less)
**spoiler alert** On the simple side of things, I have to say that I enjoyed Angels Fall. Interesting storyline, characters, and romance. I was hooked...more**spoiler alert** On the simple side of things, I have to say that I enjoyed Angels Fall. Interesting storyline, characters, and romance. I was hooked into the story fairly easily. And at the same time, I also have to say that I've read better books, and better from Nora Roberts. It didn't quite seem to have that pulse-pounding mystery, and sizzling romance that some of her other books have had. Still, I liked the book a lot.
One of the things I enjoyed was that it was really a three-prong story. First you had Reece with her tragic past and all her current neurosis and her struggle to find a future for herself. The you have her relationship with Brody, and lastly you have the mystery aspect of the supposedly dead woman and who killed her. Those three aspects give the story a nice well-rounded feel. Even saying so, I didn't feel as if any one of those really stood out as outstanding.
The characters: I really liked Reece. I can see how some would find her utterly annoying, but that's only if you take everything she does out of context. She's a deeply emotionally scarred woman who is doing the best that she can. If I were in her shoes, I'd be checking locks a millions times too. I think NR did a great job portraying her daily struggle with life and her anal, O/C nature. She didn't let it wane throughout the book, or just intimate it after a while. She kept Reece's personality and "quirks" consistent which made the character more real. One thing I did get a little annoyed about with Reece (or the way NR wrote her), was how easily she blamed herself early on for the strange things going on around her. I know she had reason to suspect herself, but with believing she'd seen a murder, and the belief she supposedly had in herself that she was better, I would have thought she'd be a bit more suspicious. It just bugged me that it wasn't until Brody pushed the idea at her that someone was out to get her that she began to accept it.
As for Brody...a bit of an odd character. I can't particularly say he was highly lovable. He's gruff, no-nonsense, and a bit in-your-face. He's not very romantic or tender. On the flip-side, he's very honest and supportive in his own way. I was a bit surprised by his character once I got into the book. Normally, you'd think an author would pair off a character like Reece with a very gentle, sympathetic, soothing man that would help her back to herself. So it was a surprise that NR chose such a strong male lead for Reece. But the pairing worked for the most part. Reece needed someone who wouldn't coddle her or treat her like an invalid. Sometimes, though, I felt he was a bit too gruff...like how he'd tell her to knock-it-off if she was about to cry and stuff like that. I also though NR skimped a bit on developing his character. She didn't really give us all that much of his background, just some major points to give him a place in the story. I would have liked him to have a bit more depth.
The romance: I liked Reece/Brody, but I didn't love them together. And I think it's safe to say that they wouldn't ever qualify for The Great American Romance. I liked that NR did a bit of a build-up with them. It seems like in so many books, the guy and girl meet and there's massive heat and lust and passion and they're falling into bed in the blink of an eye. Reece and Brody did fall into bed somewhat quickly, but NR gave them some time and space, some interaction to build things. I liked that. And I liked Brody's slow-slide into love. How he'd just suddenly realize he was doing certain things that he'd never consider doing before. It was amusing. In the end though, I just wasn't that attached to the pairing. They were an interesting pair and I rooted for them, but they just didn't have that really great pull, that strong emotional bond that makes them perfect together.
Thr plot: Good storyline, but I wouldn't really call it a meaty, overpowering one. But then, if the plot had been like that, I think it would have overshadowed Reece's character too much. I think the plot was rather realistic, though, even if a bit simple. Woman takes a walk and sees someone get killed....nothing hard-to-believe, or very original, about that. It is very simplistic, but it works for the story. It sets up a chains of events that keep things active and interesting. Back to the originality aspect, though, the idea of someone trying to discredit Reece by making her look crazy has been done before, probably numerous times. In the end, I think perhaps the plot could have been a bit stronger, a bit more convoluted, but that's just my opinion.
I read some reviews on the 'net that said the bad-guy was really obvious really early in the book, but it didn't seem that way to me. I had a character I was leaning strongly toward rather early one, but I kept second-guessing throughout the book, kept wondering about other characters. NR did a good job of allowing suspicions to wander. I always seemed to lean toward my #1 suspect, but at times I thought it could have been Mac, or Doc, or Lo, or for a brief moment, even Linda-gail. What tipped the scales, though, was near the end when the moon-pendant necklace was mentioned. Then I knew for sure who it was. So on that aspect of the story, I think NR did a good job of keeping me guessing, keeping me wanting to read more to find out who the bad guy was.
An interesting direction NR COULD have taken with this book would have been to make it much less clear that Reece really had seen a murder. There's not really any doubt that she did in the book. It would have added a great dynamic to make that point much less sure, to make the readers wonder if Reece is just nuts or if there is a murderer wandering around.
