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“I killed a woman tonight. One shot through the heart.”
Night Shield by Nora Roberts
Review

‘NIGHT SHIELD’ 

Cover Image of the book 'Night Shield' by author Nora Roberts“I killed a woman tonight. One shot through the heart.”

Undercover as a waitress, Detective Allison Fletcher is on the case that will make her career – exposing an organised gang of robbers. Then, at the scene of one of the burglaries, she has no choice but to shoot the woman holding a gun on her.

The robbers’ psychotic, controlling brother knows who killed his beloved sister and he’s out for revenge. When he breaks into Allison’s flat, writing blood-red words on the walls, Allison knows she’s in terrible danger. And her cop’s shield won’t be enough to protect her from a madman …

NORA ROBERTS

Image of author Nora RobertsBorn in Maryland, USA, Nora, the youngest of five children, married young, briefly worked as a legal secretary, then settled down to life as a stay-at-home mother to her two young sons.

This is where we find her in 1979, now becoming a little bored, during a prolonged spell of winter storm weather, which finds them confined to the house.

Nora sits down and commits to paper, some of the ideas she has for a romantic story, and so is born a prolific and highly successful career, first with British publisher Harlequin and subsequently with its American counterpart Silhouette, who needed to inject an American theme into the genre, before US authors got their breaks.

I started writing as a way to save my sanity, and fell into a job that I love

Nora also writes under her pseudonym, as J.D. Robb. Popularly referred to as the ‘In Death’ series of suspense books, there are now some thirty titles in print, with more being added to the portfolio each year.

Together with her second husband, Nora has opened ‘Turn The Page’ a bookstore in Boonsboro, MD, USA

WORDS FROM THE BOOK

Mix duty and lust and you end up compromising one and being burnt by the other.

No other woman had ever caused him pain.

Women curl up with books, guys stretch out

Cover Image of the book 'Night Shield' by author Nora Roberts

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK

‘Romance And Suspense, With An Edge!’

Since reading ‘Night Shield’, the 5th and apparently last story in the ‘Night Tales’ series (published back in 2000) and doing a little more research, I have discovered that this is a second generation book for the characters of Boyd and his wife Cilla (Allison’s mother and father), who appeared previously as the main protagonists in ‘Night Shift’, the 1st book in the series. Luckily, ‘Night Shield’ works great as a stand alone novel, as yet again I enter a series completely out of sequence!

This book is billed in the genre of ‘romantic supense’, which just about summed it up as the high calibre mix which Nora Roberts is so expert at achieving, although mixing the elements of romance and thriller together, in what is a relatively short book, meant that for me, the plot was suspenseful, but a little predictable and I got to know who the perpetrator was before the book was even half way through. Obviously the sex was pretty hot, steamy and very much inevitable, however I did think that there might have been a little more tension and desire between Ally and Jonah, rather than it being a purely physical attraction, albeit a distinctly chemically explosive attraction!

One of the most seamless and for me, interesting aspects of the story, was the consummately professional way in which the author re-introduces the characters of Boyd and Cilla to the equation, after such a lengthy absence, without the need for long explanations about past events, making it appear that they had simply stepped outside and had never really gone far away.

The characters are believable and well drawn, the plot suspenseful and fluid, giving the definition and focus necessary for the length of the book. The two main protagonists in the story, Jonah and Allison, are tough, egotistical, complex and career focused, although basically all of this bombast is simply covering up their searching for a sense of place and belonging, their unspoken vulnerability and their reticence at admitting their underlying and growing feelings for one another.

Jonah definitely still has issues with having the police around him, despite the fact that his life was turned around at a very early age by Allison’s father Boyd, at that time a police officer, but now risen up the ranks to commissioner. He feels that, although he still keeps in touch with Boyd from time to time, it would be unprincipled and disrespectful of him to impinge too much on the Fletcher hospitality, and especially not to become involved with their daughter Allison, who has followed in her fathers footsteps, joined the police and is now a detective.

Jonah is recognizably grateful that his childhood life of crime on the streets was curtailed and he is now able to pursue a legitimate career as a club owner, even to the point that he now takes people who are down on their luck or have fallen foul of the law and gives them the break that can make the difference to them, although we only discover this about him as Allison starts to peel back the tough veneer he has built around himself, to reveal some of his weaknesses and the softer and more humble side to his personality.

