2015 Book #36 – The Liar by Nora Roberts

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Title: The Liar
Author: Nora Roberts
Date finished: 4/24/15
Genre: Romantic suspense
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: April 14, 2015
Pages in book: 501
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

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 …

My rating: 4 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count for the challenge I am participating in for April, the #ReadingMyLibrary reading challenge. I checked out this book from the Plainville Public Library, luckily for me there it was sitting right on the shelf on its release date! I’m a fan of Nora Roberts and this book in particular sounded interesting to me. Right from the beginning this book drew me in. I have to admit I was a little daunted at first based on the length (hardcover book with 500 pages!!) but it went surprisingly fast. I found the story to be well-paced for the most part. There are obviously going to be a few dry parts in a 500 page book, I’m not sure how anyone can avoid that, but the story line was interesting and the characters kept me engaged throughout.
I have to say I just fell so much in love with Griff’s character. He was just so amazingly sweet and generous and loving. He was obviously smitten with Shelby’s little girl, four-year old Callie. And I thought it was so great that Shelby had such a supportive family to fall back on. Her story really is just astounding, and heart-wrenchingly sad that she lived for five years with someone who made her feel so worthless and unwanted. That’s an awful feeling and to be constantly made to feel that by someone you love, I can understand how she lost some of her spirit. It was wonderful to see her regain that spirit and grow throughout the novel though.
One of the things that I have to be honest I didn’t love about this book was the amount of characters we’re introduced to through the course of the story. Gosh it was just too much for me, I could barely keep them all straight. And some of them had the same names like little three year-old Jackson and Shelby’s grandfather Jack, and Shelby’s father Clay and her brother Clayton. It was just hard to keep track of sometimes. It was also hard to keep track of who was talking, there was a LOT of conversation going back and forth in most of the book, sometimes for long rambles and at a couple points I had to go back through because I was like, wait who said that?

The bottom line: Was good and surprisingly well-paced for such a long book. Favorite part of the story was Griff I think. Would recommend.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #20 – Tribute by Nora Roberts

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Title: Tribute
Author: Nora Roberts
Date finished: 3/16/15
Genre: Romantic suspense
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Publication Date: July 8, 2008
Pages in book: 451
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a long way from Hollywood. And that’s exactly how Cilla McGowan likes it. Cilla, a former child star, has found a more satisfying life working with her hands to restore homes from floor to ceiling – and has come here to her grandmother’s farmhouse, tools at her side, to rescue it from ruin. Sadly, no one had been able to save her grandmother, the legendary Janet Hardy. An actress with a golden voice and a tumultuous life, Janet entertained glamorous guests and engaged in decadent affairs – but died of an overdose in this very house more than thirty years ago. To this day, Janet haunts Cilla’s dreams. And during her waking hours, Cilla is haunted by her melodramatic, five-times-married mother, who carried on in the public spotlight and never gave her a chance at a normal childhood. By coming to the East Coast, rolling up her sleeves, and rehabbing this wreck of a house, Cilla intends to take a shot at finding some kind of normalcy for herself. Cilla has her work cut out for her – the house, once a place of comfort and simple rural beauty, is long neglected, crumbling, the grounds choked by weeds. Plunging into the project with gusto, she’s almost too busy and exhausted to notice her neighbor, graphic novelist Ford Sawyer – but his lanky form, green eyes, and easy, unflappable humor (not to mention his delightfully ugly dog, Spock) are hard to ignore. Determined not to carry on the family tradition of ill-fated romances, Cilla steels herself against Ford’s quirky charm, but she can’t help indulging in a little fantasy. But love and a peaceful life may not be in the cards for Cilla. In the house’s cluttered attic, she has found a cache of unsigned letters, tied with a faded red ribbon, suggesting that Janet Hardy was pregnant when she died – and that the father of her child was a local married man. Cilla can’t help but wonder what really happened all those years ago. The mystery only deepens with a series of cruel and intimidating acts and a frightening, violent assault. And if Cilla and Ford are unable to sort out who is targeting her and why, she may, like her world-famous grandmother, be cut down in the prime of her life.

