30 April 2012

Review: Nora Roberts - The Witness

Format: Paperback, 757 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Putnam Adult (first published April 1st 2012)
ISBN 0399159371 (ISBN13: 9780399159374)
Language: English Title: The Witness
Characters: Abigail Lowery aka Elizabeth Fitch, Brooks Gleason
Setting: Bickford, Arkansas (United States)
Read a copy from my personal library.

Summary (Goodreads)
Elizabeth Fitch's short-lived teenage rebellion began with L'Oreal Pure Black, a pair of scissors, and a fake ID. It ended in blood...
Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man's seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever.
Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she works at home designing sophisticated security systems. Her own security is supplemented by a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. 
Unfortunately, that seems to be the quickest way to get attention in a tiny southern town.
The mystery of Abigail Lowery intrigues local police chief Brooks Gleason, on both a personal and professional level. Her sharp, logical mind, her secretive nature, her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something, even if he doesn't know what - and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed. Accustomed to two-bit troublemakers, Gleason is about to walk into the sights of very powerful and dangerous men. And Abigail Lowery, who has built a life based on security and self-control, is at risk of losing both.


11% “So far its old skool NR and I'm having a ball reading it!" 

That was the first thing that came to mind when I read the first stage of the book. Nora Roberts gave the best of her suspense and action along with a protagonist whom was intriguing from the get-go. She grabbed me with the plot but most of all she grabbed me with this incredible but rebellious girl who was so very recognizable. She made Abigail come to life with all her confusion and hunger for experiences. There was a mother who was so cold, so very self-absorbed that she gave me chills and made me sympathize all the more with Abigail. The stories I love most of Nora Roberts like; Birthright, Carnal Innocence, Caroline Moon, The Villa, Sanctuary, River’s End etc, all have these lifelike characters full of warmth, humor and passion. The villain is truly evil and the romance just wraps you up in its sexiness and blooming love. It has been a while for Nora Roberts to give that in the proportions that resonate with me.

I was skeptical when reviewers told me via their review they couldn’t stop reading. I was reluctant to buy The Witness simply because I did not want another disappointment in reading a story from this author. But sometimes I need to gamble and while reading this story I learned this gamble paid off. I got much of what I love from Nora Roberts. An attention grabbing and suspense rife opening. Great characters I could fell in love with. A romance that was sigh worthy and dialogues that made me smile or laugh. The suspense dwindled very quickly after the first stage but it was the effect it had on Abigail’s life that kept it a small thread throughout the story. With a payback angle and getting the bad guys their comeuppance it flared back to life towards the end.

The one person whom made this story for me is Abigail. She has an IQ of 210 and an analytical mind. For example:

18% "Quote; She understood the concept of pursuit and conquer. The male felt challenged, driven to persuade, capture, conquer. Perhaps she should reconsider having sex with him. With sex the pursuit would end, the challenge would be removed. His interest would begin to wane. Those were logical reasons. “ 

She gets completely confused if she feels too much, has a strict order in her daily routine and a loveable companion in the form of a well-trained guard dog named; Bert. Her quirks just make her such a likeable character and I needed to find out if she could shed her victim shield.

If Abigail is very structured Brooks is all easy-going charm. Chief of a small-town, which is a setting Nora Roberts can bring to life like no other writer!! Brooks is charismatic and a people person coming from a warm and tight-knit family. In his job he stands his ground and can be commanding but he uses his people skills as well. The minute Brooks meets Abigail sparks fly and I just gobbled up their dialogues. Here are a few quotes that just got to me:

15% "Quote: His eyes were amber in the late-afternoon sun, and his smile appealing. She thought he owned that easy, conversational style the way other men owned socks. “You think you’re charming.” “Yeah. That’s probably a flaw, but who wants perfect? “

This just made me smile – from start to finish I enjoyed Brooks’ quick quips.

15% "Quote; “I can’t eat all the pie. It’s too much for one person.” “Shame to waste it, too.” She stowed the protective gear in the seat of the bench. “All right. You can have the pie and the wine. But I won’t have sex with you.” “Now you hurt my feelings.” 

Classic Abigail/Brooks interaction :)

17% "Quote; “I planned to watch a movie with dinner.” “I like movies.” “I was going to watch Steel Magnolias.” He let out a long, long sigh. “I probably deserve that.”

Served you right Brooks *grin*

22% "Quote: They’d charmed her, seduced her. The man, the mother, even the little dog. She’d let herself be swept along. Conversation, invitations, pie, sex. 

Me too, Abigail...me too!!"

31% "Quote; “You’re in love with me. 
I can see it, and I can feel it. Why don’t you try the words?” 
“I don’t know. I want to know.” 
“Just try them out, see how it feels. I won’t hold you to it.” 
“I … I’m in love with you. Oh, God.” She closed her eyes. “It feels real.” “Say it again, and kiss me.” “I’m in love with you.” She didn’t ease in, but flung herself. Starving for that knowledge, the gift, the light of it. Love. Being loved, giving it. 

I'm getting all mushy here!

100% “She trailed off, stopped. “There’s a bench,” she murmured. “There’s a beautiful bench exactly where I wanted one.” 
“That’s your surprise. Welcome home, Abigail.” Her vision blurred as she stepped forward to run her hands over the smooth curve of the back, the arms. It looked like a log, hollowed out, polished to a satiny gleam, and on the middle of the back was a carved heart with the initials A.L. and B.G. in the center. 

This is romance which makes me all warm and bubbly happy inside. Loved it!

There is also another small suspense plot that adds enough tension and conflict to keep it interesting. There were inhabitants to make this flamboyant artist/tourist town feel real and Brooks’ family added a warmth of their own. Even though the sensuality was mild, there weren’t any secondary romances or a suspense that was kept at an all-time high, I still was very invested in the characters and the outcome of this story. I was enamored by this highly intelligent woman and her first romantic experience that ultimately gave way to a sigh-worthy conclusion.

Nora Roberts gives romance which warms you from the inside out and leaves you a bit dreamy and starry-eyed at the end!

4 stars

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  1. I broke up with Nora Roberts while in my Dutch phase (with the exception of the J.D. Robb books I started reading recently) but you are making me want to give this one a try. If only I didn't have a mountain of books to read at the moment. Great review!

    1. I had my NR pique around 2000-2002, after that she slowly lost me and her stories became mediocre :(( I haven't read a books from her in years but this one, it just pulled at me sa I gave. I think you'll at least enjoy the romance and the characters :))

  2. I've only started reading Nora Roberts this year. I've seen such good reviews about this book, I think I need to grab it! (I love your comments to the quotes, lol)

    1. The interaction just pulled me in and I responded so often in my head. I just love it when an author can pull you in to a story like that!! You should give this one a go if you're interested in reading a recent NR story!

  3. What a lovely warm new look for your blog Leontine, I love it. And I am so going to read this book! I want to be swept of my feet again.

    1. Yeah, the look is growing on me :)) And perhaps we can talk about The Witness when we meet up in Germany? Or haven't you received the book yet?

  4. Confession, I'm a Nora Roberts virgin. I know. I think I need to change that. :)

    1. A virgin *gaps* I think NR is about the most translated author in the Netherlands *smiles* If you get in a m/f mood...one day *wink* NR can be a real treat!

  5. I am quite agree to the much extent of the review written above...just really can't resist to grab my 'The Witness' copy as soon as possible..!!


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