Random comments: One thing I thought early on was that I wished I hadn't known so much about Reece's character going into the book. The book jacket pretty much gives away the major point of her history, and the summary at Amazon was even more detailed. You know going in that she is the sole-survivor of a brutal attack, trying to put her life back together. I wished I hadn't know that. I think her character, and her idiosyncrasies, would have had a greater impact if I'd known less about her.
I enjoyed the small, side-storyline of Linda-gail and Lo. I almost kinda wished she'd delved a little deeper there, but that probably wouldn't have fit the story. Joanie was also a nice addition to the story. I liked her, along with the others in the supporting cast - Mac, Doc, etc.
So overall, I thought Angels Fall was a nice well-rounded story, but it didn't really stand-out to me on any level. But it was still a good read.
Most amusing line of the story (Doc is getting ready to do a Pap-smear on Reece):
"Looks healthy," Doc commented.
"Good, because it hasn't been getting any exercise in quite a while." When she heard Willow smother a laugh, Reece just closed her eyes. She had to remember some old saying about being careful of thoughts. They become words.(less)
Second book in the Sign of Seven trilogy by Nora Roberts. While I still enjoyed this book, I didn't like it as much as the first book. I'd give it a 4...moreSecond book in the Sign of Seven trilogy by Nora Roberts. While I still enjoyed this book, I didn't like it as much as the first book. I'd give it a 4, maybe 4.5, stars.
The Hollow continues the tale about six people: Cal, Fox, Gage, Quinn, Layla and Cybil, trying to find a way to beat a centuries old evil that terrorizes the town of Hawkins Hollow for seven days every seven years. The group now knows that this is the time, this is the Seven, that they can beat back the evil. But they must work together as a group, and they desperately need to find information about what they need to do. Fox and Layla have to learn to work together and learn how to use their tool of Seeing the present if they want to succeed. For Layla, it's not so simple because not that long ago, she was just a regular working girl. Now she's in a strange place where an ancient evil threatens them all, and where she's suddenly developed sixth sense abilities she never would have believed in before. Fox plans to help her through it, though. For him, it's been a part of his life since he was ten's years old and a simple blood brothers ceremony between him, Cal and Gage released the evil that plagues them.
This was a good book, but like I said, it wasn't as good, for me, as Blood Brothers. For two reasons really. The first being that the books were a bit too similar when it came to the plot and the progression of the plot. They were both basically the group researching and dealing with scattered events instigated by the bad guy. Sure, in the end, they had the task of trying to get the bloodstone back together. But throughout the book, there wasn't really anything to set it apart from the first book. There wasn't quite enough action to show the story progressing. In a way, it was kind of like reading the same story, with different lead characters (Fox and Layla in this one). But don't get me wrong, it wasn't so similar that I was bored or anything. I had no problems getting through the book. I just thought there could have been something a little more to set it apart.
And the second reason...hmm, well I guess it's just that Fox and Layla didn't interest me as much as Cal and Quinn did. Layla annoyed me every now and then. So that set this book a small step below the first one.
Aside from those two things, I'm still enjoying this series. True it has it's similarities to other NR books - battling back an ancient evil a la Three Sisters Island trilogy - but all the details make it its own series. I'm looking forward to reading the last book (and I'm really glad that I waited to read the first two books until the third came out and I could read them all together).(less)
Third and last book in the Sign of Seven trilogy by Nora Roberts. And possibly my favorite of the three. It's a tough call between this one and Blood...moreThird and last book in the Sign of Seven trilogy by Nora Roberts. And possibly my favorite of the three. It's a tough call between this one and Blood Brothers. I think maybe I liked the romance in book 1 a little bit more (it's a little sweeter), and the overall plot progression of this one (book 3) more. So yeah, it's a bit of a toss-up to which I liked best.
The Pagan Stone continues/ends the tale of Hawkins Hollow, which has been plagued for twenty-years by a nasty evil demon who comes out and causes trouble for seven days every seven years. Best friends Cal, Fox and Gage accidentally released the demon when they were ten and did a blood brothers ritual at the Pagan Stone. Now the three men have teamed up with three women who are also connected to the evil going on and are determined to beat it back once and for all. Cal and Quinn, and Fox and Layla have all had the opportunity to use their skills to gain progress against defeating the demon, and now it is Gage and Cybill's turn. Both have the ability to see the future and need to harness the skill if they hope to figure out how to kill the demon. And their may be a sexual attraction between the two, but neither will allow fate to push them together. If they are going to hop into bed, it'll be on their own terms. Unfortunately, but the time the figure out what they really feel, it may be too late.
