Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts

Friday, June 19, 2009

(Nora Roberts)

: Catarina Hale's childhood ended as she watched the fire dance out of her parents' Italian restaurant. She couldn't help but be mesmerized by its beauty as it destroyed her second home. From the moment on, Catarina life would forever be centered around fire and the destruction it leaves.

Short Thought: Great romantic mystery that spans two decades.

Expanded Thoughts: The main character, Catarina Hale, is a strong female lead with tragic flaws that make her interesting. This novel differs from Roberts' other works in that we get to meet Ms. Hale when she is twelve years old, and follow her story until her early thirties when the breadth of the novel takes place. We don't get hints of how she came into her own, we truly get to see it and experience through her eyes. It makes the mystery plot deeper, easier to empathize with, and more memorable than many others.

As for the romance, it was okay. Bo's and Catarina's lives dance around each other for years until they finally intersect. They make a cute couple in the 'star-crossed lovers' kind of way, but it's a little too unrealistic for me. (Yes, even for romance novels.) Bo's character is just way too flat compared to Catarina's. He's the dumbstruck, good ol' carpenter that stakes his whole life on a woman that he had never met. It was sweet and did complement the hole in Reena's life, but it isn't close to the top when you compare to some of the other couples that Roberts' has spun out.

Overall, the mystery and intrigue greatly over shadow the romance. (Hurrah!) If you love Nora Roberts' novels sans all the mystical and magical themes, you should read this one.

Additional Notes: This novel contain themes of a sexual and dark nature.

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