Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.

Carolina Moon

Carolina Moon - Nora Roberts I just borrowed Nora Roberts' Carolina Moon from my mom over the weekend and returned it after two days with the advice to her to not even read it.I should preface my review by stating that I am a big Nora Roberts fan. I like reading romance novels in between the "deeper" books as a break, and at the end of a day of taking care of a rambunctious toddler, sometimes the last thing I want to do is read a book that makes me think.Roberts is often best at her trilogies, and judging by this book, she should go back to what has been her forte these past few years. In her trilogies, you see the sort of deeper character development you'd like to see in romance novels, but are rarely treated to. With three books to spread the characters across, you really WANT to know these characters. She also likes to do some in-depth research, be it about Irish mythology (the Jewels trilogy) or boat building and shrimping (the trilogy in Chesapeake Bay). I can't say the same about Carolina Moon.When we first meet our heroine, Victoria Bodeen, she is returning to the town of her birth (like many Roberts heroes/heroines) to confront her past and open a gift shop after saving for years to do so. There are more ghosts in her past than a Stephen King novel, from her abusive father and doormat mother, to the family of her best friend, killed at the age of eight.Roberts introduces Tory's psychic powers early on, which should have been a big clue that this wasn't the usual Nora Roberts book. Tory's talents were both responsible for her frequent beatings at the hands of her father, as well as the assistance in helping her friend's wealthy and powerful family find her body the day after her murder.The relationship that is the result of Tory's meeting with her friend's older brother Cade never really gets off the ground. Tory is repeatedly called "strong" and has "steel" that is frequently mentioned, but you never are able to see why she suddenly drops all her defenses to let this man into her life.The other relationships in the book are equally given short shrift, from the contrived friendship burgeoning between Tory and her dead friend's identical twin sister, Faith, to Faith's turnabout in dealing with her on-again, off-again lover Wade (Tory's cousin), it seems like Roberts is trying to pack one of her infamous trilogies into one book. The characters are sketchy, and their actions are often unbelievable.In addition, the level of violence in this book is something I personally haven't ever seen from Roberts before. Whether it was because of the natural of the crimes (the book is dominated by the crimes of a serial rapist/murderer), or because of the supernatural in relation to the crimes, this book gave me the willies. In fact, I stayed up until 1 AM and made my poor husband stay up with me because I was determined to finish the book, even though it scared me, knowing that I wouldn't be able to sleep thinking about the serial killer.This book is a page turner, thanks to Roberts' writing, but I'd recommend any of her other books rather than this one. I'm shivering just thinking about this one. It won't rate a reread.This review previously published at Epinions:

Currently reading

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography
Elisabeth Sladen, David Tennant
Diary of a Submissive: A Modern True Tale of Sexual Awakening
Sophie Morgan
Bellman & Black
Diane Setterfield
Deep into the Heart of a Rose
G.T. Denny