One of the things I liked best about this book (out of the three) is that it had an intensity that just wasn't really there in the others. There were parts that had me about ready to gnaw on my fingernails wanting to know what would happen next. And there was even one part that got me a little teary eyed. The storyline just had a little more zip to it, a little more direct purpose - whereas the plots of the other two where kinda nebulous. Overall, the action of book 3 was, for me, much more interesting.
Romance wise...good stuff. I liked both Gage and Cybil. They were definitely a matched pair and had some good chemistry going between them. Couple wise of the trilogy, though, I liked Quinn and Cal the best. They had more of a romantic vibe, where as Gage and Cybil had a sort of lusty passion vibe. I liked the sweetness of Quinn and Cybil the best.
I thought the ending was good...not great, but I've by far read worse. It was maybe a tick rushed...or maybe it was just that I wanted a more settled epilogue. Or an epilogue that didn't occur only hours after the last chapter. But that's just my person preference.
As for the series as a whole...it was pretty good. Not one of my very, very favorites, probably, but one I wouldn't mind reading again in a year or two.
One general complaint about the series that I had was that it lacked character specific tasks, I guess you could say, for each book. What I mean is, look at say, the Key trilogy. Each book focused on one of the women (and the guy they hooked up with) and they had to do certain things to find their specific key. The plot of the book was very tailored to the focus character(s). But in this series, that just didn't really happen. At least in my opinion. Sure, each book had its focus couple, but the plots were more generic, more geared to the group as a whole in most ways. I thought Roberts could have done a better job of connecting the plot of each book to the specific hero/heroine leads. But hey, that's just my opinion.
Anyway, I really liked this series. Much better than NR's last series, the Circle trilogy. If you're a Nora Roberts fan, I think you'll like this book/series. And if you're just a romance reader, I'd recommend giving it a try.(less)
If there'd been an epilogue at the end of the book, I would have given Tribute 4.5 stars probably. Otherwise it was a solid 4-stars. I didn't absolute...moreIf there'd been an epilogue at the end of the book, I would have given Tribute 4.5 stars probably. Otherwise it was a solid 4-stars. I didn't absolutely and utterly LOVE the book, but I enjoyed it quite a bit (and was rather annoyed that everything seemed to be going wrong this week, keeping me from finishing the book).
Though the book is a romantic suspense, it doesn't have a high-intensity, frenetic feel that you get in other romantic suspense books (such as those by Karen Rose, Beverly Barton, etc). The suspense is more subtle, less intense because the story is character and romance driven. It's about the people, the past, the relationships. About Cilla trying to make peace with who she is, and who she isn't, and about her trying to find her place in the world after life as a child-star. And it's about the sweet and tender romance that gradually grows between her and Ford. The suspense angle is still there and prominent, but its not exactly the driving force behind the story.
Having said that, one of my favorite parts of this book was the fact that Roberts kept me guessing throughout nearly the entire story as to who the antagonist was. The book was 451 pages and it wasn't until about page 434 that I narrowed it down to 2 people, who shared the same reason for hating Cilla. And it wasn't until page 438 that it became obvious. There were so many possibilities as to who wanted to harm Cilla and Roberts did an excellent job throwing suspicion around. I would lean toward one character then a few pages later change my mind and think it was someone else. Even the reason for why someone was attacking Cilla was left for supposition. If it was that character trying to harm her, then it was for that reason, but if it was the other character, it was for another reason. I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. It kept me on my toes and reading carefully to pick up on nuances that might clue me in sooner. And it wasn't until nearly the end that I could finally say "Aha!" It did end up being my number 1 suspect, but until a certain event, I could never say for sure. I love it when books have a well-crafted hidden antagonist. It makes the mind work.
My second favorite part of the book was the character of Ford. He would probably be considered the quintessential Beta Male. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Alpha, but I do love the "good guy" heroes as well. Especially ones with a side of Geek thrown in. And that's what Ford was. A down-to-earth, kind-hearted, geek-ish nice guy. I think Cilla said it best when she called him stable. It's the perfect description for him. That didn't make him a push-over, though. He still had his Alpha Male moments. I just really enjoyed reading about him.
The romance was enjoyable to read. It wasn't a flaming hot romance, though there were moments of heat, it was more sweet and tender than anything. I always like reading romances that have a more natural progression versus the angsty "I don't want to love you" types that are so prevalent in romance novels. When Ford told Cilla he loved her for the first time, I actually sighed. I was really rooting for them to get their happy ending.
