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Carolina Moon

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts--an utterly spellbinding tale about a woman who, though battered in both body and spirit, can never lose Hope...Tory Bodeen grew up in South Carolina, in a small run-down house, where her father ruled with an iron fist and a leather belt--and where her dreams and talents had no room to flourish. But she had Hope, who lived in the big house just a short skip away and whose friendship allowed Tory to be something she wasn't allowed to be at home: a child.

After young Hope's brutal murder, unsolved to this day, Tory's life began to fall apart. And now, as she returns to her hometown, with plans to settle in and open a stylish home-design shop, she is determined to find a measure of peace and free herself from the haunting visions of the past. As she forges a new bond with Cade Lavelle--Hope's older brother and the heir to the family fortune--she isn't sure whether the tragic loss they share will unite them or drive them apart. But she is willing to open her heart, just a little, and try.

Living so close to those unhappy memories will be more difficult and frightening than Tory could ever have expected, however. Because Hope's murderer is nearby as well...

470 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published March 6, 2000

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About the author

Nora Roberts

1,567 books50.4k followers
Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including Hideaway, Under Currents, Come Sundown, The Awakening, Legacy, and coming in November 2021 -- The Becoming -- the second book in The Dragon Heart Legacy. She is also the author of the futuristic suspense In Death series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.

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5 stars
17,339 (38%)
4 stars
15,773 (35%)
3 stars
9,544 (21%)
2 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,085 reviews
Profile Image for Kinga.
479 reviews2,255 followers
October 30, 2012
This book was so bad and made me so angry that I wasn't going to write a review but my OCD is stronger than me, also, I need to vent somewhere.

First, let's make one thing clear. I don't hate cheesy popular literature. Oh no, no. I embrace trash. I suspend my disbelief when needed, I swallow cliches like they were milk and honey, I even put up with bad writing. All that, so I can be entertained.

When I have gone so far in sacrificing my delicate literary sensibilities and you, in turn, have failed to entertain me, then we have fury like there has never been fury before.

In the beginning of 2011 I had this brilliant idea that I would download an easy, exciting audiobook and listen to that while I sweat on the treadmill. This idea, while great in theory, didn't quite work out (ha, ha, work out! get it?), because the book I chose for my experiment was this wretched pile of muck.

Well, it has mystery, murder, rape, romance, a character with paranormal abilities... Surely, if anything, it'll be entertaining...

Let me put this way: The bits about organic farming were the most exciting out of the whole book.

Roberts' attempt at a crime/mystery story was just laughable. I mean, NOTHING happened. There were no clues here and there, no trying to solve the mystery, no progress. Basically, they didn't know who did it for the whole book. And then on the last 5 pages they found out who did it.

So you would think, ok, the focus is on romance.

Sadly, the hero was an idiot who decided to win the heroine by showing up at her house and nagging her constantly until she said yes. And of course she did say yes, as she was an idiot herself.

There was no conflict, no build up, no tension, no release. It went pretty much like this:
He: Be with me
She: No
He: Why not?
She: Uh, I don't know
He: So be with me
She: Ok
He: I love you
She: I love you too, let's get married
He: Cool.

There was as much chemistry between them as there is between pieces of furniture.

On top of that, the book was just one big cliche. Everything was cliche, every character (including all the bland secondary characters), every scene, every description, every 'plot twist' (the expression 'plot twist' is a bit of an overstatement when it comes to this book). And I know I said I don't mind cliches and that they are like milk and honey. But come on! That was as if someone asked me to eat a barrel of honey straight from the hive.

It probably didn't help that I had all those cliches spoken softly in a monotonous voice straight into my ear.

I cared so little for anyone or anything this book that if the insane murderer that they were looking for, had killed just about everyone, it would've been alright with me.

And I had to suffer through it each time I went to the gym. Because I am simply crazy and I can't not finish a book.

This review is a total mess. I am sorry. I am so very angry. I want this book to die.
Profile Image for WhiskeyintheJar.
1,318 reviews542 followers
October 27, 2018
I read this for the Murder Most Foul square for Halloween Bingo

"So many," Tory whispered.
"All were sexual homicides. Raped and strangled. There was no semen. There was some physical violence, particularly in the facial area. That escalates with each victim."
"Because their faces aren't right. Their faces aren't hers. Hope's."

The main and underlining impetus for this story was the rape and murder of an eight year old girl who was the bestfriend of our heroine, Tory; pretty dark stuff. I couldn't help always having that in the back of my mind, even though the author kind of leaves the head on dealing with it until more toward the back end of the second half.

You couldn't erase the past, or kill it, or wish it out of existence . Nor could you will away the present or change what was coming. We were all trapped in that cycle of time, just circling around the core of yesterdays. Sometimes those yesterdays were strong enough, willful enough, to suck you back no matter how hard you struggled.

