Saturday, June 26, 2010

Recent Read

The Search by Nora Roberts

Why this one: I received an ARC and since it's been a while since I've read Nora Roberts I thought I'd move it up in the TBR pile.

Steam Level: Just about perfect

Blurb: To most people, Fiona Bristow seems to have an idyllic life-a quaint house on an island off Seattle's coast, a thriving dog-training school, and a challenging volunteer job performing canine search and rescues. Not to mention her three intensely loyal Labs. But Fiona got to this point by surviving a nightmare...
Several years ago, Fiona was the only survivor of the Red Scarf serial killer, who shot and killed Fiona's cop fiance and his K-9 partner.
On Orcas Island, Fiona found the peace and solitude she needed to rebuild her life. But all that changes on the day Simon Doyle barrels up her drive, desperate for her help. He's the reluctant owner of an out-of-control puppy, foisted upon him by his mother. Jaws has eaten through Simon's house, and he's at his wit's end.
To Fiona, Jaws is nothing she can't handle. Simon, however, is another matter. A newcomer to Orcas, he's a rugged and in-tensely private artist, known for the exquisite furniture he creates from wood. Simon never wanted a puppy-and he most definitely doesn't want a woman. Besides, the lanky redhead is not his type. But tell that to his hormones.
As Fiona embarks on training Jaws, and Simon begins to appreciate both dog and trainer, the past tears back into Fiona's life. A copycat killer has emerged out of the shadows, a man whose bloodlust has been channeled by a master with one motive: to reclaim the woman who slipped out of his hands...

My Thoughts: As I said it's been a while since I've read a Nora Roberts book. I think she is an incredible talent and I inhale her In Death series written by JD Robb. But as a LONG TIME reader of Nora Roberts, I finally gave up her series books as I found the characters in each of the three books were getting to be pretty rehashed. But I have always enjoyed her single titles. I just kind of lost track of which was a single title and which was part of a trilogy.

And as usual with a Nora Roberts single title, I really enjoyed this book. As you read in the blurb, Fiona has had a major tragedy in her life. But she didn't let it define her. Instead she's made a very fine life for herself as a member of the local canine rescue team and a dog trainer. She's a very good heroine and I liked her tremendously. When her past comes back to haunt her, she doesn't give in to the fear it would be easy to.

And Simon is just adorable as a hero. The last thing he wants is a "relationship". He is perfectly content to go on being a loner while crafting beautiful wood furniture. But when his mother gives him the adorable 'puppy from hell', he's reluctantly drawn into the Fiona's world. He desperately needs the dog training she offers. Fiona and Simon really 'get' each other. Simon doesn't offer Fiona sympathy for her difficulty, instead he is more a help for her with his practicality. And Fiona, though falling hard for Simon, gives him the space he needs and lets him move at this own pace in their growing relationship.

The mystery is good and tense and kept me turning the pages to see what was going to happen.

The secondary characters are also quite well developed and I loved the relationship between Fiona and her step mother, Syl, a local shopkeeper who sells Simon's work. They were very good friends who had the love and loss of Fiona's father/Syl's husband in common.

And I can't not mention the other secondary characters. I'm not a dog person. I'm a cat person. But when I found myself reading this book and thinking I just might want a dog after all, despite not really caring for dogs, you know the author has done a wonderful job in writing about them. Jaws, Simon's out of control puppy, is such a hoot and I haven't enjoyed reading about a dog as much as I did this one since Hairy, the Chinese Crested in Susan Donovan's Take a Chance on Me. And as well as Jaws, Fiona's own three dogs, Newman, Bogart and Peck are also great dogs.

And although I don't own a dog - don't think I ever will, I also found a lot of Fiona's dog training techniques very interesting and helpful. I think dog owners themselves will really find them useful.

I'm very happy that I read this book. It again reaffirmed that Nora Roberts is a one of the best in the biz.

Grade: 4.25


azteclady said...

Me, want.


(and my envy at your getting ARCs is a terrible, terrible thing--I hate being envious of someone I like so well!)

Anonymous said...

I finally gave up her series books as I found the characters in each of the three books were getting to be pretty rehashed.

Too true, and I haven't even been reading her that long. Will have to keep that in mind.

My word verification: "Swagio." A mix of swag and Fabio, what could be more perfect?!

-- willaful

Kristie (J) said...

Willaful: It took me years of reading her series books to get to that point. And it's never been that I don't think she's a fabulous writer. Unless you have been reading her for years I don't think you have to worry *g*. And for anyone getting their toes wet in romance, I still HIGHLY recommend her books. And I'm still highly addicted to Eve, Roarke and the gang *g*.

AL: I was SHOCKED and DELIGHTED when I got this one in the mail!! I think I might be a book or two behind in her single title series but whenever I see one that I missed I scoop it up :-)

Wendy said...

Kristie: A good way to keep track of Nora's trilogy/series vs. single titles is the format. Her series books tend to come out in paper (her current Bride Quartet books are in trade pb) while her single title books tend to be hard cover release first, followed by paperback. The exception to this rule would be the In Death series, but that's written under the Robb name :)

We got an ARC of this in at work (via Baker & Taylor) - which I promptly loaned to the office Nora-fanatic. She gave it back to me well over a month ago....and there it sits on my office desk. Still. Gah! I am so far behind on my reading, 'tis sad.

vi said...

I gave up in Roberts when she wrote those paranormal series. I am so happy that she returned to straight romance for her Bridal quartet.

I do, however, have kept up on all of her stand-alone hardcovers. I am so excited about this one. I too am a cat lover but I look forward to following in love with Jaws. Can you at least the breed that Jaws is? Just curious.

Kristie (J) said...

Vi: Jaws is NOT a pit bull or rottweiler. *grin* He's described as a Lab Retriever mix. And he's totally adorable.

Wendy: it's when her single titles come out in paperback and I see rows upon rows on the shelves that I start getting confused. But I think I'm pretty up to date on them.

Karen W. said...

I just put a hold on THE SEARCH at the library, and I can't wait to get my hands on it! I'm happy to see such a great review. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a NR addict and can't wait for this one - but I'll have to, because I never buy hardcovers. And as a dog lover and owner, this time a year will be a long, long wait.
Happy readings, Marcella

Kristie (J) said...

Marcella: Is there a library close to you that you could get it from? I can relate to the price of hardcovers, though I've discovered if I get them online through Chapters, they are quite a bit cheaper. Nora and Linda Howard are the only authors I buy in Hardcover - well mostly.

Karen: When an author can get me thinking about getting a dog, you know it's good. Of course once I pop my head out of the book, all longings for a dog disappear. My two cats plus Brent's cat are quite enough for me.

Tabitha said...

I look forward to Nora Roberts single titles. Can't wait for this one. I am glad that you enjoyed it and reviewed it. Makes the anticipation even better knowing that someone who hasn't recently read her books enjoys her latest. Thanks. :)

orannia said...

Oh, I do like the sound of this, and I'm not a dog person either. Cats all the way :) The beginning has me feeling sad though :(

Anonymous said...

Alas, Kristie(J), no library. Well, there is a library but they only have the English classics. And it's also my own fault because I stubbornly insist on reading the original - otherwise I could borrow the translated version from someone, which is published nearly simultaneously...
Happy readings, Marcella

nath said...

So happy you enjoyed it Kristie! NR writes dogs like no others! They are so great LOL. I'm thinking of the one in The Tribute with his teddy bear! :)

I'm really looking forward to read this one. You're really lucky :)