My rating: 3.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Gold Lettering” square.  So Cilla, a child star now grown up and trying to find her place in the world, has purchased her grandmother’s homestead from her mother. Ford is attracted to Cilla right off the bat and he immediately can picture her as the star of a new series for his graphic novels (like comic books). Someone is threatening Cilla though, leaving her mutilated dolls of herself from when she was a child star, destroying her house, even attacking her friend Steve. Ford will do anything to protect her.
I didn’t especially love this book. There were entertaining parts but overall I didn’t love the plot line and I didn’t especially jive with the plot twist of who ended up being the bad guy at the end. I guess the book was ok.

The bottom line:  This book was ok, I wasn’t thrilled but it kept me entertained for the most point.

Link to author website
Link to Amazon

2014 – Book #102

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The hundred and second book I read in 2014 was Blood Magick by Nora Roberts. This is the third book in her Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy. I read the first book in 2013 and it is therefore not on this blog yet, the second book I read in 2014 and you can see the review here. I finished this book on 11/16/14. I rated this book 3.25 stars out of a scale of 5. This book tells the story of Branna O’Dwyer and Finbar Burke. Branna is the last of the three Dark Witches of Mayo. She has been in love with Finbar Burke since she was young but after they had sex for the first time when they were eighteen Fin woke up one morning with the mark of Cabhan.

Ever since that day, Fin has remained in Branna’s life but they haven’t been together as they both longed to be. In the previous two books we hear the story of Iona, Branna’s cousin from America, and Connor, Branna’s brother. We hear much of Branna and Fin’s back story through the first two books but we learn about some interesting developments in this third book in the trilogy. To be honest I thought it was a little weird that all of a sudden in this book Branna trusts Fin and decides to have a slumber party with him after all the inner turmoil she put herself through in the first two books.

Overall I thought this was an ok book. The ending went a little fast for me. It was a three book build up to this ending that was only about 10 pages, it just felt a little anticlimactic. It may have also been that i was looking forward to the book so much that I psyched myself up for it a bit too much. I did a WOW post on this book previously, which you can see here. And also I had trouble getting emotionally involved in the story, I didn’t feel like the characters had a lot of depth to them. Other than that it was a good read and I love the magical twist and also the glimpses into and connection with the past and the first three Dark Witches.

Link to author website: http://www.noraroberts.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Magick-Cousins-ODwyer-Roberts/dp/0425259870/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1416355039&sr=8-1

Waiting on Wednesday (4): Blood Magick by Nora Roberts

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“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.

This week’s spotlight is on:

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Blood Magick by Nora Roberts

Release Date: October 28, 2014

Blurb from the cover (Amazon): 

Book Three of The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy
Blood Magick

County Mayo is rich in the traditions of Ireland, legends that Branna O’Dwyer fully embraces in her life and in her work as the proprietor of The Dark Witch shop, which carries soaps, lotions, and candles for tourists, made with Branna’s special touch.

Branna’s strength and selflessness hold together a close circle of friends and family—along with their horses and hawks and her beloved hound. But there’s a single missing link in the chain of her life: love…

She had it once—for a moment—with Finbar Burke, but a shared future is forbidden by history and blood. Which is why Fin has spent his life traveling the world to fill the abyss left in him by Branna, focusing on work rather than passion.

Branna and Fin’s relationship offers them both comfort and torment. And though they succumb to the heat between them, there can be no promises for tomorrow. A storm of shadows threatens everything that their circle holds dear. It will be Fin’s power, loyalty, and heart that will make all the difference in an age-old battle between the bonds that hold their friends together and the evil that has haunted their families for centuries.

Why Am I Waiting? 

This is the third book in Roberts’ Cousin’s O’Dwyer series. I really enjoyed the first two books in the series, and honestly I’m eager to see the villain defeated and for Branna to end up with Fin. This series has been an interesting take on old Irish magic and I love the backstory to Branna, Connor, and Iona’s ancestors and the source of their magic. Overall a very interesting story.

Link to author website: http://www.noraroberts.com/

Link to Amazon (pre-order): http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Magick-Cousins-ODwyer-Roberts/dp/0425259870/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1413987477

2014 – Book #81

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The eighty-first book I read in 2014 was The Collector by Nora Roberts. I finished this book on 9/13/14. I rated this book 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5. This book is about Lila Emerson, international house-sitter and young-adult paranormal author. While house-sitting in New York City, she witnesses a brutal murder in the apartment across the street from her. Then when she happens to meet the suspected murderer’s brother at the police station (artist Ashton Archer), she hears a new side of the story that makes her questions what she originally believed happened in that apartment. Ashton asks her to help him figure out what happened to his brother.

