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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

For the Love of Lilah

**** For the Love of Lilah by Nora Roberts. Contemporary romance. Re-read.

This is the third book in the Calhoun sisters series.

Lilah is the lazy, dreamy sister. She works at a nature preserve, giving tours, but in her off time, napping is her favorite pastime.

Then one day, she's out on the cliffs, and she sees a man in the water, and she rescues him. Turns out he's Max Quartermain, a history professor who'd taken a job with the villain of the series (not knowing he's a criminal, of course) to research the papers stolen in the previous book. Then he overheard his employer in an incriminating conversation, and is shot as he jumps overboard.

He recovers at The Towers, and puts his expertise to work for the Calhouns instead, and falls in love with Lilah.

I liked Max very much. Somehow, an ordinary guy who manages to stand up to the bad guys and triumph is much more impressive than the tough macho guy who does the same thing. Don't get me wrong, I like the tough guys, too, but it's a nice change of pace to have a guy who can't flatten every bad guy he comes across with one hand tied behind his back. It makes it a little more realistic, and makes it easier for me to relate to. And it shows that even if a guy isn't a football player/Navy SEAL/expert at all known forms of hand-to-hand combat, he's not necessarily a wimp. Er... can you tell I'm a little tired of the perfectly macho heroes?? ;) And I find brains very attractive. I liked his slightly bewildered expression whenever anyone praised him, and sympathized with the little boy who wasn't what his father wanted him to be. He was unsure of himself, but with one of the most endearingly male traits, did what he had to do regardless of how he felt.

Nora knows men very well.

It's a good thing I liked Max so much, though, because I didn't like Lilah very much, and not at all the first couple of times I read this. I'm not sure if it's because of the length of the book, or because Nora just didn't get into this character's head as well (not surprising, because Nora is NOT a lazy person), but I just could not relate to her. I get the feeling Nora was trying to portray Lilah as a sensual, dreamy, relaxed person, who nevertheless did her job and did it well, but it just didn't come across well. Even when we saw Lilah at her job, I just couldn't shake my opinion of her as lazy and bored. Which just shows you how much I didn't get what I was supposed to out of her character, because at one point it says Lilah hated being bored.

As with the other books in this series, I could have done without the flashbacks to Bianca's story, and the scenes from the villain's POV. Neither added to the story for me, and either interrupted the story or took away some of the suspense.

Still, this is one of my favorite books in the series--I think because Max's adventure added to the excitement. It was more physical than the previous two books.


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