Allison is very much aware of the volatility of both the relationship that is growing between herself and Jonah and the explosive chemistry which she is fighting so hard to contain, as she strives to remain professional whilst working undercover at Jonah’s club, yet still snare her man, who is so vulnerable in many ways.

She is determined to prove to him that he is as good as any member of her family and that he should feel no embarrassment at mixing with them as equals, a scheme which is helped along by her mother with whom Allison has a loyal and loving bond; although she maybe isn’t as demonstrative with her mother as with her father, with whom there is an unspoken and unshakeable work/life shared bond, unique to themselves.

Despite Allisons belief that she has control over her life and work and that she is able to keep the two separate, when Jonah is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for her, the time for pretence is over and true feelings must be revealed.

When two such strong willed, highly charged, and emotional characters come together, sparks are bound to fly!!!

Cover Image of the book 'Night Shield' by author Nora Roberts

This book has been sat in my ‘To Be Read’ pile for some time, acquired as part of a job lot, when I was running my small on-line bookselling business.

When I decided to call it a day, all of my books, totalling some 7,000, were donated to various charities and libraries, although I tried to hold on to as many of the fiction titles as I could, as I just couldn’t bear to part with them until I had read them, (I actually still have about 600 books … and counting!!).

‘Night Shield’ is probably not a book I would have bought myself, but it looked like a comfortably concise book, with a straightforward storyline, just the thing for a weekend curled up with a good book. I am definitely a ‘curler’ not a ‘stretcher’!!

I personally do not agree with ‘rating’ a book, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from reader to reader. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract a 4 out of 5.

 

 

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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12 comments
  • Great review. Because of the predictable plot and steamy sex this probably isn’t a book I’d buy BUT it is one I’d probably read were I too come across it.

    A woman after my own heart, I hate having to star rate books as I so often find different components of the book deserving of different ratings and therefore often struggle whether or not to go with the higher or lower rating or, somehow even less fair, meet somewhere in the middle.

    Anyway, have a good Bank Holiday week-end, I’m hoping its going to be a dry one.

    • Hi Tracy,

      The Bank Holiday got off to a great start yesterday here in Somerset and Wiltshire, with blue skies, plenty of sunshine and barely a breeze to disturb the air. Family time in Swindon ended with our first BBQ of the season at my brother’s place, a most enjoyable day. Not quite so nice today and it seems as though it is all downhill from here!

      I generally tend to stick to a middle of the road rating for most books, unless it was a particularly bad experience, or as in a couple of cases, one which for me just couldn’t be bettered.

      I only ever ‘star rate’ a book when sites such as Amazon make it a compulsory element of the review and would much prefer to leave it to the individual to decide on the quality of the story and writing for themselves.

      ‘Night Shield’ and in fact, many of the titles in the Nora Roberts portfolio, definitely aren’t books that I would choose to buy, however as a book which was already on my shelves, or as a review request, there is no question that it wouldn’t be a readable storyline.

      I hope that your weekend is going well and thanks for the lovely comments.

  • Like Tracy, I probably wouldn’t buy this, but wouldn’t be opposed to reading it. I feel sure I’ve read a Nora Roberts book in the past, but can’t place any of her titles offhand.

    I hate rating books OR movies…it’s all so subjective and dependent on personal preferences. Better to just share what you think and let others take it from there.

    Enjoy your holiday weekend!

    • Hi Kelly,

      Although I must have read a few Nora Roberts books at some time in the past, probably back in the day when most of my reading material came via the public library, I can’t recall any of the specific titles.

      Now, if I were actually going to buy a book by this very prolifiic author, I would probably choose something from the ‘In Death’ series, featuring NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas and written under one of Nora’s pseudonyms, J.D. Robb.

      I totally agree about ratings being so subjective and dependent on personal preferences. Somtimes I am very tempted to change Fiction Books into simply a promotional site for books and authors and to leave the reviews to others …. I would still agee to read all the books I was promoting, so I just know that I would get far more quality reading time, as it is the writing of the review posts which takes me so long! …. I am still pondering that one!

