Published by berkley on April 12, 2016
Genres: Contemporary RS
Source: Advance Reader Copy
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The riveting new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Liar.
Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous.
Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.
Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.
Nora Roberts is one of those authors I like to read when I want to know what I’m going to get. She’s fairly predictable, or rather, she has a pattern. And I like that. I know what I’m getting.
But this book was completely different. Wow.
Quick version: Naomi Bowes finds out her father is a serial killer by following him out to the woods. It isn’t a pretty story. But she and her brother move on with their lives, change their last name and move away. But it isn’t something you get over, and when Naomi moves across the country and decides to buy a house, she doesn’t know what to expect, but Xander Keaton sure isn’t it.
Xander and Naomi have a very slow romance, but it feels real. It’s definitely insta-lust, but they grow, and as the romance develops, the two of them learn to trust and to feel. And they learn that it isn’t a bad thing. But Naomi’s dark past hasn’t been left behind, like she thinks.
Someone is stalking her, and hurting people close to her. It only makes sense that it’s related to her father, but when Naomi thinks running away is the best idea, Xander wants to convince her to stay.
The main reason I rated this a 3.5 instead of a 5 is that the whole first section is devoted to setting up Naomi’s life and character, and through it all, she’s still very young. It was important, but it took a huge section of the book. Then when we meet her as she’s older, it seems like the romance was very character-driven, so I was kind of surprised at the suspense part. It felt weird. Like three quarters of the way through, suddenly there’s a stalker. He wasn’t really built up at all. It was…odd.
I think this book is good, if you’re a Nora fan, of course you’ll love it. If you like romantic thrillers or romantic suspense, this has a very mild suspense plot. But the whole beginning is very interesting as to the fall out of the family once the dad is discovered.
But on the whole, I don’t think this is her best work, although it’s different from any others I’ve read by her. I’d absolutely recommend it, but the suspense plot joins in much later. So, yeah. Read it, it’s good, but not fantastic.
***ARC courtesy of Berkley