BOOK REVIEW:- The Liar by Nora Roberts

The LiarTHE LIAR
by Nora Roberts
Publisher: Piatkus Books (UK) / 14th April (USA)
Publication Date: 16th April 2015 (UK) / G. P. Putnam & Sons (US)
Format: Hardback (501 pages)
Source: Review Copy

When her husband Richard dies in a freak accident, Shelby Pomeroy is devastated. But his death reveals a horrible truth – Richard was a liar and a cheat. Now Shelby is left with the consequences – huge, terrifying debts and mounting proof that her late husband betrayed her in every conceivable way.

Heart-broken but unbowed, Shelby is determined to fix her problems – if only for the sake of her gorgeous little daughter Callie. Returning home to Tennessee and the family she thought she’d lost for ever, she discovers a new sense of strength and freedom. And hope, too, in the handsome form of carpenter Griffin Lott – a straight-dealing man who couldn’t lie to her if he tried.

But not everyone is thrilled to see Shelby Pomeroy back in town. And when a shocking act of violence is traced back to Richard’s shady business, it becomes clear that she is not safe from him, even in death. With her life in danger, Shelby must face the lies of the past – or lose everything. (Goodreads)

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The only works I am aware of by Nora Roberts is some of the In Death Series she writes under the pen name J D Robb. I rather liked the two books that I had read in this series, Naked in Death and Obsession In Death, so I had reasonably high hopes for The Liar. For the most part the book didn’t disappoint, but for me I found parts of the book rather predictable.

Robb had set herself a difficult task of balancing the traditional romance of a couple overcoming obstacles, in order to form a lasting relationship, with the mystery surrounding the main character, Shelby’s husband’s death and the documents she found in a safety deposit box. While Robb no doubt succeeded in creating a brilliant romance, I felt that the mystery was a bit predictable and I guessed the twist almost instantly when the puzzle pieces were first presented. Even when Robb was throwing “red herrings” on who was behind the strange goings on that occur when Shelby returns to her home town, it still wasn’t enough to dissuade me from my guess.

So, with a predictable twist to the mystery that didn’t really give me anything new or exciting to read, why did I end up finding myself avidly turning the pages, wanting to find out what happens next?

The simple answer is the many complex and compelling relationships that Robb has created between Shelby, her family, her friends and Griffin Lott, the love interest in this tale. Through these interactions, we have a cast of characters that you genuinely care for and you end up rooting for love conquering all so that Shelby gets a man that truly deserves her.

Shelby, in my eyes was a character who could have easily fell into the Mary Sue or the damsel in distress mould, yet even though at times she is pig-headed and stubborn in wanting to rectify the mistakes she made by marrying her former husband Richard, she softens to accept the help of those that are close to her in order to get back on her feet. What is apparent is that no matter what life seemed to throw at Shelby, she was a survivor. That Shelby had a drive to learn from her past mistakes and not repeat them in order to protect her daughter and give her the best chance in life.

Though it is clear that she is attracted to Griff, but having been burned by what happened with Richard and the secrets that were spilled after his death, she is wary. You know that these two will get together, but you get why she chooses to be wary for it is not only her happiness, but her daughters too that is at risk if it all goes South.

As for Griff, he is the right mixture of Alpha male and new age man. When he strikes up a friendship with the delightfully sweet Callie, Shelby’s daughter, I was oohing and ahhing, especially when he was placating her wishes to marry him. This is what is so quintessentially charming about Griff. He has this old fashioned chivalry, coupled with the traits that you want in a modern man. That where he sees a woman as an equal. He admires the strength in Shelby and is one of the few who doesn’t want to change her.

Without believing that these two were meant to be together, the story would have fallen apart and I would not have been avidly turning the pages, desperate to see the inevitable conclusion

VERDICT:
The Liar didn’t really work well as a mystery, but as romance it was a really enjoyable read. Watching the romance blossom between Shelby and Griff was so entertaining and the delicate dance between the two of them.

The book has this cosy, country feel to it and Robb just stops from it being to cheesy and sickly sweet. At the end of the book I was left with a warm feeling that all turned out, even if it was a tad predictable in some areas. None the less I am more than willing to try other works that Nora Roberts has written under this name

RATING:
3 star

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NORA ROBERTS ONLINE
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