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The Liar

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2015)
Shelby Foxworth lost her husband. Then she lost her illusions …
The man who took her from Tennessee to an exclusive Philadelphia suburb left her in crippling debt. He was an adulterer and a liar, and when Shelby tracks down his safe-deposit box, she finds multiple IDs. The man she loved wasn’t just dead. He never really existed.
Shelby takes her three-year-old daughter and heads south to seek comfort in her hometown, where she meets someone new: Griff Lott, a successful contractor. But her husband had secrets she has yet to discover. Even in this small town, surrounded by loved ones, danger is closer than she knows—and threatens Griff, as well. And an attempted murder is only the beginning …

501 pages, Hardcover

First published April 14, 2015

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About the author

Nora Roberts

2,117 books49.2k 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
16,052 (38%)
4 stars
15,051 (35%)
3 stars
8,069 (19%)
2 stars
2,042 (4%)
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772 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,238 reviews
Profile Image for Alex is The Romance Fox.
1,461 reviews1,088 followers
November 18, 2016
3,5 stars

I have been a fan of Nora Roberts since the first Mills & Boon’s book I read in the 80’s. She’s become my favorite romance author of all time and I actually have one bookcase, filled with over 200 NR books, in my bedroom “dedicated” to her. I have reread a lot of her books over and over again. What makes her books so special and unforgettable for me? The portrayal of her characters – they’re genuine, relatable and real life. Her female characters are independent, smart, and brave with an inner strength and at the same time have a soft and caring side as well. Her heroes are 100% real men. Sexy, protective, alpha but not in an overbearing and beyond controlling way, making them totally believable. The dialogue sparkles like diamonds.

Many of her books are set in small and often remote towns, and vividly described that you can see the pictures in your head.
To be honest, I have been slightly disappointed with some of her latest books, The Collector, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... and Blood Magick https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... . So, I was really looking forward to her latest release, The Liar.

A short summary of the story plot. After the mysterious death of her husband, Shelby Foxworth discovers that she had been living a life filled with lies and deceit with a man who had been a liar and a cheat. Left with a huge amount of debt and alone with her little daughter, all her illusions shattered, she decides to return to her hometown and family and start a new life. But it’s not that easy to let go of your pass and she will need strength and courage to keep her daughter and family safe from the people who believe she knows more about her deceased husband’s affairs than she thinks.

Well, this book is certainly not one of my favorites. It was enjoyable but somehow just okay….no WOW factor for me! It could have been a WOW one, but there were a few things that missed the mark for me.

So, let me begin with the things I most enjoyed in this very sweet and cute love story with a bit of suspense thrown in that leaves you with a warm feeling as you turn the last page.
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Nora Roberts is the best at creating a small town setting and she does it incredibly well in this story that brings Rendezvous Ridge and its location, Smoky Mountains, Tennessee’s, to life.
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You immediately have a picture in your head of a slow-paced, friendly town, where everyone knows everyone’s business and secrets, the everyday life of the community and their interaction with each other. photo TownsendTownCenter-300x162_zpski9mtscz.jpg
The writing is smooth and makes for easy reading.


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What I liked about her was, that despite finding herself in a situation that would break most people, she pulls herself together and deals with it as best she can. She has an inner strength that surfaces again, after years of having her confidence and self-worth destroyed by her now dead husband. She has resilience and determination to turn her life around and make things work for her and her daughter.
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She’s cautious and doesn’t do things rashly and without thought. She has her heart in the right place. The real Shelby is back. Loving, caring, talented and getting her confidence back. And even if she does “waffle” a bit sometimes and goes on and on about things….well, that’s her character!!

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What’s not to love about this man!!!! He’s sexy, lovable, caring, and thoughtful and has a great swagger!!! And he’s totally determined that Shelby is the one for him. He never deviates from that thought……and no, he doesn’t go all uber alpha on her….he slowly breaks down her resistance in the most endearing and cute way. And, wait….he’s the perfect gentleman to boot….oh, and he has a home that I so would love to live in….together with him, naturally!!! And did I mention that he’s amazing with kids? His interaction with Callie, Shelby’s daughter is joyful and sweet and fabulous.

Sweet and romantic. Not over steamy exactly. Although there are one or two scenes that were pretty hot…specially the one where Griffin seduces Shelby on the porch of his house!!! Sexy!!!
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The development of their relationship was done really well…slowly growing from friendship to love made it more real and believable instead of it being an insta-love one.
“He’d said he was in love with her. And that just filled her up and emptied her out again. It made her want to shake, it made her want to weep. It made her want to hold onto him as if her life depended on it.”


