Another great book by Roberts. Overall, I enjoy the theme and plot of this series. But my favorite thing about this book in particular is the characte...moreAnother great book by Roberts. Overall, I enjoy the theme and plot of this series. But my favorite thing about this book in particular is the character of Mac - absentminded professor with a side of hunk. He's just so adorable the way he's always forgetting things and getting sidetracked. And him hooking up with Ripley was an interesting combination.
The book had an interesting storyline that fit well with the first book in the series. They complement each other well. If there was one thing I could gripe a little bit about it's that Ripley's attitude does get irritating occasionally. Her reasons for being that way make sense for the most part, but there are times when it's a little over the top and annoying. But it doesn't ruin the book at all.
So good book. For those that like Dance Upon the Air you'll most likely enjoy this one as well.(less)
I love this book. It was the first Nora Roberts novel I read and it got me hooked on her stuff.
I enjoyed every aspect of the book. One of my favorite...moreI love this book. It was the first Nora Roberts novel I read and it got me hooked on her stuff.
I enjoyed every aspect of the book. One of my favorite parts is the simple, sort of true-blue romance between Nell and Zach. So often in romance novels these days the hero is a super-alpha, or a dark and brooding alpha or a tragic alpha - which there's nothing wrong with, I love a good alpha male; it's just nice to get some variety once in a while. And that's what Zach is. He's just your normal, nice guy. Sure he's got a bit of alpha in him, but he's not dripping with testosterone. I like that. It's great to read about an everyday-type hero for a change. And I love the romance between him and Nell. It's sweet and tender and something you can honestly picture in your head. Their story is one that makes me smile while reading it.
I also love Nell's overall story in this book. How she's managed to escape a terrible life and find a home for herself; somewhere where she belongs. Her transformation throughout the book is heartwarming to read. I'm a sucker for plucky heroines who turn their lives around against the odds.
And my other favorite part of the book is the lore and magic. White witchcraft is fascinating to me. So it's fun to read it in a book. Roberts weaves an excellent tale for Three Sisters Island, all the more enhanced by a great cast of characters. The story may not be fraught with suspense, but it draws you in with its earthiness.
All around, it's just a fun read; one of my favorites by Roberts and one that I like to reread from time to time.(less)
The 4th and final book in the Chesapeake Bay / Quinn Brothers series. And yet another highly enjoyable book. I love rereading this one simply for the...moreThe 4th and final book in the Chesapeake Bay / Quinn Brothers series. And yet another highly enjoyable book. I love rereading this one simply for the story (though the romance is good as well).
It's been 18 years since the Quinn brothers took Seth in and gave him a home. Eighteen years since he escaped the horrible life his mother led. He's never forgotten how lucky he is, and how much he owes to Cam, Ethan, Phillip and their wives. For the last few years, he's been traveling the world, painting and gaining a reputation. But now he's ready to come home, back to the little town of St Christopher on the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately, the one thing he hoped to escape follows him, dragging the past along with it. All he wants to do is protect his family and the woman who has become such an important part of his life, but it won't be as easy as he hopes.
This is such a great book to read because Seth is not just some random character. He was a featured player in the 3 previous books in the series where you learned about his tragic childhood, how damaged and afraid he was, and how much his life changed because of the love of the Quinns. He's a character you're already firmly attached to. So to read about his later years and how he finds the love of his life, it's just really nice. I thought Roberts did a good job with the storyline of this book - showing how Seth still struggles with his past and how that relates to his family. I'll admit the "finale" made me a bit sad, but even so, you knew the Quinns would be all right. Together, they could do anything.
I loved how Roberts used Stella in this story. It fit so well with what she'd done in the previous books. I actually got a little teary-eyed at how her first appearance in the book played out. And the Zucchini Bread Football thing was hilarious.
The romance between Seth and Dru was solid. Dru did remind me a little of Sybill (Inner Harbor) but she was more relatable and likable. I like how their love story played out. It was slowly built, which is nice to read for a change, instead of just two people just jumping into the sack. It made their relationship very believable.
