The Obsession by Nora Roberts

The Obsession by Nora Roberts

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  38,550 Ratings  ·  3,344 Reviews
The Obsession by Nora Roberts download or read it online here
The Obsession by Nora Roberts
The riveting new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Liar.

She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.


Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous.
With that description, I was pretty sure I was going to be hooked on this one straight away. And I was.

    Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up―especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Xander!! OMG, what was not to like? Tall, handsome, rides a motorbike, he sings in a band ... and sings cover versions of SPRINGSTEEN!!!!!! How perfect. He could serenade me all night long as he strummed his guitar, while I strummed .... OK, getting a bit carried away there.

Not sure if chest hair was mentioned. My review. My imaginings.

    Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.
    He wore scarred motorcycle boots and faded jeans with a hole ...
    He couldn't have stopped if the world ended.
    When at last he thrust into her, he thought it had.
    For an instant it stopped - sound, breath, movement.
    Then it all rushed back, a tidal wave that battered and swept and pounded beyond reason.
    He lost himself in it, in her, gave himself to it, to her.
    When it broke in him, she broke with him.
    "You should always wear sunlight. It suits you."
    He leaned over and touched his lips to hers.
    A life of sunrises and lilacs of friends and quiet moments.
    And a really good dog.

    "We're in a thing, Naomi."
    "A thing?"
    "I'm still working out the definition and scope of the thing. How about you?"
    "I've avoided being in a thing,"
    "Me too. Funny how it sneaks up on you."

4.5 stars!!

This book reminded me why I love Nora Roberts. And although I haven't picked up a Nora Roberts book in a long time, I still count her as one of the greats who really fed on my romance addiction. From the engaging plot to the cast of complex and layered characters, The Obsession grabbed my attention from the very first page. And when I say first page, I mean that literally.
Holy freakin' prologue is what it was. It was creepy and scary and had this sinister feel that really put the readers right into the middle of the action.

Naomi was about to turn 12 years old when she discovered the true nature her father and the extent of his crimes. It was one of be most gripping sequences in book and like I mentioned above, I was hooked. The plot moved quickly taking us through the aftermath of her discovery and how she and the remaining members of her family dealt with it. It showed readers how much her father's notoriety affected Naomi's view about relationships and her reticence in having people know about her.

Things get even more exciting the moment the book caught up to the present. The present being Naomi having just bought a huge house in the middle of Nowhere, America despite not wanting roots and all the responsibilities that come along with it. The present also brought us Xander "be still my heart" Keaton.

I'm going to go off tangent a little bit to say that Romantic Suspense is probably my least favorite sub-genre of romance because most of the time, it either has great suspense but weak romance or it has great romance but a weak suspense arc. And at first, I was concerned that The Obsession was going to be one of those great suspense but weak romance type of book. But boy was I wrong. So wrong because once Xander was introduced, the romance angle got really interesting and really fascinating. That is not to say that the book wasn't interesting prior to Xander's appearance because it was but there's nothing more exciting than reading about two people falling in love despite the eff up situation they're in.

Xander just blew me away. He's probably my most favorite among Nora Roberts' heroes. Roarke held that title for a while but Roarke's character feels remote and inaccessible at times. Xander has the swagger and the confidence that Roarke has but none of the standoffishness. He's laid back but he's definitely alpha with a capital A but he's not OTT, growly, caveman, "MINE pussy" alpha that's very common nowadays. He didn't overwhelm the story or overshadowed Naomi's development, which really worked for me big time.

Aside from Naomi and Xander, this book has so many characters that stood out to me. I really want Mason's story. Mason is Naomi's younger brother and like Naomi, his father's crime fundamentally changed him. Fingers crossed Nora writes a book about him.

Overall, this book definitely rekindled my love for this author's writing.

I have had the pleasure of reading many books by this author and she always has a wicked way with a story. It can be contemporary, futuristic or even occasionally more historical but you can always count on being entertained. 
This book threw me straight from the offset. It's divided into sections and the first part takes place seventeen years ago. Straight away there's something intimate about the writing. I felt I was with Naomi every step of the way. There's a sense of immediacy that held me riveted with descriptions that leapt into my minds eye. I could feel the hot oppressive night, sense things about Naomi's father that her young mind simply accepted as normal . Most of all her trepidation, actual fear and even her heroic efforts felt real.
Fast forward and Naomi has never been able to truly settle and hides who she is and the atrocities her father committed still continue to haunt her. Yet for some reason a dilapidated house that's truly a money pit calls to her artistic nature. It's a huge decision for this nomad but one she hopes will work out. Quiet town , no close neighbours and best of all her true identity is unknown. Naomi initially trusts and befriends her contractor and then of course there's his wife. It would look odd not to engage with locals and the last thing Naomi wants is to inspire curiosity . Then of course there's the mighty fine mechanic / musician Xander. Dreamy , yes but not on Naomi's list of projects to do but that guy certainly is persistent ! Somehow Naomi parts company with her quiet life with even a dog in the house! Then things start going pear shaped as young women turn up dead and somehow it all seems scarily familiar !
I really liked the characters in this story. It's a small town but ties bind so many . Xander has his work cut out as he slowly realises that this thing they have could be really important . Of course there is the big secret that Naomi hides casting it's shadow but it doesn't stop her starting to live again . Romantic and sweet moments even an ending that made my eyes well up . Best of all I want to try steak a la Tag! This was a solid story and yes I did guess but there was a huge clue given shortly after work in the house commenced but that didn't spoil my enjoyment one iota. This lady can write! Recommended to those who enjoy romantic suspense.

