I read everything Nora Roberts writes, and will likely continue to do so until I keel over. So I basically compare Nora Roberts books to other Nora Roberts books. This is not going to be one of my favorites. It has a really nasty villain, the Hot Asian Girl (HAG) Jai, and another character who is supposed to be even worse( but I found myself feeling a bit sorry for him.) Unfortunately I found the HAG much more interesting than the heroine, Lila. I could never find any consistency in Lila's character. She is a house sitter and does really well living in other peoples homes and caring for their pets. I have known a few house sitters and they never had a website, traveled to Rome or lived in penthouses, but maybe New York is different from other places. Lila also writes YA novels with werewolves (a bow to Kelley Armstrong?) All this should make her fun and fascinating but I found her whiny and unformed. A childhood as an army brat seems to have scarred her or something.
The hero, Ash Archer, is great. He is a highly acclaimed artist who is also rich, comes from a background that should be dysfunctional but isn't, and is definitely an interesting and fun person to have around. One of Ms Roberts' best male heroes. My only quibble is this macho dude paints exclusively fairies, witches, mermaids, gypsy girls dancing by firelight, haunted castles, etc. There was no mention of unicorns but I suspect they are in there somewhere. I really cannot see the New York galleries eating up this kind of art, no matter how well he does it, and yet he is supposed to sell in the high six figures and regularly have his paintings hanging in the finest homes all over the world. From his subject matter I would suspect he is more likely to be the kind of male friend who races into my house to borrow my mascara than someone who burns up the sheets and is a dominant son, brother and lover. My guess is this is the kind of art Nora Roberts thinks her readers would love, but I wish she would check out what is actually selling in the galleries these days. Still I liked Ash a lot and could overlook his Aubrey Beardsley inclination but I could not see why he was so smitten with Lila. She spends a lot of time peering through binoculars into other peoples' windows which seems invasive and creepy but she is compassionate and carries around WD-40 and duct tape.
The book does have a couple of appealing animals, a tea cup poodle and a cat, which made me start thinking about getting another dog. Oh well, on to the next Nora Roberts. I know a great many readers will love this book. I liked it but have liked others more.
To me this book felt like Nora Roberts "phoned it in". There was very little character development. The story was slow and took a great deal of effort to get through. There were so many opportunities for her to broaden the story a bit, but let those opportunities slip through. There was never a time that my heart beat faster. There was no suspense. No thrill. Never felt the need to "put it in the freezer".
I was very disappointed in the book. Nora Roberts has always been one of my favorites for years, but this book could have been a novella for all the "fluff" she had to put it to reach 400 pages.
I have been very disappointed in Nora Roberts' writing for the past few years, from being an avid fan for decades. This book brings back her trademark style that got me hooked after reading my first Nora Roberts book in the late 1990s. It has a great plot and interesting details although the formula is the same, she is less 'formulary' in this book and a little more creative. It was suspenseful and romantic, the characters were well developed and believable, and I enjoyed the book from start to finish.
As at least one other person here has mentioned, I was sorely disappointed in this book. The first chapter of “The Collector” was at the end of “The Witness”. As The Witness is, in my opinion, Nora Roberts’ greatest book, I expected another fantastic plot . . . and more of the brilliant dialogue that she is a genius at writing. Instead, the plot was mediocre, the action plodded along and the dialogue - and the characters - were boring. Talented, but boring. I’ve read “The Witness” three times and have recommended it to countless friends who loved it, too. I loved both her Irish trilogies, but slogged through this book just telling myself, “This is a Nora Roberts book, it has to get better!” Wrong!
Good book. Not her greatest but good. Definitely a frothy read and not something for someone looking for a thriller. Lila was a likable character. I thought Ash was a bit like a steam roller. The villains were slightly cartoonish and moustache twirling. Her previous antiques related mystery was written much better. If you wanted an antiques themed book I would probably recommend Hidden Riches over this one. Still will probably read again but I would honestly give this one a C+
If I had picked up this book without knowing who the author was I would never had guessed Nora Roberts. I haven't read anything by her in quite awhile and I think I just might be done if this is what she is putting out now. This book was about 200 pages too long. I was rooting for Jai to find and kill Lila by about page 350. I no longer cared about Faberge eggs by about halfway through the book and was rooting for the bad guys by the end. Bad writing, poor editing and a poor storyline have put me off of Nora's books for good now. If I ever do decide to read her again I will digitally download from my library. I'm not spending my money on this drivel again. I'm an avid reader and it took me two weeks to get through this one book. If this book had been any good, I would have finished it in three days despite the Stanley Cup Finals being on.
I don't know how nora Roberts does it every year we get 2 eve dallas books a romantic suspense novel and a mini series, but the quality never drops, the detail she goes into in these books also shows the meticulous research she must do into other careers, the heroine in this book is a professional house sitter, the hero an artist (nora does love her artists) the characterisations and the details in her books are engrossing, it's almost impossible to find a place to put the book down. Long may she continue writing
This was great - another example of the brilliant Nora Roberts.
I have traditionally stuck with her romances, but in this one the murder, mystery, suspense thriller was excellent - and mixed in with the two leads who ultimately fall for each other, whilst trying to protect themselves from a vicious killer intent on revenge, was excellent.
Definitely one to read!
This is Nora Roberts at her best. Likeable characters who come alive off the page, an engaging storyline that hooks from the first page and seamless wonderful storytelling. I appreciate an author who can have me perched on the edge of my seat one moment, then smiling at the next and this story does not disappoint. I didn't want it to finish.
We are all going to have our favourite Nora Roberts books and this, for me personally, is one of her best along with Rivers End, Black Hills and The Witness.