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13 July 2014

Nora Roberts: The Heart of Devin MacKade (MacKade Brothers)

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The formula continues - two down, two to go
This is the third book in Nora Roberts' quadrilogy about the four Mackade brothers following her successful family romance formula of wild brothers maturing and finding their life partners. None of the romances are straightforward as each partner faces up to a long term commitment greater than their physical attraction.

In the first two books Roberts gets Jarad and Rafe Mackade married off and they now have an offspring each from their marriages. Regan, Savannah and her son Brian are now well and truly accepted into the fold of the Mackade family. It is now the turn of Devin, a tough guy who is Sheriff of the town but a real softie at heart.

From his high school years Devin has always held a flame for Cassie and was devastated when she married Joe Dolin. He was even more devastated when Dolin turned to domestic violence against his wife and son and in Book 2 Devin was involved in Dolin's arrest and imprisonment. Cassie is now divorced and with the help of Rafe and Regan Mackade, she manages the Mackade Inn, an antebellum "haunted" mansion which is now a successful  up-market bed and breakfast. She is starting to put together a life of her own after Joe but still has to heal properly.

Despite being Sheriff, Devin is at heart a gentle man. He always believes that Cassie will become his soulmate but knows that he must proceed cautiously because she has not recovered from her ordeal with Joe and believes that all men are similar. He also needs to proceed very cautiously with her son Connor who is also suffering the after effects of his father's violence. Roberts spins a very sensitive romance as Devin, Cassie and Connor work out their relationship.

The Nora Roberts' formula for this kind of series is one where four brothers find their life partners. In each one either the brother or the girl have something that prevents them from making a commitment. It was so successful that three years later Roberts wrote the equally successful Chesapeake Bay Saga, another quadrilogy about four brothers, using a similar formula.

I am reading this quadrilogy as interludes between my normal dose of heavy thrillers. At first I wondered if I would read all of them but there is a certain attraction with Roberts' writing and her romantic formulas. The fourth book concludes the saga with Shane, the farmer, who has played the field as an independent man for so long. What kind of woman will snare him? I have read book four which I think will surprise you.

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