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Topic: Nora Roberts rant

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Subject: Nora Roberts rant
Date Posted: 5/12/2012 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2011
Posts: 9,234
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I've always been a big fan of Nora Roberts, even when her book plots became so predictably repetitive.  But her latest trilogy, the Inn BoonsBoro series, may put me off her for good.  At least her trilogies.  Here's why:

I've gotten used to the idea she writes her books in threes, no doubt to insure multiple sales.  That each trilogy follows the same basic pattern in characters and situations.  That each trilogy features the same too good to be true and amazingly still unmarried men and women who fall predictably in love with a side line story involving some sort of mysticism such as witches, ghosts, fairies, etc.  I've continued to read her books because they were easy reads and, despite the predictability, Roberts does do great dialog.  But even that has become too predictable.

But this latest trilogy (I'm almost through the second book) is so predictable I knew who was going to be paired with whom and what catalysts they'd encounter within a few chapters of the first book.  As I work my way through the second book things are plugging along in its....predictable way.  The final book isn't out yet but I already know what is going to happen.  Predictably. 

The other bothersome issue with this particular series is that it isn't much more than a three book advertisement for Nora Roberts actual Inn BoonsBoro B&B, her bookstore and the pizza parlor, all of which opened for business recently.  Seems a bit tacky.  It's kind of nice to be able to go to the website and see the rooms and buildings and businesses depicted in the book it still comes across as a long narrative advertisement for future customers. 

I'll still read the In Death books because while the relationship between Eve and Roarke is...predictable...and all the murders are investigated and solved in the same predictable way with the same cast of characters, I still love the dynamics between Eve and her friends.  Plus, Peabody is rapidly becoming one of my favorite fictional characters.   

I'll also read her stand alone books, like her recent Chasing Fire.  I really enjoyed this book not so much for the romance aspect but because I was totally enthralled by the Smoke Jumpers' story and the visuals Roberts painted of their heroism.  I just think I'll skip the trilogies. 

Sigh, I feel better for venting.  Thanx PBS!

Date Posted: 5/12/2012 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
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Yep, she has her formula and she is sticking to it. That is how I fill about Jayne Ann Krentz, but I still read her and Robyn Carr. I read Robert's Wedding books, but only because I was determined to see if Parker could be redeemed...seems she couldn't.

Date Posted: 5/12/2012 9:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2010
Posts: 11,515
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I enjoy Nora Roberts. If nothing else, because for me, her books are comfort reads. I know going in that its not going to be anything life changing, or earth shattering. And i know that more often than not they will be very predictable. But i also know that there will be sexy heroes, likeable heroines, and i do so really enjoy the dialogue too.

So for me, i know that when im in a rut and cant pick up something that catches my interest i can always fall back on Nora.

Date Posted: 5/13/2012 12:31 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
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I have to agree, she's been getting dull. Vision in White was the last book by her I really liked. (Not counting Celebrity in Death, which I enjoyed.) Though I've heard some really good things about The Witness and plan to read it.



Last Edited on: 5/13/12 12:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/13/2012 8:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
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I find that most pop authors are predictible, and the longer they've been writing the more predictible they can be. There's a thread here, can't remember the title, something about authors off our auto-buy list. Probably most of them for just this reason.

I still enjoy Roberts, I'm not quite finished reading through her backlist, and will continue to read her. I like her as a comfort read, too, Melissa.

Diana Palmer is practically the queen of predictible. Continues to crank 'em out and readers continue to buy.

GAil

 

 

Date Posted: 5/13/2012 9:09 AM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2009
Posts: 1,170
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Her trilogies ARE predictable.  It's one of the reasons I like them.  Yes, comfort reads-and because, for me, she writes "guy" really well.  I am not generally a fan of paranormal-but NR I read because I can count on a nice little getaway from reality for awhile.  

 

Totally engrossing-no, not since Chesapeake Bay and the Ardmore books for me, but, again, for me-a cut above the rest. 