This story is more of an ensemble piece with a secondary romance that I kind of wish got its own book and two handfuls of family and townspeople edging into the spotlight. This, along with the slow almost murky like way of the atmosphere of the story, kept the main couple's romance from being felt. Our hero Cade was the brother of Tory's bestfriend that was murdered and he never truly felt fully fleshed out for me. He comes on a bit stronger at the end but he kind of instantly goes for Tory (I love me some build up) and it ends up more of a willful strong arm relationship, Cade, at times, just telling Tory how it is going to be with Tory initially balking but eventually going along with him. I like a man who knows and shows what he wants but he immediately starts off this way and without the foundation for knowing Tory, it felt pushy and not too terribly romantic.

"He frightens me, and embarrasses me. By trying to keep it contained, as always, I thought I'd limit the fear and humiliation. It's hateful to be a victim, Cade. Makes you feel exposed and angry and somehow guilty at the same time."

With the underlining murder mystery and the two romances, the bulk of this is family dynamics and oof, are there some doozies. Tory's father was physically abusive and with her psychic abilities (Tory can sense emotions from people so strongly she can "see" their thoughts) she can sense some other dark aspects of his personality. Cade's family has the emotional pain of losing a daughter and sibling, swirling around and tearing them apart. The two handfuls of secondary characters are indirectly and at times directly affected by these issues, which leads to some great real moments between characters. However, it also lead to some dragging issues in the middle.

I'm a Yankee, so sometimes when I read these books set in the south I don't quite jive with the beat or tones. There was a languidness, thick, humid, slowly fanning yourself on the porch while you sip iced tea, that I thought slowed the pace the down. Tory's life after her bestfriend was killed isn't really explained until more towards the end but it felt implied she moved back to her hometown to find out truly what happened, for such a big issue, it felt pushed too much too the side. There was also some trope role characters that the author did a good job breathing layers and complexity to, Cade's sister, but others that for a book published in 2000 were disappointingly locked in, Cade's family housekeeper/nanny.

I know mysteries like, to well, keep the mystery going but when they stay to the side for so long, I think they end up feeling unknown or ineffectual. There are clues to who the murderer is but I wanted more insight into them, instead of one ending scene where thoughts and motivations are relayed concisely but quickly.

I liked this, some great emotional complexities were weaved in out, but it was a little slow moving for me. The rape and murder of an eight year old girl is never easy to read about, so be prepared for that, along with physical violence. If you're looking for an unhurried heavy on the family dynamics, mystery, with some romance, and love iced tea, this would be a well written option.
Profile Image for Mo.
1,363 reviews2 followers
March 30, 2018
3.75 Stars.

I enjoyed it even though it sort of dragged a bit halfway through. I kinda find that with long books though ... my attention wavers a bit! I had an inkling of the "bad 'un" about halfway through. It was fairly obvious to me.

There was a Lifetime Movie made and the following are some pictures from it. Not really how I imagined the characters ...

I would have liked an Epilogue! You know me!

We are in the South. You gotta have some sweet Iced Tea.

Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
3,000 reviews1,643 followers
December 4, 2013
This is one of those I've come to think of as Roberts' "super" romances--they're longer, have a strong family presence (or community or both), and with at least two romances simmering to resolution. This one features the small town of Progress, North Carolina as its setting and is dominated by two families, one local royalty, the other... mixed (Tori's mother is white trash, but that's due to her own bad choices. Her uncle is the town banker and a minor "big man").

Generally speaking, if you connect with at least one of the couples, these books go off well enough. That said, it's hard to connect strongly as there tend to be multiple story threads, lots of viewpoint shifts, and the unifying suspense (they tend to be suspense-based) may or may not carry enough weight to maintain momentum in the resulting chaos. This book was one of the rare super romance stories that drew me in completely.

Tori was the cornerstone for holding my interest. She has the interesting psychic ability and has a fragility that draws sympathy and a strength that maintains the emotional connection when things go badly. Her through-line is the most obvious and it's well-supported. Cade helps this by being not only what she needs, but by also needing Tori as much, in his own way, as she needs him. Wade and Faith were more background, but their arc was as strong, though in their own unique idiom.

So the characters were strong as individuals. But their backgrounds raised this book to the next level by drawing in the long-lasting effect of parents, family, and the need for love that children have. Not in the sappy way that you might first imagine, though. This story is mostly about the crappy things parents do to their children out of their own emotional weaknesses. Whether physical abuse or emotional starvation, our main characters all (well, not so much Wade) have deep-seated issues to overcome to be healthy enough that we can believe their HEA will actually work. The beauty of it is that they do so naturally, without didactic preaching or authorial intervention. In other words, it works out in a way that is not only believable, but actually central to both the story's plot and the development of the characters into the relationships that they eventually build. It was artfully done and I loved watching it unfold.

