|Book #1 of Summer: Sacred Sins by Nora Roberts
||[Jul. 2nd, 2007|09:23 am]
Amanda's Book Blog
I'm trying to weed out my Nora Roberts collection this summer, but I want to keep track of what books I HAVE read, so I don't accidentally buy the same one again at the used book store. (Hey, the author has over 100 books to her name -- it's not unheard of!)
Mostly, I consider Nora Roberts to be the master of the Romantic Thriller genre. Her characters are always REAL people to me, and the situations they find themselves in are plausably realistic or even plausably supernatural. That being said, I'm afraid that I have this opinion because I've apparently read her later work. Now that I'm reading her stuff from the early 80's... well, the potential is obviously there, but she hadn't yet come into her own.
This is very true in Sacred Sins. From Amazon: Dr. Tess Court is a successful psychiatrist who is guilted by her senator grandfather into advising on a serial murder case. Detective Ben Paris hasn't much respect for shrinks after his brother's unsuccessful treatment for post-war depression. However, forces align to put these two together and things turn hot and heavy. As they work to uncover the murderer's motives, Tess and Ben realize that she is both the killer's next likely victim and his best hope for a savior.
The things I like about her later books are somewhat absent here. Tess is a stereotypical romance heroine - tiny, cute, compassionate, all-around feminine. (Contrast with Roz, a character from the In the Garden trilogy, who's strong and sharp and always has dirt under her fingernails.) Tess is contrasted against Ben, a stereotypical romance hero -- big, buff, macho, meat-and-potatoes protective man. I just... never bought it. I never bought the sparks between them, and their action in bed was more like yowling cats than passionate lovers.
Don't get me wrong, the story was fantastic. But that's the thing I always about NR -- her plots are more important than the romance. It's really great, in the later paranormal series, when the romance you think is totally separate BECOMES the plot. (Like the Key trilogy). I'm noticing that I keep drifting away from this book when I write, and I think that's because that's how I felt when I read it. It was WORK to read this one all the way through. It got to a point that I honestly didn't CARE who the serial killer was, and I almost hoped he killed Tess.
For a diehard NR fan, this is a must-read, if only to show how much NR has improved over the years. If you like horror thriller romance, give it a shot. Otherwise.....don't bother.
Plot: 4 stars
Characters: 1.5 stars
Writing: 4 stars (knocked down from 5 due to some really incessant slogging)
Rereadability: 1 star (will be donating to the paperback store soon)
Enjoyability: 2 stars
Overall: 2.5 stars.