Monday, 2 March 2015

Her Mother's Keeper by Nora Roberts

omnibus cover
Her Mother's Keeper (1983) (Silhouette)
Nora Roberts
Grade: D
Genre: contemporary romance
Source: own
Romance RBC 2015: A book by Nora Roberts 

Gwenivere Lacrosse had left home with an innocent naivety to make a life and career for herself in New York. Two years later and she’s returning to New Orleans for a well-deserved break and to sort out the small problem of her mother’s infuriating lodger … Luke Powers is a celebrated writer who is said to be just as adept with women as he is with words. Gwen has grown up with a houseful of strangers but never one like Luke who has insinuated himself so readily into her mother’s life. When Gwen starts her campaign to get him out of her mother’s house and life, she doesn’t expect her plan to backfire quite so spectacularly …

This joins the ranks of the very few Nora Roberts titles that I’ve read and disliked. Given the sheer volume that she’s written and published, it’s remarkable that there haven’t been more. I’m usually easily pleased by Nora, but Her Mother’s Keeper contains a number of fairly annoying features that just put me on edge. For one, Gwen was a bit of a pushover. Sure, she’s blindingly innocent when compared to Luke, but she’s also recently experienced a bad breakup with a guy who wanted to mould her into his perfect society wife. While her time with Luke prompted her to open up about previously hidden areas of her life and thus mature as a person, at 23 years old, she still feels very much like a kid. Even though that statement feels like an insult to myself, since Gwen isn’t much older than I am, that’s very much the impression that comes across as I read the book.

I’m not really sure what else there is to say about this one. It’s definitely not a Nora that I’ll be reading again which makes me a little sad. I would have liked to know more about Luke and what he writes about; pretty much all we know is that he’s a best-selling writer. I was fond of some of the secondary characters, but just couldn’t connect to either Gwen or Luke. Being a 1983 title, there are all the hallmarks of Nora’s writing but it just wasn’t quite there yet. Nora at her peak (IMO, late ‘80s-mid-‘00s) is a formidable force to be reckoned with: powerful heroines, punchy dialogue, swoonworthy heroes and well fleshed-out plots – get your hands on any of those.

Image courtesy of Book Depository.

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