RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge Review: The Search by Nora Roberts


Title: The Search
Author: Nora Roberts
Publication Info: Putnam 2010
ISBN: 9780515149487
Genre: Romantic Suspense

RITA®, and the RITA statuette are service marks of Romance Writers of America, Inc.Nora Roberts received 54,687 nominations for this year’s RITA, so expect a few reviews of her books as we assemble all the RITA® Reader Challenge reviews. Fortunately, Black Velvet’s review today is a very positive one.

The Search Here’s a long-mo synopsis from BN: 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 rescue. Not to mention her three intensely loyal Labs. But Fiona got to this point by surviving a nightmare.

Several years ago, she was the only survivor of a serial killer — a madman who stalked and abducted young women, strangled them, and left them buried with a red scarf on their bodies. As authorities were closing in on the Red Scarf Killer, he shot and killed Fiona’s cop fiancé and his K-9 partner.

On Orcas Island, Fiona has found the peace and solitude she needed to rebuild her life. Yet 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 is another matter. A newcomer to Orcas, he’s a rugged and intensely private artist, known for creating exquisite furniture. 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 the laws of attraction.

As Fiona embarks on training Jaws and as 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. . . .

And here is Black Velvet’s review:

I have reread The Search multiple times since its release and I still cry in the first chapter, I still rejoice when I see the 2nd planted tree and I still sigh in satisfaction when I either scroll or turn to the last page. That’s right, I own this story in ebook and dead tree format, because it’s that good.

The simple love story of The Search coupled with the plot of murder is typical of the more recent NR novels, but it’s different in how Fees is a true survivor of her past.  I liked this characterization, because in other books I’ve read it’s not often developed this thoroughly or if it is, the heroine hits the breaking point and then lashes out.  And then there are the true main characters…

The dogs.

Seriously, Newman, Peck, Bogart and Jaws stole every scene they appeared in.  My favorite of the book is the vet scene.  A more woeful expression on a dogs face has never been conveyed on text as when Fee, “swore she could see tears forming.”  It’s scenes like this that bring this story together.

With any NR book that I read it’s never the subject, but the characters that draw me in.  This was no different. The Search reminded me that a good romance novel will do much more than bring together a hero and heroine; it will tell the story of how they live and love and share this part of their lives with us.

The Search is available at: Amazon | Kindle | Book Depository | Powells | BN | nook

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Sherri says:

    I liked this book more than most of La Nora’s other stand-alones recently.  SLIGHT SPOILER – The only thing that I remember bugging me was how completely evil she made the reporter – almost like she was doing it to justify what happens to her at the end.  Otherwise, this book made me want to get a dog :) and move to Orcas Island. 

    Has anyone read and liked the newest one yet?

  2. 2

    Nora Roberts received 54,687 nominations for this year’s RITA

    I’m a little confused by this – for a book to be considered for a RITA, they must be entered in the contest by the author (or publisher probably, if you’re Nora) and then judged on a scale of 1-10 by published RWA members. When entering the RITA, an author sends in 5 books, so I’d assume that you have 5 judges scoring your book. Tell me more about these fifty-thousand nominations?  :)

  3. 3
    library addict says:

    Has anyone read and liked the newest one yet?

    I enjoyed Chasing Fire more than The Search because I felt the romance/suspense aspects were better balanced.

    I did enjoy The Search.  I liked the hero’s attitude.  And the dogs do steal all of their scenes. But I felt the secondary romance was lacking and would like to have read more of it.

  4. 4
    Faellie says:

    I’m currently having to harden my heart against a rescue dog, so I might need to give this one a miss.

    captcha is family 66 – all it’s missing is the final 6.

  5. 5
    readerdiane says:

    I loved this book last year because of the slow build-up of the romance & the great characterization. I thought it was one of the best of the last several years.
    The research for CHASING FIRE was remarkable but I loved the characters in THE SEARCH much better. Besides those dogs almost need a book of their own. ;)

  6. 6
    Diatryma says:

    I thought it was really interesting how things worked out in the end.  Heroines in Roberts’ recent thrillers consistently save themselves, no hero required—but that happened in the backstory.  The rest of the book, including the climax, is the heroine building a functional team that *together* kicks the shit out of the villain.  You can see a lot of the same parallel in the In Death books.  First it’s Eve vs the villain and Roarke breaks the door down in time to pull her off him, then it’s Eve and Roarke vs the world, then it’s Eve choreographing a huge sting so everything works out just as she wants it.

  7. 7
    joanne says:

    Tell me more about these fifty-thousand nominations?  :)

    Perhaps I can help. Sarah Wendell wrote that intro so I assume it’s a jest. A joke. Something to provoke laughter rather than to be taken seriously.

    I, of course, think Nora should have been nominated 84,962 times this year but I’m just a reader.

    Lovely review Black Velvet, I loved the dogs almost as much as the romance.. maybe more.
    I’m always in awe of the research that goes into Ms Roberts’ books and Catching Fire had the feel of someone who had been there and done that, for real. I hope she didn’t!