The suspense plot of the story is the weakest aspect of the book, but even that folded into the exploration of abuse in families in interesting ways. There weren't a lot of reveals or a building of suspense as such, though. Indeed, a lot of the mystery happened in the past and was revealed/discovered by exposition more than by actual plot movement. I didn't mind this, though, as I am seldom engaged by the suspense.

I do have to admit that I was a bit surprised by two kind of random jabs at Republicans in the book. I was getting all pissy about it when Roberts made one of the most sympathetic men in the book also a Republican. Not that I care much for Republicans, myself, really, but it seemed out of character for Roberts as she's seldom overtly political. Anyway, it ended in a wash, even if I was preparing to get all het up about it...

In the end, I enjoyed the book a great deal. It's a solid 4 stars though I reserve the right to bump it to five if I'm still mulling it over after a week or so. Could do...

A note about Steamy: This had more explicit sex scenes than Roberts' standard (three plus with more than one plus), though it's also a good bit longer. So really, I think it ends up about her standard, really.
Profile Image for SB*needs low angst books*.
339 reviews189 followers
March 26, 2017
Tory Bodeen is a little girl who has visions. She is psychic and for her it not always a gift. She lives in Progress, South Caroline with a abusive "God fearing" father and a mother who cares more for her husband than her daughter. Her family lives on the land of the well off Lavelle family. She made friends with Hope Lavelle even though do to status and class they shouldn't be friends. Unfortunately, Hope is murdered and Tory sees it thru a vision but can't see who did it.

Tory tells Hope's family and lead them to the body and it changes her life and their life too. Tory's family moves away after the murder and when she is old enough she escapes from her abusive father but is still burdened by her gift and the death of her old friend. She decides to move back to face things she has been trying to run from and make a new life for herself.

Hope had two siblings. Cade and her twin sister Faith. They were emotionally abandoned by their parents after their sister's murder and went on how every they could with support from their cook Lilah. Their father died years later and their mother has turned even more cold, disapproving and aloof from her surviving children.

Cade became the heir to the family businesses as well as their family farm. Even though he father taught him a lot when it went to college and came back and with his own ideas of how to do things against not only his mother but other people who farm in their town. He is someone who has had to find his self and his own way in spite of people and he has his own guilty feelings about Hope.

When Tory comes back to set up a new shop in town. She ends up deciding to rent the home she used to live in with her parents to face some of those old ghosts as well. Cade comes to see her and finds himself very attracted to her. Tory is very standoffish with him even as she finds him attractive too. Things get stirred up when she discovers that Hope wasn't the only victim of this killer and that she is in the sights to be killed to keep her silent.

I really enjoyed this book. It was good though Tory had moments that got on my nerves. I did like them though. They both have had some hard times and they also have not really had much real love in their life but found a lot of what was missing in their life with each other. The twin sister Faith got on my nerve a lot because she wanted to blame everyone for her issues and why she was how she was and I hated how she did Wayne even though he let her which made me lose some respect there too. It was a very interesting story though even though it had a paranormal aspect to it, it worked for me. I did have a feeling about who did it but it was interesting how everything unfolded. This book also remind me of Carnal Innocence in many aspects too which I think had a impact on my reading experience too. But a solid story.
Profile Image for Junkie for the Written Word.
736 reviews110 followers
December 13, 2012
12/11/12 I would just like to make a small note for authors writing about the south.

On Sweet Iced Tea. <-- This is the natural state of tea below Virginia. Nobody says, "Would you care for an iced tea?" Because it's just tea, it's understood to be sweet and iced. Nobody says, "Hey let's go out for an iced tea!" Because you have it right there in your house and if you don't, it's because you've run out and you will have more in 10 minutes. When you go to a restaurant, no one orders iced tea, they order TEA and it comes to the table sweet and with ice.

I understand this is confusing because the rest of the world has a different idea of tea. The first time I traveled outside of the south I was at a restaurant and I ordered tea and they brought me a coffee cup full of hot water and a tea bag and some sweet n low, and I was all:

But please understand, here, if you want that kind of tea you're going to have to say, "Yes, I'd like a coffee cup full of hot water and a tea bag with some sugar on the side." BECAUSE THE NATURAL STATE OF TEA IS SWEET AND ICED, you don't have to specify.

This book was, I guess, supposed to be a murder mystery and a romance. It failed at both.

The best part of this book, for me, was that it was set in the Pee Dee area of SC and mentioned many towns I'm familiar with, even Dillon. There my thrills ended.

The romance, or lackthereof, was... mmm... unromantic. I've had more sparks fly with inanimate objects than these two characters had with each other.

