Nora Roberts LandTitle:  Nora Roberts Land
Series:  Dare Valley (book 1)
Author:  Ava Miles
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  July 2, 2013
My Rating:  4 outta 5 stars
Source:  personal collection, owned

Story Blurb:

Journalist Meredith Hale’s ex-husband claimed her Nora Roberts addiction gave her unrealistic expectations about marriage, and she believed him. All dreams of happily ever after—or Nora Roberts Land as her mother calls it—went up in smoke. But when her family asks her to temporarily help their Dare Valley, Colorado newspaper, she decides it’s time to change her life and prove her ex wrong. She’s determined to find her own small-town Nora Roberts hero, prove that true love exists, and publish a story about her quest.

War correspondent Tanner McBride has just returned stateside to work for a major newspaper, and the last thing he expects is blackmail. Yet, before he can even unpack, he’s headed to Colorado. His assignment? Make his boss’s ex-wife fall for him and then break her heart. Her article about discovering love à la Nora might air dirty laundry about her marriage to the media mogul, threatening his senate run. The mogul wants Meredith stopped, and he makes sure Tanner has no choice in the matter.

When the two meet, the sparks between them are undeniable. Meredith, who vowed never to date another journalist, begins to succumb. Could Tanner be her Nora Roberts hero? As they work together to uncover the truth behind a suspicious death, the depth of their feelings unfolds and both realize they’ve kept their secrets for far too long. But before the truth can be revealed, their investigation takes a deadly turn, one that might make Meredith’s personal Nora Roberts Land go up in flames.

Read on for my thoughts on Nora Roberts Land.  No true spoilers, promise.

Anyone who has read this blog knows that I absolutely love and adore Nora Roberts’ novels.  I have for many, many years.  So picking up this title was a true no-brainer for me.  I completely “got” the concept of the novel and I loved the thought of Nora Roberts Land, because I’ve escaped there so often myself.

I believe you really get the basic story outline from the story/cover description.  There is really no need for elaborate teases from me – you’ll either love the idea of the book or you won’t get it, and that’s okay.  😉

This is not a novel written by Nora Roberts!  This is an interesting take on the mindset of those of us who do read Nora Roberts (and other contemporary romance novelists looking for that happy ever after read) – we take an hour or so and go off to Nora Roberts Land to read for a while, an escape term… why reviews over on Amazon call this a great Nora Roberts book is beyond me… did they not read the actual book??

As women (and some men) the world over will tell you – we know our Nora Roberts novels, heroes and heroines and every detail in between.  So when the main character Meredith began to put her thoughts about the men she encountered as descriptions of different heroes from various Nora Roberts or J. D. Robb novels – I totally got it.

If there was ever a villain who deserved every vile, nasty, evil thing we readers thought of him, it is certainly Rick-the-Dick an extremely effective and correct name given to Meredith’s ex-husband.  Richard is a slime running for office and is afraid of some evidence about his infidelities while married to Meredith to come out during his campaign for Senate.   He expects his ex-wife to act as he does and leak those photos to the press.  She had no intention of doing so but that didn’t stop Rick-the Dick from moving forward with his plans to further hurt and ruin his ex-wife.  Scum is too polite a word.

The story itself starts off as a  light romance with a main character who has been wronged by love and doesn’t believe in herself or love any longer.  She even goes to the extreme of giving up reading her beloved Nora Roberts novels since her ex blamed her unrealistic desire for a happy ever after marriage on the types of books she read.  (Jerk)   Meredith has a moment when walking past a bookstore displaying Nora’s recent release and finally effectively says “Screw him” – and it begins.

Tanner and Meredith make a really good couple – somehow Tanner has to change what was going to be a disaster for them both into an everlasting love story.

I really enjoyed Nora Roberts Land.  This one moved from lighthearted to intense, from a revenge story to a crime mystery.  I think it’s worth your time.

(this novel is counting toward the Taking Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge)