Author: Nora Roberts

Retro-Review: Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts.

Posted November 28, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Retro-Review: Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts.Reviewer: Rowena
Savor the Moment (Bride Quartet, #3) by Nora Roberts
Series: Bride Quartet #3
Also in this series: Vision in White (Bride Quartet, #1), Happy Ever After (Bride Quartet, #4)
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: April 27th 2010
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 325
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Goodreads
four-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts cordially invites you to meet childhood friends Parker, Emma, Laurel, and Mac — the founders of Vows, one of Connecticut’s premier wedding planning companies.

Laurel McBane has always relied on her friends for support, especially when her dream of attending culinary school was almost ruined by her parents’ financial problems. Now Laurel is repaying the kindness of her friends by creating extravagantly luscious tiers of cakes and other confectionary delights that add the perfect touch to their clients’ weddings. As for romance, Laurel believes in it — in theory. But she’s too low-key to appreciate all the luxuries that other women seem to long for. What she does appreciate is a strong, intelligent man, a man just like Parker’s older brother, Delaney Brown, on whom Laurel has had a mega crush since childhood.

But some infatuations last longer than others, and Laurel is convinced that the Ivy League lawyer is still out of her reach. Plus, Del is too protective of Laurel to ever cross the line with her, or so she thinks. When Laurel’s quick- silver moods get the better of her — leading to an angry, hot, altogether mind-blowing kiss with Del — she’ll have to quiet the doubts in her mind to turn a moment of passion into forever…

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.*****

This review was originally posted on April 27, 2010.

This is another series that I am absolutely in love with. I love that it’s a straight up contemporary series with just two human beings falling in love without be bitten by vampires or taken hostage by terrorists or anything else like that. They’re just two everyday, average, normal people falling in love over the course of time.

This book was good. It was but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Jack and Emma’s story. There were things about this book that I loved, like learning about Laurel’s side of the business, I’ve always been fascinated with baking and Laurel does it well so it was good to see that. I also enjoyed getting to know Del. I’ve always been interested in learning more about Del in the first two books and it was good to finally see Del getting some serious page time.

Laurel and Del’s attraction to each other started in the last book when they’re all at Emma’s family’s house for a bbq and you could tell that this was where that day was going to lead Del and Laurel. Their attraction seemed to simmer on low heat for a few weeks before it boiled right out of the pot. Del is trying to keep seeing Laurel as the little sister he’s always known her to be and Laurel is trying to get over her silly crush on the boy that will always look at her like a little sister. So in a last ditch effort to get Del out of her system, she shows him that she’s NOT his sister and that sets the tone for the rest of the book.

They’re playing this keep away game of Laurel’s shoes and Del is using the shoes to get to know Laurel better. He’s going for this and he’s going to see where it leads them. Watching these two grow closer and closer was cute. Seeing them bicker their way to love made me smile.

Del was a great hero, one who caring, thoughtful and adorable. I really liked him but I didn’t love Del the way that I loved Jack. Del was a good, solid hero but he didn’t make my heart sing the way that his best friend did.

Laurel was one of those feisty heroines who at times made me roll my eyes around the room. Her reasons for being mad at Del about the whole money didn’t make sense to me. She’s known Del most of her life, she’s friends with him. She should have known him enough to understand where he was coming from with the whole paying thing. I mean, she blew something so small into something so big and I just didn’t get it. So Del’s rich, so what? I just didn’t understand where all of her anger from him trying to give her money was coming from. It’s not like he thought she was this two bit loser who he felt sorry for and was trying to give her a break. I could see him doing the exact same thing to Emma and to Mac but Laurel blew that shit up like he was trying to strangle her or something.

Overall, this book was good but it’s not my favorite of the bunch. My favorite part of this book was getting to know Laurel while she was at work. I loved reading about all of her baking bits. Seeing her in action in the kitchen had me wanting to throw my apron on and see what kind of concoctions I could throw together in the kitchen. I love baking in any romance novel and it never fails to amaze me how Nora Roberts can take any occupation out there and make me curious about it. She’s a phenomenal writer and I’m such a fan!