The murder mystery, yeah, about that. There are rules when writing a murder mystery. You have to give clues and then follow through with them. You can't just give no clues, or give misleading clues, and then BAM on the last 3 pages reveal a murderer who was under absolutely no suspicion and no clues are given that he's a skeezehead. I mean really that's not giving your reader even the slightest chance to figure the crap out, it's cheating.

Also a psychic, really?
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,791 reviews961 followers
October 11, 2018
I dithered about the rating and thought about giving this book four stars. However, the romance between Tory and Cade didn't sit right with me (at least the initial stages of it--I can't take it in romance novels when the dude bullies the heroine into being with him) probably cause of the insta-lust on his side of things. The mystery aspect of the book was interesting, though how Roberts tried to work in Tory's ability to "see" things didn't really work for the most part of the book for me. Probably because I have read of too many cases about faux psychics for me to be really fall into the story the way that I should have. I do wish that Tory's character had been a bit better developed. I don't know how or why she got interested in selling high end jewelry and other items. Also Roberts skips over her New York years and she info-dumps on Cade about what happened to her there. I do think her burgeoning and then friendship with Faith was a highlight though.

"Carolina Moon" follows Tory Bodeen. Tory ran away from her abusive father and emotionally absent mother as soon as she was able to. After something mysterious happens to her in New York that has her running from there, Tory returns to her hometown of Progress, South Carolina after a few years of building up her savings and working.

Returning to Progress is an issue for Tory though. When she was 8 years old, her best friend, Hope Lavelle was found raped and murdered. Many people in town believe that Tory left Hope to her fate in order to get away from the man that ultimately killed her. Very few know that Tory has an ability to see visions of people and knew when Hope was being killed. Now that Tory is back in Progress, the murderer is intent on making sure that Tory will not be able to name them. On top of that, Tory starts a relationship with Hope's older brother, Cade.

As I said above, Tory as a character doesn't have a lot of there there until the middle and end of the book. We hear about how her father abused her. How her mother stood by and did nothing. We also know that she has a caring grandmother, aunt, uncle, and cousin. Besides Tory interacting with her grandmother and uncle though, it seems as if she is pretty adrift. When you read about what happened to her as a young girl and then when she went to New York though I sympathized. I just wish that she had more of a backbone when dealing with Cade.

Speaking of Cade, I felt uneasy with the romance in this one. Maybe because the character bullies Tory into going out with him and then gets angry if she doesn't tell her what she is thinking and feeling all the time. Him going around calling her his woman made me roll my eyes too. I saw shades of Roarke in this character so maybe that's why he read as familiar to me while I was reading. And just like Tory, his character doesn't become more interesting until about the halfway point. You find out just how cold his family (specifically his mother was) was and is and how he had to go about proving himself constantly. His showdown with his mother was really good and I am surprised Roberts didn't try to have them fall into each other's arms and love each other. It was more realistic with how she wrote it. The romance scenes between him and Tory read similar to Eve and Roarke a few times.

Faith and Wade are the second couple in this book and a few times I thought it would have worked better if they were our main couple. Faith doesn't put up with a lot from people, but she loves her brother. It was interesting to see how her life was affected by her twin sister's death and knowing her mother wished it had been her that died. Cade and Faith had some hot romance scenes, but not too many which would have gotten boring.

There are secondary characters in this one, we have the local sheriff, the town mayor, Tory's uncle and aunt, her grandmother, Cade's mother, etc. Roberts does a good job drawing them out little by little, I just wish that we had gotten a better ending with this one. An epilogue would have worked nicely.

The writing was typical Roberts. This was written back in 2000 though and at times the book appears dated. Roberts talks about two characters with one being a Republican and Democrat and it's quaint to see them as having fiery debates, but who are really good friends. Oh the days before Obama came along and divided the country (said sarcastically I just got into that the other day with someone who says Obama was a worse divider than Trump since we didn't have these problems in this country until he was elected). I did laugh at another line about something being as likely as being a liberal Republican.

I also think that showing that the family housekeeper Lilah was essentially the real mother of Faith and Cade didn't sit well with me. Way too mammyish for me. She also has a little dialogue with Faith at one point about the murder girl allowing the man that rapes and murders her and it definitely sounded a bit victim blaming to me.

“Letting a man into your house doesn’t mean you want him to rape you.”

“Didn’t say so.” Lilah colored her lips, rubbed them together.

“Just saying a woman’s got to be careful. You open a door for a man, you better be ready to boot his ass right back out again.”

Or how about men don't come to a woman's house and rape them.

The flow was uneven at first, but improves towards the end. Once the murderer starts killing and raping again the book turns fully into more a suspense book though.