I loved the characters in the story. Shelby’s family and how close they are with each other. Their love and support for one another. The local folks….the women who work with Shelby’s grandmother, Shelby’s best friend and her boyfriend, Matt…… endearing, relateable, lovable, funny and quirky………can I just say that my vote is……….
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Callie………the most adorable, cute and delightful child. Yes, my heart melted for her…..open and enchanting…
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And the two women I adored……Shelby’s mother and grandmother, Viola. Please, I want to be adopted by these two!!! The love between the three women is incredible and their interaction is the funniest and fabulous. The talk and situations that happen in Viola’s Day Spa had me smiling a lot. And when Shelby’s mother gives her a condom just before leaving home to spend the night with Griff was hilarious. This is so true!!!!!
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Why 3,5 stars and not 4 stars?

Hell, this was a long book!!! TMI!!! Too many pages of long descriptions of places, every little detail about the homes, the streets, the people………and I was a tad annoyed a few times when Shelby kept repeating to each person she sees about what she feels, and wants to do…blah blah blah!!!

Some parts were slow and dragged a bit.

The ending was very predictable! I kept waiting for the pop-up revelation, that I had a good idea of what it would be.

The bad guys were a bit OTT!!! They and their actions didn’t feel real to me.

The ending seemed rushed – it was over so fast…..everything resolved and rub your hands together….because….yes, of course there’s a happy ending!!! This is Nora Roberts….This is romance!
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Okay, that’s me and my thoughts and feelings about The Liar. Now, I’m off to sleep and to dream about Rendezvous Ridge and my new friends….
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Profile Image for Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede.
1,938 reviews787 followers
December 5, 2015
Shelby's life is in ruin. Her husband is dead, leaving her with debts and it seems he wasn't the man she thought he was when she married him. Even his name seems to be false. So, she packs everything she still owns and returns to her hometown with her daughter. But it seems that someone is out there watching her every move and soon her peaceful hometown will not be so peaceful anymore...

Before last year I had only read one Nora Roberts book, which to be honest feels a bit odd when you think about how many books she has written. But to be fair I mostly read fantasy, sci-fi and crime novels and hers have always felt a bit not my type of book. But lately I have been given a chance to try out various books written by her and this is the latest and I actually thought that this would be the first book by her that I would give four stars to. That was before I hit the 50% in the book and everything started to fall to pieces when it came to the story.

On the plus side with the book we had some really interesting characters; I liked the main character Shelby and her family, her love interest Griff was OK (yes it was a bit to instalove for my taste, but I can take that sort of). The crime/mystery everything to do with her husband worked for me (mostly) but it was all the Hard of Dixie stuff, feuding with an old enemy from school, playing family and the extremely predictable ending that made this book lose stars. There are three ways to end a thriller, a surprising ending (the best), a not so surprising ending (kind of OK ending, you had an inkling of what should happen, but, for the most part, the ending still delivered) and a terrible, terrible predictable ending, the kind that you see miles away. This one had the number three ending and I can take many things like for instance instalove, well no not really, but I can overlook it, kind of. But this kind of ending, no!

So, in the end 2.5 stars because half the book was good and I still liked Shelby and her family in the end.

Thank you Piatkus for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,163 followers
April 8, 2018
I think you will like this one if you are familiar with the South. This is set there and you could practically feel the mosquitoes biting you, hear the cicada bugs buzzing, and feel your make-up melting off from the humidity.

Okay, and yes, the smell of homophobia in the morning. No place is perfect.

Our heroine, Shelby, just lost her douchbag of a Yankee husband and came back South a single mother with her sweet little girl, Callie. Almost immediately, she meets Griff, who was also a Yankee, but came to his senses and became one of us.

Come for the sweet tea. Stay for the queso.

Nora Roberts writes a helluva great leading man in her books. She is responsible for Roarke, after all. One of the most perfect book boyfriends ever. And, Griff is a great guy. He made me laugh, which is basically guaranteeing the he can get lucky with me.

When he is babysitting her daughter (who is 3, by the way. An adorable age):

"I've got scissors and sticks for her to run with, and all those matches"...

"We're great. We're heading out now to find some traffic to play in."...

"Playing in traffic made us hungry. We want a snack so we're going to go hunt up stranger with candy."

Awww, he had me at running with scissors.

And, after his mother wouldn't let him get a BB gun for Christmas. Some things are just fated.

As for the heroine, Shelby? She was okay, but she had a bit of a martyr complex. Her ex-husband died and left her in millions of dollars in debt and she becomes this ridiculous martyr who is cutting coupons and sending credit card companies her five dollar tips from the beauty salon. Sure, it will take her entire life to pay a few thousand out of the millions he owed, but her daughter can always start hooking on the street when she's old enough to help pay daddy's debt too.
Please. I don't believe for one minute that she would be responsible for all of that debt. If millionaires can get out of paying as much in taxes as we do, you can bet there are safeguards in place for a young widow who was duped by her ex. But, she'd rather make sure everyone knew that she was going to do whatever it took to get Visa every cent her husband owed them.

