From #1 New York Times-best-selling author Nora Roberts comes a novel of a woman who needs nothing, a man who sees everything, and the web of deceit, greed, and danger that brings them together - and that could tear them apart…
As a professional house-sitter and freelance writer, nothing ties Lila Emerson down - not her work, not a home, and definitely not a relationship. She spends her life moving from one job to the next, sometimes crashing at a friend 's Manhattan apartment. And though she can appreciate her clients ' extraordinary homes, their expensive collections, and their adorable pets, Lila has never longed for possessions of her own. Everything she has, including her heart, is portable.
But when she witnesses a possible murder-suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as Lila knows it takes a dramatic turn.
Artist Ashton Archer knows his charming, clever, and impulsive brother couldn 't have killed his girlfriend - or taken his own life. His hope of unraveling what happened lies with Lila, the only eyewitness. And even buried in grief, Ash longs to paint the woman whose deep, dark eyes seem to hold endless reserves of strength and a fiery passion.
Chalking up their intense attraction to the heat of the moment, Lila agrees to help Ash in trying to find out who murdered his brother and why. From the penthouses of Manhattan to grand Italian villas, their investigation draws them into a rarefied circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen, where what you possess is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession…
©2014 Nora Roberts (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I'm normally a big fan of Nora Roberts' standalone books, but this one just didn't work for me. The hero, Ash, was meant to come across as the strong guy, the guy the family counts on. Instead, he comes across as controlling and condescending, and frankly, had Lila been my friend, I would have encouraged her to look for another prince among the frogs. Ash's persona was made worse by the narration, which interpreted him as pretentious, right down to the snooty nasal voice.
The other characters--Lila, Julie, and Luke--are actually lovely and I stuck it out to find out what happens to them. However, the story just didn't come together well. Julie and Luke sort of disappear about two-thirds of the way in to the story. Then the story just...ended.
There are many, many Nora Roberts' books are bring out again and again because listening/reading them is comforting, like hanging out with old friends: The Villa, Tribute, Montana Sky, the Three Sisters Island trilogy, Angels Fall, and the books written under the name J.D. Robb. The Collector, sadly, is a one-timer.
I am a fan of Julie Whelan. I purchased this book because of her. I am also a fan of Nora Roberts, but I have disappointed with her books a few times recently. I stayed up late into the night listening to this book. It was worth the credit.
I can't believe this is a Nora Roberts book!
The premise of this book sounded really interesting so I pre-ordered it. And it was Nora Roberts, so how could I go wrong?
The story is flat, the characters are unlikeable and the dialogue drags. The narrator misses opportunities to turn dialogue into the humorous banter for which Nora Roberts is well known. I read the preview chapters and started out expecting I would like this book. I was so disappointed when I didn't - I couldn't finish it.
The biggest problem is the story. Even taking into account suspension of belief I find it impossible to imagine that an artist and a house sitter would decide they could circumvent the police, withhold valuable evidence and attempt to chase a contract killer all over the world. Themselves. The sheer stupidity exhibited by Ash and Lila throughout the story prevented me from liking either of them at all. Not only is that premise unrealistic, but the idea that the police would actually allow it is ridiculous. Lila and Ash would have rightly been slapped with obstruction charges about 100 pages into the book. Yet the police call and report to Ash - the ARTIST - on a regular basis. I couldn't get past it.
I love Nora Roberts and have bought every book she's come out with for at least the last decade. I respect and like her work tremendously and it's understandable if she misses the mark once in a while. But after the last couple of books I'm going to wait for the reviews to come out before I pre-order.
Totally addicted to Audible.
I am not into witches and supernatural so I skip the Nora Roberts books that involve such. This was a romantic mystery that involved interesting characters, pets, and a pretty decent story. It held my attention and left me happily satisfied. Let's hope her alter ego JD Robb can do as well next time.
Tell me about a good book. No other gifts necessary.
This is the worst audiobook I've ever purchased. In a moment of utter folly I thought I needed a romance novel. What I got was long hours with Marge Simpson's smoking sisters. First, I thought this was a grown up Nancy Drew mystery; friend Georgie was sounding fun. But then the sexy love interest came on scene, sounding like Patty or Selma. Through 6 grueling chapters the female narrator's low pitched croaky drone portraying the central male character (supposedly too hot and sexy to resist) dragged on. I haven't finished the book and never intend to. I don't recall the main character's name, the male lead's, do not recall what crime was committed here... oh wait, yes I do , that was the choice of narrator. A voice as distracting as nails on a chalkboard. Do not put The Collector in you collection.
It grates on me to buy a book considered chic lit in some circles. Even Audible classified this as "romance". I like cerebral mysteries with good character and plot development.
Even though Roberts' women all echo the same stubborn independence, an abhorance for gold-digging, are the reluctant ones in the "perfect" love matches, and nearly always marry wealth, somehow she manages a good and unique plot line in each of the books I have read. Her characters are well-developed and sympathetic. And, she somehow conjures up good mysteries while brimming with often steamy sex.
So, I didn't want to like this, but it's an incredibly engaging story. It has suspense, introspection, artistic interpretation, and is just plain interesting.
The peeping house-sitter witnesses a murder, befriends the victim's brother (of course all out of kindness and empathy), and, although predictable, the rest is a fun and wild ride.
I don't understand how an author who pumps out so many books can come up with so many plots, in spite of the main strong female character remaining essentially the same. The narrator was quite good, and managed the male characters equally as well as the variety of female intonations.
It's definitely worth a credit, you won't regret the choice. And, it's really not just "chic lit".
