The Obsession by Nora Roberts

The Obsession by Nora RobertsAvailable: April 12, 2016 Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Michelle

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.

Nora Roberts is a master storyteller, and this book is a prime example of why she has had dozens of bestsellers throughout her widely successful career. While some people complain about her often formulaic approach to writing, my theory is, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m more a fan of romance with a little suspense than mystery/suspense with a little romance, but I can make an exception for this book.

As a young girl, Naomi Bowes experienced something no one should ever have to. Her world was shattered when, on the eve of her twelfth birthday, she discovered a naked, beaten woman tied up in a root cellar in the woods behind their house. Having exposed her father as a rapist and a serial killer, Naomi and her family moved to Washington D.C. to live with her uncle Seth. Seth and his partner Harry take in his sister and her kids in hopes of providing a stable life for them while at the same time helping them to move on from the horrific turn their lives had taken.

The crimes and subsequent notoriety of Thomas Bowes affected Naomi, her brother Mason and her mother Susan in different ways. Abused and controlled by her husband for years, Susan cleaves to him, unable to break away from him. From the time Mason learned about his father, he set a goal to dedicate his life to learning how to identify monsters like that and put them behind bars. Naomi spent years running away from her past: changing her last name, pursuing a career as a photographer and living her life on the road, afraid to put down roots of any kind. The only relationships she allows are the ones with her brother and her uncles.

All of that changes when she stumbles upon a rambling old house in Sunrise Cove, thousands of miles away from where her life began. The view from the house, the idea of renovating the big home and making it her own, even the town, call to her from the beginning. Naomi’s determination to stay aloof and keep to herself doesn’t stand a chance against the people of Sunrise Cove. From the contractor she hires and his wife to the police chief who quietly lets her know that he knows her past to the rugged, sexy mechanic who sets his eye on her, Naomi slowly learns to let people in.

Unfortunately the past has a way of catching up to a person, and being the daughter of Thomas Bowes brings danger literally to her doorstep. Naomi must learn to trust her new friends and neighbors, lean on her not-so-little brother – now an FBI agent – and open her heart and her life to Xander Keaton.

It didn’t take long for me to become obsessed with The Obsession. Even though I figured out who the unsub was fairly early on, that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story. This book was gritty and sometimes grisly, violent and emotional, with just the right amount of romance to make my heart happy.

I give The Obsession 4.5 by Nora Roberts stars!

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