Another great aspect is getting to catch up with all the Quinns. The scenes with them were wonderful. I love Cam. He's such a great character. And it was great to see Aubrey grown up - though I was surprised by how Roberts wrote her character. But it fit.
All-around, this is a nice feel-good romance to read. The characters are wonderful as is the romance and the storyline. The book is a great addition to the Chesapeake Bay Saga.(less)
Of the 4 Chesapeake Bay / Quinn books, this one is my least favorite. Not because it's a bad book. It's really not. But just because of a matter of pe...moreOf the 4 Chesapeake Bay / Quinn books, this one is my least favorite. Not because it's a bad book. It's really not. But just because of a matter of personal tastes.
Inner Harbor features Phillip Quinn, the 3rd troubled boy taken in by Stella and Ray Quinn when he was a teenager. Before they'd rescued him in, he'd been a street thug who ended up with bullets in his chest in a drive-by shooting. But Ray and Stella changed his life, gave him a future. When Ray died and Seth became partially his responsibility, Phillip's world was turned completely upside down. Part of him resented Seth for causing so many changes, but his duty to his family, and his love for them, keeps him doing what he knows he should do. And when Sybill arrives on the scene, things get even more confusing.
Of the three original Quinn brothers, Phillip is my least favorite. This is where the thing about personal tastes comes in. Phillip just wasn't my type of hero. Despite how he spent his early years and that he's still got a rough edge, Phillip is now the type who wears fancy clothes and shoes, has a wine collection, and has an elegant apartment. I just don't care for the spit & polish, suit-wearing CEO types. So I had a hard time engaging with Phillip throughout the story. Plus, he kind of annoyed me at times because even though he loved his family and would do anything for them, he was always grumbling about helping with the boat building business or doing errands and chores. He was the only one of the three who never really seemed to settle into the changes that Seth brought about. Which made him seem a little bit less than they were.
I also found Sybill irritating at times. She analyzed EVERYTHING and I wanted to tell her to shut up more than once. Essentially, I liked her, but I can't say she is a favorite character of mine.
If it hadn't been for the continuing story of Seth and the overall tale of the Quinn brothers, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed this book nearly as much. But I did really love Seth's progressing story. This book brings in a number of new developments that really enhance the story. And it's just really touching to see Seth become so comfortable in his surroundings, to grow to trust his new family. He's a character that just really sticks with you.
Overall, reading about the Quinn family is such a treat. Nora Roberts takes 2 do-gooders and a bunch of misfits and turns them into the poster-children for great families. It's a wonderful dynamic to read about how 3 lost boys lives were changed and improved by the luck of fate. How they developed a bond that surpasses familial-blood and lasts through their entire lives. And then to read about them finding their soulmates...it's sigh-worthy. They're a very memorable group of characters.
For those of you who love reading about classic romance, and about families, then you should read this set of books.(less)
Rising Tides is the second book in Nora Roberts' Chesapeake Bay / Quinn Brothers saga. It features the middle brother, Ethan, who was the 2nd boy resc...moreRising Tides is the second book in Nora Roberts' Chesapeake Bay / Quinn Brothers saga. It features the middle brother, Ethan, who was the 2nd boy rescued by Ray and Stella Quinn and given a new life. He's the epitome of the saying "still waters run deep." Ethan may be able to hold his own in a fight with his brothers, but he prefers to take things slow, to think them through and doesn't see the need to chatter unless there's something that really needs to be said. He's battered and scarred from a tragic childhood that haunts him to this day. The abuse he suffered has kept him from acting on his feelings for young single mother Grace Monroe, but with Seth in the picture, Ethan finds that not only has his life drastically changed, but he can't keep his feelings for Grace a secret any longer.
This is yet another highly enjoyable book from Nora Roberts. I liked it almost as much as book 1 in the series. Ethan is such an interesting character. At times he's just as rough and tumble as Cam but at other times, he's a quiet loner. His tragic childhood is heartbreaking and it makes you just want to give him a big hug (and maybe a kiss or two...). When it comes to his relationship with Grace, you can really see how the past still haunts him and causes endless conflict. Roberts played that out perfectly, especially the resolution.