It was good to see the gang all together again and I can’t wait for Parker and Mal’s story. I can’t wait to see how Mal wins her over. It’s going to be interesting because Mal is a fox and Parker is one tough cookie. I can already imagine the sparks that are going to fly. Woot!

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

The Bride Quartet

This book is available from Berkley Trade. You can buy it here.

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Obsession by Nora Roberts

Posted April 12, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Obsession by Nora RobertsReviewer: Tracy
The Obsession by Nora Roberts
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: April 12th 2016
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four-half-stars

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

Naomi is a few days away from her 12th birthday when she follows her father into the woods.  At first she thinks that he’s going to the creek to cool off since it’s so hot outside but he goes into the woods and ends up in a root cellar by a burned out house.  When he finally leaves she sneaks down thinking she’ll find that he’d put together the new bike she’d asked for for her birthday. What she finds is that her father is a monster.  He had been kidnapping raping, beating and then killing women for a long time. Naomi becomes a hero that night.

After her father is arrested Naomi, her younger brother Mason, and their distraught mother go to live with their maternal uncle and his partner who Naomi and Mason grow to love (they had been cut off from him because he was gay).  They all change their name to Carson, their mother’s maiden name, and try to live normal lives but the crimes of their father never were far behind them.

Naomi grows up to be a photographer and moves from place to place, getting attached to nothing and no one.  She likes it that way until she finds Sunrise Cove when she’s 30 years old.  She falls in love with the town and in one house in particular.  She buys it and starts to renovate it and finally puts down roots.

She starts to become part of the community and starts a relationship with a local businessman and mechanic.  Xander is wonderful for her and though he finds out her past he still treats her the same – not like she’s tainted because of who her father is.  Unfortunately, there’s someone out there who has a thing for Naomi and it’s not all champagne and roses.  When Naomi finds out about this villain she has to decide to put her past behind her and move on with the strength to help find the guy or to wallow in her past and let it beat her down once again.

This book was a great one.  I really loved so many things about it.  I loved seeing Naomi as a child and my heart broke for what she discovered about her father – seeing everything first hand.  Then with her mother being broken she really had Mason and her uncles to rely on.  They were always there for her, however, and I loved their strength and support.

Naomi’s relationship with Xander started off kind of strangely, imho.  I didn’t really feel the attraction and quite frankly wasn’t sure if I liked Xander or not.  I started to warm up to him when I saw how much he was falling for Naomi and soon really liked him.  Naomi had closed herself off from caring for anyone except her brother and uncles.  She felt she couldn’t get close to anyone for fear they’d find out about her background and she couldn’t take the attention.  Once in Sunrise Cove it took her a while but she soon realized that she could be truthful and up front about her past and they would not think less of her.  It took time for her to accept but most good things in life do.

The suspense aspect of the story was brought up near the end.  Yes, the obsession had been going on for a while but we’re not made aware of it til later in the book.  I personally thought it came to a kind of abrupt conclusion (I guess I just expected it to be a bit more drawn out) but it got the job done.  Though the book is called The Obsession I didn’t feel like that was what this book was about.  Yes, it was there, and happening in the background, but to me this was a romance novel through and through.  That’s what kept me reading – along with Naomi’s personal growth.

Overall a really good book and one I’d most certainly recommend.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts.

Posted November 8, 2010 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts.Reviewer: Rowena
Happy Ever After (Bride Quartet, #4) by Nora Roberts
Series: Bride Quartet #4
Also in this series: Vision in White (Bride Quartet, #1), Savor the Moment (Bride Quartet, #3)
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: November 2nd 2010
Pages: 333
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Goodreads
four-half-stars

Dreams are realized in the eagerly-awaited fourth novel in Nora Roberts's Bride Quartet.

As the public face of Vows wedding planning company, Parker Brown has an uncanny knack for fulfilling every bride's vision. She just can't see where her own life is headed.

Mechanic Malcolm Kavanaugh loves figuring out how things work, and Parker is no exception. Both know that moving from minor flirtation to major hook-up is a serious step. Parker's business risks have always paid off, but now she'll have to take the chance of a lifetime with her heart...

