If there is any one person I'm a fangirl of, it's Nora Roberts. I read Divine Evil when I was around... 13, 14? I really don't remember, I just know I was way too young for the book. Did that stop me from reading it and pretty much every other Roberts book I could get my hands on? Nope. Nora Roberts is one of the few authors who, no matter my age, has stayed on my automatic buy list. Considering the number of books I've read, that's a big deal. The only reason my TBR pile isn't huge is because I don't just read random stuff, I read what I know I'm going to like or something with a higher than 50% chance of liking--but I'm digressing.
Roberts's latest book, The Witness, fits the mold of most Roberts books. Damaged heroine? Check. Strong beta/weak alpha hero? Check. Quirky side characters? Check. Antagonist who is actually scary and not just kind of scary? Check. Some people point to these traits of Roberts either being in a rut or simply phoning it in.
I politely tell them to go shoot themselves in the foot.
Look, every genre has a pattern. It is why, in essence, it's a genre. You don't pick up a Stephen King book expecting to find romance and fluffy kittens. By the same token, you don't pick up Georgette Heyer and expect to find zombies and disemboweled. But again, I digress.
The antagonist this time around is the Russian Mafyia, personalized by a charming man and his not so charming actions. The heroine is unique in that she seems almost Mary Sue-ish, but that only serves to highlight the way in which she isn't a Mary Sue at all. It also, to me at least, showed how even the best of things can actually harm you when taken to extremes. The hero is the kind of man that every woman believes they want just once and then they can move on and then they end up falling in love with them. And there's a dog. There's always a dog in modern day Roberts books and most of them are rescue dogs, a cause I believe is near and dear to the author's heart. Since she doesn't bludgeon the reader with her beliefs, I'm fine with the references.
I can't really give details on the plot because then why the hell would you want to read it? I can tell you that I teared up, which is kind of par for the course, but is also a marker for how good or bad a book is--if I don't cry during a book, there's probably a problem. I can also tell you that if you enjoy Roberts's books, then you will enjoy The Witness. Go get it. Read it. You'll like it. I promise.