A compelling romantic suspense story.

Needless to say, Nora Roberts is a master storyteller, with the plots that grab you from the first to the last page and the characters that you are interested to learn more about. And The Obsession didn’t fail me. In this book, I was not only impressed by the suspense aspect which made me unable to put it down, but also by the way the author smoothly blends humor into the dialogue. The playful and witty banter between Xander and Naomi totally hit the spot for me. I adored Mason, Naomi’s brother, and also her two gay uncles. The strong bond and the love between them truly touched my heart. The ending brought a big smile to my face. It was so lovely, heartwarming, and beautiful that I couldn’t have asked for a better one!

Even though it wasn’t difficult for me to guess who the bad guy was, the suspense was gripping and very well-written. It was retained from the beginning of the second half of the story onwards. And I can tell you that it gave me the shivers to read about this psycho villain and that absolutely had me on the edge of my seat many times.

I sometimes felt like I couldn’t read this book fast enough!

Anyway, however much I enjoyed this book, I had to drop my rating down to 4 stars due to my problem with the romance part. Not that it wasn’t sensual enough or anything, but somehow Naomi managed to ruin it for me. As you may know, one of my pet peeves is the heroine with commitment issues. So, I must admit that Naomi sort of rubbed me the wrong way every time she tried to push Xander away. That was quite annoying. Seriously? He was such an endearing guy! He was really into her and he cared about her. How can one say no to this man?!

Nevertheless, this was a very enjoyable read. Fans of romantic suspense definitely don’t want to miss out on this one.

The first word that comes to mind now that I've finished this book is 'chilling'.

It's dark, especially when we are in the mind of the killer. It's hard for me to believe there are really people out there who have these thoughts, who can actually justify and condone their behavior.
I enjoyed getting to know Naomi and Zander, and watching their relationship grow but, to be honest, I was mostly interested in the crime aspects of the story, and in them finding the horrible person committing the murders.

What a story! As I said, chilling and hard to take at times, but I wish I had listened sooner and can't wait to listen to more by Nora Roberts!

I might not 5 star every book by Nora Roberts but I’ll definitly read every single standalone book that she writes. I’m not a big fan of her trilogies, those are hits and misses but her hardcovers are something I look forward to every single year.

Of course some speak to me more than others, but I liked this one a lot, enough to read it a second time this week.

If a book has either of these ingredients I’m a very happy reader….

A puppy or adorable dog.
An artist, like a photographer.
Flipping or remodeling houses.
A strong and manly guy that’s sneaky and determined.
And a happy ending.
And guess what, The Obsession had all of the above!!!! YAY!!!!

On top of al that, as an amateur photographer myself, this book had a wealth of ideas and information that were incredibly interesting to read about.

That’s usually something I can always rely on, Nora Roberts researches the HECK out of every theme/topic she writes about. Her books are incredibly well researched and go well beyond the typical surface information.

I truly appreciate her dedication to her work – it makes each book more appealing and captivating.

But, let’s get back to the book.

The Obsession was a suspense novel, and following the authors formula it guaranteed that someone was going after the books heroine, Naomi Bowes.

Naomi lived through a dramatic event when she was just twelve years old. Even then she was already a strong and independent person, one that stood up to evil and looked into it’s eyes. She was a fighter, with high morals and surrounded by a loving family.
What I loved the most about this book was the premise of her being a photographer who bought a HUGE house, that had been unoccupied for years, and needed some loving care.
Moving alone to a small town, starting a HUGE project by remodeling a house that had an insane amount of rooms, was a taunting undertaking. Fortunately Naomi met awesome people along the way. The typical small town characters that had a surplus of charm and eccentricities that made the story so much more interesting and appealing.
Her love interest, town mechanic Xander Keaton, was wonderfully swoony. He was well read, played in a band, owned his own garage, and was well liked. All in all he was a genuinely good guy!!

The second male character I LOVED was Tag – the dog.

