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.
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…
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.