Top critical review
Roberts vs. Robb: can you be pitted against yourself?
on January 22, 2004
I won't comment on the plotline of the book, which has been more than adequately covered in several other reviews and the synopsis. The story is pretty much as described and to me, was formulaic romance/thriller stuff.
I'm a big fan of the Robb alter-ego, not so much of the recent Roberts' work. This book turned out to be no exception, as I found myself flipping through the first half of the book in my haste to get the the second half.
I was completely unimpressed with the storyline to begin with - there are only so many times we should have to hear the story of some plucky little heroine with a charming rogue of a daddy who did something bad and sent the family into ruin. It's been done to death, and Roberts adds nothing new to it. I was not intrigued or interested in the pairing of the two romantic leads, mostly because they just seemed so bland and I felt like I'd probably read about them before in one of Roberts' other books.
Skipping ahead to part 2, we're treated to Eve Dallas being brought into the storyline, which perked it up considerably to me. I disagree with others who say this was the same old, same old from Robb. This was a wonderful chapter in the continuing story of how Eve and Roarke are learning to live with each other and how Eve is starting to let people get close to her while still maintaining that tough cop attitude that is so much fun. The whole wrapping up of part 1 by Eve in part 2 was boring, but that had more to do with the bad start than it did to the Eve/Roarke characters or the "Robb" writing which is as crisp as ever.
I was pleased to read more Eve and Roarke, but sincerely hope Roberts doesn't pull a stunt like this again and try to merge her two writing personalities. They don't go together and when she forces the two side by side, we're reminded again that this woman has written so many books (a great many of them wonderful) that characters and plots are all starting to sound alike.
I'm looking forward to the next Robb book, less than happy that now that she's been "outed" as Nora Roberts that her publisher decided to start printing those in hardcovers too. There is such a thing as having too many books out at once, something I hope Ms. Roberts and her publishers realize before putting out something like this again.
The first part of the book got a 2 from me, the second half, a 4.5, with a median score of just over 3 in total. I'd recommend the book for someone looking for some mindless romantic reading, but this really isn't one of Roberts' best efforts.