Her stand alones  remain better-quirky hero/heroine; interesting side plots; careers.  But do I buy them like I used to?  No, with pbs I don't have to-her WL remain some of the longest I've ever been involved in-550 for the 2nd Boonboro(and yes, I agree-it IS  a bit of a tacky hard sell on her new business projects)

 

Jan

Date Posted: 5/13/2012 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I like predictable but yeah I can see how an obvious advertisement would be going too far! sorta reminds me of one of janet chapman's  - the heroine was reading a book and of course it was another of chapman's books! I still read Krentz and Carr but I really don't like nora roberts' suspense though some I've liked in spite of the violence. her wedding quartet was ok but Parker got on my last possible nerve in book 2 (and it wasn't even her story yet) that I almost didn't get the 3rd book...

Date Posted: 5/13/2012 10:05 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2006
Posts: 4,616
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Diana Palmer is practically the queen of predictable. Continues to crank 'em out and readers continue to buy.  +1

I'd say Diana Palmer IS the queen of predictablility, but I know I continue to buy and read her books.

Date Posted: 5/13/2012 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2008
Posts: 1,770
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I'm with Melissa - I like Nora Roberts, and part of the reason is because I know what to expect.  There's nothing earth-shattering about her books, but I enjoy them.  And she does write "guy" really, really well.  It's extremely easy to fall in love with her heroes, which is important to me when I read a romance.

Date Posted: 5/13/2012 10:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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I'd say Diana Palmer IS the queen of predictablility 

I didn't add that she's one of my two guilty-pleasure authors, Palmer and Lindsey. I can't resist. I auto-buy Palmer but not so much Lindsey, get her via library.

GAil

Date Posted: 5/13/2012 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2011
Posts: 9,234
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I finished book 2 in the Inn BoonsBoro series last night with its predictable ending.  I was thinking about that this morning and I've decided that reading a NR book is like going to your favorite restaurant with your favorite friends.  You know exactly what's on the menu, what you're going to order, what you're going to drink and it will all be good, not great, but good, but the conversation....now THAT will be excellent. 

As I said before, I do love NR's ability to write dialogue and as Michelle said..." she does write "guy" really, really well."

I'm really torn by the setting of the BoonsBoro series.  I still think it is tacky it's such a cash-in on a couple of her business ventures (I understand she's partners in both the book store, Turn the Pages, and the Inn), being the curious person I am, I'll admit I've gone to the websites for these businesses to see actual pictures of the rooms and settings from the books.  Which is kinda neat.  I also know myself well enough to say one day I will visit Boonsboro and these businesses in person and there's a really good chance I'll book a room at the Inn BoonsBoro. 

As for author's who do shameless self-promotions, I've read a few books where the author wrote in scenes where characters were reading books by friends of the author's, but never an actual work of the author themselves.  The one exception and the biggest case of self-promotion of an author in their own work is Clive Cussler.  I used to read his books all the time but when he started writing himself into his own books, not just as a cameo but as a hero character, I stopped reading his books.  That's too far over the top for me. 

 

Date Posted: 5/13/2012 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2006
Posts: 2,463
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she's partners in both the book store, Turn the Pages

Her husband owns the book store. I've been there three or four times for author signings but the last time it left a bad taste in my mouth. The first couple of times they would let you bring books from home to be signed (BUT they wouldn't let the authors personalize them, just sign) then the last time they only would let you have books that you bought from the store. It just seemed so greedy to me. They had ALOT of people come to the signings and most people bought books and refreshments anyway.

Edited to add, although she was nice at the signings. Wasn't impressed with her husband though. I got to meet a lot of authors, Sherrilyn Kenyoon, Christina Dodd, Connie Brockway, Rebecca York, Christine Feehan and more that I'm blanking on right now.

 



Last Edited on: 5/13/12 2:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/13/2012 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2011
Posts: 9,234
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Cyndi, thanx for your story.  How sad to hear that.  Sure makes you wonder, doesn't it? 

