This is the writing I expect from Nora Roberts. Taut, thrilling, poetic, humorous, yet dark. The story gripped me from the first page. The beginning was so amazingly frightening I couldn't put it down. I was invested in the characters and their story. They were drawn with care, quirky yet believable. And, thank goodness, no similar names! Each one had a different name (unlike Come Sundown) so that I could easily pull them up in my imagination.
I loved CiCi. I want to be her (without the weed) when I grow up. Reed and Simone were loveable characters, and I liked their journey toward each other. And Barney? Love at first read!
So, why the 4 stars, you ask, and not 5? I was disappointed in the climax. It was good, it was satisfying, but it fizzled for me. I was more excited about a certain part towards the middle involving Reed and his nemesis (no spoilers this way), than I was at the ending. The ending was anti-climactic, not her typical "I never saw that coming!" It worked, but I found myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. But there wasn't one.
I also found a lot of description that I skipped over, like shopping for towels and furniture. While I enjoyed the internal thoughts of the character involved, I found the section too drawn out. Enjoyable, but forgettable.
And lastly, when will authors realize readers don't want to spend nearly $20 on a book to be "preached" at about the author's political leanings? I read to get away from all the political rigamarole on American TV, and here, again, I'm hit with Ms. Roberts' opinions. She did it with much more subtlety than say, Susan Elizabeth Philips, but it was there, and it jarred me because it did nothing for the story, and could have easily been removed. I keep my beliefs private, and I certainly don't make people pay for them.
Shame on you, Nora Roberts. I expected better.
Have you read the book? Let me know what you thought!