Book Review: Secret Star (Nora Roberts)

Book: 6/100

Secret Star is the conclusion to the Stars of Mithra series. The previous books, Hidden Star and Captive Star, saw Bailey James and MJ O Leary chase to save their lives, and find love. Now, with both of them safe, the only missing person and star is Grace Fontaine.

Detective Seth Buchanan arrives at Grace’s apartment to inspect her dead body; he is struck by the waste of her death. The portrait of Grace on the wall stuns him, and he constantly returns to it. But Grace returns to her flat – alive, causing confusion to whom the victim might be. Grace identifies her as a niece, part of the family who despises Grace for her wealth and beauty.

The former centrefold model and detective Buchannan are constantly sniping at each other. He is constantly annoyed with the rumours that surround Grace, her ability to turn grown men into puppies, and his attraction to her. He finally acts on it, but turns away multiple times in fear of losing control. He sets out to find the people behind the bodies that keep piling up because of the stones.

When Grace invites Seth to a dinner gala, he accompanies her only to spend time with her, not for the party. There, they meet Ambassador Gregor deVane. He is strikingly handsome, and becomes obsessed with Grace. It is finally revealed that he is responsible for all the murders, and also the person who wanted to steal the Stones.

Seth fights with Grace, feeling that she is becoming too essential in his life. He leaves in anger, but returns when her alarm goes off. He finds an empty house, and knows Ambassador deVane took her. Arresting him is impossible, so Seth, Jack and Cade set out to free her. Grace takes matters into her own hands, fleeing her room, and finds Seth on her way out. He hands her over to Jack, and goes back in to get DeVane, where he ends up killing him.

Grace runs from the city, still angry at Seth for his cruelty. When he arrives at her country home, she is afraid to take him back. He begs her, promising a life of love and children, and she finally accepts.

Rating: 4.5/10

Although the book was entertaining at times, I have read better Nora Roberts’ books. The basic outline of all three books are generic romance types, and I cannot say I didn’t know how it would end. Seth and Grace seem unrealistic as a couple, and Seth seems like an ass most of the time. Grace is written to portray that beautiful women have morals and aspirations as well, but I wasn’t too impressed with her. It was still a good read though, and I can predict that I will pick it up again if I am bored J

Review: Fallen Star (Nora Roberts)

Book: 4/100

The focus shifts from Bailey James (Hidden Star) to MJ O’Leary, a dear friend of Bailey. MJ, an independent, loud-mouthed redhead who owns her own pub, received one of the 3 Stars of Mithra from Bailey when Bailey suspected there was a plan to steal the stars. Although she is worried, MJ completely trusts her friend, and keeps the Star on her at all times. When Jack Dakota, a skip tracer, arrives at her door to take her in for a false criminal case, MJ is beyond angry. She defends herself when Jack tries to physically move her from her home, and tells him in very precise terms what she thinks of him. Jack starts to realise that she is telling the truth, and that he was also set up to arrest an innocent woman. Their argument is interrupted when a large man burst into MJ’s door, telling them to hurry up. A fight breaks out, and MJ and Jack flee from him.

MJ is handcuffed to the car as Jack tries to figure out what is going on. They flee town, and stay in a dingy motel room. Jack discovers the diamond and calls her out on it. She eventually confesses what happened, and Jack confuses Bailey for a man. This angers him, since he is particularly attracted to her, and when they share a kiss he is even more confused. When she finally tells him that there is no man, they can finally be together, and they set out to find what the hell is going on. They go in search for Jack’s contractor, who gave him MJ to trace. He is found dead at the scene, but the two discover that the Salvini brothers did back handed dealings with him. This is not surprising to MJ, as she always disliked Bailey’s stepbrothers, but it causes her to start worrying for the safety of her friends. They go to Bailey’s apartment, and seeing it ransacked, they also set out to find Grace. They go in search for her hidden house in the countryside, and eventually find it after some wrong turns. There, they can obviously see that Grace had been there a while, although they miss her by a day. They stay there, trying to figure out a next action plan, and Jack tries to leave MJ behind to keep her safe. He tells her he doesn’t love her and is tired of the problems she is causing, but she calls him out on it, and they set out to find the killers together. They arrive at the Salvini business, but are attacked by an unnamed man. Jack kills him, and is injured himself. The two regroup at MJ’s apartment, and finally decide to contact the police.

Rating: 5/10

Of the three heroines, I enjoyed MJ’s character the most. Powerful women who aren’t afraid to take care of themselves are always more interesting than whiny, dependent women. Jack also seems more realistic than Cade Parris, who Bailey ends up with. I still find this rapid romance unbelievable, or at the most very scarce. The book was a bit more enjoyable than Hidden Star, and of the three this would be the one I would read again.

Book Review: Hidden Star (Nora Roberts)

Stars of Mithra

Book: 3/100

Most of the time I am a  fan of Nora Roberts. She has a legion of fans, which is quite understandable as she is the most widely published romantic author of our times. Roberts has about 209 romance novels out there. It seems a given to me that not all of those novels can be literary greats, but she fact remains that she has a lovely way to tell a tale, and I enjoy her works 90% of the time.

Hidden Star is the first novel in the trilogy of the Mithra Stars. Bailey James, a gemmologist, is contracted by the Smithsonian to verify the authenticity of the Stars. When Bailey starts to suspect that there is a plot to steal the Stones, she sends two of the stars to her best friends, MJ O’Leary and Grace Fontaine.

After witnessing a traumatic incident that causes her memory loss, Bailey stumbles into Parris investigations for help. Cade Parris, an attractive, rich socialite, chose to open a detective agency against the wishes of his family. When he sees Bailey, his world comes to a standstill. He is touched by her distress, and immediately feels protective towards her. Together they set out to find who she is, and the only clues they have is 1.2 US dollars in cash, a fully loaded gun, and a huge blue diamond. It also seems telling that she has an extensive knowledge of gems, making her a candidate for an occupation in jewellery or gemmology.

As Bailey and Cade rapidly fall for each other, Bailey starts to regain her memory in pieces. First, she gets clear images of her two friends, as they are closest to her. Then, after a while, she dreams/remembers the initials TS, and two men who look alike. Cade, with his superior investigative skills, deduces that the men are twins, and leads him towards Timothy and Thomas Salvini, Bailey’s stepbrothers. Together they set out to Salvini, a jewellery company, and find Timothy dead at the scene. Bailey regains her memory, and realises that her brothers were the people who were bribed to steal the stone, planning to leave her with the mess. Thomas attacks Bailey, and is killed as well. Now, they need to find her missing friends, and keep the stones safe from the stranger so set on taking possession of them.

Rating:

5/10

Although I enjoyed the book, I had a few eye rolling moments. The storyline was interesting enough, but falling so quickly for someone seems a bit ludicrous. As always, I enjoyed Robert’s fantastic research of the occupations she uses in her books. I found Bailey a bit pathetic, with her helplessness, and Cade was just too unrealistic to be a real man. I would recommend this as intelligent romance, even if it follows the generic storyline. It was well done, but not life changing.

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