Because of her, I didn't rate this book as high as I would have, but it was still entertaining enough. Very Nora Roberts - ie: construction and skinny females.
Profile Image for Kim Davis.
276 reviews26 followers
April 26, 2015
**2.5 stars**

I know this is a work of fiction, but there were too many unrealistic things happening for me to take it seriously. First of all no one is declared dead within months of going missing...NO ONE! It takes seven years for that to happen. Secondly, debt is not inherited. I don't care how good of a person you are, you're not going to take on millions in debt for someone who was - at a minimum - a liar and a cheat. It's just not going to happen. Thirdly, were Shelby's clothes dipped in gold? Every time she sold something, she was able to pay off another credit card. I could sell the entirety of my closet and I might be able to get the fanciest dinner White Castle has to offer. Lastly, Callie should have been at least five to match her vocabulary. Having her mispronounce a few words didn't change the fact that she didn't talk like any three year old I've ever met.

I liked Shelby & Griff and their romance well enough, but it would have been better in another setting. I was too irritated by the things above to enjoy the rest of the book.
December 3, 2021
Review posted to: http://www.sweptawaybyromance.com/201...

4 Stars!!

Shelby is a twenty four year old widow who is shocked to learn that her husband lead a double life, a life that left her in staggering debt and many, many unanswered questions about the man she married.....

When her world seems to be crashing around her, her only thought is that she needs to get home to Tennesse. She needs surround herself and her sweet little girl Callie with her loving family and lifelong friends.

While trying to get her and Callie settled she learns that she didn't know her husband at all and she's determined more than ever to learn more about the man she so trustingly married. Meanwhile, she meets Griff a local handyman/builder who is instantly smitten with the adorable precocious 4 yr old Callie and her equally adorable if somewhat evasive mother.


All in all a somewhat predictable storyline but the charming characters that make up Shelby's family, Shelby & Griff's budding romance and adorable Callie make The Liar well worth reading.

* This audio book was narrated by January LaVoy who does a fantastic job!!! 5 Stars on narration!!!
Profile Image for Erica.
65 reviews5 followers
July 14, 2015
I think Nora Roberts' romantic suspense novels are no longer romantic nor suspenseful. She spends more pages on people's jobs and houses than she does on anything, and after the third conversation in twenty pages in which the protagonist explains the same thing to someone (I've been taking online coursesI I'm going to start a small business!) I stopped caring what happened to her or her wonderful family or their beautiful houses and fulfilling careers. There was so little conflict that I got bored. Her love scenes have always been tedious but this time she actually interrupted one in order to continue talking about interior decorating.
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,937 reviews1,551 followers
May 28, 2015
This book makes me sad. But not for any of the obvious reasons. I liked the main characters immensely. And the pacing is good, the setting tremendous (I can't think of anybody who does Southern small town as well as Roberts), and the side characters fantastic. Let me elaborate on the good before I get to the sad, because I want to give this book its due.

Shelby and Griff were fantastic. I loved them both, both individually and what they became together. Their interactions skirted the ideal a bit, but I enjoyed them so much I was glad to be along for the ride.

I particularly like Roberts' hand with the Southern small-town. She depicts both the good and the bad of living so much in the neighbors' pockets. The gossip is entertaining, but with the malicious side evident, even coming from characters we otherwise like and admire. You can see how adapting to that environment has to be conscious, at least to an extent. And how it takes fortitude and forgiveness in equal measure. Shelby is almost an ideal narrator for this as she's a native returning after a long absence—making her aware and making it natural that her voice would make explicit observations the readers need to know that would otherwise be nearly subconscious.

Okay, so why so sad, then? The antagonists of this story were predictable grotesques and that made the plot almost dreary. If it weren't for attaching to the characters and coming to like Shelby so much, this would have been a tedious read. As it was, it was merely exasperating. This is potentially spoilery, but only in the sense that I'm going to confirm what most readers will suspect from the start. I'm not sure what's going on here, but I expected better from Roberts. Indeed, the only reason I hadn't already written the ending in my head at page 10 is because I believed Roberts was better than that. She certainly has been in the past. Not so here, though.

And the middle-book tension provided by Melody? That was just stupid. The psychotic bitch antagonist just doesn't work in that small-town environment. Such a feud may exist and persist, but it should have been either more open with all parties (particularly grandmothers) involved, or it should have been better sublimated and more subtle. Melody was a caricature, is what I'm saying, and that stood out in a book with so many other well-fleshed-out characters.

