Review: The Gift — Nora Roberts

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Book List
41. The Gift — Nora Roberts

“Damn it” counter: A whopping nine! And I was as gleeful as a kid on Christmas whenever I stumbled across them.
“Get used to it” counter: Goose egg! I’m really disappointed, since that’s usually a go-to phrase for her. Oh well!

I’m done with the Nora Roberts spree! And, let me tell you, I’m quite excited to get back to reading other books by other authors, but first I’ve got one more review to do.

This one was another omnibus, but this time it had three stories instead of two — and since they were all short, and relatively easy to get through, I’m only counting one book toward my total, not three (boo hoo).

In the smallest book I’ve ever encountered, and also the first story, Home for Christmas, reporter Jason Law returns to his sleepy hometown of Quiet Valley with the intent of winning back his former sweetheart Faith Kirkpatrick — now Faith Monroe. Though she’s divorced and available, the one thing he didn’t count on was her having a daughter, who he falls in love with almost immediately.

As cheesy as it was cute, Home for Christmas was an easy breezy read, fun, and just a little bit predictable. (I’d already figured out where the story was going by the time Jason was introduced to Clara, Faith’s little girl, but then again that doesn’t say much.) However, the characters were solid and likeable, the plot was sweet enough, and there were no fits of rage on my part. All in all, I can’t complain.

(Not to mention that I was thrilled that the story was just under 100 pages. What a gem!)

For six-year-old twins Zeke and Zack in All I Want for Christmas, having a mother is a foreign concept, but with Christmas coming they know exactly what they plan to wish for. And when the school’s new music teacher Nell Davis walks right into their lives, they’re forced to assume that she must be the mom that Santa Claus sent. Now they just have to convince their dad.

This one was perhaps cheesier than cute, and I can’t say I was entirely fond of Mac Taylor (the twins’s dad). Given his background one was supposed to suspend their disbelief and accept that he was jaded and wounded, having been left by his wife to raise two kids on his own. I guess I can accept that premise, but he was just a little cold for my liking, which would have been fine if everything Nell said about him hadn’t tried to convince readers otherwise — he was, according to her, sweet and quietly charming, when there was rarely evidence to support that conclusion. I did, however, like the twins (they were super cute), and Nell as well, for the most part. Not to mention that it was a fairly quick read, at just over 100 pages; colour me impressed.

In Gabriel’s Angel, Gabe Bradley has taken solace from his pain in a small cabin in snowy Colorado when Laura Malone almost runs him off the road in a bad storm. On the run from former in-laws and heavily pregnant, Malone seeks temporary shelter with Gabe until the storm’s over — and ends up staying long enough to fall in love.

I’ve got mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, I had no qualms with the characters — I even liked them. Gabe and Laura were both quite lovely. However, the plot itself was sort of weirdly structured: it was almost like Cinderella — saved by the prince from an evil mother-in-law — except the story didn’t end after she got married. Because of the odd structure of it, the story itself suffered — it felt too slow paced, and kind of plateaued right in the middle. I was left wondering why I was enduring little nothing scenes with no relevance when any of the conflicts could have been easily resolved in a few pages. This story did not need to be over 200 pages.

I think the common denominator here is length: I enjoy a Nora Roberts story more if it’s shorter, because the shorter it is the less time I have to find something I dislike about the characters or the plot.

Next book: Limitless — Alan Glynn (So excited!)

– Kelsey


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