Recommendations: Nora Roberts

LovelySalome wrote:

“I have never read a book by Nora Roberts.  Since she makes such lovely, snarky comments and represents our genre so well, I am dead curious to see what she writes.  But her back catalog is just HUGE!! Where to start?  I need recommendations! Maybe even La Nora’s favorite….”

Oh, the perils of being prolific. With some authors, you can start at the beginning of a long line of sequels – Feehan, Hamilton, Gabaldon come to mind. With others, the backlist is not so big as to be overwhelming.

Then, there’s Nora Roberts. Holy backlist, Batman. Where to start? The older Oxymoron Title collection? Hot Ice? Brazen Virtue? Genuine Lies? Government Organization? The trilogies? The paranormals, or para-Noras, as I call them?

LovelySalome needs a place to start – so, what’s your favorite Nora? And Ms. Roberts, do you have a favorite of your books? Or do you refrain from naming a favorite (in case it hurts the other books’ feelings)?

If I get to vote, I’d nominate the Quinn Brothers/Chesapeake Bay quartet (Sea Swept, Rising Tides, Inner Harbor & Chesapeake Blue) for some very memorable and well-written manly heroes, the Donovan Legacy series which has been re-released by Silhouette, and the Born In trilogy, particularly the first, Born in Fire.

Also, Candy has an ARC, damn her eyes, of Morrigan’s Cross, which I haven’t had time to go find in the store yet, and she says it’s very, very good. Admittedly, I’m much more of a Nora fan than Candy, so if she’s into it and I wanna read it that I’m going to engage in face-to-face commerce to get it, then Heckles McHappy it’s gotta be good.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Michelle says:

    Oh so many good books.  I think I would recommend her Key series.  Key of Light is the first.  It has one of the best dogs in romanceland-Moe.

    If you love Ireland I would recommend the Born in Trilogy.  Start with Born in Fire. 

    If you like Wiccan/Paranormal I would recommend the Three Sisters Trilogy starting with Dance Upon the Air.

    Stand alone books I would probably recommend Northern Lights because the hero was awesome.

    Don’t forget about the J.D. Robb persona-start with Naked In Death.  Just my personal view but I think Eve Dallas is my number one favorite heroine.

  2. 2
    Sonja says:

    I second the Three Sisters Island trilogy nomination.

    Also, I really enjoyed Carnal Innocence, which is a big thick suspense (and a stand alone, I think).

  3. 3
    Amanda says:

    Oh, I second the Chesapeake Bay quartet, and I’d recommend it without hesitation.  I’d also recommend the Dream trilogy (Daring to Dream, Holding the Dream, and Finding the Dream) and the Ireland Jewels trilogy (Jewels of the Sun, Tears of the Moon, and Heart of the Sea).

    I’ve been good about not spending my paycheck at Borders lately, but seeing as Silhouette’s rereleased the Donovan Legacy, I might have to go shopping.

  4. 4
    Laura says:

    After reading through the “BOO!” postings on October 31st. I marched upstairs (I work in a library)and checked out my very first Nora Roberts book: Blue Smoke.

    So far, I have been alternating between chewing my nails as the plot thickens, and kicking myself because I never paid any attention to her writing.

    Thank you, SBs, for opening my eyes to such a fine writer!

  5. 5
    Carrie Lofty says:

    Just writing in so I can keep up with the recs.  I love the SBs – my e-mail wish granted!

  6. 6
    rebyj says:

    ooooo the trilogy’s!! the donovan trilogy in particular..

    these are perfect “put on your jammies , wrap up in a quilt, grab a bowl of m&ms *hehe* and get lost in the story type of books! (yes , many of my books are chocolate smudged…sometimes they DO melt in your hands)

  7. 7
    Amy says:

    Ahhhh – La Nora!

    My favorites—the ones that stay on the “keeper” shelf…

    I—> Series…

    1. The “Born In” trilogy.
    2. The Quinn Brothers quartet
    3. The “Dream” trilogy

    II—> Single Titles…

    1. Three Fates… *my absolute favorite*
    2. Montana Sky

  8. 8
    KariBelle says:

    Also, I really enjoyed Carnal Innocence, which is a big thick suspense (and a stand alone, I think).

    If I remember correctly that book is tied in with Brazen Virtue.  If it is the one I think it is then the heroes of those two books are homicide detectives and partners.  I don’t remember which one is first, but all of that info is on Nora’s website.  I always check there before I begin anything from her backlist because I just hate to begin in the middle of a series.