So predictable. In the worst ways. Ouch.

So anyway. I liked it well enough. It was entertaining in the way I expect from a Roberts romance. But it was a shadow of what I feel it might have been with only a little extra effort. Indeed,

A note about Audible: I almost bumped this a star just for the narrator. January LaVoy has a rich alto voice and I'm easy prey for a Southern accent. The two combined (rich alto in a Southern accent) was killer. Plus, she did each character distinctly and with personality in ways that the best actors make seem effortless. Indeed, I knew who was speaking well before we got to the "said" tag in almost every case. It was an outstanding performance.

A note about Steamy: Roberts standard. So my personal mid-range with two explicit scenes that fit the story well and served the emotional arc.
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,204 reviews919 followers
April 19, 2015
Shelby Pomeroy Foxworth is recently widowed and finding that her husband wasn't who he presented himself to be. She and her three-year old daughter, Callie, are now saddled with enormous debt instead of the wealth she thought she was inheriting. Shelby returns to her hometown in the foothills of Tennessee to recreate her life, re-establish relationships with family and friends and start anew. She gets the attention of Griff Lott, a building contractor, whose bowled over by her and her daughter.

While I liked the story it fell really short of a typical romantic suspense story by Nora Roberts. There's plenty of humor, heartbreak and romance with a healthy dose of family dynamics. There is a mystery element but it just isn't suspenseful. I figured out most of the plot pretty early on.

If you read this as a contemporary romance with a mystery element, you'll have a better reading experience. I listened to the book and really enjoyed the performance by January LaVoy, a new-for-me narrator. She nailed the Tennessee accent.
Profile Image for Alp.
736 reviews373 followers
July 13, 2018

I had high hopes of this one. The blurb itself made this book sound very promising. But unfortunately, it didn't live up to its potential.

The plot was too predictable and the suspense part was a bit weak. Some of the twists came as no surprise to me. The main villain of this story came across more like an absurd person or maybe a lunatic than a calculating or sly one. And about two main characters...I think the hero was ok for the most part. I neither liked nor disliked him though. The heroine was meh. I had a hard time connecting with her character. I felt like she tried to be strong and reasonable, but fell flat eventually. Moreover, she could be very annoying at times.

As much as I was upset with this one, it honestly wasn't all that bad. There were good things about it too. I found myself enjoying its pace. The story flowed nicely and some parts of it were very entertaining and the supporting characters were interesting and colorful.

Anyway, I wouldn't consider this one a satisfying read for me. It was sad that the book with so much potential ended up becoming another one of those mediocre (almost subpar) stories. Nothing special to make it stand out from the crowd.

That said, everyone has their own tastes and preferences, so don't let me discourage you from trying this book. You may enjoy it more than I did.

All in all, I partially enjoyed this one. It wasn’t totally awful, it could have been better though.
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books353 followers
March 5, 2020
This was a nailbiter! Shelby’s husband just drowned in a sailing accident, leaving her a widow with a toddler daughter. Come to discover, he was hiding multiple identities, loads of debt, and lots of secrets, if the contents of a safe deposit box provide any hints. Super creepy. Was anything he told her true? Can she trust anyone she meets? Shelby sells the house and escapes to her hometown, but will her husband’s shady past follow? Lots of great characters in this one, classic southern drama, brothers you can count on, and great suspense as the mystery is slowly unraveled.

Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.
Profile Image for Vicki.
1,207 reviews145 followers
July 19, 2016
This book by Nora Roberts reminds me how much I enjoy her suspenseful storytelling. Her characters have humor, personalities and wonderful charm. This book is about a southern woman that has recently lost her husband in a boating accident. It is not long after the death that she begins to find out discrepancies in what his life. Missing money, secret procedures, and even a few more unusual revelations.

The story grabs you and twines you into the most confusing and potentially dangerous life if Shelby Foxworth. After she finds out that things are not as they seemed with him she returns to Tennessee. Back to her parents and siblings. It is not long after she arrives that she finds a contractor that keeps showing up around town. She is drawn to him and he is so intent on making her notice him.

Danger starts to rear its ugly head and people start being hurt. People start showing up with more tales of Richard, or whatever his real name is. Then threats and more revelations cause Shelby to re-evaluate her entire position in life. She has a daughter that she must keep safe. The book balances her willingness to help find out the troubling secrets and protect herself and her daughter.

Griff is a great character. He is the stuff heroes are based on. A construction worker that loves what he does. He is very talented in refurbishing and creating masterpieces in the local homes. He finds himself wanting to make a commitment too fast and he can't help himself. He is a friend of Forest her brother and he gets caught up in the police work. Something he never expected to happen. Forest is a wonderful character too. He is loving to his sister even though he was angry at her for years because of her actions.

