Anthology Review: The Lost by J.D. Robb, Patricia Gaffney, Mary Blayney, Ruth Langan

Posted December 28, 2009 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Anthology Review: The Lost by J.D. Robb, Patricia Gaffney, Mary Blayney, Ruth LanganReviewer: Holly
The Lost by Nora Roberts, J. D. Robb, Patricia Gaffney, Mary Blayney, R.C. Ryan
Published by Penguin Publishing Group
Publication Date: November 24th 2009
Genres: Fiction, Romance, General, Anthologies (multiple authors)
Pages: 384
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three-half-stars

J.D. Robb’s Missing in Death investigates a female tourist’s disappearance during a ferry ride. Detective Eve Dallas wonders…if she didn’t jump, and she’s not on board, then where in the world is she?
In Patricia Gaffney’s The Dog Days of Laurie Summer, a woman awakens to a familiar yet unsettling world.
In Mary Blayney’s Lost in Paradise, a man locked in an island fortress finds hope for freedom in an enigmatic nurse.
And Ruth Ryan Langan’s Legacy belongs to a young woman who unearths a family secret buried on the grounds of a magnificent but imposing Irish castle.

Holly‘s review of The Lost anthology featuring J.D. Robb, Patricia Gaffney, Mary Blayney, Ruth Langan

I’ll admit I picked this up for the JDR novella, but I’ve read other short stories by the other authors before (in previous JDR anthos) and figure this would be a good collection.

J. D. Robb’s Missing in Death investigates a female tourist’s disappearance during a ferry ride. Detective Eve Dallas wonders…if she didn’t jump, and she’s not on board, then where in the world is she?

Surprisingly, I didn’t love this. Generally I like the in-between novellas, but this one didn’t grab me. It was interesting, but not as good as I’ve come to expect from Robb.

The investigation of Eve’s was a good one and I was intrigued by the mystery (how does a person get a body off a packed ferry with no one realizing it?).

I think my problem stems from the gray area Eve has to deal in. Generally having to cross a line would have bother her quite a bit more than it did. While I understood the reason she chose to go the way she did, I don’t think there was enough internal conflict over it.

On the other hand, it does show quite a bit of growth on her part, so…I’m conflicted.

3.75 out of 5

In Patricia Gaffney’s The Dog Days of Laurie Summer, a woman awakens to a familiar yet unsettling world.

This is probably my favorite story in the group. I didn’t expect to like it, but it really pulled me in. Laurie Summer had an accident and ends up in a coma. For 3 months she can hear everything that goes on around her but can’t respond. Until one day she wakes up as a dog. Through the eyes of the dog, she realizes what’s truly important in life.

While this could have been cheesy, Gaffney wrote it in such a way that it was charming and sweet. Some of the thoughts Laurie had as the dog had me laughing out loud, not to mention her actions.

Or maybe I fell into the story because my husband often gives our dogs voices and thoughts? Either way, I enjoyed it.

4 out of 5

In Mary Blayney’s Lost in Paradise, a man locked in an island fortress finds hope for freedom in an enigmatic nurse.

This is my least favorite of the collection. Isabelle is asked by her priest if she’ll agree to live on an island for a year and serve as their nurse, bring much needed vaccines and modern medicine to the inhabitants. She agrees, but quickly realizes all is not as it seems.

Sebastian was cursed 100+ years ago and had hoped Isabelle would be the one to break it, but he’s afraid to open himself up to her. Instead of embracing what they could have had, he pushes her away.

I think part of the problem for me is I was a bit lost with the story. Not the backstory, but the things that were happening between Isabelle and Sebastian. It would seem they were together and happy, then Sebastian would push her away for no reason.

In the end I didn’t care for the overall tone of the story or believe in their HEA.

2.5 out of 5

And Ruth Ryan Langan’s Legacy belongs to a young woman who unearths a family secret buried on the grounds of a magnificent but imposing Irish castle.

I liked the premise behind this story. Aidan has spent the last several months taking care of her mother and now that she’s passed on has been left with a mountain of debt. When she’s offered a considerable amount of money to go to Ireland to see if she’s the long-lost granddaughter of an old Irishman she agrees out of desperation, though she doesn’t believe for a second she’s the woman the old man is looking for.

Ross is her would-be grandfather’s lawyer and surrogate son. They immediately feel an attraction to one another, but they rub each other wrong. As they wait for proof of Aidan’s ancestry, they become closer and closer.

While I enjoyed this story for the most part, I felt it was very rushed at the end. Aidan and Ross go from sniping at and antagonizing each other to falling in love very quickly. I wish there had been a bit more page time, or even a gloss-over of several weeks. As it stands they go from being complete strangers to being in love and living happily ever after in the space of a few days.

Had it been just a bit longer I would have enjoyed it quite a bit more.
3.25 out of 5

Overall this is a good collection if you’re looking for a quick, light read. I imagine many In Death fans will want it for the Robb story, but I hope that, like me, enjoyment can be found in some of the others.

Final grade: 3.5 out of 5
This book is available from Jove. You can buy it here or here in e-format(right now Fictionwise is offering a 100% rebate on this book, so if you purchase from there you’re basically getting the book for free).

three-half-stars

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