River’s End by Nora Roberts
Olivia MacBride is the daughter of a Hollywood golden couple but that can’t protect her from nightmares. When Olivia is just 4, her father kills her mother and goes to prison. She’s quickly whisked away from the spotlight to live with her grandparents in the majestic forests of Washington state. But when Noah Brady, the son of the detective that investigated her parent’s case, wants to write a book about the murder, Olivia is hesitant. Just as she is starting to accept that it’s time to tell her story, her father is released from prison and everything changes.
This one is a little different for a romance novel because it begins when the main characters are children, Olivia is 4 and Noah is 10 and the story progresses through their lives and the small ways the two intersect. The majority of their romance occurs in the last 30% when they are both adults. Though their actual time together is much smaller than a traditional romance novel, Nora Roberts is a master of romance and there is no doubt that these two people belong together and love each other.
Another great part of this story is the family element. Olivia’s grandparents, her aunt and uncle, and Noah’s parents play a significant role in this book. I really enjoyed watching the families come together, grow together, and learn from each other. There was a great twist at the end, I won’t say much because I don’t want to spoil anything but they were great. I was thinking one thing starting out and then I started to wonder and change my mind. Half way through I was convinced it was one way and Roberts completely tricked my mind into believing exactly what she wanted. I loved it!
I wasn’t as crazy about Olivia, mostly because she has established very hard walls around herself. I couldn’t really relate to Olivia but that’s more personal than anything the author did. She was a very tough person as an adult; she’s isolated herself from forming real bonds with anyone outside her family and this means that she’s prickly and has a hard shell. Noah never gives up but sometimes I just wanted Olivia to jump in and not be afraid.
3 out of 5 stars
Olivia’s parents were among Hollywood’s golden couples…until the night a monster came and took her mother away forever. A monster with the face of her father…
Sheltered from the truth, an older Olivia only dimly recalls her night of terror–but her recurring nightmares make her realize she must piece together the real story. Now, assisted by Noah Brady, the son of the police detective who found her cowering in her closet so many years before, she may have her chance. Noah wants to reconstruct the night that has become an infamous part of Hollywood history. He also wants to help Olivia and heal the longing in her lonely heart. But once the door to her past is opened, there’s no telling what’s waiting on the other side. For somewhere, not too far away, the monster walks again…
Published by Berkley in 1999