As they investigate, Ashton realizes that Lila is everything he’s been looking for and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe. When the police realize that the person after Lila and Ashton is a woman wanted is sever countries for murder, they have to come up with a good plan to try and keep Lila safe. As they delve deeper into the investigation, Ashton uncovers a piece of art that his brother was killed over, a Faberge egg. More specifically, one of the lost Imperial eggs.

Overall I was not a huge fan of this book. The hero was FAR too heavy-handed for me and I just couldn’t manage to get involved in the story line. Some parts of the book were interesting but by the time the climax of the book came around I had pretty much lost interest. It was ok but I’m not sure its worth reading the whole 480+ pages.

Link to Faberge Imperial Eggs: http://www.faberge.com/news/49-imperialeggs.aspx

Link to author website: http://www.noraroberts.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Collector-Nora-Roberts/dp/0399164456/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410793306&sr=8-1&keywords=the+collector

2014 – Book #68

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The sixty-eighth book I read in 2014 was The Witness by Nora Roberts. I finished this book on 8/11/14. I rated this book 4,25 stars out of a scale of 5. This book is about Elizabeth Fitch, prodigy child who at 16 has already been accepted into Harvard medical school. Elizabeth’s controlling mother has decided that Elizabeth will follow in her footsteps and be a neurosurgeon. But Elizabeth’s real passion is computers, and she hopes to someday work for the FBI. One night of rebellion turns Elizabeth’s life around completely, and the few months that follow as she waits in a safe house for a trial to begin turn out to be better than all her years living with her heartless mother. A plot to eliminate her as a witness though leaves her doubting who she can trust, and so she goes on the run for the next twelve years. 

Elizabeth (now calling herself Abigail Lowery) settles in a small town in the Ozarks, thinking that in this quiet town she can finally find a semblance of safety and peace. But what she finds is that the Chief of police in this small town of Bickford is an extremely annoying man. He seems to be always butting into her business, and for a woman who just wants to be left in peace this can be extremely trying. Abigail comes to find though that Brooks can’t be avoided, and as they grow closer she discovers that he may be the one person she can trust with her secret. Brooks also has to deal with multiple different side stories in his role as town police chief. The addition of the side stories make it so that there is never a dull moment in this book.

Overall I very much liked this book. Even though it was a longer book for me (488 pages), I even thought that there could have been more added to the end. I felt like the ending was cut off a little too quick, I wanted to find out what happened with the bad guys. I absolutely loved the heroine in this story though, she was utterly fascinating. I would highly recommend this book, it was a great, interesting read and I was hooked throughout the whole story!

Link to author website: http://www.noraroberts.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Witness-Nora-Roberts/dp/0425264769/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1407786512

2014 – Book #31

 

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The thirty-first book I read in 2014 was Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts. This is the second book in the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy, I read the first in 2013. I finished this book on 4/28/14. I rated this book 4 stars out of a scale of 5. This book tells the story of Connor O’Dwyer and his lifelong friend Meara Quinn.

As the cousins O’Dwyer and their friends recover from their last battle with the evil Cabhan and try to plan for their next attack, Connor finds himself attracted to his sister’s lifelong friend Meara. But Meara has scars from her past that close off her heart from Connor’s love, and leave her susceptible to Cabhan’s sorcery.

One of the things I love most about this series is the interwoven back story back to the original Three Dark Witches, children of Sorcha. The story from long ago used as a backdrop for the journey of the Three Dark Witches now is very interesting. This book was fairly riveting, I didn’t want to put it down once I started it.

Though this was a simple story, it was one full of love, friendship, and family. It was a very touching story and I think I may have even liked it better than the first in the series. I am looking forward to the third book so I can find out if Fin and Brannan are finally able to work out their issues and be together.

Link to author website: http://www.noraroberts.com/index.php

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Spell-Cousins-ODwyer-Roberts/dp/0425259862/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398736504&sr=8-1&keywords=shadow+spell