Monday, July 31, 2017

Review: Come Sundown by Nora Roberts (audio)

Title: Come Sundown
Author: Nora Roberts
Narrator: Elisabeth Rodgers
Published: May 2017, Brilliance Audio
Length: 17 hours 17 minutes
Source: Publisher

A saga of love, family ties, and twisted passions from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Obsession

The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers. A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it’s kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner. There was another member of the family once: Bodine’s aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born. She never returned, and the Longbows don’t talk about her much. The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she’s dead. But she isn’t. She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose—and her mind has been shattered…

When a bartender leaves the resort late one night, and Bo and Cal discover her battered body in the snow, it’s the first sign that danger lurks in the mountains that surround them. The police suspect Cal, but Bo finds herself trusting him—and turning to him as another woman is murdered and the Longbows are stunned by Alice’s sudden reappearance. The twisted story she has to tell about the past—and the threat that follows in her wake—will test the bonds of this strong family, and thrust Bodine into a darkness she could never have imagined.

My thoughts: I adore Nora Roberts' romantic suspense novels and look forward to when the new one comes out each year - they seem to get better and better with each one! This one was long - and I listen to them, so at just over 17 hours, you need to be invested, engaged and entertained to commit to this one - and I was just that. This one had great characters, a compelling mystery and a sweet romance that kept me hooked from start to finish!

What I loved most about this book is the way Nora Roberts was able to balance the moments of darkness - the disappearance of the aunt and story of the man that has kept her hostage for so long - with life on the ranch and  a few romances, including the one between Bo and Cal. The romances are definitely not the focus of the book, but rather they are tiny threads that are woven in and get high-lighted here and there, giving the story some breaths of light. It is this balance, though, that keeps this book from being too heavy, from falling solely into the thriller genre and I'm ok with that. 

I felt that this was much more of an emotional read than some of Nora's previous books. There are some truly horrific, dark scenes in this book - mainly those of Alice when she is kept captive. These were heartbreaking to read and I felt Alice's anguish at being held captive all those years - it was raw and honest and at times, hard to take in. Those scenes are mostly told in the past. Then we are taken back to the present, were we get snapshots of life on the ranch and resort and are taken into the everyday life of the Longbow family. I loved getting to know these characters, from Bo and Cal, to Bo's family, especially the grannies. All these characters are so well-drawn and developed that you feel as if you know them personally by the end of the book. 

This family saga really kept me engaged and invested in what was going on. The family dynamics that Nora Roberts drew from were strong - this family relies on a strong family bond. There were quite a few twists and turns that I didn't see coming and while I had a few guesses, they didn't pan out. This book will play on your emotions and keep you entertained at the same time. This is Nora Roberts at her best!


Audio thoughts:
I adore Elisabeth Rodgers - she narrates just about all of Iris Johansen's books, which I love listening to, and a few other books that I've listened to as well. I find that she is able to adapt to just about any book she is narrating, giving the characters their own unique voices, with distinct character traits as needed, and her pacing and tone are spot on. She really does a great job bringing the characters to life. This is a long audio - but Elizabeth Rodgers keeps your attention, keeps you engaged with the characters and her voice never feels stale - her inflection and emotion is consistent throughout. This was a good book to listen to from start to finish!

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1 comment

  1. I've been curious about htis one. I really love all of Nora Roberts books but this one seemed a little darker than most. It sounds like it is but that it is still a good read.

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