Author Taste Test: Nora Roberts

Today I am starting a new series on my channel, and one to which I must give some credit to Chandler Ainsley, a Booktuber on Youtube, for giving me the idea for this series. She’s done several taste tests where she’ll read the favorite books of other Booktubers. I thought it was such an interesting idea, but instead of looking at books other people like, I thought it would be a great idea to do an author taste test instead, where I go ahead and read three or four of one author’s books to see if they are the type of author I might enjoy reading more.

This may be an author I have read one book before, or an author I’ve been wanting to read for years (usually because I see them everywhere). So often I read one book by an author and if I don’t like it, I usually don’t end up reading more of their books which isn’t always fair to an author. There are some authors who have some books I love and some I hate, and I want to give any author a fair chance.

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Today we are starting this series with Nora Roberts. She’s an author I see everywhere, but I’ve avoided her books because she writes mostly contemporary romance, which I rarely read and enjoy. But I wanted to give her a chance to see if maybe I might enjoy her after all.

Because she has had such an expansive career (beginning in 1981 and continuing to the present), I wanted to give her a fair shot by reading totally different books by her. I was going to read four, but ended up only reading three because I decided she’s really not the author for me.

Under Currents

But let’s get to the three books I did read. First I read a recent book by her, Under Currents, which was published in 2019. It’s a suspenseful romance which deals with domestic abuse. It’s also over 400 pages long, making it my longest read by her. I started with this one because I thought that if there was any by her I would enjoy, it would be one which was more suspense than romance.

And I was right.

I enjoyed the book. It’s about Zane, a young man who grew up in an abusive family. The beginning deals with his early life, where his dad physically abused his family and eventually was sent to prison. Then we go years down the line when his father is about to be released and he falls in love with landscaping designer Darby, whose ex-husband was also abusive. I had some criticisms about the book (like I found Zane and Darby had no chemistry and the three abusive villains were all kind of the same), but for the most part I enjoyed it.

I gave it three out of five stars.

Summer Desserts (Great Chefs, #1)

Next I journeyed back to the beginning of Roberts’s career, where she pretty much wrote trashy romances. The one I picked was called Summer Desserts, published in 1985. I could not stand this book. It follows talented chef Summer, who is hired by wealthy businessman Blake to revamp his restaurant. They, of course, fall in love. I really liked the idea of revamping the restaurant and drama with that, but I couldn’t stand the main romance (a running theme with Roberts’s books, I find). Summer was pathetic and Blake was manipulative and unrealistic.

I ended up giving this book a one out of five stars.

And finally, I choose a fantasy paranormal romance and the beginning of a trilogy called Blood Brothers, first book of the Sign of Seven series and published in 2007.

Blood Brothers (Sign of Seven, #1)

It follows a group of three young boys who awake a slumbering demon in their small town, and every seven years something happens. Cal, the main of the boys, twenty years later, meets reporter Quinn Black who is investigating the strange happenings and together they dig into the dark history of the town.

The synopsis sounded super interesting, but there were kind of six main characters (the three boys grown up and three young women who ware love interests). They were so similar I kept mixing them up without their names and, yet again, I didn’t care about the romance. The demon and mystery was interesting, but the pacing and relaying of information about the mystery was such a mess I couldn’t feel invested.

I ended up giving it a two out of five stars.

As you might be able to guess, I wasn’t a massive fan of any of the books. I was going to read a fourth as well, but I decided against it because I just wasn’t enjoying any of the books. Roberts isn’t a bad author, but I don’t think her writing is for me.

If I do read more of her books, I know to stay away from her older books and stick with her suspense novels, because her one suspense I did read I enjoyed the best even if I saw some flaws.

Have you read any of Nora Roberts’s books? Do you think my choices were a good representation of her writing? And what author should I taste test next? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,

Madame Writer

14 thoughts on “Author Taste Test: Nora Roberts

  1. Hi, I just wanted to advise one of Nora Roberts books that both myself and my very masculine partner both thought was fantastic. It’s called The Obsession.
    I’m not going to say anything, just give it a try ☺️.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s wise and fair of you to go with more than one book! Often, authors’ works vary across time and some genres don’t fit with certain authors.

    On a side note, why do most of these famous adult fiction authors have such terrible covers?! Do older people not care for pretty covers?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! So many books from the 70s and 80s particularly have horrible covers. I don’t know why though, because modern books seem to have so many beautiful covers. But I do want to give any author a fair shot, which is why reading four books seems pretty fair.

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  3. ahh! i’ve been wanting to do an author taste test for quite some time, i mentioned it in a video i filmed recently, and honestly i had no clue how to arrange it but this is the perfect inspo!! i haven’t read any of Roberts’ books and honestly have no intentions of doing so just based on your current thoughts!! i’m excited to see more of these! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s a really fun idea to do, and you totally should do some author taste tests if you have time. I really enjoyed doing this one, even if I ended up not being a massive fan of Roberts’s writing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I found that out about her pseudonym after I read these three books when I looked her up on Wikipedia. I might read those to see if I like her mysteries. Like you, I doubt I will seek out to read more by her, but I’m not adverse to her more suspenseful reads.

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