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Friday, October 26, 2007

Suzanna's Surrender

**** Suzanna's Surrender by Nora Roberts. Contemporary romance. Re-read.

This is the fourth book in the Calhoun series. The previous books are Courting Catherine, A Man for Amanda, and For the Love of Lilah. These four actually make one long story with four romances.

Suzanna is the wounded heroine (gotta have one, if you've got a series or trilogy, right?). Divorced from a rich asshole, she runs a plant store and takes care of her 2 children, with help from her sisters and Aunt Coco.

In their search for the emerald necklace and delving through family history, they determine that the artist ancestor Bianca (the necklace's original owner) was involved with was Christian Bradford, grandfather of Holt Bradford, who's recently moved into his grandfather's cottage.

Suzanna is tasked with asking the surly ex-cop for help, checking to see if there's anything in his grandfather's belongings that would give them a clue. And gee whiz--Holt's had a crush on Suzanna since they were teenagers.

I'm being sarcastic, but it's actually a pretty decent story. There's still the flashbacks, this time from Christian's diary rather than Bianca's, but at least it's from a different POV this time, so it's not quite so repetitive. And this is the only book in which there are parallels between Bianca's story and the present-day story, so it works much better.

There are some nice moments, and I absolutely loved scary Aunt Colleen giving Suzanna's ex Baxter hell.

Like all wounded-heroine romances, though, it makes me wonder why the heck she married Bax in the first place. At least she wasn't quite as much a doormat as some others have been, and she did stand up for her kids, which I could respect.


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Would you believe me if I said I have yet to read a Nora Roberts? I've read one J.D.Robb, which liked. I'm not much of a contemporary reader, but I know she's got some historicals, so I'll definitely try those first.
I'm not sure I'd recommend Nora's historicals to start with--there are only 3 (out of 150+), and two of them are precursors to her MacGregor series and the third is the book a character in another book was writing. I'm not sure how they stand alone--I'd only read them as part of the series. Since she's not a historical writer, they're not very representative, I don't think.

Of course, everyone has a different opinion. I think her best work is her romantic suspense, particularly the oxymoron books (Hot Ice, Honest Illusions, Genuine Lies, etc.) But thousands disagree, so feel free to ignore me. ;-)
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