Well, I have a conundrum. Actually, I have a couple of conundrums.
Conundrum #1 - I thought I was safe buying NR's ... what are they? Romantic suspense? Well, anyway the stand alones she publishes once a year.
Sidebar: NR publishes five- five - books a year. Two PNRs, two police procedurals as J D Robb, and one stand alone. Which means she writes 5 books a year, probably not the same year as publication, but still. Lord, no wonder there are people complaining of cookie cutter plots and mysterious ghost writers.
Conundrum #2 - I want to rant about this book, but - but - it would be spoilers ahoy and I don't know how to hide things or even if you can on Blogger. So, here's the Carolyn solution.
Oh wait! We need a blurb and a cover. So we will take a detour to provide these necessary things. I am a good blogger and strive to please ... um ... well, the last part's true.
Shelby Foxworth lost her husband. Then she lost her illusions …
The man who took her from Tennessee to an exclusive Philadelphia suburb left her in crippling debt. He was an adulterer and a liar, and when Shelby tracks down his safe-deposit box, she finds multiple IDs. The man she loved wasn't just dead. He never really existed.
Shelby takes her three-year-old daughter and heads south to seek comfort in her hometown, where she meets someone new: Griff Lott, a successful contractor. But her husband had secrets she has yet to discover. Even in this small town, surrounded by loved ones, danger is closer than she knows—and threatens Griff, as well. And an attempted murder is only the beginning …
Okay, back to the previously scheduled program:
SPOILERS ... SPOILERS BELOW ... PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!
Aah, now I can rant.
You saw the blurb, right? The first part of the book is about the heroine discovering her husband's secret life and how he lied to her about everything. And she snaps out of the cowed wife she had been to become this precision minded, competent woman who is selling jewels and clothes and starting spread sheets. Shelby is quite clear that she was verbally abused by her husband and she knew nothing about his business, the household bills, about anything. She snapped to real quickly though and I thought it was pretty damn quick. But I've never been abused in any way, shape or form, so I don't know. It just sort of caught my eye.
But that isn't even the point I wanted to make. After Shelby gets home to Tennessee, murder and mystery and mayhem begin. Why does this bother me? Would it help if I told you her husband died in a boating accident and the body was never found?
Uh huh, I'm just saying ...
This, coupled with missing contraband valued at 28 million dollars that had been scammed from a Florida woman, raised my antenna. No. No, Nora wouldn't. Would she? No, she wouldn't.
Ah, but she did.
I'm not good at solving mysteries; I don't care whodunit, unless it's a character I like. I like all the solving stuff and the relationships made while doing so. Usually I don't know whodunit until the author tells me. But this book? I knew from the first chapter, but I just couldn't believe she'd use that old chestnut.
Ah, but she did.
I bet absolutely no one was surprised. I certainly wasn't.
END OF SPOILERS!!
It's really weird, but all through the book, I was hearing the voices of the women from Steel Magnolias. I kid you not. The heroine sounded just like Julia Roberts; they had the same name and used a lot of 'Mamas'. Lord, there was even a hair salon, or I should say, beauty salon, because all sorts of beautifying stuff went on there. So I kept hearing Darryl Hannah's voice when Crystal talked and Dolly Parton when Granny Vi spoke.
See, this all took place in Tennessee, in the Appalachians, and we all know what that means. It means the Yankees can look down on all of them and they probably will. Granny Vi had her first child at 16, but at least she was married. There's moonshining history on both sides of the family, and all that lovely Scottish red hair and everybody knows everybody else and their business. In short, a typical southern town.
But it would not surprise me if the author had Steel Magnolias in mind when she wrote this.
I felt right at home in Rendezvous Ridge; southern talk, southern manners and it's sad that some reviewers will slap that down, as if every regional character should talk like a colorless TV announcer with no nuances whatsoever. Already caught a hint of this in some lower Amazon reviews. As for the plot, despite some add ons, the plot felt phoned in to me, so this brings me back to Conundrum #1.
I guess I'm through pre-ordering Nora Roberts books of any kind. I'll wait for better prices and definitely look at the reviews before making a purchase. This book cost me $13.00; based on her last books, back to The Witness, I thought the price worth it, but no more.
This is so depressing!