Other parts of the book that I liked: some of the witty one-liners, the realistic dialogue, the dream sequences with Cilla and Janet, all the details Roberts put into the restoration of the house...and probably lots of other things. Oh! And the dog, Spock! He absolutely rocked!
What didn't I like? Honestly, nothing comes to mind. There weren't any parts of the book that bugged me. I do wish there had been an epilogue but at least there was a final scene separated from the big finale. It just would have been nice to have an epilogue to show how things settled. But so many romance writers are skipping epilogues these days, so I wasn't surprised that there wasn't one.
I've read some comments that this book is too similar to River's End but I didn't particularly see it. Sure, there is a similarity in the fact that they both deal with a Hollywood icon who died under tragic circumstances, and why it happened. But aside from that, they are very different stories. At least to me. I wouldn't have even thought of the comparison if someone else hadn't mentioned it.
Final thoughts...yet another good book from Roberts. I liked it almost as much as Blue Smoke and more than Angels Fist and High Noon. It's a story I'll want to reread again some day.(less)
This is another one of my favorite Nora Roberts books, which I say about most of the books of hers that I review. But with her having written so many,...moreThis is another one of my favorite Nora Roberts books, which I say about most of the books of hers that I review. But with her having written so many, it makes sense to have a lot of favorites. Regardless, this is a favorite, though I know more than a few fans didn't care for this one. I enjoyed it a lot, though, for several different reasons.
Birthright is a story that starts out in the past with a young mother, Suzanne Cullen, taking her young son Doug and her infant daughter Jessica to see Santa at the mall. When Doug gets upset, she turns her back for a moment, and when she turns back, Jessica is gone. The story then shifts thirty years to the present where a construction crew is prepping a site for a development when bones are found. Tests indicate they are thousands of years old and archaeologists Callie Dunbrook is brought in to excavate the site. In her kitchen several miles away, Suzanne Cullen is doing some baking when she sees and interview with Callie on the TV and is struck dumb. Callie has a striking similarity to herself. Suzanne knows in her heart that she has finally found the daughter stolen from her so long ago. But when she goes to see Callie, Callie tells her that she wasn't adopted. Or so she thought. Turned out, her parents had kept a huge secret from her. Now Callie's life is thrown upside down by secrets and lies suddenly coming to light. If that's not bad enough, the anthropologist called into work with her at the site is none other than her ex-husband, Jacob Graystone. They'd had a blazing hot romance, gotten married and it had all fallen apart because of lack of communication and lack of trust. Now they are together again, and both have to face the fact that they both still love each other. And to make matters even more complicated, someone apparently doesn't like Callie poking into her past because people are ending up dead and there is a serious threat to her life. What started out a simple archaeological dig turned into so much more.
One of my favorite parts of this story is the whole archaeology/dig site thing. I was and anthropology minor in college so I find the subject fascinating. I liked reading about all the stuff Callie and Jake were doing on the site and all that. Roberts did a great job with that part of the story.
Aside from that, I really liked Callie and Jake. Callie's a little bit of an atypical heroine in that she's kind of bitchy and sarcastic, brutally honest, pretty much a total tomboy and not always the nicest person around. Which you'd think would make it hard to like her, but I found it more refreshing than anything else. And at heart she's a good person, she just goes her own way. Jake is pretty much her perfect match because he can give as good as he gets. They've got a great chemistry together. I loved how Roberts wrote their relationship together. At first they kind of circle each other as you'd expect 2 exes to do. But then you get to see them grow and change, work through what went wrong with their relationship and work to make it right this time around. You could really feel the love between them. And one of my favorite parts of the book is the thing at the very end, when Jake reveals an interesting tidbit to Callie - I won't say what. I thought it was the perfect way to seal their relationship and it was rather amusing.
Another plus on the romance side of the story is the secondary relationship between Lana Campbell (town lawyer) and Doug Cullen (Callie's birth brother). It's rather amusing to read. Lana kinda steamrolls Doug, who has no idea what hit him. But it's sweet to and a nice addition to the story.
There's also a great emotional level to the story as Callie tries to reconcile her past and her present. How she tries to deal with the fact that she now has two families. You really get a feel for how difficult it all is for her, knowing how much Suzanne wants her daughter back but Callie feeling so disconnected from her. Roberts wrote that part of the story very realistically.
On the suspense-plot front, two thumbs up. This part of the story focuses on Callie trying to figure out who kidnapped her and why all those years ago. And who, in the present, is trying to stop her from finding the answers. It's a very twisting and turning plot that was well-written and well thought out. And it definitely kept me in the story.
