HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Posts Tagged ‘noraroberts’

Book Review: Nora Roberts – Sanctuary

Posted by HelenEdith on April 4, 2010

I’m way behind on my book reviews, as I read this book a good couple of months ago. Having been on non-library books for a while, I haven’t had an incentive to keep my book reviews up to date, as the books haven’t had to go anywhere once they’re read – although this one will probably find its way to the charity shop eventually.

Sanctuary is the house where photographer Jo Ellen Hathaway grew up. She escaped many years ago and carved out a career away from the island where Sanctuary stands. However, now she is back, because somebody is sending her pictures, and she needs to face her past, including the murder of her mother.

Architect Nathan Delaney has also returned to the island. Like Jo, he was still a youngster when Jo’s mother was killed, but his family were on the island at the time, too.

When it becomes apparent that Jo is facing danger at Sanctuary, she questions whether Nathan is safe or a part of the danger. In typical Roberts fashion, we get kept in suspense right to the very last page. The key players remain on the island during a hurricane and the final chapter to a tale of murder unfolds along with the storm.

This book is a little dated. Jo’s career is photography; and since 1997, when this book was copyrighted, there has been a digital revolution. Some of it almost reads like a historical novel, with scenes taking place in a darkroom. However, it didn’t affect my enjoyment and I will continue to lap up the output of Nora Roberts at every opportunity.

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Book Review: Nora Roberts – Northern Lights

Posted by HelenEdith on December 6, 2009

This nice thick volume from Nora Roberts is set in the town of Lunacy, Alaska, where Nate Burke has become the Chief of Police.

Many would have preferred a local Chief, but Nate has been brought in from outside. He soon makes the acquaintance of Meg Galloway, and this provides some romantic interest to the book. However, the main plot of the book is the discovery of a body on their local mountain – a body which turns out to have been up there for quite a few years, preserved in an ice cave.

Part of the story is told in flashback, although as the flashback portions never mention real names, we never know from the flashback exactly who was up the mountain on the fateful climbing expedition.

What soon becomes apparent is that someone in Lunacy doesn’t want Nate to investigate how the body came to be in the ice cave and why nobody reported that less men came back down the mountain than went up.

I thought I knew “whodunnit” several chapters before I reached the end of the book, but I was wrong: I had to read all the way to the end to find out who the real villain was.

Another satisfyingly good read from Nora Roberts.

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Book Review: Nora Roberts – Birthright

Posted by HelenEdith on September 9, 2009

This is the fascinating tale of Callie Dunbrook and her ex-husband Jake Graystone.

The book starts with a prologue in Santa’s Grotto, where a baby disappears without a trace. Then we fast-forward to where prehistoric bones have been dug up on a building site in Woodsboro, the town where the snatched baby lived. Callie is an archaeologist, and she gets called in. When she appears on local television, the mother of the snatched baby, who has never given up hope that she will find her child, is convinced that Callie is that long-lost child.

Callie denies that she could be, but when she checks into her background, she discovers that she isn’t the natural child of her parents after all. As she continues to dig, both archaeologically and personally, it becomes apparent that she has stirred up a number of topics which other people would prefer to remain buried. The builder wants her gone, as he wants to continue building. However, he turns up dead before long. It seems that her delving into her past is attracting the wrong sort of attention, and the story of her adoption becomes murkier and murkier the more she looks into it.

This is a good book because there is the archaeological interest which gives the book its cornerstones; then there is the dangerous story of baby snatching and havey-cavey adoptions; and finally there is the chemistry between Callie and Jake, who married in haste, divorced in haste, and are now thrown back together.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

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Book Review: Nora Roberts – Blue Smoke

Posted by HelenEdith on June 2, 2009

This is yet another of Nora Roberts’ crime thrillers. This one is about Reena Hale, who witnessed an arson attack on her family’s restaurant and went on to become an arson investigator.

Then some of the fires she investigates start to have personal implications, and Reena must find out who is setting them and why.

There is lots of background associated with an Italian family running a pizzeria; and lots of pressure on Reena to settle down and marry, along with the more serious plot of the arson investigation, and the book kept me interested right to the end.

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Book Review: Nora Roberts – Angels Fall

Posted by HelenEdith on May 31, 2009

Nora Roberts’ books are being categorised by the library more often these days as ‘Cri’ or ‘Fan’ than as ‘Rom’ and this one falls under the ‘Cri’ label.

Reece Gilmore survived a brutal crime and has since decided to go away on a journey of discovery. She fetches up in a small town called Angel’s Fist because her car breaks down; and when she finds out that the local diner needs a short order cook, she decides to stay a while and repair her finances.

There are some entertaining moments associated with someone who used to be a restaurant chef taking on the job of short order cook, not the least of which is the running battle with the owner over what herbs and spices are absolutely essential to have in a kitchen – and whether they should be dried or fresh!

The main plot of the story concerns a murder which Reece witnesses, but for which no evidence and no body can be found. The local writer, Brody, is the only person who believes Reece, but when strange things start happening to Reece, it seems that Reece really must have seen something that she wasn’t meant to.

Reece does eventually get a lead to follow up with Brody, and it draws the book to its climax, and eventually uncovers a murderer.

An enjoyable read.

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Book Review: Nora Roberts – Key of Valour

Posted by HelenEdith on February 27, 2009

(Book three of the Key Trilogy)

I was entertained when I picked this book up from the library to discover that it was “Key of Valour” rather than “Key of Valor” – however the translation into British English did not penetrate beyond the cover and this book was all American within!

This third and final part of the Key Trilogy is Zoe McCourt’s story, and also features Bradley Vane, the male interest in the story. Zoe is a single mother with a nine year old son Simon, and there were some hilarious man-to-man exchanges between Simon and Bradley in the course of the book.