Without sounding like one of the political threads, I wonder what it is about people who have lots of money that they become so obsessed with making more money.  You know, athletes who have multi-million dollar sports contracts, more millions in product endorsement and then charge fans for their autograph.  I'm always ready to finagle for a freebie or a discount but I have a relative who does quite well financially and he is seriously all about the $$$ and ¢¢¢ and fixated on making more of them.  Seriously cheap.

Date Posted: 6/7/2012 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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This is why I never pay any sort of money to read the biggies like Roberts, Patterson, Brown, Grisham etc..,  Especially Roberts and Patterson both of whom crank out so many books a year that you know they are most likely not actually writing them any more.  If they are, I invision them picking a basic outline out of a binder that tells them what names and locations they've used with that outline before and then changing names and locations and a few other little things to make the book seem different.  At least Patterson is now putting other authors names on books and not passing them off as his alone anymore.

All the Nora Roberts books that I have ever read have been library freebies, preferably on audiobook. So I guess I can't complain since I have never paid to read her.  Well not true, I have purchased a couple at thrift stores.  I have never paid Nora Roberts to read Nora Roberts.

 

Date Posted: 6/7/2012 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I've been thinking that Roberts' recent preoccupation with luxury professions feels really out of touch to me. I like how her characters all have jobs they love, but it all seems to be so upscale lately. Who the hell can afford to stay at her inn?

Date Posted: 6/7/2012 11:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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I'm not thrilled with the Boonsboro series but I thought The Witness was her best book in years.

Date Posted: 6/8/2012 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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I've been thinking that Roberts' recent preoccupation with luxury professions feels really out of touch to me. I like how her characters all have jobs they love, but it all seems to be so upscale lately.

I don't necessarily mind if people have well paid jobs in books but not when EVERY character in the book does, like it happened in the Bride Quartet. After a while those women with their perfect lives started to get annoying!

I find it tacky as well that she's using her books as advertisements for her own business so I won't definitely be reading it. Not that I'm a big fan either. I just like her books because they make good audios and I can get them at the library.

Date Posted: 6/8/2012 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I just like her books because they make good audios and I can get them at the library. 

 

That's the only reason I read them. They are entertaining but not enough for me to pay money for one. And usually if I can't get in audio format than I am likely to just skip it.



Last Edited on: 6/8/12 12:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/8/2012 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I've heard really good things abuot The Witness, will definitely read it.

Date Posted: 7/16/2012 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2006
Posts: 29,785
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I understand completely about Nora Roberts... one thing that I've noticed and is really starting to bug me is her use of the word "Mused".... It's in every single book, multiple times (including JD Robb books).

I had no clue that the Boonsboro Inn was real... Talk about self advertising!

I wasn't impressed with the newest trilogy and that's only after reading the first book, I doubt I'll try to read more of them.

Date Posted: 7/16/2012 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2010
Posts: 11,515
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Hahaha Eileen, I was just talkin about that same thing the other day. She uses that word so much more than any other author ive read. And in every book. LOL

The Witness was very good!

Date Posted: 7/17/2012 7:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2010
Posts: 335
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I love The Witness, I'm gonna get a copy for my keeper shelf. But it's the first nora roberts book in a good long while I've genuinely *loved*

Date Posted: 7/17/2012 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Haha!  I must be the only one here who can't stand Nora Roberts.

Subject: hey all
Date Posted: 8/24/2012 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2010
Posts: 458
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I just bought sanctuary at my library by nora roberts, looks like its one of her older ones so hopefully it'll be good! any thoughts on it? I loved carolina moon and the movie upset me it was sooo bad. Other than carolina moon I've never really been able to like her books. maybe sanctuary will be the 2nd one =)

Date Posted: 8/24/2012 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I started The Last Boyfriend on audio and almost fell asleep... also got Witness but I may wait for the paperback. Can't stand big hardcovers.

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