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Nora Roberts Challenge: The Best Of The Best

Having read everything Nora Roberts has written, I wanted to finish the year with a summary of her 10 best books, so new readers can start off with her stronger novels.

Well, that was clearly never going to happen. Because she has done some amazing trilogies and series, I was never going to be able to pick 10 individual books, so I figured I’d consider grouped items as one.

That still didn’t work to fill a top ten list. But after thought, and some ruthless cutting of the list, I did manage to come up with her 11 best works. Put these on your reading list.

Nora Roberts Challenge Best Of The Best - Poppies and Jasmine

11. Inn Boonsboro Trilogy

My Initial Review

The Next Always by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine

This trilogy was a really good example of Nora Roberts’ more light-hearted, fun stuff, and she’s done enough books with ghosts that I felt at least one should make it on here. These books aren’t extremely deep, but they’re virtually flawless, with amazing character development, a well-paced plot, and plenty of details to make the books feel real.

10. Carolina Moon

My Initial Review

Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine

Nora Roberts does some dramatic books and this one is always pretty hard-hitting. Family drama, a serial killer, a little bit of supernatural senses – there’s a lot going on. Plus, the character development is really great. Pretty much every character in the book has a personality so developed, you’re going to feel like you’ve met them before. I always love this one.

9. Montana Sky

My Initial Review

Montana Sky by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine

I am shocked Montana Sky is only in my number nine slot, since I’ve considered it my favorite for so long. It’s still amazing, I still adore it, but during this, I revisited other books that I’d either forgotten or read new books I hadn’t touched before, and overall, some of them are better. That said, this book is still really great – a story of people finding family, finding friends, finding love, and finding themselves.

8. Sign Of 7 Trilogy

My Initial Review

Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
The Hollow by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
The Pagan Stone by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine

This set is great. For her supernatural books, which generally aren’t in my wheelhouse, she really managed to write a story that can appeal to everyone. It’s spooky enough to make you not go to bed until you’ve finished, and the characters are fun enough to keep it from getting too dark. I also appreciated that there’s no truly problematic romantic tropes, and none of the women are weak and spineless – something you see far too often in the literary world.

7. Sweet Revenge

My Initial Review

Sweet Revenge by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine

I still adore this book. Sure, there’s no real mystery, but I will never not love a woman going hard on a plan to get revenge on such a terrible person. Adrienne is badass, so I forgive the fact that I don’t particularly care about the male lead. Considering this is one of Nora Roberts’ earlier works, it’s amazing.

6. The Obsession

My Initial Review

The Obsession by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine

The Obsession was great. I was hooked from the beginning, and stayed riveted the whole time. It was one that I kept trying to put down to work or clean or cook, and I’d just itch to pick it up again. Even when I guessed who the villian was, it didn’t diminish the story quality at all.

5. The Bride Quartet

My Initial Review

Vision In White by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
Bed Of Roses by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
Savour The Moment by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine

Still one of my favorite sets. These books are just light and happy, and sometimes we need that. I like every character in them, and frankly, these are how romance novels should really be – no negative tropes, no problematic “bad boy” roles, just romance as it could happen in real life.

4. The MacGregor Clan

My Initial Review

Playing The Odds by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
Tempting Fate by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
All The Possibilities by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
One Man's Art by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
For Now, Forever by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
Rebellion by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
In From The Cold by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
The MacGregor Brides by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
The Winning Hand by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
The MacGregor Grooms by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
The Perfect Neighbor by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine

There was no chance the MacGregors weren’t making it on the list. I mean, Nora Roberts wrote 10 books on the Scottish family, and I laughed out loud in each book! And it’s all thanks to Daniel MacGregor, 10 peoples’ worth of trouble crammed into one body. These are great for first-time Nora Roberts readers.

3. The Quinn Brothers

My Initial Review

Sea Swept by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
Rising Tides by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
Inner Harbor by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine
Chesapeake Blue by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine

One of the most heart-wrenching sets in her repertoire, The Quinn Brothers, twenty years later, still make me tear up. I swear, these books make me want siblings. You feel for each man individually, you feel for them as a whole – there’s a lot of feels. Just really – have tissues handy.

2. Shelter In Place

My Initial Review

Shelter In Place by Nora Roberts - Poppies and Jasmine

Of the new Nora Roberts books I read this year, I think this one was the one that shocked me most. I feel like it was a bit out of place for what she normally writes in her books, but it is so well done, so powerful…I loved it. Loved it. Her writing style even changes a bit among scenes, accentuating fear and tension, softening for sweet, safe scenes. An absolutely amazing book.

1. In Death Series

My Initial Review

Naked In Death by JD Robb - Poppies and Jasmine
Shadows In Death by JD Robb - Poppies and Jasmine

I chose to make the In Death Series number 1 because, despite the fact that it may not be all incredibly deep (although it has that), controversial (although it has that), heartfelt (although it has that), the series as a whole is impressive, and some of that is just because of the sheer quality being maintained over 60 books. I mean, to have characters so well-developed that 60 books in, I can predict how they’re going to respond? That’s detail.

On top of that, I think that all the books are good, and there are enough that stand out to make the series an overall contender. I adore, and can’t wait for the next book in February.

So that’s it. My Nora Roberts Challenge is over. Check out one of the best authors of our lifetimes by picking up one of these books.

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