There are so many full bodied side characters and they add to the story one layer at a time, until you feel a part of this town.

The writing of the southern people in town is perfection. The little sayings and the actions of beauty queen runner up women. These people could live in any southern town in several states. It is really fun to see the way the family interacts. It is really a great story. This is one of my favorite books by Nora Roberts. She knows exactly how to say things.
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,889 followers
April 15, 2015
There’s a reason why Nora Roberts is indisputably one of the most popular writers in the world. Her experience is enormous and her self-assuredness is evident on every page. Calling her a skilled storyteller is a bit of an understatement. Roberts is much more than that, she is the queen of genre fiction and as such, she can do no wrong.

The Liar is a fabulous example of everything I love in her books. She easily combines mystery, small town drama, a wonderful community and a delightful romance. In a 500-page book everything runs smoothly, and somehow, during that time, you and the characters become like family.

At the beginning of The Liar, we find a distraught young widow. Her husband has died, her baby daughter has lost her father and life has come crashing down hard on her, but the worst of it all is learning that her husband wasn’t a decent man, wasn’t who she thought he was at all. Left with a huge debt and very little self-esteem, Shelby must find her way once again and become the woman she deserves to be.

The opening chapters of the novel are a bit hard to get through. We can almost taste the bitterness of Richard’s betrayal, and the anger is sometimes too much. But 500 pages of watching Shelby claw her way back to a healthy life more than make up for it, and the initial difficulties only make the end that much more rewarding.

Left all alone and choking in debt, Shelby returns to Tennessee to be with her family. That’s when things really get interesting – Roberts paints for us a small town in such vivid detail, full of colorful characters and everyday events. Her choice of narration – third person (I could almost say omniscient) with many switches in perspective – would seem a bit odd in a different book, but here, everyone important was able to offer a glimpse through their eyes. I find it thrilling that something that could have been so messy ended up being smooth and put together seamlessly.

The romance was another pleasant surprise. Although the plot was a bit predictable and I was disappointed that Shelby didn’t think of the answer herself, the rest of the story made up for that small fault and the romance especially made it completely worthwhile. A perfect man can sometimes be so boring, but not Griffin. He was just what Shelby and her little girl needed.

This book is absolutely perfect for when you want to let everything else go and just be surrounded by something else altogether. Trust me, Nora Roberts won’t disappoint. I don’t think she knows how.

Profile Image for Somia.
2,051 reviews130 followers
March 28, 2020
Her husband dead, mind boggling debt to deal with, widow and mother Shelby finds her life turned upside town, but one thing that shines bright in all she is having to deal with, she and her little girl can go home to her family. As she tries to ensure her and her daughter's future, Shelby quickly realises her husband had many secrets and they aren't staying buried, ensuring trouble dodges her steps, added to that someone isn't happy to see her back in town.

Shelby's husband was a douche as a husband and father. I also wasn't overly keen on her childhood best-friend/

An easy read, and re-read in this case, whilst not a favourite when it comes to my collection of Roberts' work it helped me relax for a bit when I found a moment to read, helping me for a bit escape the stresses of the day/week.
Profile Image for Sandysbookaday is (reluctantly) on hiatus.
1,971 reviews2,041 followers
December 13, 2015
The Liar was my first ever Nora Roberts, and will probably be my last. The Liar was offered to me as a psychological thriller......which it most definitely isn't.

It is a pretty schmaltzy romance with a little bit of, well I can't even really say suspense, because for me it just wasn't suspenseful at all.

The beginning was interesting.....Shelby Foxworth loses her husband in a boating accident. Then she loses all her illusions - an outwardly wealthy man, he owned nothing and left her with a mountain of debt. Then going through his belongings she finds a key, which in turns reveals he was a cheat, a liar, and had multiple identities.

After that, for me, it all went downhill.

If you like romance, this book would be a good read. As a thriller, particularly a psychological one, it falls well short of the mark.
Profile Image for Christa.
2,214 reviews421 followers
April 22, 2015
I thought The Liar was Nora Roberts at her best. The book has superb characters that I cared about from the beginning. The two main characters, Shelby and Griffin, were for me some of Robert's most easy to relate to yet, and Callie was simply delightful. There was an entire slew of wonderful secondary characters, as well as a couple of those that readers love to hate. The storyline captured my attention right away, and I was entranced until I finished the book. I loved the Tennessee mountain setting, and enjoyed every word of this book.