      Thanks for adding your quality comment to the discussion and I hope that you are enjoying your weekend.

      • It was such a freeing moment last year when I decided I really didn’t want to review books on my blog (therefore only reviewing two out of almost 100 read). For those interested in my reading, I now just keep a tab at the top of my blog to a separate page for the year’s reading (with links to Amazon). Now that I’ve “borrowed” Tracy’s general outline for reviews, I’ve enjoyed doing a few more this year, but still doubt I’ll review more than half, or even a third of those I read.

        Of course I always try to have a wrap-up post of some sort each year sharing my favorites and the reasons why.

        • Yours looks like a great, uncomplicated system, which might suit me very well!

          I am not sure why I struggle so much with reviews, although it is possibly that I try to make them so thorough, that copious amounts of editing are necessary before I am happy enough to publish a post. To simply write a couple of lines about a book, just wouldn’t do it justice in many cases. Meantime it is my own reading time which is being squeezed, which is also not a good place to be!

          Serious thought is required me thinks! But not today, when I am feeling rather under the weather, after having had such a lovely day yesterday. Being objective is just so not going to happen!

          Thanks for showing me a possible way forward, it is very kind and much appreciated.

  • I used to read Roberts a lot, but haven’t in many years. Like everyone else, this isn’t a book I’d buy on my own, and most likely not one I’d read at all. The steaminess of the book wouldn’t be to my liking.

    • Hi Vicki,

      Like yourself, I’m certain that I must have read Nora Roberts before, albeit many years ago, but none of her book titles seem overly familiar to me.

      The steamy sex content doesn’t bother me too much, so long as doesn’t make up too large a percentage of the overall length of the book and there is a reasonably strong supporting storyline to justify its inclusion.

      Books such as the ‘Fifty Shades’ series don’t interest me at all and I can easily live without jumping on this particular ‘reading bandwagon’, especially as there have been so many other authors who have!

      Thanks for adding your thoughts to the conversation and I hope that your weekend is going well.

  • Pre-blogging I’d read Nora Roberts alot. I’m pretty sure I read one of the first books in this series. I do enjoy how this author weaves a good story. Allison and Jonah sound like they pull the story off well, even if it was a bit predictable. Roberts also sounds like she brought Boyd and Cilla back into the mix without causing any confusion.
    It’s been ages since I read this author, but I do remember enjoying her work. Have you read Midnight Bayou? I really enjoyed that one by this author, and was happy to see the women’s network make the book into a tv movie, which was good as well.
    7,000 books?!! Wow!
    Happy Sunday 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      Wow! indeed!

      That was really the main reason for me deciding to call it a day with the online shop. I enjoyed the actual business side of things, although it only ever really covered its costs and made no money, which made it something of a glorified hobby. Meanwhile, we had books stacked in just about every nook and cranny of the house and whilst Dave was great about it, it really wasn’t an ideal scenario, or any way for us to live.

      I had some fantastic non fiction books, from a whole range of genres and parting with them all after spending so much time and patience acquiring them, was definitely traumatic. However, once the deed was done, I did actually feel quite a lot of relief and general uplifting of my spirits.

      I did hold on to as many of the fiction books as I could negociate with Dave and we still have many boookcases full to bursting, which I now strive to keep under control, although with the vast amount of review books I receive, I doubt that I could ever possibly get to read even a small percentage and thin my shelves!

      The next step will probably have to be much more drastic …. Downsizing may be the only way to force my hand and bring the situation under total control!

      I haven’t read ‘Midnight Bayou’, or watched the film version, although it does sound quite intriguing. I see that up until 2011, Nora had had 5 of her books turned into films, which is really rather something of an achievement, isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you are managing to get some ‘down time’ this weekend.

    • Hi Melinda,

      Thanks! ‘Night Shield’ was a relatively easy going read, with some rather predictable, stereotyped characters, which made the review stress free to write and share my thoughts about.

      I did enjoy the author’s style of writing and the overall storyline, although I won’t be rushing out to buy any more of her books over and above some of the great reads I have in my TBR pile!

Written by Yvonne

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