Naomi found him at the side of the road, half starved and in need of some loving. He latched onto Naomi like velcro. Even so she had no intention of keeping him, she even refused to name him, but since he tagged along wherever she went – Tag stayed.:D
It was amazing how much the dog, house and Xander changed her. She felt more established and secure in her new life. Both, dog and man gave her peace and a reason to stop wandering. That big old house felt suddenly like a HOME.

While she remodeled and grew closer to Xander, someone from her past was lurking and casting his net closer and closer. Naomi’s brother, a FBI agent, was also taking a closer look, but maybe not close enough.
As usual, Nora Roberts kept me guessing until the very end about who the bad guy was. After so many books, she knows how to write solid suspense novels and is a master in diversion.
Her newest hardcover release Come Sundown will be out at the end of May – sooooon!!!! I can’t wait to read it. The blurb sounds amazing, the story plays on a resort ranch in Montana (would love to go there on a vacation) – again the topic is right up my alley.

As I started this book I was instantly drawn to young Naomi. Naomi is a couple of days away from her 12th birthday when she discovers what a monster her father is. As the story continues we see Naomi, her mother, and young brother Mason learning to live with the fallout of her father’s depravity with the help of her beloved Uncle Seth and his partner Harry.

Young Naomi is excited about her upcoming birthday and to see if she’ll get a new bicycle. Naomi wakes up during the middle of the night and sees her father heading into the woods, she thinks he’s hidden her bike in a secret place and is going to put it together to surprise her, so she follows him. Instead, the horrible secret that she uncovers will affect Naomi and her family for the rest of their lives….what she finds is truly horrifying but her actions make Naomi hero.

You come to truly care about young Naomi, who has grown into a woman still trying to outrun her nightmares, literally. Seventeen years have passed and Naomi has a career as a successful photographer, however, she lives her life without putting down roots, traveling frequently and never staying in one place for long. Then she visits Sunrise Cove, Washington, where she impulsively buys a huge old rambling former B&B on a bluff.

Xander is the owner of the local garage and body shop, part owner of the local bar, and the frontman of a garage band. Naomi has never allowed herself to become involved in a serious relationship until….Xander. He’s handsome, rugged, confident, and patient. Life for Naomi is definitely looking good, she’s making friends, finding love, blending into the community, and even adopts a dog. Then, women start disappearing and it looks like her nightmares may be becoming a reality.

I truly loved that Naomi and Xander didn’t get caught up in secrets and lies. They’re both straight shooters regardless of the fact that Naomi keeps her background to herself until she feels it’s safe enough to share with Xander and her new friends.

All in all, this was a great read, Nora Roberts did a fantastic job on the suspense element, but I had an inkling of the identity of the perpetrator. Even so I think fans of Nora Roberts will enjoy this story of mystery, intrigue, and romance. My only complaint is that there was NO epilogue, which reflects in my rating, had we had an epilogue this definitely would have been a 5 Star read for me!!

A gripping thriller of love, hope and betrayal by Nora Roberts, the world’s greatest storyteller. That sentence is a direct quote from the back cover of Roberts’ new bestseller, The Obsession. After reading it more or less in one sitting (all 450 pages of sheer awesomeness), I feel that it pretty much tells you everything you need to know about Nora’s latest release. Nora Roberts IS the world’s greatest storyteller, proven by the fact that over the last 20 years or so, an average of 13 NR books were sold every minute. Every minute! And some of them are my very own treasures.

The opening chapters of The Obsession take us through Naomi Bowes’ childhood, the trauma of discovering her deacon father is a serial killer and saving a girl from his horrible cellar. It’s clear from the very beginning that Naomi isn’t an average child – the strength she shows as a mere 11-year-old promises a heroine like no other. And you should know by now that Nora Roberts always delivers on her promises. I adored Naomi and her wonderful little family (by which I mean the uncles who adopted her and her younger brother). I loved their dynamic and their sincerity, their endless support and kindness. It provided excellent balance to Naomi’s usual standoffishness and her anti-social tendencies. It gave us a chance to see her as someone warm and loving from the start, even before Xander and the dog came along to change things for her.

As for Xander, Nora sure knows how to write them! Rough and decisive, but also kind, he never treated Naomi like something delicate and fragile. From their first encounter, he admired her strength and independence, and he knew how to both give her space and be there when he was needed.

Apparently, Nora’s type of romantic suspense works for me like a charm because honestly, this is the most fun I’ve had in ages. I always feel that way with her non-paranormal books, but this one was just a step above average. She showed perfectly how difficult it is to live for the sins of your father, how the society doesn’t see such people for who they are or what they do. Instead they see only the crime, the horror, and what was left behind. Naomi had a hard time trusting anyone, which I understood, but it was so wonderful to see her accepting people for the first time. The only downside is that I guessed the stalker/killer pretty early on, but even that didn’t diminish my enjoyment of this book. So here’s my heartfelt recommendation: read this. You know you want to.

No comments:

Post a Comment