Shelby Pomeroy Foxworth has been dealt blow after blow since the death of her husband a few months earlier. She has found that he was not at all the man she believed, and their entire life together was a lie. When Shelby climbs up from the hole he left her in enough to feel that she can face her family, she leaves the Philadelphia area and goes home to rural Tennessee. Her loving family welcomes Shelby and her daughter with open arms and hearts, and her life starts to come together. As she begins to build a new life and feel pride in herself again, even meeting a man who interests her, she is faced with unsavory elements from her husband's past that put she and her daughter in danger and jeopardize the new life they are leading.

I loved this book. It had everything I could have wanted - wonderful characters, a great balance of romance and suspense, a captivating storyline, and a beautiful and rich setting. No one tells a story like Nora Roberts, and she outdid herself with this one.
Profile Image for Rikke.
Author 3 books10 followers
June 7, 2015
You know when you start to read a book, and it's not really that good - but you continue reading it, while thinking "It might get better".
Well, this one don't.

It's an extremely flat storyline, filled with pathetic stereotyped characters - who is not even the slightly bit likeable.
The entire book is predictable and boring, and how this ever got to be on New York Times bestseller list will forever be a mystery to me.
Profile Image for V_Nerdbooks.
622 reviews185 followers
September 30, 2019
I'm not sure why I didn't ever pick up anything by Nora Roberts, I think I've mentioned before that The Witness is one of my favourite reads, but for some reason I had the idea that Roberts was a bit like Danielle Steele or Mills & Boon (I have no idea why)
So her books didn't even pass my radar.

Silly me, i'm currently making my way through a few of them, and I've loved them all so far!

This one had me gasping, swooning, and wishing I was part of the family. To me, it felt a little like one of the Rock Chick books by Kristen Ashley with all of the family dynamics, and I loved it!

This story is about Shelby Foxworth, she comes from a "hick" town in Tennessee, and was swept off of her feet by a rich businessman. They were married very quickly and soon became pregnant.

A boating holiday was to be the downfall of their marriage, unfortunately due to her daughter being ill, Shelby stayed behind, but her husband nevertheless went alone, there was an accident, and he died.

When Shelby starts to deal with the aftermath, bills etc. she comes to find that her husband wasn't the man she thought she married at all, in fact, alongside the millions of pounds in debt that he left her in, it seems that he was a cheater and a liar, in fact he didn't even exist at all!

Moving back to her family home she tries to start living her life again, but trouble has a way of catching up with you!

🎧🎧 - Narrated by my #VoiceCrush January LaVoy, who was awesome as always, this one was a fantastic read.
Profile Image for Olga.
974 reviews140 followers
October 6, 2016
No he podido con el...Mira que me gusta Nora Roberts y he leido mucho ( y bueno) de ella pero este libro es infumable.... No puedo darle ni una estrella porque la historia no me ha enganchado, la protagonista uffff ,no se por donde cogerla, la historia de amor es demasiado rapida y se pasa mas de la mitad del libro contando las aventuras y desventuras de un pueblo sureño de America,para llegar a un final precipitado ( y muy previsible)....
Profile Image for Mandy.
1,510 reviews218 followers
February 5, 2017
LOVED this book! Griff is the ultimate book boyfriend and Shelby was a fantastic heroine. I loved Griff's interactions with Shelby's daughter, I loved the small town setting and I loved the suspense. This is my favorite book by this author! Loved it!
Profile Image for Joy (joyous reads).
1,468 reviews291 followers
November 21, 2015
Whenever I feel the onset of boredom from whatever book I'm reading, I tend to turn to Romantic Suspense to jump start my waning interest. Now, my conventional drug is Sandra Brown, but I've always been interested in other authors who are a household name in this genre. Like, Nora Roberts, for example. I haven't had much experience with her books. Aside from a couple of her In Death books (which I loved), I've not had the chance to read anything from her extensive library. This week, I finally decided to check her out for myself.


Shelby Foxworth has a lot to learn about the man with whom she married. It's a shame that she had to learn all about him posthumously. Recently widowed, the once prosperous life that she'd grown accustomed to was apparently nothing but a sham. As it didn't take long for all the debtors to come knocking on her door a few days after her husband "drowned" in a boating accident. In debt to the tune of a couple of million dollars, Shelby meticulously planned out how she would be able to pay all the debts her husband incurred. Little by little, she'd find out that the man she married lived a duplicitous life.


Shelby was one of those women who has the admirable trait of being able to pick herself up no matter how far she'd fallen. The two-million dollar debt should've been debilitating to some, but that didn't deter her from wanting to move on and build a life for her and her daughter. After finding out that Richard was a con-man who victimized the wealthy, she high-tailed it back to her hometown and into the welcoming arms of her family. Here, she tried to bridge the rift between her and her loved ones when she decided to marry Richard. Because Richard was a controlling husband; one who preferred their wives to be docile and alone.

