Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Key of Valour by Nora Roberts

Key of Valour (2003)
Nora Roberts
Grade: A-
Genre: contemporary romance
Sex scenes: mild
Source: library
The Key Trilogy: (1) Key of Light, (2) Key of Knowledge

Zoe McCourt must find the third and final key to unlock the souls of the Daughters of Glass. The souls of three sisters, Venora, Niniane and Kyna were trapped by the sorcerer, Kane, thousands of years ago, and every generation since, the three chosen women have failed – until now. Malory and Dana have succeeded with their keys – further than any other before. With her clue in hand, and the help of her friends, Zoe must use her courage to find the answer …

Zoe is no stranger to hard work. The eldest of four children, their father abandoned them when young, and Zoe helped her mother with her hairdresser business. Pregnant by James Marshall at 16, Zoe had believed herself to be in love, but when it mattered, James didn’t stand up. Now, Simon is 9 and better off without his biological father. Zoe has a little house that she’s worked her butt off for, and she’s about to open her own salon with her two best friends. Indulgence will house and art gallery and bookshop as well as Zoe’s salon, and the friends are very close to opening their doors.

Kane has shown that he was prepared to break the rules, and so Zoe must be alert. She’ll do anything to protect her son and Simon is under the best protection available. Zoe isn’t the only one who fears for Simon’s safety – Bradley Charles Vane IV – heir to the retail giant, HomeMakers, and best friend of Flynn and Jordan (Malory and Dana’s fiancées) – is starting to love Simon like a son, but his feelings for Zoe are far from familial. He’s made his attraction clear and while Zoe can’t deny the sexual pull, she’s constantly reminded of the man who left her.

Brad is as vital in finding the key as Zoe is – will she accept and embrace her feelings for him so that good can triumph?

It’s taken me a good ten months to read the Key Trilogy and while I’m usually impatient to read NR series in quick succession, in this case, the delay made the anticipation all the sweeter. This was a difficult series to get me hands on and it was well worth the wait.

Unlike Malory and Dana, Zoe is a mother, with a great deal of responsibility on her young shoulders, and so it’s only fitting that she was left until last. The book has a slightly different tone, with everything geared towards the culmination of the whirlwind adventure of the past three months: their quest to find the key, to free the sisters’ souls and the opening of their business, Indulgence. Everything is to lose and while they won’t (this is fiction, after all) the stakes have never been higher.

Zoe’s love-hate attitude towards Brad the entire series has been hilarious to watch. Each heroine has had some reason or other to hate their male counterpart at the beginning of the series, but Zoe’s dislike runs the deepest – made even funnier by the fact that Brad has so far not known why he sparks such antagonism from Zoe. His wealth and societal status is a painful reminder of the man she had been in love with and as a result, Zoe has tried to keep her distance from Brad, but she can’t deny her attraction to him, or how good he is with Simon.

Simon had a case of the man-of-the-house syndrome going on, and while he wasn’t opposed to Brad’s relationship with his mother, he was adamant in ensuring that Brad’s intentions were pure. As always with NR, such talks are funny and touching to watch unfold, especially as Simon must overlook his dislike of kissing and ‘the sex’ in order to broach the subject.

I mentioned in my Key of Light review that I didn't know why I hadn't read this trilogy before, and now that I've finished, this series is definitely on my favourite list. The magic element might not be for everyone, but it's the friendships and relationships that keep you reading on and keep you coming back time and again.

Image courtesy of Book Depository

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