Monday, July 19, 2010

The Search by Nora Roberts

To most people, Fiona Bristow seems to have an idyllic life-a quaint house on an island off Seattle's coast, a thriving dog-training school, and a challenging volunteer job performing canine search and rescues. Not to mention her three intensely loyal Labs. But Fiona got to this point by surviving a nightmare...

Several years ago, Fiona was the only survivor of the Red Scarf serial killer, who shot and killed Fiona's cop fiancé and his K-9 partner.

On Orcas Island, Fiona found the peace and solitude she needed to rebuild her life. But all that changes on the day Simon Doyle barrels up her drive, desperate for her help. He's the reluctant owner of an out-of-control puppy, foisted upon him by his mother. Jaws has eaten through Simon's house, and he's at his wit's end.

To Fiona, Jaws is nothing she can't handle. Simon, however, is another matter. A newcomer to Orcas, he's a rugged and in-tensely private artist, known for the exquisite furniture he creates from wood. Simon never wanted a puppy-and he most definitely doesn't want a woman. Besides, the lanky redhead is not his type. But tell that to his hormones.

As Fiona embarks on training Jaws, and Simon begins to appreciate both dog and trainer, the past tears back into Fiona's life. A copycat killer has emerged out of the shadows, a man whose bloodlust has been channeled by a master with one motive: to reclaim the woman who slipped out of his hands...

Can I just start out by saying that I love Simon? He's such a curmudgeon (albeit a young and cute one). He doesn't want a dog, he doesn't want to need a trainer, and he definitely doesn't want to want Fiona. He's blunt 24/7, doesn't ever hide what he's thinking, and that combination - especially with the gruff sweetness he shows his dog Jaws - it's just a lot of fun to read about this love story. Fiona is integral to that though, because she's an independent woman who veers between being attracted to Simon for his hot body and artistic mind, and being turned off by his ability to say exactly the wrong thing at exactly the worst time (or at least it seems that way in the beginning).

Together their relationship is played against the backdrop of a murder mystery. A new killer has taken up the cause of one already imprisoned, and he's learning as he goes; starting as a puppet he has his own brand new kind of crazy to help him along. It works well with the romance I think because Nora Roberts always does a great job of using these type of personal challenges to her characters as building blocks that push the hero and heroine closer together faster than what would be allowed normally.

With the added in cuteness of the dogs and the help of perfectly placed supporting characters, Roberts knocks it out of the park again with a romantic suspense that is quite quintessentially her.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. A great old school Nora Roberts, there's the perfect mix of creepy killer and sweet love story.

Series - None