For the first time in her life, she was able to see that there could be a future for her and Callie, her daughter. Surrounded by family, old friends, and new acquaintances. She also meets Griffin; a man determined to help her see that she could trust a man to take care of her and Callie without having to incapacitate her independence.

The novel is long and arduous, unfortunately. I am not that familiar with her method of storytelling, but I felt like it could've used a chunk of trimming. Since this book was supposed to be Romantic Suspense, it was neither romantic nor suspenseful. In fact, the mystery was so transparent that a reader could see the twist from the get-go.


This book is not in the speed of her In Death series. It was slow - as slow as molasses in the winter. In my opinion, the story could've been told in 300 pages or less. But I suppose Roberts wanted to show Shelby go through a reborn of sorts.
Profile Image for Linda .
1,809 reviews255 followers
July 7, 2015
THE LIAR contained plenty of elements found in a typical Nora Roberts novel: a strong female with a vulnerable side because of a traumatic past. The story itself was a soap-opera powerhouse but it was very formulaic. There was plenty of family interfering in their good-natured way. An over-protective brother. An ooey-gooey, sweetie-pie three-year-old. Plus a grandmother that oozes sage wisdom and the heroine's ultra-modern thinking mother.

Then there was Shelby. I mentioned earlier that she was strong and she was. She was 24-years-old but had the maturity and smarts of a 40-year-old and here was where I had a problem. All through the story I kept thinking that someone with her sheltered upbringing and give-not-take marriage with an uber-controlling spouse didn't jive.

The mystery? Meh. If you pay attention early on, Ms. Robert gives you an important clue. It wasn't hard to figure out.

And Griff Lott, the contractor and the hero of the story? You couldn't help but love him. But like Shelby's family, he was written almost too perfectly. I enjoyed his character but honestly? I liked Shelby's cop/brother, Forrest. He had a darker, edgier personality and I would have liked to learn more about him.

THE LIAR was about 100 pages too long. I tired quickly at the beginning with Shelby taking it upon herself to dispose of hundreds of thousand dollars worth of assets to pay down credit cards...and sell an expensive home...and locate a mysterious safe deposit box...and buy a used van. The romance was pleasant but the secondary characters were near-perfect and the mystery was lukewarm. IMHO, I think die-hard Nora Roberts fans will enjoy this story the most.
Profile Image for Jacqueline J.
3,466 reviews316 followers
April 13, 2015
I generally enjoy Ms. Roberts' once a year romantic suspense book. This one was okay but not a favorite. I felt that both the romance and the suspense portions were underdone. Somehow it never developed much tension in the suspense portion. There was no real sense of any danger to the heroine and I did guess the ending from the very first. The romance was nice but rather tepid. I enjoyed the interaction between the hero and the heroine's little girl.
Profile Image for Shabby Girl ~ aka Lady Victoria.
538 reviews78 followers
July 28, 2015
I really struggled to finish this book. The story was interesting, I suppose, but I’m not sure I even liked the heroine, the way everyone just loved her (except the jealous school mate ones who did criminal acts to get back at her after she’s been away for years) and she was just so perfect, except she ran off with someone she didn’t know, ditched her perfect small town family and got married without them to a controlling, mentally abusive shit, had a kid, let him run roughshod over her and she had no idea who he was or what he was, then all of a sudden when he dies she’s able to pick up everything, pay off millions of dollars, go back to her old life and everyone loves her again and she’s all perfect. Just ...okay.

And the hero, he is really good looking 30 year old guy, of course, who doesn’t seem to have had a long term relationship, but of course falls head over heels instantly in love with the heroine the moment he sees her with no reservations at all about jumping full on into a relationship with a woman who has a kid who he also instantly falls in love with, offers to look after her and makes her princess wands (?), doesn’t worry people are constantly threatening the heroine and getting shot, she’s in a total mess and all it's good because she's pretty. Far out, he needs a gold star on his forehead because he’s perfect. He even has the perfect house, the perfect best mate whose girlfriend is her best friend’s boyfriend, so it’s just perfect.

Of course the heroine has the perfect mother, father, brother, grandmother and best friend, everyone is just perfect, except for the jealous ones from school, who of course commit crimes to prove they’re so horrible.

The main problem I had with it – well, two problems really apart from the above – is that there were just tracts of boring stuff going on and on and conversations with a kid, it's all about the kid. I’m actually someone who likes kids in books, but this was too much for me. I’m really not interested in reading about the kid who really doesn’t have much to do in the story. She’s only there really to make the heroine look better because, you know, she’s a mum and she always puts her child first, so she is perfect and needs a gold star on her forehead too.