  8. 8
    Christina says:

    I am a little unfair when it comes to evaluating anything Nora Roberts has written. I measure her on another scale from most other authors. A favorites only, o my goodness this is going to be awesome scale. The good-enough gradient is logarithmic. The fact that her books never fall of the curve is probably why I use it to measure them in the first place. I loved this book.

  9. 9
    Nifty says:

    I really enjoyed The Search—possibly because I’m a dog-lover, and all the dog stuff was the biggest draw for me in the book.  I remember thinking that the ending was a little anticlimactic.

    I also read and enjoyed Chasing Fire very much.

    My parents have been staying with me for a few months and my dad is working through my Nora Roberts collection.  He’s read about 12 or so of her books, including 2 In Deaths.  He says he really likes the way she writes.  (He’s currently finishing up the Chesapeake Bay series, which is more romance-y than the others of hers she’s read, but he enjoying it.)

  10. 10
    Pam says:

    I’m in the middle of this one now and enjoying it, afraid to read comments JIC. I’m glad it’s a good one, but then Nora’s just are.

  11. 11

    Sarah Wendell wrote that intro so I assume it’s a jest.

    Clearly I got up on the literal side of bed this morning.  :P

    As for La Nora, I agree with Christina that she really is in a class by herself. So inspiring!

  12. 12
    BookwormBabe says:

    I’m going against the crowd with this one. 

    The plot-line for this book reminded me a great deal of her other book – Angels Fall.  I liked that book a great deal better. 

    I did enjoy reading about the dogs – NR did give them such personality but there was so much detail about dog training I felt like I could loan this one out as a manual at some points.

    Still a NR fan but find some of her later stuff lacking.

  13. 13
    Kris says:

    I liked The Search better the second time I read it, and I disliked Chasing Fire.  It seems like she is putting way too much technical filler into some of the novels lately.  I almost felt (if I wasn’t fat and lazy) that I could just hop right in and jump out of a plane, like I already knew everything.  That said, she is still absolutely amen an auto-read for me!

  14. 14
    Shiny says:

    I just finished this on Tuesday :) Like all of NRs books, I couldn’t put it down. Like everyone else, I loved the dogs. I thought the ending happened a little too fast, with not quite enough detail. I had a little trouble following the action.
    The first chapter was beautiful and made me tear up, which is really rare.
    The hero was a little too forceful at times, but still lovable.
    Its very much the same as her other suspense-romances, and maybe I’m getting just a little bit sick of reading the same plot over and over, even though the characters and settings are different enough and thoroughly appealing each time. All in all I thought it wasn’t her best book, though still gripping.

  15. 15
    Eli says:

    After a disappointing Brides series, I really enjoyed The Search.  I agree with the comments about wanting to buy dogs and move to the island!

    Her new one – Chasing Fire – doesn’t disappoint as well.  Makes you want to move to Montana and take sky- diving lessons (well maybe just move to Montana)!

  16. 16
    Amitatuq says:

    I loved The Search!  The hero wasn’t my favorite of all her heroes, but I totally loved the dogs.  And as an aside for the person who said parts of it read like a dog training manual…if you do a search for dog training manuals this book actually shows up. :-D

    Not long after reading it I got my own black lab puppy (she was planned, I wasn’t doing it because of the book).  Sometimes she totally reminds me of Jaws!  But maybe slower to learn…and a little more stubborn.

  17. 17
    Nadia says:

    I had a hard time getting through this one.  Just kept finding other books to start instead of finishing it.  Agree that the dogs were the cutest things ever, and I’m not even really a dog person.  Liked the heroine, had a harder time getting a good idea of who the hero was all about.  Also agree with the remarks that the secondary relationships were underdeveloped and the climax felt rushed.  But hey, even a lesser NR book is still better than most other books!  I might enjoy it more on second reading if I don’t stop and start so much.

  18. 18
    TracyP says:

    dead tree format


    Thanks for the review I’ll have to pick this one up.

  19. 19
    Riki says:

    I LOVED this book. I love dogs, and anyone who ever raised a puppy would laugh reading some of the scenes.
    I actually thought the “training manual” parts were lovely and insightful. The suspense plot was secondary to the dogs’ and people characterization, but I didn’t mind very much. NR draws people and dogs like an artist.

  20. 20
    oh stubby oh says:

    sounds interesting. it will surely be an interest for pet lovers like me.

  21. 21
    Betty Fokker says:

    How does Nora Roberts ALWAYS score? Seriously, I’ve never read a bad book out her whole ouver, including her pen names. I suspect she made a pact with the devil.

  22. 22
    Tina says:

    I don’t know. I got the feeling that the quality of Nora’s book get worse. Even the Chasing Fire was not the best. Or maybe I’m to used to her writing style. At least her current books don’t wipe me of the floor :(

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