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Search tags: Nora-Roberts-JD-Robb
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review 2018-11-23 12:07
The Villa by Nora Roberts
The Villa - Nora Roberts

The Giambelli family is all about tradition, passing the business of winemaking down through generations. Now, it's time for a little change. A merger long in the making, a final business merger augmenting a long personal one.

But someone has a grudge against the Giambellis, especially, or so it seems, Sophia, the PR whiz of the family. But she's not alone, fighting against an enemy, she cannot see yet. There's her grandmother, the matriarch, her soft, yet steady mother finding a new chance at happiness in her own life, and there's Tyler McMillan, someone she grew up with, but has no blood ties...And feels no sisterly feelings for.

Sophia and Tyler must work together, despite their possible misgivings, despite the explosive attraction, to bring about the merger of their two wineries, to bring about the start of a new century for the label and brand, and to discover who is the enemy in the shadows...



This was a usual Nora Roberts book. A well-researched topic with wonderfully evocative descriptions and narrative, a prickly (and a bit too bitchy in this case) heroine who, despite not wanting to be like her father, keeps making (almost) the same mistakes, a deceptively laid-back hero who has enough self-confidence and self-worth to be able to stand back and play Beta (because being Alpha all the time is exhausting), a wonderful secondary romance between two people who more than deserve a happy ending, a great supporting cast of family and friends, and a gripping suspense sub-plot.

I must confess to preferring the secondary romance between Sophia's mother, Pilar, and the new COO, David to the main one between Sophia and Tyler. There was something incredibly sweet and cute between these two people seemingly past their prime rediscovering romance, and I loved seeing how David slowly coaxed Pilar out of her protective, quiet shell.
The primary romance, in comparison, was rather harsh and jarring, mostly due to the heroine's dislikable character...In the end, I didn't really feel the love between the two.

The suspense was great with its many twists, turns and a red herring thrown into the mix for good measure, although the unraveling at the end left me a little perplexed, since it didn't really fit with everything that happened before. The methodical revenge plot simply disintegrated into the ravings of an offended lunatic. Maybe the unraveling of the calculating personality happened because of the financial and business loss, but I'm still quite perplexed.

And then there was the supporting cast. Each individual, from family to friends and enemies, each with their own character, personality and goals, and each bringing something special to the table, from comic relief to the key of the mystery.

An intriguing story of legacy and revenge in the winemaking industry.

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review 2018-10-14 16:20
Tribute by Nora Roberts
Tribute - Nora Roberts

Cilla McGowan, washed-up star, comes to Virginia to restore her famous grandmother's house. But someone doesn't want Cilla around, determined to do anything to drive her out of town. But she's not alone; her hot and quirky neighbor, Ford Sawyer, a comic book author, is close at hand to help...And to keep her in Virginia.


What makes this book (if you saw the TV movie, the book is way better, even though you know who did it) memorable is Ford Sawyer. He deserves five stars all on his own. I love the guy. What's not to love after all. He was nerdy, quirky, hot, protective, loyal, deceptively laid back and relaxed and so damned in love it made me want to go out and find me a Ford of my own.
Compared to him, Cilla, the heroine, paled and I must say I didn't really know her, not even in the end. It's not every day the heroine plays such a second fiddle to the hero. She was rather formulaic, a pretty standard NR heroine with a chip on her shoulder and an independent streak. But she was rather bland and generic.
Heck, Spock the dog had more personality than she did. The supporting cast was more interesting than she was. I don't know how to explain it, she left me quite cold and disinterested.

The suspense was good, even though I knew who the villain was. If I didn't, the identity would've been a huge surprise, something I wouldn't have seen coming, which is always a plus. The big bad was pleasantly twisted, wearing a perfectly innocuous mask, which made the big reveal that more coldly shocking.

The book started off rather slow and I didn't much care for the flashback/dream scenes, but it picked up the pace toward the end, creating a nice feeling of anticipation. The hero was adorable, the supporting cast provided a nice backdrop to the story and the shop talk, though rather abundant, didn't deter from the overall enjoyment.

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review 2018-09-06 16:24
Leverage in Death by J.D. Robb
Leverage in Death - J.D. Robb

A man walks into a merger meeting and blows himself up, killing twelve people in the process. Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon moves the supposed murderer onto her victims list, since it looks like the man was threatened and coerced in executing the attack to protect his wife and daughter.
The attack doesn't smell of terrorism, but Eve's husband, Roarke, might have found the real motive. Money and stock trading.

Eve's gut tells her the perpetrators wouldn't stop at just one job. Not when the first one worked so nicely...Then a man walks into his own gallery and blows himself up, killing a rising artist in the process. The MO and the motive are the same—the man's family was threatened and the artist's work's value will increase.

The police is now running against the clock to find the real killers and prevent more leverage and more death.


Another compelling, gripping installment in this series. It started deceptively slow, but for the big bang, yet the peril and urgency were there, just out of reach in the sidelines, slowly increasing the tempo as the story moved forward, until that last sprint for the finish line.

I liked the detective work in this one. The plot itself truly had me guessing, floundering as much as the characters as they tried to uncover the motive and the perpetrators. The baddies were hard to spot, which I liked very much.

The cast of characters really feels like old friends by now and it's always a pleasure having these two visits per year.

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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 2018-06-27 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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