I am an artist, living in Cairns, Queensland, Australia right next to the Great Barrier Reef. I listen to audiobooks everyday while making art and on into the night. I really like mysteries with a good serving of suspense on the side that keep you wondering right to the end. However, I won't say no to any entertaining and well written book which has been read by an excellent narrator.
Comparing this to another book by the writer, The Witness, you would not think it was written by the same person??? She pushed out a good book with her mystery/thriller the Witness and I was hoping for similar quality with this. Alas, it was not meant to be. However, it did meet the parameters of her chick lit books, of which there are many. I doubt if I will try another. It would have to have fantastic write-ups for me to put my toe into the water again. As for Julia Whelan. I'm not sure whether it was the annoying characters or whether she gave them annoying voices but right from the start it irritated me. I think I would have to listen to a decent size sample of her performing another book before I would jump into the water with Julia again, as well.
This was portrayed as a romance/suspense by Audible and The Witness as Thriller/Suspense. I will steer clear of romance/suspense in future, yes. Perhaps, the 'romance' should be in emboldened typeface.
The characters dialogue tainted her performance for me. I'll give her a second chance.
All the treacly romantic stuff, except there would only be about 10% of the book left.
If you enjoy a good thriller/mystery/suspense, this book IS NOT FOR YOU. However, if you enjoy happily every after romantic clap trap you will enjoy this book.
I don't choose a Nora Roberts title for its literary merit; i choose it for a compelling listen for long car rides or mindless work days. I suffer through the romance parts because the stories themselves are usually decent and keep my attention. This one, however, was irritating the entire way through with not nearly enough story to make it enjoyable. What rubbish. THE WITNESS is much better if you're gonna go for a Nora Roberts title. (Except for the schlocky, cheesy romance parts which i have to forward through.)
I love Nora Roberts, but this one was a bore. I didn't like the storyline with the egg and Russia. It just wasn't interesting. I love Julie Whelan, her character voices are great. I was looking forward to the book because of her and was hoping it was as good as The Witness, which I think is the last well-written book by Nora. The Collector was not one of my favorites, but I will always come back to Nora Roberts.
I'm addicted to audiobooks, particularly thrillers and erotic reads. I'd love for you to follow my reviews!
This was a great book! I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery, the characters, and the romance. With a great setup and magnificent world-building (a Roberts specialty) the story was entertaining and the characters relatable.
The performance was super too, and I loved the villain! Highly recommend - one of my favorite Nora Roberts titles.
"Can't be bothered"
There's a great saying for something that is rubbish, " a pile of mince". Sorry Mrs Roberts, I used to like your books which is why I keep buying them, but you've lost your way a bit with this one.
There are no redeeming qualities to the main characters and to be honest, I wasn't that bothered what happened to them once it was obvious an assassin was trailing them!
the plot line
dull but then again that was probably the story
I love Nora Roberts - but this was just awful, and boring
"The best Book I've listened to in ages"
I couldn't stop listening, waiting to find out how things would pan out.
Thats a difficult question to answer as I have very poor memory and listen to so many books but The French Gardener by Santi Montefore has always come up in my top 5 list.
Everything. Cant fault it.
Gripping, romantic but with an edge.
Thoroughly enjoyed this and it took me away from my own thoughts and troubles. won't spoil it for anyone but it keeps you on edge all the way to the end. Now want to read another but not sure what to go for next.
Audible You Keep The Black Dog away in the Middle of my Nights. Love you Audible you are the best and I think you deserve to remain the best.
x Kim Holmes
"Fun and fabulously escapist"
yes, it's a great read on holiday
It takes you to a different world
Good characterisation of voice
in longish chunks rather than in one sitting. A bit like a radio or TV series.
Worth a listen and inspired me to buy further titles which I hope I'll enjoy just as much.
"Not for the literate"
I bought this without researching it...big mistake. What I got was, I believe, chick lit. If you like 2 syllable words, 4 inch heels, lippy, romance, a tall handsome stranger (now that's original), predictable story-lines then you'll enjoy this. If you like a challenging read, mind stretching novels written for adults then I'd give this one a miss. However, as a chronic insomniac, I can recommend as it sent me to sleep very quickly.
"Yet another page turner"
The narrator just seemed to hit the spot for me
It is all the sudden realisations, oh no's and yes I will's and the perfect twists in the story.
There is no one scene I enjoyed the most all of them were great, some unexpected.
If given the chance I would have taken a very long car drive just to listen to the whole book, maybe i will one day.
"A perfect match."
I thoroughly enjoyed Nora's writing style and she has paired up some new characters that instantly intrigue and endear themselves to you.
I think the moment when the dog saved Lila was so funny.
Julia Whelan gives voices to the characters, that adds to the build up of sexual chemistry between the characters.
This book made me laugh and the part when his father accused her of being after his son for his money made me so indignant for Lila. I think I went full the full range of emotions with this book and was sincerely sorry when i got to the end.
"Great new story"
Nora Roberts at her best. The story has romance, twists and turns to the crime element and the insight into the characters themselves.
Yet again Nora Roberts pulls you into a great story and you find that you don't want to stop listening as it is so absorbing, but then as you near the end you find yourself wishing it was part of a series so that you can continue in their lives.
Not wanting to print any spoilers I will just say that the story is fast with turns and bends - its a bit like a modern day Heart to Heart story but with out the dog and Max
"Not my usual type of book"
Not the type of book I usually listen to but what is wrong with a bit of escapism. Who wouldn't want to meet a rich, handsome, considerate artist and have an adventure with him? Light listening if you do not want to concentrate too much
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