As I already said, the ending wasn't what I think we should have ended with. It was quite abrupt and I felt like I was missing a few pages.
Profile Image for Mercè.
594 reviews100 followers
May 4, 2023
¡Qué libro más sarnoso!
Tiene tantos puntos negativos que no sé ni por donde empezar.
-Prosa: Terrible. Frases que suenan falsas y forzadas a puñados. Diálogos raros y, de nuevo, forzados. Cambios de narrador que no vienen a cuento, sin una transición bien marcada. Comparaciones y metáforas estúpidas.
-Machismo: Mucho. Perdí la cuenta de todos los comentarios y mensajes que hay a lo largo de la novela. Los cuales dejan muy mal parados a los dos géneros. Los hombres/las mujeres son x. Esto es muy femenino. Aquello es muy viril. Además, es de ese tipo de comentarios que no son ni sutiles. Que una no puede ni pasarlo por alto. Y siendo una novela contemporánea del 2000 en Carolina del Sur tampoco puedo perdonarlo.
-Personajes: No hay ni uno solo que me cayera en gracia. Eran como debían ser. Como la historia les dictaba que tenían que ser y actuaban en base al porcentaje de protagonismo que les correspondía en cada caso. Fin de la historia.
-Relaciones: (uf...) Leí una review de una chica, sobre este libro y me pareció que lo que dice es una clavada. O sea, Tory y Cade terminan en una relación porque Cade es un pesadísimo de la vida y Tory no "tiene" argumentos para rebatirle y decirle que no. Porque aparentemente un "no" no es suficiente. Ella le dice que no repetidas veces y él tira millas. Fantástico. Y en concordancia, sigue insistiendo hasta que *puf, la magia de la trama hace que Tory caiga en sus redes*. Realmente es así. Se enamoran porque la trama así lo dicta. No porque haya un roce, un cariño real entre esos dos personajes. Y la relación de la hermana más de lo mismo. La metamorfosis de carácter por la que pasa la chica es digna de estudio.
-Desarrollo de la historia: (jajajajajaja, es broma ¿no?) Todo el tema de los poderes psíquicos de Tory es un maldito chiste y aquí nadie te cuenta nada. Tu aquí interpretas lo que te dé la gana, dí que sí. Y el tema del misterio puees...muy indignada estoy. TAN innecesario, TAN forzado y sin sentido.
Y...diría que esto es todo. Por si quedaran dudas: Sí, ha sido un horror leer el libro de principio a fin. Y lo siento en el alma porque aunque no iba con muchas expectativas tampoco me esperaba esto.
Profile Image for Shabby Girl ~ aka Lady Victoria.
538 reviews78 followers
July 16, 2012
I've only recently "discovered" Nora Roberts - well, I've known about her for some time, but hadn't actually read any of her books until recently. I absolutely loved The Witness, her latest, so I went back to this earlier romantic suspense I had seen over time is quite popular.

Well, I just loved it. I really, really enjoyed it. It wasn't quite a five star book for me, but it was close.

I was entranced right from page 1, through to the end. I suppose I didn't give it a five star because I didn't fall in love with the H or the h - I like them very much, good characters, but just didn't LOVE them. I did enjoy all the secondary characters and it was interesting in different parts of the book to get insights into a lot of them.

This book made me feel ... it made me cry in a couple of places, and it was quite difficult seeing the murders in the h's mind.

I'm really loving Nora Roberts. I might take a break from her as I've just read four in a row, but I'll be definitely going back again soon to find some more books from the huge number she's written.
Profile Image for LadyCalico.
1,978 reviews39 followers
August 5, 2012
I could not fully appreciate this book since I live in the area she is allegedly writing about and the glaring errors just rubbed my nerves raw. She knows nothing about the lowcountry lifestyle, geography, and culture (although she did shamelessly pull some real place names off a roadmap.) Since the locale was obviously non-essential to her story, she should have left the fair name of "Carolina" off this book. I might have enjoyed the story if it were Iowa Moon. Anyone from the Coastal Carolinas, please avoid this book, it will kill you. Stick with Siddons, Kidd, Frank, and Conroy.
Profile Image for Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*.
999 reviews167 followers
October 2, 2014
"Hope is the thing with feathers-
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without the words-
And never stops-at all."

~Emily Dickinson

Tory Bodeen has been keeping away from her past for as long as she has been able. Keeping away from her abusive father and neglectful mother. Keeping away from the fact that her best friend was murdered when they were both eight years old. But Tory is a lot stronger now. And she knows the South Carolina town she grew up in is the place she must make her new start as the owner of her own shop. But her business is not the only reason she has returned. Echoes of the past are stirring, and her best friends murderer is still on the loose.

