So I plowed through a few trilogies this month for the Nora Roberts challenge. I had hits, I had misses, and several that fell in between. Find out what I recommend, because you know you need more books to get through this annoying pandemic!
- Summer Desserts (1986)
- Lessons Learned (1986)
This duo is fun and light – perfect for a beach read. The main characters are two world renowned chefs who are best friends – the first book focusing on the pastry chef, the second on the Italian master. Both chefs are temperamental, complete with a nemesis (both nemeses are French) and they fall in love while cooking amazing foods that will make you drool. These books aren’t life-changing or profound, but they’re fun, and that matters. I’m not going to claim they are Roberts’ best, but when you just need something light to read and relax, either or both of these would be a good choice!
- Blue Dahlia (2004)
- Black Rose (2005)
- Red Lily (2005)
This trilogy is always fun – ghosts, romance, sassy Southern women. It takes place at a gardening center in Memphis – there are some careers you just don’t see a lot in fiction, and working at a gardening center (not florist) is one of them. Anyway, the female trio is haunted by a misandrist ghost and as the spirit gets stronger, they have to figure out what she wants from them. It’s a good read, and I enjoyed it, despite the fact this is probably my fifth time through.
- Hidden Star (1997)
- Captive Star (1997)
- Secret Star (1998)
Can you tell I’m trying to power through trilogies first? I figure it’s a good way to keep my numbers strong so that I have a chance of succeeding. Stars of Mithra is a murder mystery-thriller-detective type trilogy with the focal point being some priceless gems with, as all good stones have, a violent and interesting myth attached. There’s some ups and downs, of course, but nothing unpredictable really.
- Dance Upon The Air (2001)
- Heaven And Earth (2001)
- Face The Fire (2002)
I love this trilogy. It’s the story of three witches who need to fulfill a three hundred year curse to save the New England island on which they live. Each character is well-developed with strengths and faults – even secondary characters. There’s enough humor mixed in to make you chuckle perodically. It’s just a good story.
- The Next Always (2011)
- The Last Boyfriend (2012)
- The Perfect Hope (2012)
This was the first time I’ve read the Inn Boonsboro trilogy. I remember when it was coming out, and I wanted to read it when the books were all released – and somewhere in there, I forgot. It was pretty amazing. It might even be one of my new favorites. For sure, the ghost aspect was my favorite across any Nora Roberts ghost books. It was a beautiful story, with the nuanced characters she’s become known for. A lot of people last month were saying they haven’t read Nora Roberts yet – you may want to consider starting with this trilogy (or the Bride Quartet, another favorite of mine. Or…well, maybe when I finish the challenge, I’ll do a top ten list or something.)
- Dark Witch (2013)
- Shadow Spell (2014)
- Blood Magick (2014)
I can’t believe I’m going to say this. I hated this trilogy. I’m still not entirely sure why – the writing style isn’t bad, it’s still Nora Roberts. But it took me days to plod my way through the first and a week(!) to finish the second. I mainlined the third out of sheer determination to be done. I seriously considered putting them down multiple times. I think they were a little more fantastical than I prefer, although I’m not really sure about that. I do think the characters were a bit flat compared to her other novels. Someone else, please read these and tell me if it’s just me!
I actually picked this up in the middle of the aforementioned trilogy to see if I was just burned out on reading. I wasn’t. I finished this book in about 24 hours, which is standard, since it’s one of my favorites. And despite this being probably the 5th time I’ve read it, I still love this book. There’s a lot of great female relationships, and solid family in it, a great mystery that takes a unique twist, and horses. I watched the Lifetime movie for this book too – you should not, it makes you want to cry, it’s so bad.
Okay, I thought I’d read this book before, but I must never have gotten around to it. It’s pretty spectacular. There’s a lovely mystery in there, and I don’t know about you, but I didn’t figure out who was behind it until the characters did. This is a great one to read, and I could absolutely see me re-reading this in the future.
I finished the month with Hidden Riches, another book I hadn’t read. It was good, although not spectacular. It’s a romance/police procedural type story, so it was interesting at points, but since the romance came first, it wasn’t particularly thrilling. If you’re a big Nora Roberts fan, you’ll probably like it – if you’re trying her out, don’t start with this; it doesn’t do her talent justice.
So that wraps up March. 20 books this month! Not too bad. I know it looks like I’m behind on reading if I plan on knocking out over 220 by the end of the year, but August…that’s gonna be when I catch up, because I have it set aside for the In Death series. In the meantime, twenty books a month is solid progress, even though it would have been closer to 25 or 30 if I hadn’t gotten stuck in the Cousins O’Dwyer. Let me know what your favorite Nora Roberts book is and I’ll read it in April!