Author: Nora Roberts
Narrator: Tanya Eby
Published: January 1, 2010
Genre: chick lit, thriller
Audiobook: 13 discs (approx. 15 hours)
Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Synopsis (from GoodReads): To most people, Fiona Bristow seems to have an idyllic life-a quaint house on an island off Seattle's coast, a thriving dog-training school, and a challenging volunteer job performing canine search and rescues. Not to mention her three intensely loyal Labs. But Fiona got to this point by surviving a nightmare...
Several years ago, Fiona was the only survivor of the Red Scarf serial killer, who shot and killed Fiona's cop fiancé and his K-9 partner. On Orcas Island, Fiona found the peace and solitude she needed to rebuild her life. But all that changes on the day Simon Doyle barrels up her drive, desperate for her help. He's the reluctant owner of an out-of-control puppy, foisted upon him by his mother. Jaws has eaten through Simon's house, and he's at his wit's end.
To Fiona, Jaws is nothing she can't handle. Simon, however, is another matter. A newcomer to Orcas, he's a rugged and in-tensely private artist, known for the exquisite furniture he creates from wood. Simon never wanted a puppy-and he most definitely doesn't want a woman. Besides, the lanky redhead is not his type. But tell that to his hormones. As Fiona embarks on training Jaws, and Simon begins to appreciate both dog and trainer, the past tears back into Fiona's life. A copycat killer has emerged out of the shadows, a man whose bloodlust has been channeled by a master with one motive: to reclaim the woman who slipped out of his hands...
My Thoughts: This is my second Nora Roberts book that I've read and it was probably better than the first. Following a woman who was nearly murdered years ago, Roberts tells a tale of how to live with your past, building a new life, and finding love unexpectedly. Using the Pacific Northwest as her backdrop, Roberts tells a story that reels you in and doesn't let go until the end. The characters in this book are diverse, from the leading lady Fiona, who is plucky and well-grounded, to the stubborn Simon Doyle, who is sure that he does not need a woman or puppy in his life. Then of course, there are the killers. There is Perry, the man who tried to kill Fiona all those years ago but failed, making her the one that got away and put him behind bars. Unable to go out and exact his revenge on her, he convinces an instructor at the prison, Francis Eckle, to carry out the rest of his plan. The two killers are frightening to listen to and it definitely puts a chill down your spine.
This was a great story and one that I felt difficult to walk away from, but there were a few things that just sit right with me. For one, the interaction that SImon has with Fiona at the beginning is awful. He outright tells her, "I don't find you attractive." And yet they fall in love ... go figure. I also felt like they went from sleeping together to loving one another in about three days. Call me crazy, but that's just unrealistic. I realize this is part romance novel, but they didn't need to fall head-over-heels in love with each other so fast. Also, the ending was just too out there for me. Fiona is going to go out on the search for the killer because she feels that she needs to, and the FBI just lets her. Yeah, right! You know that this wouldn't happen in real life! It was just a bit too much for me.
I felt like the narration was well paced but rushed at times. Whenever Fiona spoke, the words were spoken so quickly that it was hard to catch them sometimes. But the tone of the narrator was always spot on, darkening whenever the murderers were talking, lighter and happier whenever Fiona was with her dogs. I really enjoyed listening to this book and will be looking for more of Roberts' stand alone novels to listen to in the future.