The main plot concerned the finding of the final magical key to unlock the souls of the three demigoddesses captured by the evil sorcerer Kane, and involved Zoe going on a journey back through her life to the time when James Marshall had left her pregnant and alone. Along the way there were several supernatural encounters with the evil Kane, but as you would expect, Zoe did eventually come up with the key.

I’ve enjoyed this trilogy, although I think I’d prefer Nora Roberts to be a bit less fantastic and base her books a little more on a premise of solid reality.

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Book Review: Nora Roberts – Key of Knowledge

Posted by HelenEdith on January 2, 2009

(Book two of the Key Trilogy)

This is the story of Dana Steele’s quest to find one of the three keys which will unlock the box in which three demi-goddesses are trapped.

The same characters who appeared in Key of Light reappear here, with Jordan Hawke taking a prominent role alongside Dana. The evil magician Kane, who was responsible for locking up the demi-goddesses in the first place is still up to his old tricks, and is getting trickier.

As this is a trilogy, you just know that Dana is going to be successful in her quest or there wouldn’t be the necessity for Zoe McCourt to search for the final key in Key of Valor. The boy (Jordan) gets the girl (Dana) by the end of this book, too.

I already had Key of Valor reserved at the library when I wrote this review, but didn’t post the review straight away and I’ve since picked up that final book now and started reading it. Interestingly, they seem to have done a British edition and the book I borrowed is actually Key of Valour! I haven’t been eagle-eyed enough to spot whether it’s only the title whose spelling has been “corrected” or whether the English inside the book has also been given a trans-Atlantic translation!

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Book Review: Nora Roberts – Key of Light

Posted by HelenEdith on November 1, 2008

(Book one of the Key Trilogy)

You have to hand it to Nora Roberts: she was first published by Silhouette in 1981, but by the mid 1990s, she was also writing near-future crime fiction as J.D.Robb, while still continuing to write for Silhouette, where she perfected the art of the series with The MacGregors. She turned over a new leaf with the turn of the 21st Century and ceased writing for Silhouette, but put her series skills to good use writing a variety of series published in hardback, some of which I’ve read, and some of which I haven’t. I enjoyed the ghost story from the In the Garden trilogy immensely, but found some of her Irish fantasy a bit heavy going when I picked up the final book in the Circle trilogy out of context.

Key of Light has a supernatural Celtic mythological theme, while also being a romance. The story which will run through all three books in the trilogy is of the half-mortal daughters of a Fairy King and his mortal wife. The daughters have been locked in a glass box by a sorcerer and only mortals are able to find the three keys (after all, this is a trilogy!) which will release them.

In this book, we are introduced to the three mortals who are to attempt to find the magical keys, but this book is particularly about Malory Price, who is the first to have a month to solve an obscure riddle and obtain the first key. The romantic interest is provided by Flynn Hennessy, the local newspaper owner/editor, who also happens to be the step-brother of Dana Steele, the second of the three key-hunting mortals. The third is Zoe McCourt, and the book starts with all three arriving at Warrior’s Peak, a somewhat spooky house, where they are met by Rowena and Pitte, who turn out to be immortals, and who set the key hunts in motion.

I enjoyed this book, although as with the J.D.Robb books, where setting them in the future can add plot twists which wouldn’t be feasible in the present day, when you add magicians and immortals into a plot, you can do all sorts of things that you wouldn’t really be able to do. Nora Roberts is careful not to make the story so much of a fantasy that it’s totally divorced from reality, and I will be back for the next part, Key of Knowledge.

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Book Review: Nora Roberts writing as J.D.Robb – Seduction in Death

Posted by HelenEdith on November 24, 2007

I enjoy Nora Roberts’ romantic fiction, and decided to give her crime writing a try.

There are a whole series of these crime novels, which are set a little into the future in New York City, and this book is not the first in the series, so I may have missed out on some development of the character of Lieutenant Eve Dallas which occurred in previous books.

This story was about a series of killings of young women who had been drugged with powerful date-rape drugs, and it dipped into Eve’s background as an abused youngster.

One of the nice things about setting your stories in the future is that you can use things that don’t currently exist to help your plots along, including easy-to-apply disguises, medicines to cure 24-hour bugs, and cars which you can program with a destination and just switch to ‘auto’ so that they drive themselves.

I enjoyed the book and might dip into some more J.D.Robb later on.

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Book review: Nora Roberts – Valley of Silence (part of The Circle Trilogy)

Posted by HelenEdith on July 12, 2007

I have read lots of Nora Roberts’ romantic fiction and generally find it to be very good. However this book, which the library filed under “Fantasy”, was a struggle. It occasionally referred back to events which must have occurred in the previous two volumes, “Morrigan’s Cross” and “Dance of the Gods”, neither of which I have read. It also contained a lot of unpronounceable Irish names which made reading the book somewhat difficult. Imagine my disgust when I found an Irish Glossary sandwiched between the end of the book and a trailer for another Nora Roberts book! Why couldn’t they have put the glossary at the front, or at least had an index page at the front to indicate that it was there!

As I said, the book was a struggle. It was set in a fantasy country which seemed to bear a strong resemblance to Ireland. One of the main characters was a vampire. There were also a shape-shifter, a sorcerer and a witch among the main characters.

The whole book was building towards a battle between humans and vampires, although Moira, who has become the Queen of Geall (by dint of drawing a magical sword out of a stone, no less!) manages to have a romantic interest in Cian, the vampire. When I finally found the well-hidden glossary, I found that his name is pronounced “KEY-an”. As he’s a major character in the book, I could have done with finding that out a lot sooner!

As this book was the final book in a trilogy, it tidied away all the loose ends, and I have no desire to wade through its two predecessors to find out the bits that I missed along the way.

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