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Nora Roberts Challenge – Month 4

Nora Roberts Challenge - Month 4

Another month, another pile of books! Month 4 of the Nora Roberts Challenge is done. My book count is high, although to be fair, a lot of the books are fairly short this month because they are parts of a series. I accidentally did family books this month – I started with the MacGregor Clan, then the Stanislaskis. By the time I was in the Calhouns, I realized and decided to just keep going with it. Overall, it was a rough month – the good books were really good, which makes mediocre books just seem even weaker. But the good ones are definitely, 100% worth a read!

The MacGregor Clan

  • Playing The Odds (1985)
  • Tempting Fate (1985)
  • All The Possibilities (1985)
  • One Man’s Art (1985)
  • For Now And Forever (1987)
  • Rebellion (1988)
  • In From The Cold (1990)
  • The MacGregor Brides (1997)
  • The Winning Hand (1998)
  • The MacGregor Grooms (1998)
  • The Perfect Neighbor (1999)

This is one of my favorite series by Nora Roberts. Each book features rich and interesting characters, but none more interesting than Daniel MacGregor, the patriarch of the family, who sees it as his duty to marry off each of his children, and then grandchildren. He handpicks future spouses, arranges clandestine meetings, and manipulates his loved ones until they neatly fall in love, even when they try to resist – and the man has a great batting average. He’s loud, pushy, and a little loony, and you’ll love him. ;My favorite in the series is probably A Winning Hand – I really like the main characters, there was some beautiful character growth, and Daniel makes a great cameo in the story.

The Stanislaskis

  • Taming Natasha (1990)
  • Luring A Lady (1991)
  • Falling For Rachel (1993)
  • Convincing Alex (1994)
  • Waiting For Nick (1997)
  • Considering Kate (2001)

The Stanislaski series is..fine. It’s pretty straight romance novels – the man is the aggressor, the woman is pursued, generally the woman is a bit flighty, and sexually shy. And these don’t really have a storyline that isn’t directly a vehicle for the romance. All of this is also true for the MacGregors, so the contrast between the two series really shows what well-developed characters can do. Skip these, particularly since the Scots are a much better option.

Cordina Royal Family

  • Affaire Royale (1986)
  • Command Performance (1987)
  • The Playboy Prince (1987)
  • Cordina’s Crown Jewel (2002)

I’ve read the first three before, and enjoyed them as light beach reads, so I was surprised to find myself bored this time around. I think they just can’t hold up to the MacGregors and that’s going to be a running issue this month. For something quick and fun to read, these can do the trick, but again, they’re just not the best option. I hadn’t read the fourth before – it was fine, but nothing spectacular. I do wonder though, knowing how fast Nora Roberts writes and that her publisher is constantly holding onto her novels to space out releases, and looking at the gap in publishing dates – I wonder if Roberts wrote the fourth book in the 80s and held onto it until the MC would be an adult based on the Cordina timeline, or if she just felt inspired to return to the family over a decade later. The former scenario is feasible with Roberts’ eye for detail, and it’s just got me wondering.

The Calhoun Women

  • Courting Catherine (1991)
  • A Man For Amanda (1991)
  • For The Love Of Lilah (1991)
  • Suzanna’s Surrender (1991)
  • Megan’s Mate (1996)

These were alright and at least had the side storyline of missing jewels, family legends, and a ghost going for it. The characters were fairly one dimensional, and the last book really just doesn’t fit at all, but..nope, that’s all I’ve got. There’s just not enough substance to redeem them. If I was caught in a natural disaster…or another pandemic…and these were the only books I had access to, I wouldn’t cry, I’d certainly read them, but there’s so many better options out there, these aren’t worth your time.

The Quinn Brothers

  • Sea Swept (1998)
  • Rising Tides (1998)
  • Inner Harbor (1999)
  • Chesapeake Blue (2002)

I always forget just how amazing this series is. The Quinn brothers are the four sons of Ray Quinn, a professor who adopts “lost boys”. Each has their own back story, their own reason for needing a family, and they find that family on the Maryland coast. After Ray dies in a car accident, the three oldest boys have to come together and figure out how to keep and raise Seth, the youngest, who has only been with Ray for a few months and still has some severe trust issues.

If you pick up this series – and you should – you also need to pick up a box of tissues. Seth will freaking break your heart at times, and make you cry from happiness at others. My heart was already involved by page 45 of book 1 – can you imagine the emotional rollercoaster I endured for another 3.75 books!?

So that caps this month at 30 books – absolutely respectable, and it puts me at 91 books so far out of the total 225. I have to average about 19 or 20 books a month to finish by the end of the year, which is doable, I think, especially after the In Death push in August. Wish me luck!

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