This time out, I have the latest from Nora Roberts, The Witness (Putnam, purchased). This release is her two-hundredth published book, and she just keeps getting better and better. I've been saying for years I want to be Nora when I grow up, something I still want. She keeps setting the bar higher, not just for aspiring authors, but for all the other published romance authors. In this one, we meet Elizabeth Fitch as a teenager when she has her first moment of rebellion against her mother, who's orchestrated an absolutely perfect life not just for herself but for her daughter. Elizabeth has finally had enough, and she disobeys her mother for the very first time in sixteen years: she goes out with an older acquaintance from school to a nightclub, where 'Liz' meets a sexy Russian man. Then all hell breaks loose, and her life will never be the same. Twelve years later, Elizabeth is Abigail Lowery, and who trusts no one but the dog she keeps as her companion. Her work allows her to stay home, and she has a security system she designed that doesn't allow anyone to get near her without advance warning. Only the town police chief Brooks Gleason has decided he needs to know what keeps her so wary and stand-offish. Abigail does her best to keep Brooks beyond arm's length, but he has a sneaky way of getting past her emotional defenses until she can't quite remember why keeping him out was a good idea. These two are a perfect pair, and, while Abigail is more than capable of protecting herself from the people who're still after her, Brooks is the perfect complement to her, in intelligence and personality. I so loved this one that I've already had to reread it, not because I missed anything on the first read-through, but because the characters and story are just so darn good. I'm borrowing four and a half of Cupid's five arrows for this one. Here's to two hundred more, Ms. Roberts!
Until next time, happy reading!