Five things Friday: Five Favorite Nora Roberts books

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Happy Friday! I am nearly done with my book challenge (WTF). I have about a week left and will hopefully make it! For today’s post I am bringing to you my five favorite books by my favorite author Nora Roberts. Enjoy!

Black Hills

Set in the Black Hills, Dr. Lillian Chance faces great danger when someone starts attacking her wildlife refuge she established. Faced with terrifying danger, she needs to turn to Cooper Sullivan, the man who broke her heart as a teenager.

The antagonist’s crazy mind and vengeful nature keeps you on the edge of your seat. I also really enjoyed this because it has amazingly interesting facts about animals – reading a Nora Roberts book always teaches you some random trivia.

Chasing Fire

Rowena Tripp is a smoke jumper in Missoula and she loves living life on the edge. When it becomes clear someone on base is sabotaging equipment, she needs to start questioning everyone she trusts the most.

This was my FIRST book I read for the challenge – WOW. It means I haven’t reread this book in a year, and I loved it, so I really can’t wait to read it after I’m done.

The Witness

The night Elizabeth decides to defy her over bearing, cold mother, ends in disaster. She meets Ilya Volkov, part of a Mafia organization, and the night starts innocently but she witnesses her friend get murdered. She narrowly escapes death herself, manages to call the police and gets taken into protective custody. Her mother rejects her and she starts relying on the two agents protecting her. They both die, and Elizabeth flees once again.

Years later, Elizabeth, now Abigail lives in Bickford. She meets handsome and nosey police Chief Brooks Gleason and his inquisitiveness eventually frustrates her enough to tell him everything. They start a relationship and Abigail starts contemplating bringing Volkov down permanently.

This was Roberts’ 200th book and she has amazingly just improved. I have no idea how anyone can get 200 stories onto paper, so she really must be incredibly hardworking and talented. The Witness was an addictive read – Elizabeth was just a teen rightfully rebelling against a very strict parent and her life got ruined. The way she rebuilt herself was truly touching to read about, and her eventual revenge was so satisfying.

The Search

After Fiona escaped the clutches of serial killer George Allen Perry, she starts rebuilding her life with a dog training school – in remembrance of her fiance and his K9 dog that gave their lives to save hers. She meets Simon Doyle through the training school and they start dating. They are both in danger when it becomes clear that there is a copycat serial killer on the loose, intent on killing Fiona as an ode to Perry.

Serial killers fascinate me – it is probably a bit sick – and I always enjoy reading and trying to understand what goes on in their minds. The Search focuses on the calculated madness of Perry, Fiona’s courage to rebuild her life and Simon’s journey to being a responsible dog owner. It is really good and it is one of those books where you love dogs even more than usual because they are so awesome.

Northern Lights

This is a great book – Nate Burke is a depressed policeman moving to Lunacy, Alaska to restart his life as the sheriff. He starts dating Meg – an independent pilot and slowly starts getting a grip on things. When a murdered man is found frozen in the mountain it is clear that he has been there for a few years. People start dropping dead and Nate knows someone is desperately trying to protect their presence on the mountain that fateful day.

Seeing the Northern Lights is definitely on my bucket list, so enjoying this book was easy. It was also good to read about a man rebuilding his life and finding his way.

What are your favorite books by a specific author?

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Best of 2013: Books

2013 has been the year of books for me. I have always been an obsessed reader, but when I created and took on my own challenge to read 100 books, I realized that while I would have to stay dedicated, it was actually possible. I think in a year’s cycle I would normally read about 80 books, so if I worked a little harder, 20 extra isn’t that much more. It is challenging to find new, interesting material all the time. With my book challenge, I promised to explore books I haven’t read yet, discover authors I haven’t tried yet, and look into genres I’m sure I wouldn’t love.

Here is my list of the best books I read so far in 2013 

*These are all books I read for the first time this year, not necessarily brought out within 2013.

The Indigo Spell – Richelle Mead (2013)

Book three in the Bloodlines trilogy. I read the first two and anxiously waited for this one’s release. It was as good as I hoped it would be. Bloodlines is mostly about Sydney Sage, an Alchemist that had been taught to hate vampires, is forced to live with them to do her job. It puts a new twist on the vampire/human romance, because she really hates vampires. Her love story with Adrian keeps me glued to the pages. The latest book in the series, the Fiery Heart, has just been released, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

The Witness – Nora Roberts (2012)

Nora Roberts have written enough books to create her own universe. With over two hundred books her universe has good and bad parts. The Witness falls into the part which is equivalent to the Maldives – it is beautiful and brilliantly written. Elizabeth Fitch’s life goes horribly wrong the one night she chooses to defy her mother. She witnesses Mafia murders and is forced into witness protection. Her mother deserts her, and after the murder of the two Marshalls she trusted, she knows she must escape her name or die. Years later, Elizabeth has turned into Abigail Lowry, a brilliant computer hacker. She meets Brooks Gleason and has to decide whether she will hide forever, or come forward and imprison Ilya Volkov for his crimes.

The book is suspenseful and emotional. I pitied Elizabeth Fitch, a true pawn in her mother’s master plan. Nora Roberts spins a tale that keeps you up at night that haunts you until you finish it. This is one of the books I would really recommend to her new readers.

The Villa – Nora Roberts (2002)

Another brilliant book by Ms. Roberts, the Villa is about Sophia Giambelli and the Giambelli-MacMillan wine empire she will inherit one day. When it becomes obvious that someone is out to get her and her family, Sophia realizes she is in great danger and must be careful with her trust. Her love interest with Tyler MacMillan becomes intense, and together they must field the danger directed at their heritage.