Actually I probably had more irritants as well I might as well mention such as the constant “mama” and “baby” and “ya’ll”, after everything that happened to the heroine, she jumps straight into bed with the hero, drags him into her problems and the story was so predictable and blah, blah, blah. Nora Roberts is a bit hit and miss for me – well, mostly miss, with the odd really good one. I put this one down constantly and struggled to get back to it.

And the mystery, it was so good I guessed it from about page 10. Three stars because Nora Roberts does know how to string words together, but I just wish they were strung together into a good story.
Profile Image for paige.
592 reviews674 followers
November 12, 2022
“It’s always seemed to me things are more exciting when you’re not looking and you find them.”


I can't even tell you how many times I've read this book over the last six years. Seven or eight? Maybe? It's one of the only books that I have always been baffled by. One of the few superior books that I could not guess how it would end. Nora had me on the edge of my seat the entire time and all I could do was let her take me on this journey.

Shelby and Griff are one of my absolute favorite book couples EVER. She's a single Mom who goes back home after the sudden death of her husband. A husband who left her in extreme debt and expected her to pick up all the pieces of his lies. Hence the title. Going home brings her back to a life she thought she had left behind forever.

Living in a small town was hard enough, but going back to it... that leads to gossip and SO MUCH LOVE. Which is so much more important than anything else. Griff had moved to town while she was away and he feels like the world shifts the first moment he saw her. He loves her the way she deserves to be loved and never lets that life-changing moment allow him to lose the feeling of how lucky he is.

When I find someone I want to spend my life with, I hope they'll love me the way Griff loves Shelby.

This book is about going home. Falling in love. Remembering who you are. It's about being a good mother and a good friend. It's about making up for things life made you miss and never taking anything for granted.

The quote above... Nora Roberts feels like that for me. I have never been so captivated by story-telling like I am by her. Anything she writes: I'll be there to read it.

- Paige
Profile Image for Vintage.
2,393 reviews443 followers
November 9, 2022
Shelby, Maybelline, Jolene, Viola, Foxworth….

Sigh... these names. I feel like I’ve been coated in flour and southern fried. I went to college in Nashville and love the South, but with my second Nora Roberts and all its southern sayin’s and cutesy metaphors …it’s killing me, sweetie pie

Nice suspense story with a happy ending, but I’m having a hard time swallowing something about the bad guy
Profile Image for Ezi Chinny.
2,534 reviews416 followers
October 14, 2017
If you have read Nora Roberts before then this is a typical Nora Roberts book. First of all, she has written very similar novels so I figured out what was going to occur almost immediately. She seems to love those naive heroines that have to grow up and find their spine by the end of the book while also finding love.

In this book, I was baffled at how unaware Shelby was. When her husband died, and she started finding out all his lies and deceptions, all I could think was "that's one dumb chick"! There is no way he could have pull all that off unless she willing chose to turn a blind eye. I am glad she went home because she needed to be around people who would have her back.

Shelby and her 3 year old daughter get a chance to regroup and build a new life. Shelby met Griff Lott and she made him work since her trust in men had been obliterated.

I really liked Griff because he was a great guy. Shelby, Callie and Griff made a great bunch and I love that Shelby got her fight back.Unfortunately, I've read this plot twist a few times already so I wasn't surprised by much in this book.
Profile Image for Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey).
1,386 reviews470 followers
July 10, 2015
Quick review:

Cover: Okay
Rating: NC-17
Thumbs Up: 4.5
Overall: Really enjoyed this one
Characters: Well Written
Plot: Overcoming bad choices
Page Turner: Yes
Series Cont.? N/A
Recommend: Yes
Book Boyfriend: Griff

SUMMARY (60 words or less)
I knew from page one what would happen by the end and I was right. I didn’t really waver from that reality as I read. However, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story at all. I even found myself tearing up at the HEA ending. Perfect.

For a full review and yummy pic, see my blog post at:


Audio Review
January LaVoy did a wonderful job with the narration. I didn’t have any problems following along.
Profile Image for Cyndi.
2,338 reviews97 followers
August 28, 2017
Excellent story! Great characters!! I listened to the audio so my Southern accent got thicker. Lol!
Shelby learns that the man she married was not who she thought he was. She is a strong character and a great mom. Shelby brings her little girl home to Tennessee where her loving family and colorful friends in the small town take care of her.
When Griff sees her it's love at first sight. When he meets her little girl, it's cemented. His character is kind, handsome and thoughtful. When Nora puts her mind to writing the perfect man, she hits it out of the park.
I have been on a Nora Binge and I'm amazed that she never writes the same character twice. Her characters are always original, and their paths to happily ever after are never the same.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,001 reviews369 followers
April 17, 2019
I loved this small town feel and the family! I want to be a part of this family! Such a cute and yet thrilling read. Loved the slow burn romance but most of all, the family and friendships were amazing.
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