This is where the party ends for the folks over at Vows. We’ve been through the ups and the downs with each of the four women in this quartet and the ride was great fun while it lasted. I’ve been very itchy about reading this book and when Holly finally sent that email out that she got this book for review, I was ready to duke it out with anyone who got in my way to this book (including Ames, =P).

We’ve seen Mac, Emma and Laurel all get their man and now it was Parker’s turn. The last man standing, the brain behind the whole operation and the glue that kept their tight knit group of friends together. It would have been so easy for Nora to write Parker as a total stiff but Parker didn’t come off that way at all to me. She’s from the Brown family and in their neck of the woods, that meant something but while Parker may have been very detail oriented and a total control freak, she wasn’t a beast.

This book played out exactly the way that I thought it would and while in some cases, that wouldn’t have worked for me but in this case, it totally did. I liked that it was predictable and that Mal was going to totally steamroll his way into Parker’s life whether she wanted him to or not and I enjoyed the ride.

I loved that these books were straight up contemporaries. I really enjoyed digging into a story about two characters that I have come to love as my own friends over the course of the series. Mal was a solid hero, one that I would totally bang again and again because he’s just hot stuff and I loved that he listens to The Killers. I have a very soft spot for Brandon Flowers. Ha!

Parker was Parker. Great at everything and did everything in 4 inch heels. She’s freaking Super Woman and I wanted to be her friend. I really liked the way we got to know both Parker and Mal. In Savor the Moment, I didn’t feel like Del got much page time and I would have liked to see more from him but in this book, Parker and Mal both got the kind of page time where I felt like I got to know the both of them equally and I really liked them both.

The thing about these books is they’re such fast reads. You read and read and read and then when the end comes, you’re surprised that you’re already there. It’s like being at a party that you don’t want to end and that’s how I felt with this one. I enjoyed this book and it’s probably my second favorite in the series, behind Jack and Emma’s book. Their book had it all for me and Jack still holds the trophy for my favorite hero in this entire series but Mal and Parker’s story was easy to fall into and when it all came to a close, I wasn’t ready to leave them behind so I’d say Roberts did a pretty decent job of writing this one.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

The Bride Quartet

This book is available from Berkley Trade. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-half-stars


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Lightning Review: Rapture in Death by J.D. Robb

Posted January 5, 2010 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Lightning Review: Rapture in Death by J.D. RobbReviewer: Holly
Rapture in Death by J. D. Robb, Nora Roberts
Series: In Death #4
Also in this series: Creation in Death, Strangers in Death, Suite 606, Salvation in Death, Kindred In Death, Naked in Death, Glory in Death, The Lost, Immortal in Death, Fantasy in Death, New York to Dallas, Celebrity in Death, Brotherhood in Death
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 310
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four-stars

They died with smiles on their faces. Three apparent suicides: a brilliant engineer, an infamous lawyer, and a controversial politician. Three strangers with nothing in common - and no obvious reasons for killing themselves. Police lieutenenat Eve Dallas found the deaths suspicious. And her instincts paid off when autopsises revealed small burns on the brains of the victims. Was it a genetic abnormality or a high-tech method of murder? Eve's investigation turned to the provocative world of virtual reality games - where the same technique used to create joy and desire could also prompt the mind to become the weapon of its own destruction.

 

This novel takes place right at the end of Eve and Roarke’s honeymoon. I think this is the first book where we really see them in harmony with each other.

Once again Eve’s case spills over into her personal life. People keep killing themselves, but Eve is convinced they were helped along. Her only evidence – besides her gut feeling – is each had a small blip on the brain. For me it isn’t ever hard to figure out who the villains are, but it is a joy watching Eve work. I especially liked the moral and social implications this case delved into. Mind control/mood control is a very scary thing.

There’s one scene in particular with Roarke that’s very emotional to read about. I will say, reading this book knowing what’s going on ahead of time really changed the tone of some of the scenes. The first time around my reaction was much different than it was this time around.

Something about the end of this book strikes me as odd, however. I don’t want to spoil it, but Eve’s reaction during the very last scene of the book seems off somehow. I can’t quite put my finger on why it’s wrong, though.

Overall a good entry.

4 out of 5

For a full list of the books and their reading order, see here.

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars


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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

Publication Date: November 24th 2009
Genres: 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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