Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Homeport by Nora Roberts ****

I'm working hard at catching up on Nora Roberts - although I figure if I just stopped everything and read and read and read, maybe I'd have her backlist done by Christmas, 2009. So I'll just keep picking up her books at PBS or at Hastings when I can get them for under $5, and reading them from time to time. (Not that I won't pay full price (well, maybe not for hardcovers) - I have, and will!) They're another comfort read - sometimes I love 'em, sometimes I just like 'em but always I'm entertained.

Homeport is about a couple of interesting, not-quite-stock characters. Dr. Miranda Jones is a tall redhead PhD of, well something I couldn't pronounce and now can't remember, something to do with authenticating art, ooold art. Think 400-500 years old. She's a little uptight - ok, she's really uptight. I thought it was interesting that in her own mind she was shy and uncomfortable, but to her employees she was daunting and unapproachable and, well, practically a slave-driver. Not that we got a lot of their thoughts on this, just a couple of times, and it seemed a little odd because I was so inside her head I couldn't believe they saw her that way!!

Her hero is not exactly heroic - the man's a THIEF by golly - a serious cat burglar! Ryan comes from a large loving Irish/Italian family, most of whom are also engaged in not-quite-aboveboard activities. He also runs successful art galleries. Apparently his parents were/are artists of not-quite-the-highest caliber, which meant something had to fund a large family, so why not Ryan's burglary skills? After all, a gift from God shouldn't be wasted, now, should it?

Go figure, I agreed with Ryan's mom on that one, at least long enough to read the story and enjoy it.

There's a further complication: when Ryan steals the statue he's after (from Miranda's family's art institute), he discovers it's a fake, and boy does that make him mad. This coming on the heels of Miranda authenticating a potential Michelangelo that is later proven to be fake is kinda ruining things, like Dr Jones' reputation, her day, her family, her week, her relationships - well, it's just not good. And it sure made Ryan mad that he'd been duped.

But there's some chemistry betwixt Miranda and Ryan, and he decides to sorta help her out instead of strangling her. In a blackmail, cat-burglar kinda way, he is going to find the originals, and help prove her original finding correct and then take the originals for himself and no one will be the wiser. Yeah right. He should realized Nora wasn't going to let him get away that easily, him being the hero and all.

There's a strong contrast between Miranda's family and Ryan's - Ryan's is more like a Roberts novel family, loving and supportive, and Miranda's is all ice and distance, literally and figuratively. Miranda has a great supportive older brother who is also in the family business. He's also a divorced alcoholic who isn't over his ex-wife except it seems he's still harboring feelings for his first love too. He's a conflicted guy.

There's intrigue - mystery - murders - gun play - this one has it all. I thought I had it figured out, then I wasn't sure, then I was proved right the first time.

AAR has 2 reviews, and interestingly it was the first NR book for each reviewer. Weird, huh? One gave it a B, the other a C+, and I'm thinking, there are actually reviewers for AAR who have never read NR?? And neither reviewer is listed on any of her other books. Too bad, because I wouldn't offer Homeport to anyone as the 1st NR book to read.

Well - I rate it somewhere around 3.5 but because I've limited myself to single digits, I'll round it up to 4 stars. I liked it, I was entertained, but I wasn't wowed. (is that a word?)

1 comment:

Heather's Fave Books said...

I agree with you. I like this book but didn't love it. For me the best parts were the end and when he takes her to meet his parents in brooklyn.