Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous.
Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.
Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.
This is the first Nora Roberts that I’ve ever read. See that rock over there? Yes, that’s the one I live under.
In all seriousness, I’m glad I finally read something by this rather prolific author, and I can see why she’s so popular. Her writing style is really engaging, for lack of a better word, and she’s got a great ability to draw a reader in. I also liked the fact that the book was just as much a family drama as it was a crime novel – a lot of time was spent exploring our MC Naomi’s life and daily exploits.
I honestly didn’t care much for the romance – the male love interest came across as typical alpha-male-but-I-still-respect-you, and I was more interested in the other goings-on in the book. The depictions of sexual assault are also fairly graphic, so trigger warning for that.
Naomi is an admirable character to behold – she is a rational woman who is very well aware of her emotional issues and paranoias resulting from her rather traumatic childhood. She acknowledges that they’re distinctly irrational, but that there’s nothing much she can really do about that. She’s also an incredibly capable woman, and I adored the relationship she has with her brothers and two uncles who essentially raised her. Finally, the details about her career as a photographer were really interesting – her passion for composition and colours was evident and you couldn’t help but revel in it just as much as Naomi did.
All in all, an entertaining if disturbing crime mystery slash drama – and I didn’t guess the culprit, so extra points for that. Not a bad introduction to an author who’s written an insane number of novels! (At this point, I could make a really bad pun about how I have a new ‘obsession’, but shall totally refrain from doing that.)
Free copy received from Jonathan Ball Publishers in exchange for an honest review.