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Monday, May 29, 2017

ARC Review: Come Sundown by Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts has done it again! This time it’s an edge of your seat suspense thriller with a bit of romance thrown in.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: May 30, 2017

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.

What’s it About? Come Sundown is a story of heartbreak, survival, and family. The Bodine Ranch has been in the family for generations and is currently being run by Bodine “Bo” Longbow and a large staff which includes Callen “Cal” Skinner. The Bodines have had their share of tragedy when years earlier Bodine’s aunt Alice ran off and was never seen again. Believed to be dead all these years, no one is more surprised than the Bodines when Alice suddenly appears. She doesn’t remember who she is and her mind is beyond fragile. Her family is determined to help her heal and to find out where she’s been all these years and just who she’s afraid of. With women beginning to disappear, Cal is the prime suspect but Bo doesn’t believe he’s the one responsible but time is running out to find the person responsible and as Alice starts to recover her memory, she tells a dark, chilling story of what happened to her years ago.

Overall reaction to the story? I was fifteen when I read my first Nora Roberts book (Sanctuary) and I’ve been a fan ever since. Come Sundown is a wholly different book than what I’ve come to expect from Roberts. I admit I’ve been out of touch with her books in the past five years or so but this one was definitely the high caliber story I’ve always known her to be capable of. Come Sundown is a chilling story that hauntingly echoes the real life abductions of women and in rare cases, the recovery of those women years later. This book ripped my heart out, gave me chills, and finally brought me hope that the Bodines would survive and emerge stronger than ever. There were parts of the book that dragged on a bit for my tastes and the bouncing back and forth between the past and present could confuse or be a turn off but it became clear that it was necessary to have the past to be told separately so that it could later merge into the present plot line and make sense and more of an impact on the reader. All that said, Roberts is a master at crafting a story that will engage your mind, pull on your heartstrings, and stay with you for a long time after you’ve read the last page.

Describe the hero in five words: Interesting. Intelligent. Mysterious. Caring. Fun.
Did you like him? Yes.
Why? Cal definitely knows how to get things done. I loved how dedicated he was to his work but at the same time he was such a kind and gentle person. What really won me over about this guy was how he interacted with the members of Bo’s family and how he later became part of that family in the most tear jerking way.

Describe the heroine in five words: Stubborn. Capable. Intelligent. Kind. Strong.
Did you like her? Yes.
Why? Bo doesn’t suffer fools lightly. I loved her take charge personality and her confidence in her skills when it came to her family home and business. She could lead but she could also step back and have someone else take the lead. She was so loyal to her family and with good reason; they were wonderful people who supported one another. Bo was a great combination of wit, heart, and courage.

Let’s talk about the romance: The romance isn’t the main draw of the story, it’s actually Alice’s disappearance and subsequent reappearance that drives pretty much everything and as the gaps in her memory start to return, a graphic, terrifying , and heartbreaking story that brings everyone in closer together. Cal and Bo’s romance is present but it’s not as hot and heavy as I remember but then again Come Sundown is more of a thriller than a romance. But even with their romance taking a back seat it was still well done and believable to me.

How about that supporting cast? I can’t say enough about the Bodines. There are four generations of them in the story and each one suffered from Alice’s disappearance. Their tight knit family is the stuff you envy and wish you had. They all provided a bit of heart and laughter right when it was needed and they were all part of a bigger story.

Click It or Skip It? Click It. Come Sundown isn’t a traditional Nora Roberts romance, in fact it’s barely a romance at all but it’s one hell of a thriller with characters you will take into your heart and never let go of.

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