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Search tags: J-D-Robb
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review 2018-07-05 15:16
Birthright by Nora Roberts
Birthright - Nora Roberts

When 5,000-year-old bones are discovered in a field in Maryland, archaeologist Dr. Callie Dunbrook is called to head the excavation project. Unfortunately, her ex-husband, and love of her life, decides to join as lead anthropologist.

Soon, though, the pain of the implosion of their marriage is forgotten, as a stranger starts claiming Callie is her long-lost, kidnapped daughter, and death starts plaguing their archaeology project.


This book was classic Nora Roberts. Wonderful, realistic, flawed characters, drama, explosive chemistry and passion, and intriguing suspense rife with mystery and murder.

I loved the two protagonists, and I absolutely loved their second-chance romance. It was obvious they cared deeply about one another, but never bothered to actually get to know each other while they were married, never bothered to talk things through, hence the implosion. This second time around, thanks to Jake's stubborn refusal to let Callie go a second time, their relationship finally got a chance to grow beyond the stage of sexual attraction and frenzy, and they finally managed to communicate.
I found the initial conflict (and what led to their separation in the first place) a little out of sync with everything I got to know about both characters, especially Callie. I didn't understand her inability to trust him, her inability to realize his feelings, even though he failed to verbalize them. It didn't really gel with her past, since there were no real issues connected to "the conflict" in said past. And since the reader never really gets a chance to see the two before the start of the story, this "mystery" was never resolved.
But their romance worked, because it evolved, it grew in front of the reader's eyes, as the two got to know each other better and maybe for the first time.
And as all NR romances, it had its sweet moments, its dramatic and angsty moments, it had its fights, and it had sizzling chemistry and passion.

The rest of the cast could've easily paled in comparison to the two protagonists, but that's not how Nora Roberts rolls. Each had their own personality, their own issues, their own demons, and their own things in common with the rest, making their relationships and interactions shine no matter what.
The secondary romance was cute and sweet, especially compared to the main one, and the intricacies of the connections between the cast a real pleasure to read.

And then we come to the suspense. It could've easily worked without it, but the suspense added that extra layer of intrigue, mystery, and yes, danger. At first, it looked like two random sub-plots thrown into the story together, until, in the end, it turned out it was all connected.
The subject matter was chilling (and once again easily translated into out every day "normal" lives), and the lengths, the culprits went to to keep the truth buried, even more so.
The suspense elements kept us guessing, kept the characters on their toes, and kept the two protagonists occupied with more pressing matters than fighting. ;)

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review 2018-07-03 17:10
Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
Naked in Death - J.D. Robb,Susan Ericksen

I read this when was it first released in 1995 and decided to give it a reread on audio hoping it would hold up so many, many years later. 23 years later, actually! How did that happen? This book is older than my kids. Older, probably, than a few of my friends here too! Obviously, I remembered nothing about it except that I loved it, that it was set in the future, had a damaged heroine named Eve and that her lover was named Roarke and his past was shady. I was all into characters with dubious pasts back then, still am, I guess. I read a few more in the series before getting side-tracked by life and forgetting about it which is pretty much the story of my reading life with any series be they short or eternal like this one.

 

I feared Naked In Death might not be nearly as great as I had remembered but miraculously that wasn’t the case. It’s gritty from the get-go and very murder mystery/crime procedural-ish in the most interesting of ways. I think any reader picking this up so late in the game can still enjoy it. It doesn’t feel dated and is so much better than some of the more recent Nora Roberts book I’ve read more recently. I was thinking maybe my tastes had changed but now I’m thinking Nora Robert’s has just written a few duds. Vision in White & Shadow Spell? I’m talking about YOU.

 

There’s no sense in rehashing the plot of this old book. I’ll just leave you with the good and the not-so-good. The chemistry and dialogue are great, there are the beginnings of some amazing character development which will continue into at least the next few books and I enjoyed reliving Eve and Rourke’s early days.

 

The downside? There is insta-lust and it takes over Eve’s common sense. I won’t say anything else because its spoiler territory but if you read it you’ll see what I mean. There are also some brutal as hell death scenes, all of a sexual nature, and flashbacks of child abuse by a sexual predator. Lots of death and lots of awful sexual stuff. Be careful if these scenarios haunt you because Robb doesn’t pull any punches here.

 

I’d give this book a four and ½. It’s not quite the five I remembered but I’m old and crabby now.

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review 2018-06-27 16:11
Blood Magick by Nora Roberts
Blood Magick - Nora Roberts

They were never meant to be together, she one of the three, he the spawn of evil, carrying his mark, yet Branna and Fin still fell in love. Oath, blood and the curse of a dying witch might've kept them apart for more than ten years, but now, as the final battle approaches and the future is uncertain, they must take what moment they can to experience what has been denied them.


And then this happened. After two books of hyping the "epic, star-crossed lovers" tale of the eldest of the three recent descendants of Sorcha, the Dark Witch and the man carrying the blood (and mark) of Cabhan, the evil sorcerer that killed Sorcha and her man, bringing about the creation of the three and prompting Sorcha's curse, this is what we got.
Blah, blah, blah, boohoo to me, I-love-you-but-cannot-be-with-you-no-matter-what-but-have-to-be-with-you-no-matter-what, wringing of hands, cooking, cleaning, blah, blah, blah, let's-make-some-more-witches, let's-make-demon-poison, blah, blah, blah, the end.

This is this third book in a nutshell. Boring.

Where was the drama? Where was the angst of this star-crossed, doomed, cursed love? I have no idea. This book sure didn't deliver.
Even the characters and their interactions were boring. There was no sign of friends and family from the previous two books. They were just there for form's sake, to warrant another book, if you will.
There sure wasn't enough material for an entire book in this story, so it had to be filled with ballast and redundant scenes (cooking, cleaning, making of soaps, taking strolls in the woods...)

Even the final confrontation with the big bad wasn't that satisfying. It read like overkill, too large-scale, too much everything; it actually turned into almost a parody (and it would've, if this series had any more books to come).

Come to think of it, the entire arc of the trilogy didn't have enough story meat to fill three books. It could've easily been condensed into a single one (like Three Fates for example). It would've packed more of a punch, instead of spreading itself thin.

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text 2018-06-27 06:01
Reading progress update: I've read 338 out of 338 pages.
Visions in Death (In Death, #19) - J.D. Robb

Ack...did it to myself again. I should have been asleep nearly two hours ago, but I had to finish this. This is why I try not to read when I have to work the next day. I don't know when to stop.

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text 2018-06-27 00:51
Reading progress update: I've read 214 out of 338 pages.
Visions in Death (In Death, #19) - J.D. Robb
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