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04 February 2015

Nora Roberts: The Liar

While Nora Roberts' books are not my normal genre I try to read her annual romantic suspense releases (recently The Witness, The Collector, Whiskey Beach, Chasing Fire) to see how a bestselling author who has written so many books manages to turn out something different. While I have been impressed with her recent romantic suspense releases I was disappointed with this one.

Shelby Foxworth lost her husband, Richard, in a boating accident. Then when she is settling his estate she lost her illusions of the man who provided  a life of luxury for herself and their daughter when she finds herself left with a crippling debt. Her luxury life was a complete fabrication, and Shelby soon finds that he was an adulterer, a liar and a con man.

Staggering from the impact Shelby moves back home to her loving family who she deserted for the high life with Richard. Despite initial problems they welcome her back and she meets Griff Lott, a local building contractor who is totally the opposite of Richard. Of course following the typical Roberts formula, Shelby and Griff are immediately attracted to one another.

In recent books Nora Roberts was able to mix her romantic formula's with interesting suspense and a courageous but flawed young woman. This time IMHO this was a great disappointment. The romantic stuff would hardly make a successful Harlequin/Mills and Boon book, the suspense was weak and unbelievable and Shelby was not a very memorable or powerful heroine. I had worked out most of what was going to happen, both romantically and with the suspense plot when I had read about one fifth of the book.

It seems to me that Nora Roberts has written so many books that she may be getting to her use-by date. Her romantic formulas are tired and repetitive and her suspense plots are becoming unbelievable. I did give it 3 stars but this is because it is not my normal genre and I am sure that there will be many readers who will love anything that Roberts's writes.

I doubt that I will be read the next annual book of this type - but then I have told myself the same thing with Jack Reacher thrillers and always seem to have an excuse to see how another long-standing bestselling author can manage to dish up something different.

My thanks to Net Galley and the Australian publisher for a copy of this book for review.

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