This was a wonderful book, and is definitely making my list of favorite Nora Roberts books! It had the typical suspenseful storyline combined with a delightful romance that I have come to know and love with her writing. I loved the descriptions of South Carolina, but mostly I really came to know and love the characters; not just Tory but the supporting characters as well. This is one of Nora Roberts strengths, in my opinion, as a writer. She creates these dazzling complex characters that just tug on your heartstrings and stay in your thoughts long after the book is done.
Profile Image for Elia.
175 reviews19 followers
November 19, 2018
Está bien. Juega al despiste durante todo el libro y se centra en eso, no tanto en el romance de ellos. Me quedo con Faith de todos los personajes.
Profile Image for Burçak Kılıç Sultanoğlu .
544 reviews69 followers
April 15, 2020
Çok uzun süren detaylardan, duygulardan sonra suçlunun ortaya çıktığı kısımların aceleye gelmesi olmamış.. Şaşırdım mı evet ama beklediğim kadar değil.. Cade kardeşini öldüren adamla bir araya gelince nasıl bu kadar sakin kalabiliyor.. Ben kadın halimle adamın üstüne saldırırdım.. Ve çiftler arası ilişkiler de çok donuk duygusuzdu.. Bataklıkta gece yarısı bu kitaptan çok daha iyiydi.
Profile Image for Jultri.
1,097 reviews6 followers
August 31, 2022
2.75/5. I listened to the audiobook, and let me just say that the voice of the narrator, Dean Robertson, was as lively and varied as a flatlined ECG. I thought of giving up early on because she sounded like she gave up long before she started the book. There was no attempt at trying to imbue any personality to any of the characters. Everything was read in the same tone making it exceedingly difficult to work out who is saying what. Not making it any easier was NR's choice to frequently change POV's, sometimes just to re-explain a plot point that really needed no further explanation. Give the reader some credit. There really is no need to join the dots.

I liked the plucky heroine but the hero's aggressive pursuing of her crossed into the inappropriateness if not outright harassment. Furthermore, his lines were sleazy and dated. The build up of the atmosphere of the whodunnit storyline was not badly done, although I did guess the identity of the culprit. Trigger warning as the plot did deviate into somewhat graphical territory involving grisly sexual homicides, with one involving a child victim. I've read hard crime so that did not fazed me Overall, the whole book felt dated and tried too hard while the narrator could have tried a whole lot harder.
Profile Image for Dana Al-Basha |  دانة الباشا.
2,256 reviews819 followers
May 24, 2017
Years ago, maybe in 2007 there was this local DVD shop that sells one of a kind movies released on DVDs and I found a few Nora Roberts made-for-tv films, I bought some and have been obsessed ever since. This was one of them, such a good movie.

Now it's 2016 and I bought a LOT of Nora Roberts books through the years but my latest purchases were all her novels that were made into movies. I'm starting with this one. I hope they make the Bridal Quartet next.

Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,243 reviews968 followers
April 16, 2012
Tory Bodeen had a pretty miserable childhood, growing up with a religiously fantatic father who physically beat her and a mother who didn't protect her. Her father tried to drive away Tory's gift, which was a psychic sense about people and their circumstances. She had one childhood friend, Hope Lavelle, who helped her escape her unhappy home each day as they did what children do...use their imagination freely and have fun. Unfortunately, at the age of eight, Hope was brutally murdered and Tory experienced the event psychically and was forever defined by her involvement. The murder remained unsolved and, after many years, Tory has returned home to Progress, South Carolina to make peace with her past and come to terms with herself.

This is one of Nora's best romantic suspense stories I've read to date. It has a good, complex mystery, strong main characters in Tory and Cade Lavelle (Hope's older brother), interesting secondary characters and a Southern backdrop. While there are a few quirky people in the town of Progress, they aren't stereotypically diminshed and are central to the main story and Tory's life. And, there are a few other romances in the works in addition to Tory and Cade, who is a real dream. Sometimes I thought he had psychic abilities in the way he knew how to just "be" for Tory, knowing exactly what she needed and when to dispense it.

The descriptions in this story are vividly brought to life without the usual metaphors. There were occasions where I had to just stop and think about them, letting the words roll around in my head. This is a fine piece of writing.

While I figured out the killer fairly early on, no way was I certain about my choice throughout the story and kept considering other possibilities. It's a good story, extremely well written and kept my interest throughout...no real lulls here. This one ranks in my top five of Nora's standalone titles.

Profile Image for Somia.
2,061 reviews135 followers
January 18, 2019

This remains an enjoyable read for me. There are some dark themes in the book such as violence and murder, and yet the book is gentle in tone and smoothly written.

The main character, Victoria (Tory) Bodeen, has come back to her South Carolina hometown after various tragedies, and in doing so comes face to face with her past and its legacy. The murder of her best friend Hope Lavelle, when Tory was a child led to her being forced out of her hometown, and now that she is back old wounds open, and Hope’s unknown killer remains closer than anyone realises. Tory also has to confront the personal horrors and abuse of her childhood, as her father re-emerges.

