Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Nora Roberts - True Betrayals

In this bestselling tale of deceit, murder, and romance, Kelsey Byden is shocked when she hears from her supposedly dead mother-and discovers she's really been in prison for murder.' to 'Kelsey Byden is still reeling from her husband's affair - and going through a divorce - when a letter arrives that shakes her to the core. It is from her mother, Naomi, whom Kelsey thought long dead. When she discovers the truth - that her mother is alive and has just been released from prison - Kelsey journeys to Naomi's horse farm, and the two start the fragile process of getting to know each other. It is there that she meets Gabe Slater, a handsome gambler who sets off a powerful reaction in her. But their newfound relationship will set in motion a shocking series of events that puts Naomi's future - and Kelsey and Gabe's very lives - at risk.

Comment: Nora Roberts is probably the author whose work I've read the most. I mean, I've read practically all of her work and the books I haven't read are unread because I want to have some to read from time to time. This month I've read the second single title of the year and in 2019 I'm planning on reading one of her trilogies. Since she is such a prolific writer, it's an average I can keep...

In this story we meet Kelsey Byden, a young woman who discovers her mother is alive after all, after a life of thinking she had been dead. Even more surprising is that in some of the years Kelsey lost with having a mother, hers had been in jail for murder. Now, a letter trying to reconnect them makes Kelsey finally meet her mother and those she has surrounded herself with. Among them is Gabriel Slater, a man she thinks is with her mother but who she can't help be attracted to.
When things are finally explained, Kelsey is relieved for several reasons and she can't also help but enjoying the time she's spending at her mother's place and being near the horses and everything related to their care.
However, problems start to happen and it seems someone is bent on seeing Kelsey's mother fail...

Any reader of fiction could immediately tell this story was written in past decades (1995) because several details point to it. I found it interesting to notice such details.
At the same time, any fan of mrs Roberts' writing would recognize her trademark "voice" and appreciate the story for what is is, a simple story but filled with many characterization rich details.

The plot of this story isn't complicated, it's very family oriented, meaning that it's very focused on family bonds, something the author has used often in her books but that in the recent years has turned into something almost "mechanic"like in terms of how we see it. I mean that in her current books, any bond between characters, any detail almost seems to be included in a very planned way, and not because those people could really exist and behave like that. I do have the feeling her stories, despite still very good, have turned into "perfection" molds and I miss the real emotion behind thing, not just a rehearsed sequence of events.

In this book, it was nice to see more simpler situations and explanations but stronger little details. Kelsey is a determined woman but she has many flaws and I liked her more for it, because she is someone readers can relate to. I especially liked how unsure she was, about what she wanted to do with her life. Of course she discovers it but that's not the point.
Her romance with Gabriel is to be expected. He was also the type of hero readers of this author have gotten used to. He has flaws too but she is genuine, he is decent and confident in what he wants and what he needs to do. The romance was cute, although I must say the transition from "we are dancing around each other" to "forever love" wasn't as smooth as I imagined and it felt it happened too quickly.

There's a sort of mystery plot involved as well, about a crime committed, about certain issues related to the world of horses and races... I found this subject interesting, nothing I'd devour but it was nice. The guilty person is someone we know pretty soon but there are still some surprises but I'd say this is not the usual mystery or suspense plot often found in these types of book (romantic suspense).

One of the biggest issues is how Kelsey and her mother Naomi connect and become familiar with one another. I can understand the subtlety of some scenes and it does feel like they took time to know one another, then there are other secondary family situations to solve, to deal with... this emotional side of things was well done I think, it's wasn't rushed but it wasn't as cold as one might see in real's always good to have hope and see good things happen.

All in all, a good enough romance by this author. Not close to being a favorite but cohesive and entertaining.
Grade: 7/10

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