So on the whole, I loved all the different parts of this book. And nothing comes to mind as something I didn't like. I pretty much just enjoyed it all. If you like romantic suspense books, or are a Nora Roberts fan, then this is definitely a book I'd recommend.(less)
There are quite a few negative reviews for this book - which surprises me a little, but at the same time, I can also understand. Divine Evil is a rath...moreThere are quite a few negative reviews for this book - which surprises me a little, but at the same time, I can also understand. Divine Evil is a rather atypical for Roberts as its much more descriptive and gruesome than her other books. The plot deals with a Satanic cult that abuses and tortures young women/girls and Roberts is surprising graphic in her detailing of those situations. It creeped me out a bit, but not nearly enough to stop reading the book or to refuse to read another Nora Roberts book (as some reviewers said they have done). Personally, I thought the descriptiveness added to the reality of the story and created a great dark and twisted nuance. But if you are one who is squeamish, then you probably should steer clear of this book.
As for the romance. I really enjoyed it quite a bit. I loved the first scene between Clare and Cam. It was rather amusing. On the whole, there's a great chemistry between the two and I liked reading about the progression of their relationship. (I'd say more, but it's been ages since I last read this book). Clare was an interesting heroine to read about - her repressed memories, how they've haunted her and affected her work as an artist. She's a heroine that you can really root for.
I think my only complaint overall about the book was the very end. There was just a not-so-little detail that really rather bugged me....but I won't say what so I don't give away anything. I would rather Roberts not have done what she did. It left me wondering too much. But I still loved the book. It's definitely one of my all-time keepers and Nora Roberts favorite.(less)
This is one of my all-time favorite books. Probably tied as my most favorite with Catherine Anderson's Phantom Waltz. There's just something about thi...moreThis is one of my all-time favorite books. Probably tied as my most favorite with Catherine Anderson's Phantom Waltz. There's just something about this story that completely captures me. I've read it like four or five times now and it never gets dull.
Honest Illusions is another of Roberts' "time progression" stories in that it moves through different periods of the characters' lives instead of only being set in the present. The book starts off in the now with a short prologue where the hero, Luke Callahan, returns to the heroine, Roxanne Nouvelle, after disappearing for five years. Then it shifts to the past.
At 12 years old, Luke was an abused runaway who was picking pockets at a traveling carnival when he meets up with magician Max Nouvelle and his 8 year old daughter Roxy (along with others of Max and Roxy's "family"). Max sees a lot of himself in Luke and convinces the wary boy to stick with them, earning money for work. After a while, Max begins to teach Luke, an apt pupil, the art of illusion and magic.
Over the years, Luke becomes one of the family. The book progresses through various periods, going through important events that build the characters to what they are - one of the most important being Luke discovering that Max is more than a magician. He's a master thief who steals from those who can afford to lose it. It isn't long before Luke (and later Roxy) learn the art of burglary as well.
Through it all, there was a connection between Luke and Roxy that became more as they grew older. But Luke never acted on his feelings. Roxy was like a sister to him...at least he tried to tell himself that. At 21, though, Roxy decides to push the issue and seduces Luke, who finally gives in. The love between them quickly blossoms and Luke is poised to propose when a ghost from his past rears its head. Circumstances force Luke to leave Roxy without a word, until five years later when he's ready to take back his life, and Roxy, and get vengeance on the man determined to destroy him and the Nouvelles.
Whenever I reread this book, it never fails to make me smile and sigh. It's a wonderful romance. There's something very sensual and sexy about it with the magic, the cat burglary. And Luke is just yummy.
I love the time progression aspect of the story. It gives you a real solid sense of the characters - who they are, how they got that way, what they want, etc. And it establishes a really great connection between Luke and Roxy. You get to see every shift and change in their relationship - from "sibling" rivalry, to grudging acceptance, to protectiveness, to growing love. It just makes the relationship between them so full-bodied and real and you really connect with them as characters and lovers.
But a word of warning, though - a large majority of this book is the time progression. Other than the prologue, the "present" part of the story doesn't start until like page 350. So there's a lot of the past and them growing up. Which might not appeal to everyone.
I loved the storyline as well. A family of magicians who moonlight as world class burglars. It's just very sexy and Roberts wrote it wonderfully. I love how she resolved the part with the antagonist in the end. That was fantastic. Nothing like a bad guy getting exactly what's coming to him!
The bottomline for me on this book is that I loved every single aspect and don't have a single criticism or "wish the author had done this or that" complaint. The story just worked in every way for me. I like to go back and read it once in a while, especially when I'm feeling the need to read something I know I'll enjoy greatly.(less)