This review was also posted at Carole's Random Life
I really enjoyed reading this book. More than I thought I would to be honest about it. I have read Nora Roberts before but it has been years since the last time I picked up one of her stories. For some reason, this book's description really appealed to me so I decided that it was time to try Nora Roberts once again. Were her books always this good? The opening part of the book really grabbed a hold of me in a way that I did not expect. When I think Nora Roberts, I think of romance but this book was so much more than that.
The story focuses on Naomi beginning when she is just a young child. Naomi follows her father into the woods one night hoping to get a peek at her birthday present. Instead, she finds a young woman locked in a cellar that her father has been holding captive. She helps the woman escape and her father is sent to jail as a serial murderer.
Naomi was such a strong character from the very beginning. She immediately decides to do what she knows is right regardless of what it will cost her and her family. Her uncle Seth and his partner, Henry, take in Naomi, her brother, and their mother but their life is far from easy and they soon suffer another major loss.
As an adult, Naomi is a successful photographer. She buys a large house on the west coast in need of major remodeling. She soon connects with many of the local residents and starts to really make a home for herself. There is an instant attraction between Naomi and Xander and they seem to fit together well. When the town that she has moved to is struck by murder things become intense.
I did figure out who the murderer was fairly early in the story but it didn't take away from the suspense for me. Even though I had a good guess, I wasn't positive that I was right so I kept turning the pages. I enjoy a bit of violence in a story so those parts of the story worked very well for me even though they may be too much for more sensitive readers. I really don't remember this kind of violence in a Nora Roberts book before but I have to say that I liked it.
I really liked the psychological aspect of the story more than anything. I never have given a whole lot of thought to what it must be like to be a family member of someone like Naomi's father. The impact on how she lived her life and thought about things was significant. Xander's personality worked well with hers. He was very patient and seemed to know just what she needed. I really liked them as a couple. The romance didn't overtake the story at all and I thought it was really nicely balanced.
I would highly recommend this book to fans of romantic suspense. I have read quite a few books by Nora Roberts and am looking forward to picking up more in the future. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Penguin Publishing Group - Berkley via First to Read for the purpose of providing an honest review.Initial Thoughts
I liked this one a lot. This book had a really strong start that really pulled me into the story. I liked Naomi and Xander both individually and as a couple. This is the first Nora Roberts book that I have read in a really long time and I am now wondering why I don't pick her books up more often.