Tory is a strong character, despite the discrimination and horror she has faced and seen, she’s not hiding away. Cade Lavelle, Hope’s brother and heir to the family fortunes is Tory’s love interest in this book, he is resolute in his interest for Tory, something his mother is not too happy about. Cade was a nice character, who worked well for Tory, but truth be told he isn’t my favourite of the leading men Roberts has created.

Overall, Character development was well done, there were characters I really liked, disliked and pitied, and there were some characters such as Faith who grew on me.

Carolina Moon has also been made into a Lifetime movie – not the best in the TV adaptations of Roberts’ books but if you want you could do what I did, snuggle up with a hot drink and with my sister compare it and the characters to what is found in the book.
Profile Image for Salma.
146 reviews61 followers
December 21, 2020
I always said I'd never pick up a romance novel- well, we all know how that cliche works, right? I'm always seeing the name Nora Roberts everywhere and wanted to see what the fuss is about. The fuss is well-deserved. And I'm finally in agreement with what Joyce Carol Oates once said- "There's no bad genre, only bad writing."

Being a romance, this book has your typical 'bodice-ripper' scenes, but the author's prose reads more like passionate poetry at these parts. Her writing moves as silkily as this story, which is just as much suspense as romance.

The main character, Tory Bodeen, has come back to her South Carolina hometown after various tragedies, particularly the murder of her best friend Hope Lavelle, forced her out years ago. She opens a home design shop and strikes up a 'friendship' with Hope's older brother, Cade.

Problem is, Hope's killer has never been found, and he's back, close to Tory this time.

The ending was a bit rushed, but it was still well-done and left me reeling. Character development was wonderful (particularly the men- but what else would you expect from a bestselling romance novelist? lol). Definitely a recommend.
Profile Image for Jane Stewart.
2,462 reviews870 followers
August 9, 2014
Enjoyable story. Good characters.

There is mystery and suspense due to a serial killer. There is one rape-murder scene with not much detail. There is child abuse. Tory was repeatedly beaten by her father throughout her life until she left home at 18. There is romance for two different couples. I liked both romances. Although I wondered why Cade fell in love so immediately with Tory. But I could go with it. I liked the character development. I liked the paranormal. Tory has psychic ability. She could read anyone’s mind except the killer’s. So that was “convenient” for the author to keep the mystery going. But I could go with it because the rest of the story was good. I would have liked more done with Cade’s mother at the end. That was left dangling.

Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 468 pages. Swearing language: strong, including religious swear words, but not often used. Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: 7. Setting: around 2000 South Carolina. Copyright: 2000. Genre: romantic suspense with paranormal.
Profile Image for KathyB .
1,484 reviews47 followers
July 23, 2020
I liked this mystery, even with the sad plot surrounding a child's murder. It's a good whodunit, the villain wasn't obvious and the romance was nice.

4.25 Stars

Triggers -

** Audiobook narrator is not very good, I'd recommend reading instead of listening.
Profile Image for Carrie.
1,707 reviews72 followers
January 20, 2013
Narrated by Dean Robertson.

I thought I'd read this book, and then realized I had only seen the made-for-TV movie a few years back. So when audible offered this on sale I snapped it up. This is probably one of my favorite Nora Roberts stories now. I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense plot and the romance. The secondary characters are all marvelous and so well developed. Roberts catches the feel and rhythm of the small South Carolina town and its inhabitants. I especially liked how she showed the character growth the the secondary character, Faith (the hero's sister) but didn't soften her. I loved Faith's sass and bite. She has some of the best lines in the book.

The narrator is a mixed bag. In the hands of a narrator like Tom Stecheschulte (Carnal Innocence) or Julia Whelan (The Witness) this would be a 5 star book. The story is there, and a great narrator could make the listeners sweat from the heat and feel the mosquitoes bite. Dean Robertson has a few things going for her. She has a southern voice and gets several of the characters just right. The secondary character of Lissy is perfect. And her reading of the descriptive passages in that gruff southern drawl was effective. But other than that, Robertson mainly just reads the book without inflection or differentiation of characters. I often felt she didn't pause appropriately between sentences or phrases, running them together and making their meaning unclea,r or lessening the impact.

I got used to the narration part way in, and still enjoyed the book, but I never stopped thinking that it's a shame this interesting suspense and love story wasn't given to a more animated reader.

