Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Witness by Nora Roberts

Title: The Witness (audiobook)
Author: Nora Roberts
My Rating: A+ 
Narrator: Julia Whelan

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Main Characters: Abigail and Brooks
Release Date: April 2012
Publisher: Penguin/Putnam
Audiobook: Brilliance Audio
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Daughter of a controlling mother, Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking at a nightclub and allowing a strange man's seductive Russian accent lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever.

Twelve years later, the woman known as Abigail Lowery lives on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she designs sophisticated security systems--and supplements her own security with a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. But Abigail's reserve only intrigues police chief Brooks Gleason. Her logical mind, her secretive nature, and her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something--and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed.

With a quirky, unforgettable heroine and a pulse-pounding plotline, Nora Roberts presents a riveting new read that cements her place as today's most reliably entertaining thriller--and will leave people hungering for more.

My Review:

This was Nora Roberts 200th book. While I haven't read very many of her books, this was by far, the best one I have read. It was so good. I began "reading" it on audio on a road trip. I made it about halfway through the audio on my road trip, but then I arrived home and couldn't handle the thought of not finishing the book that day, so I immediately went out and bought the hardbook copy of the book. I finished it three hours later (vs. the 8 hours of audio I still had remaining to listen to) and did not regret the double-purchase at all...although I will say, the audio version of this book is AMAZING and I HIGHLY recommend it if you can choose that version. The heroine in the book is socially awkward and the narrator does such an amazing job depicting that with her inflections.

So...this book. Wow! Seriously, it was just amazing. The book starts out with a huge section of the book devoted to the backstory...what happened 12 years ago when Elizabeth was 16 years old. Normally, I would hate having that much devoted to that section of the story, but it made this entire book so incredibly powerful emotionally. A huge part of that is because Elizabeth's life then was so messed up. Later in the book, Brooks (the hero) calls it abuse and I definitely agree with that. On the surface how Elizabeth was treated was perfectly fine...she was taken care of, clothed, fed, educated....BUT she knew no affection, no emotion, no love. And this poor girl, the one single solitary time she rebelled against that, ruined absolutely everything. She got caught up in a mob murder and became "The Witness" and others died for her. My heart wept for her on so many levels.

25% of the way into the book and the real story begins...12 years after Elizabeth ran for her life and now she's Abigail. She's built a new life for herself (which honestly was never in any doubt because she is so incredibly smart), but it quickly becomes obvious that the last 12 years have been solitary and lonely...and just so sad. Gah, my heart broke for her. She's just so broken...she doesn't know how to relate to people. She's socially awkward and so suspicious.

But then Brooks begins to pursue her. He's attracted to her and he's drawn in trying to figure out the puzzle of her. BUT he's the Chief of Police in this small town...Abigail can't get involved with him. It's too much of a risk. She can't risk developing a relationship like that, but he isn't a guy to be put off. And that's before his mother, Sunny, got involved. OMG, I loved the two of them and how they were able to get her to go along with their wants. They were fabulous...both of them. They just kept me grinning throughout the entire book.

There is so much about this book that I loved. First of all, Elizabeth/Abigail's character...she is so smart. That intelligence keeps her alive and makes her movements in the book so intelligent. As a reader, I just sat back and marveled at just how good she was at keeping herself alive and doing the right thing over and over again in so many REALLY difficult circumstances. Then there's Brooks. As high-strung and uptight that Abigail was, he was the opposite. So easy going and charming. I loved how he romanced her and kept finding himself on her doorstep, even when he didn't plan on going there. Everything about their romance worked for me.

This was such a smart book. Someday, I hope I can write with this level of intelligence and just pure entertainment value. I loved this book...and will reread it over and over again. Really an excellent book!

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