Book Review: “Black Hills” By: Nora Roberts
“Black Hills” is a mystery/romance novel that follows the story of Lil and Coop. The two meet as children, when Coop’s parents send him to visit his grandparents in South Dakota, while they jet off to Italy to save their shattering marriage. Coop, sad and upset at his parent’s treatment, finds refuge on his grandparent’s farm and finds a best friend in a neighbor, Lil. The two see each other on and off over the next few years. They begin a sweet, summer romance when Coop visits South Dakota just before Lil starts college. Lil falls hard and fast for Coop, but inevitably, the long distance in their relationship (Coop lives in NYC) gets in the way. Coop breaks it off and breaks Lil’s heart (what a jerk, but don’t worry, Lil will make him work for it later).
Years later, Coop returns for good when his grandfather hurts his leg. Meanwhile, Lil has done very well for herself – earning a doctorate, opening a wildlife refuge, and making a name for herself in her field (yay for heroines that are smart and capable!). But trouble lurks – a serial killer has set his sights on Lil and our hero and heroine have to work through their feelings on their past before moving into the future.
Typical of Nora Roberts, whether she’s writing a romance or thrillers under her other pen name (J.D. Robb), the book is fast paced and the characters are alive. As with most of her books, I highly recommend this one if you like romance and thriller/mystery wrapped up in one package. Five stars. 🙂
As a side note, let me just say that no one writes a romance novel like Nora Roberts. She is one of the most prolific romance novelists that I know of and the good stories just keep coming. In each of her books, Roberts shows a beautiful attention to detail – whether it be in painting the scenery, building characters, and even giving the reader background on interesting information (like animal conservation efforts, in this book) that the hero/heroine specialize in. So many writers both love and hate to write (I’m one of them), and it causes them to skip over some of the flavor that can make a novel more vivid for the reader. Nora Roberts is able to give us the poetic prose that enriches a story, without it weighing down the action and devious plot twists that make her mysteries so thrilling (and so page turning that I want to stay up half the night reading). Girl, you are inspiring! And I can’t wait for her next one to come out. 🙂