Story- 5 star
Narration- 3 star
Profile Image for Jan.
867 reviews41 followers
December 23, 2016
Believe it or not this is my first Nora Roberts book. I was drawn to the South Carolina setting, the mystery, and the sultry psychic. I was not disappointed. As a native of South Carolina the setting and the people rang very true.It made me homesick. I also thought the mystery was very good. There were several possible killers that I debated. The psychic visions were creepy and not too heavy-handed. And there were dogs. It was a perfect storm of a book for me. There is romance and sex. I am not a big fan of long sex scenes and the ones in this book were not too long or detailed. (I don't need to SEE the math). Even though it had all the things I love, I was still surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.
Profile Image for Ana.
466 reviews55 followers
November 26, 2016
Hope é violentamente assassinada num pântano perto de casa aos 8 anos de idade.
Passado 18 anos, Tory a sua amiga inseparável, regressa à sua cidade natal para abrir uma loja de presentes e tentar reatar relações de amizade e familiares.
Tory tem de enfrentar os seus fantasmas e o um sentimento de culpa que advêm do facto de ter combinado com Hope irem nadar nessa noite e ter falhado o compromisso.
Profile Image for Jelena.
122 reviews16 followers
February 3, 2017
Knjiga je interesantna i uzbudljiva, samo me malo razočarao kraj, prosto je previše zbrzan. Kao da joj je ponestalo vremena za pisanje, ili idej i odjednom CAP! Preokret, rasplet, kraaaj! To mi jedino smeta. Ostalo mi se baš sviđa, pogotovo ideja da glavna junakinja ima neku vrstu moći :)
Profile Image for Thenia.
4,023 reviews173 followers
May 17, 2019
A romance with a hint of paranormal and a mystery with a twist.

Tory Bodeen returns to the small town where she grew up, determined to face her past and make a life there for herself, after finally uncovering the truth about her best friend Hope's murder that remains unsolved since they were children.

Tory has an ability that has caused her no small amount of trouble in the past, and it has left her wary and isolated, but it is also what's pushing her to solve the mystery of Hope's death once and for all.

Her return is welcomed by some, like Cade Lavelle, Hope's brother, while others, like Cade's mother find it intolerable or as is the case for the killer who was never caught, worrisome.

Cade is immediately intrigued by the woman the girl he knew has become and is clear about his intentions from the start, flustering Tory, who tries to keep him at arm's length, unsuccessfully. The two start spending time together and develop feelings, but Cade has some work to do to take her walls down and get her to trust him.

The killer is .

The story is told from a number of different points of view, including Hope's twin sister Faith's, and although it took a while, she finally won me over despite my initial dislike of her.

A dark story with an engaging mystery and realistic characters who find justice and earn their happy ending.
Profile Image for Simoloverosa.
267 reviews15 followers
April 25, 2021
È una calda notte estiva quando Tory perde per sempre la sua unica e fedele amica, compagna di giochi e avventure. Mentre la città è sconvolta per l' efferato omicidio che l' ha colpita, le famiglie coinvolte iniziano un lento declino che le porterà inevitabilmente a sfaldarsi. Ci vorranno anni prima che Tory torni in quei luoghi, consapevole che il colpevole sia ancora a piede libero in attesa proprio del suo ritorno per chiudere definitivamente il cerchio che ha visto altre vittime brutalmente uccise. Un suspense ad alto tasso adrenalinico che coinvolge grazie al fascino di una penna intramontabile, una trama solida, un linguaggio ben articolato, personaggi che non temono confronti con il passare del tempo, ben consolidato da colpi di scena geniali e corredato da una romantica storia d' amore, amicizia e riscatto. Assolutamente incredibile il personaggio di Tory di cui ne ho amato il coraggio e la determinazione nel riscattarsi da una vita di miseria e degrado. Emozionante e commovente l' amicizia e il rapporto sincero e raro che la legava fortemente ad Hope mentre la storia d' amore con Cade mi è sembrata troppo frettolosa e meno credibile rispetto alla parte suspense che, al contrario, mi ha coinvolta moltissimo seppur lasciandomi perplessa circa un particolare sul colpevole che non mi ha del tutto convinta. Purtroppo mi è mancato anche un epilogo che narrasse l' evolversi di alcuni punti cruciali della storia che l' autrice ha lasciato in sospeso per cui, pur trovandolo bellissimo, assegno solo 4 stelle.
Profile Image for Angela.
524 reviews30 followers
February 18, 2020
“I am what I am and I can't change it. I know how to cope and how to get by. I don't want or expect anyone to stand with me. I don't need anyone to. I've learned to accept my life just the way it is, and I don't give a damn if you or anyone else doesn't.”

Breathtaking story, amazing characters, thrilling momentos and a lot of suspense and love. What more can someone ask for?

“You couldn’t erase the past, or kill it, or wish it out of existence. Nor could you will away the present or change what was coming. We were all trapped in that cycle of time, just circling around the core of yesterdays. Sometimes those yesterdays were strong enough, willful enough, to suck you back no matter how hard you struggled.”
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