    If you want a stand alone I reccommend Blue Smoke.  Awesome book.  There are others just as good, but that one just came out in paperback not too long ago so it should be very easy to find in places like Wal-mart and Target (if you are like me and live in a small town with no convenient bookstore):(

    My first Nora experience was the Key Trilogy and I have been hooked ever since.

  9. 9
    Sarah says:

    I would ABSOLUTELY recommend the Quinn brothers series. Of all the Nora series, that one has remained my favourite – especially because of the strong family relationships it depicts. In so many romances, it’s like the characters exist in a bubble with no family and no friends. The bonds between the brothers make them seem so much more real than the “normal” romance hero.

  10. 10
    bam says:

    What was the one about the family of magicians? I think it was called Hidden Talents but I could be confusing it with a Jayne Ann Krentz book. Anyway, I thought of it while I was watching The Prestige and remember it being pretty good.

  11. 11
    SandraD says:

    I have to admit to fighting the Nora Roberts pull for a very long time, I believed that someone putting out that many books couldn’t possibly be putting out quality. Then someone gave me a copy of Northern Lights and now I’m hooked. Nora I owe you an apology!

  12. 12
    KariBelle says:

    OOPS.  I was wrong.  Apologies to Sonja and La Nora.  Carnal Innocence is a stand alone.  Brazen Virtue is the sequel to Sacred Sins.  When will I ever learn to look stuff up before I make an ass of myself instead after it is too late.  Now I gotta go find a copy of Carnal Innocence, because I have not read that one yet.

  13. 13
    Robin says:

    I’d recommend the paperback In Death books from Naked through Portrait.

  14. 14
    Mel-O-Drama says:

    Okay, my faves have all been named…but who cares, I’m naming again.

    Fave stand alone:
    Northern Lights Nate was so damn yummy. He needed me. Truly.

    Fave series:

    Chesapeake/Quinn Brothers
    Three Sisters Trilogy
    Key Trilogy
    Born In Trilogy

    And I have a really warm spot in my heart for her first pubbed novel:

    Irish Thoroughbred

    That story left me in a dreamy place the first time I read it. Horse racing and lurve. Sigh.

  15. 15
    Pete says:

    While I might agree with any of those listed above, let’s not forget about the very FIRST Nora, Irish Thoroughbred!!  She was every bit as good a writer in the beginning as she is now!!!  Of course, she’s expanded her repertoire to include the para-Nora’s (like that characterization!), the whole JD Robb persona, and the intense intrigues of stories like Sacred Sins and Midnight Bayou (my personal favorite!).  And let’s not forget the delightful MacGregor and his progeny, as well as the Stanilaski’s.  And the ties among them.  And the ties between books, like Loving Jack—Jack (a girl) was writing a western historical called Lawless—so Nora writes Lawless—and later one of the O’Hurley triplets gets her big break in acting with the lead role in the movie, Lawless!  Great author and great books!!!

  16. 16
    Meadows says:

    I love the fact that you can pick up ANY Nora Roberts book and enjoy it. 

    She’s my go-to author for vacations especially, because I know I won’t be tempted to throw her books into the pool.

  17. 17
    Tina Lu says:

    I agree with Pete, she is a great author. 

    To a new reader, I would suggest Blue Smoke and Angel Falls. 

    Her MC triology is about vampires, shape shifter, witch… very paranormal.    Wasn’t a big fan of thoses genders but La Nora has a way of pulling you into a book.

  18. 18
    Angela H says:

    My faves:

    Hidden Riches
    the Born In trilogy
    Sacred Sins (I just love Ben)
    Carnal Innocence (ditto Tucker)
    Northern Lights

    But seriously, you can’t go wrong with any of them.

  19. 19
    Michelle, the Diva says:

    OMG! A topic that’s near and dear to my Nora-loving heart!

    As the proud and slightly obsessed owner of nearly 400 Nora titles (Silhouette original categories, reissues, anthologies, single titles, series, complete set of IDs in all covers, original hardcovers and a partridge in a pear tree), I have a few recommendations for y’all:

    Single Titles
    Birthright
    Three Fates
    Montana Sky
    Blue Smoke

    Series
    Irish Trilogy: Jewels of the Sun, Tears of the Moon (OMG Shawn Gallagher!!!), Heart of the Sea
    Key Trilogy: Key of Light, Key of Knowledge, Key of Valor

    I’m also placing my Diva stamp of approval (insert extreme fangirl squeeing and genuflecting here) on her newest trio of paranormals, the Circle Trilogy.
    One word: Larkin. Get it now.
    The Circle Trilogy is:
    Morrigan’s Cross
    Dance of the Gods
    Valley of Silence

    ALSO, do NOT forget about the In Death books by J.D. Robb. These are gritty, sexy, futuristic police drama with some of the funniest, hottest, and best-drawn characters of any series or single title anywhere. If you like your men like chocolate (rich and addictive), you’ll fall ass over teakettle for the ultimate darkish hero, Roarke.