Normally I don't enjoy books with kids in them, but Grace's daughter Aubrey is just too cute for words. I really liked her small parts in the book. And I liked Grace as well. She was a real sweetheart.
One of the great things about this book, and common to NR trilogy books, is that even though the book focuses on one couple (in this case Ethan and Grace) you still get plenty of the other characters. They are still a basis of the story. It really helps you to know them better and develops this amazing sense of family and togetherness.
And another great thing about the book is the progression of Seth's story. It was touching to read about how much he's improved since the Quinn's took him in. He's growing and starting to put the past behind him. I love the interactions he has with everyone. For a 10-year-old, he's a really strongly developed character.
If you read and enjoyed Sea Swept then you should definitely read this book, and you'll most likely enjoy it. It is a great continuation of the series and just an all-round nice romance to read.(less)
What is it about Nora Roberts' Quinn brothers that makes them so special? They're rough and tumble, they swear a lot, they like to be in charge, they'...moreWhat is it about Nora Roberts' Quinn brothers that makes them so special? They're rough and tumble, they swear a lot, they like to be in charge, they're all good-looking. But I think it's the fact that they were once all troubled boys who were saved by two good people who instilled in them a sense of family, love, and loyalty that lasted even when they were grown and their adopted parents gone.
Sea Swept tells the story of the first of those boys, Cameron. He was the first troubled boy that Ray and Stella Quinn took in and saved. Now that he's grown, Cam travels the world racing boats, cars, motorcycles, dating models, gambling, and just plain old having a great time. But when his adopted father is in a fatal car accident, he must return to St. Christoper on the Chesapeake Bay where he learns that just before the accident that eventually kills him, Ray Quinn had taken in another troubled boy. A boy with secrets no one but Ray knew, and he's no longer there to answer the Quinn brothers questions.
This book, at least in my opinion, is a quintessential Nora Roberts romance. Great characters, a strong sense of family, and a romance that draws you in and makes you fall in love along with the hero and heroine. I first read this book years ago, but it's one that stands out in my mind and one I like to go back and reread once in a while, especially when I want a great romance and family story.
I love heroes that are rough-edged and Cam is definitely that. He likes to swear, he wears jeans most of the time, wears his hair long. Yet there's something about him that's rather endearing. And the heroine, Anna, is the perfect match for him. She's fiery and passionate and is strong enough to stand up against Cam's Alpha personality. The sparks flow between them from their first meeting.
What I really enjoy about this book, though, is the overall story. Three brothers suddenly find themselves in charge of a damaged 10-year-old boy and it changes all their lives. The story focuses on Cam and Anna, but you still feel like you know everyone else - Ethan, Phillip, Seth. And Ray. Despite the fact that he has a small appearance in the beginning and then dies, Roberts still makes you feel like you know him.
Seth's storyline is wonderfully done. I loved reading the interactions between Cam and Seth, and Seth and everyone else. You really feel the boys pain and just want to hug him and protect him. And the way it's all set up, you can't wait to keep reading the rest of the series to see how everything plays out.
This is just a great romance/people/family story to read. I loved every part of it and it's one that will always be on my keeper shelf.(less)
This is one of my favorite Nora Roberts books. Actually, the first time I read it, I thought it was good, but didn't love it. But for whatever reason,...moreThis is one of my favorite Nora Roberts books. Actually, the first time I read it, I thought it was good, but didn't love it. But for whatever reason, the story stuck in my head and I found myself wanting to read it again. So I did, about a year later, I guess. And it became one of my favorites.
The book has a little bit of everything, which is perhaps why I like it so much. Love and betrayal, family reunions, horses, mystery, self-discovery...and so much more. I enjoy the story alone because of the romance that develops between Kelsey and Gabe - they're a fantastic couple - but the plot is one of the best things about the book. It's well-thought-out and engaging, the characters are interesting...I'm just never bored while reading this book. I'm sure someone with a lot of knowledge of horses and the horse racing world could find things to pick at, but to the average reader, everything comes across as logical and reasonable. And as someone with little knowledge of the subject, I wasn't confused at all.