The Villa is superb with its superb description of details, and an interesting mix of strong and weak female characters.  I am so glad I stumbled upon this book. It is a fantastic read and I would recommend it to everyone.

Veronica Roth – Divergent (2011)

Instead of being another Hunger Games knock-off, Divergent and the two other books in the series is original. Set in Dystopian Chicago, society is divided into factions – traits that represents the good in society. Beatrice, of Abnegation, is the main protagonist and Divergent follows her story how she changed factions to become Dauntless, what it means to be Divergent and how she witnessed the demise of her world.

Veronica Roth – Allegiant (2013)

This is the last book in the Divergent series. It is better than Insurgent,  and I enjoyed it more. Tris and her boyfriend Four help lead the resistance against Jeanine Matthews and the Er Finally,

Honorable mentions

*These are books I have read for a second time and enjoyed it more this time around (or books that simply didn’t make the first 5)

  1. Eat, Pray Love – Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
  2. Insurgent – Veronica Roth (2012)
  3. Carnal Innocence – Nora Roberts (1991)
  4. The Mystery of Mercy Close – Marian Keyes (2012)

Book Review: The Witness (Nora Roberts)

Book: 54/100

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Elizabeth Fitches’ decision to defy her mother was a decision very overdue. Sixteen years old and already in university, her every move is dictated by her overbearing mother. What she eats, drinks, reads, watches and wears is either controlled by her mother or a dietician/expert.

When Elizabeth’s promised vacation gets shut down in favour of her spending time as a student at a hospital, she finally puts her foot down. She tries to argue her point, but her mother ignores her and leaves for a conference. In retaliation, Elizabeth heads to the mall, makes a friend for the first time in her life, and dyes her head black. She forges IDs for herself and her new friend, and they head to a club. The club is owned by the Volkov family, who is the Russian mafia. She meets Iyla Volkov, and shares her first kiss with a Russian mobster.  Her first night of freedom turns to horror when she witnesses two murders, including her friend, and is shocked when Iyla only displays irritation that the murder hadn’t happened another night. She miraculously escapes the house, and the police picks her up. She goes into witness protection, but once again escapes death narrowly when the house she hides in is blown to pieces by two corrupt Marshals.

Twelve years later, Elizabeth is Abigail Lowery. She lives in Ozarks, in Arkansas. She works as a freelance programmer and is a designer of security software, owning her own business. She is exceptionally intelligent, but her only permanent company is her guard dog Bert. She meets Ozarks Police Chief Brooks Gleason, and her rusty social skills aren’t enough to put him off. Brooks, a previous detective, is fascinated with Abigail. His detective skills tell him that she is hiding something, but that is also obvious by the state of the art security and supervision in her house, as well as her antagonistic nature.  As much as he searches, Abigail has made sure that her previous life isn’t traceable to her current one.

Brooks and his mother slowly starts to befriend Abigail, who is still a bit strange, but not rude when you get to know her. Brooks and Abigail falls in love, and when she confides in him, he helps her make the decision to claim her identity and find justice for all those the Volkov’s had purposely, and accidentally, murdered.

Will Abigail be able to stay safe once Iyla and his family realize her intentions? And how will she hide herself once they know how she looks?

Rating: 8.5/10

I cannot describe to you accurately how much I enjoyed this book. It definitely falls into my favorite box. The Witness is the 200th published book by Nora Roberts, and it only serves as evidence why she is such a widely published author.

What made this book so fascinating is that you get to see Elizabeth as a teen, so desperately lonely and confused despite her brilliance. You completely support her in her rebellion, you are a little thrilled that she finds a bad boy so easily, and then you are utterly shocked by the events that transpire.

Elizabeth/Abigail may just be my favorite Nora Roberts character of all time. She is insanely smart and the ultimate survivor, and just unbelievably stealthy and no nonsense.

I enjoyed Brooks Gleason. He is amicable and intelligent and enough of a protector to keep her feeling secure.

If I had any problems with the book, it might have been the ending. I was surprised at how little fuss there was with how the book ended – I expected a lot more drama.

This is obviously, a fantastic must read.

What happened this weekend, feeling sorry for myself and such matters

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Truly, nothing much happened this weekend. I devoted my entire Sunday to reading. More on that to follow.

Saturday I saw my one uncle. My extended family aren’t close, and I really don’t care much for it, but I arrived to say hi on my grandmother’s request. Which she turned around so it seemed I was dying to see him. Queue extreme irritation.  It was nice to see him, but also very obvious why my mother isn’t interested in staying connected with them. I am content with the family I have, as cold as it sounds. I don’t need people who only deign to show their faces every seven years.

Afterwards, I went to the shops, spent money I shouldn’t have, and got a new book. My little sister found a DVD she has been searching for ages for – Letters to Juliet. We also got Breaking Dawn Part one. That night we watched both. I will be posting reviews sometime during the next couple of weeks.

Books read

Last week I read about four books, and turned towards madness when I read Nora Robert’s the Witness the entire day yesterday, and finished it. 488 pages.

I think I will be giving reading a break, even if it is only for a few days.

PS: it was an amazing read

Feeling sorry for myself

My newly married sister and her husband are returning from Mauritius from their honeymoon, and it means I am back at home. I love home, but it is very crowded at the moment. I will miss my freedom and quiet so much. It is true motivation to get in a place where I can live in my own place.

Diet, exercise and studying

The three things I really need to get done. Like right now.

Starting with exams the first of November, and it is extremely close.

Chemistry, here I come.