    OMG, and hunt up the MacGregor books, if only just for the sole fact of Daniel MacGregor and his machinations as he not-so-gently pushes his family into matrimony.

    What was the one about the family of magicians?

    That would be Honest Illusions with the completely drool-worthy Luke Callahan and the passionate Roxy Nouvelle. What’s not to like about a man with magic hands???

    I’m always glad to introduce someone to Nora. :) I just gave a pile of extras to my DH’s coworker who had *GASP!!!* never read Nora. I mean, how did she LIVE???

  20. 20
    Carrie Lofty says:

    coworker who had *GASP!!!* never read Nora. I mean, how did she LIVE???

    I’ve survived, but barely.  Obviously I had to seek Bitchery help…

  21. 21
    Michelle, the Diva says:

    I’ve survived, but barely.  Obviously I had to seek Bitchery help…

    And just in time, too.

    I envy you your discovery of all of these incredible characters, truly I do.

    Sure, I reread like a maniac in between releases, which (thankfully) keep me fairly well-supplied, but it’s not the same as “meeting” them for the first time.

    I may have some more extras in a box somewhere, if you’re interested, salome. Let me know.

    One can NEVER have too many Noras.

  22. 22
    Rinda says:

    I can’t believe how hard this question is!  I second the Eve Dallas as best heroine.  Ever.  And damn Roarke for making every hero I write seem… just not quite good enough.

    I love all the ones mentioned here.  Honest Illusions, any trilogy and I haven’t seen the Stanislaskis mentioned—lovely family books and hot, hot, hot!

    And I have a signed copy of Irish Thoroughbred. (g)

  23. 23
    bam says:

    I just bought a used copy of a 3-in-1 Nora Roberts trilogy with Honest Illusions, Private Scandals, and Hidden Riches in it. It cost me seven bucks that I don’t have.

    Thanks, Smart Bitches. Bitches.

  24. 24
    JulieT says:

    Northern Lights was good. So was Montana Sky. But my absolute favorites are the “In Death” books. Roarke just crack me up. I don’t know how she writes a character that owns everything and can do everything, and still be sympathetic, likeable, and fun to read.

    There’s a new one due out now!

  25. 25
    sheila says:

    i ought to read one of them books now right?!?!?!?!? :bug:

  26. 26
    Ursula says:

    Born in Ice is one of my favorites. But it’s second in the trillogy, so you should start with the first, Born in Flame. Born in Shame is the last of the three. I think this series, of what I’ve read of La Nora, is her best. IMHO, of course. Other milage I’m sure will vary.  :-)

  27. 27
    Nora Roberts says:

    Oh, well, gosh. I’m so flattered I forgive lovely salome for ignoring me up to now. Foolish, foolish salome.

    I had an irritating morning, followed by multiple puppy interruptions of my work day. So this is a lovely ego boost to carry me through the weekend.

    I always say my favorite book is the one on sale now—the newest book on sale. It’s always true, and hurts none of the other books’ feelings.

    Again, I’m very flattered—and find it incredibly satisfying, that much of the bitchery have their particular favorites.

  28. 28
    Gypsy says:

    Carolina Moon for me.

  29. 29
    shaina says:

    waaaayyyyy too hard. way way way too hard.
    since i love each and every one of nora’s books, i’m gonna say lovelysalome should print out a list, put all the titles (or at least the first in each series and the stand-alones) in a hat, and pull one out. 
    how’s that??
    *all of a sudden has a craving for a nora*
    hmm, tough decision—clean my room, or read a nora. *evil grin*

  30. 30
    Sarah F. says:

    I didn’t like Northern Lights but I don’t know if that’s a “real” dislike or because I “read” it on tape traveling to Missouri for five months away from my family.  I can’t get into Eve and Roarke (I know, whisper it softly).  But…

    I LOVED Honest Illusions:  Luke is amazing.  I love the first three Quinn books (the last one is meh, IMO).  I love the “Born in…” series.  I’m not so hot on her older category books.  Blue Smoke was fantastic!  And Birthright was unbelievably good!  Loved loved loved that one.

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