Lacey Louwagie's Reviews > Black Hills

Black Hills by Nora Roberts
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Jun 18, 10

bookshelves: romance
Read from June 09 to 17, 2010

I have a weakness for books about places I've been, books by Nora Roberts, and books about childhood sweethearts. This book covers all three of those weaknesses, and even borders on being a "cowboy romance" (one of my other weaknesses). And it has wild cats in it to boot.

Although this book was more-or-less set up for success with me, I always forget how much I actually love Nora Roberts until I'm reading her again. I'm amazed by her ability to be SO prolific, and yet continue to produce quality work. Although I'm not an expert on the Black Hills or wild cats, the book felt well researched. As someone who grew up in the Midwest, her portrayal of life here didn't come across as overly romanticized nor quaint or "old-fashioned." At the same time, it also didn't feel like a bunch of New Yorkers who just happened to live in South Dakota instead. Both her male and female protagonists were people I could respect, and unlike most romance novels, I usually believe Nora's couples are actually going to make it, since they actually have the skills necessary to sustain a long-term relationship, like the ability to communicate.

Still, I had to roll my eyes at some of the traditional romantic trappings -- reliance on gender roles, over-the-top confessions or demonstrations of love, long sequences about shopping, a world in which everyone seems just a bit too happily married (I wish the success rate of real marriages were as high as they are in Nora's books!). And I wasn't all that invested in the serial killer angle of the book because that's generally not the kind of book I read. But it was balanced enough with the stuff I did like that this remained an enjoyable read start-to-finish.
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