If I had one gripe with this book, it was that the behind-the-scenes antagonist never really had to face what they had done. That kind of annoyed me, but otherwise, I love everything about True Betrayals(less)
Public Secrets isn't one of Nora Roberts most popular books. It's not one that gets mentioned much and I know a lot of her readers don't particularly...morePublic Secrets isn't one of Nora Roberts most popular books. It's not one that gets mentioned much and I know a lot of her readers don't particularly care for it. But there's something about this book that thoroughly captures me. It's one of my all-time favorite books. I think I've read it about 6 times now.
It's a rather atypical romance novel (semi-romantic suspense) because the romance doesn't really come into play seriously until the last 150 pages. This book is more about the heroine, Emma, and her life. It's one of NR's "time progression" stories (like Honest Illusions, River's End and Blue Smoke) where the book starts out when Emma is almost 3 years old, living with her neglectful, abusive mother and then rescued by her rising-star father, Brian McAvoy, lead singer for the band Devastation. It moves through periods of her life - adjusting to her new family, a little brother she adored, her brother's death when she was 6, the destruction that followed, growing up in the spotlight, being exposed to the rock and roll lifestyle, an abusive marriage, and finally love. The story goes through it all, the good, the bad, and the in between. And scattered throughout she has several encounters with Michael Kesselring, the son of the detective who investigated her brother's death. But it isn't until she's 26 that they finally have a chance.
So this book is rather different. It's not one to read if you're looking for pure romance. This is a story about people and triumph and tragedy, and then finally about love and peace. A lot of the book deals with how Emma's life is affected by being the daughter of a hugely popular rock band - the things she saw, the isolation, the media, the excesses. And it's about how those experiences shaped her and the needs that led her into an abusive marriage.
It's fascinating to read. Whenever I read it, I'm always completely sucked into the story. The characters are so real. I loved how Roberts wrote all the relationships between the characters. They're so fitting to the story.
And the romance is fantastic. Even though it's a relatively small part of the story, I absolutely loved it. Emma and Michael have a hit and miss relationship, first meeting when she was 6, he 11. Then again when she was 12, he 17, where the first seeds of romance are planted. They have several more encounters, but fate keeps them apart. Then finally they get to be together. It's touching to read. And when I finished the book, I felt completely satisfied and like they were in it for the long haul.
I've read some comments about this book that it's cliched and reliant on rockstar stereotypes and that its a copy of other rockstar fiction. Which is true, to a certain extent. But I think several things should be taken into consideration when thinking that.
For one, it's not like the situations in the book were exaggerations or anything. That's what things were often like with bands - the parties, the drugs, the sex and all that. If Roberts had written a wholesome band, people would have been complaining that the book was completely unrealistic. I just don't see any other way she could have written the band.
Two - the book was published in 1990. Written before then, before a lot of the big movies, biopics, tv specials, true confessions, etc. If you read it in 2008 for the first time, it does seem like a lot of what's already out there. But back in 1990, that storyline wasn't nearly as played out.
And lastly, the book isn't really about the band and all they did, exactly. It's about a little girl dropped into the bands lifestyle and how it affected her life. Which is a very valid and interesting storyline.
It's that part that sucks me into the story. Half the time Emma comes across as this really strong woman who is in control of her life, and the other half the time, she's the scared little girl, afraid of the monsters in the dark and blaming herself for not protecting her little brother. The way Roberts wrote the storyline - how Emma's past continually affected her life - was really well done. She drags every emotion out of you at some point during the book - happiness, anger, despair, pity. I got a little teary-eyed a couple of times.
Whatever it is about this book, it's one that I just really, really enjoyed. It's a story that stuck with me. But like I said, it's not really for someone who wants all romance because it's a long time coming in this book. If you like to read a good dramatic story, though, with a solid dose of romance, then I highly recommend this one.(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)
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 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)