The Search, by Nora Roberts (narrated by Tanya Eby)

26 Jul

The Search book coverI don’t often listen to audiobooks, but whenever I take the long drive home or to visit friends (I find that most drives from central Iowa tend to be long), I enjoy an audiobook to pass the time.  Most recently, I completed this unabridged version of The Search, by Nora Roberts.

Fiona is dog trainer enjoying her quiet, organized life on the island of Orcas in the Pacific Northwest.  She lives alone with her pack of dogs, teaching obedience classes and responding to the occasional search and rescue calls.  Simon is a carpenter/artist who is new to the island and escaping a high-profile, volatile relationship.  He and his new puppy Jaws show up on Fiona’s doorstep and Fiona sets right to work training them both!

Of course, romance ensues, but Fiona’s life isn’t as quiet as it appears on the surface. Her past is catching up with her as someone wants her dead–again!  Fiona and Simon fight to embrace their unexpected love throughout not only the normal pitfalls of a relationship, but also through deadly circumstances.

Since I am biased as a dog lover, I think I was able to forgive a lot of things in this book.  First, it fits a tried-and-true formula that is definitely no stranger to Nora Roberts.  Romance blooming in the face of danger is a popular plotline.  I personally don’t often begrudge an author for following such a formula, as long as it stays interesting.  Fiona’s search and rescue responses are definitely helpful in keeping things fresh.  I also love her dog stories; the dogs become supporting characters.

The dialogue occasionally felt awkward to me, but I am willing to place some of that blame on the narrator, who often used a patronizing voice that didn’t feel real for the characters.  Fiona seems kind of timid about some things and very fierce about others. She outright confronts Simon about their love on a regular basis.  This couple talks out their issues like no other couple I’ve read about!  Simon can be a bit annoying.  Fiona loves his winey, grudging admissions of love, and at first I thought it was cute but it did get a little old.  For example, here is how a discussion between the two of them goes once they first meet:

“You’re not beautiful.”
“There you go again, Mr. Romance.”
“You’re not, but you grab hold. I haven’t figured out why.”
“Let me know when you do.

Still, I laughed out loud a lot in this book, and rooted for them to catch the bad guy.  Because I’m a dog lover, I give this romance suspense novel four out of five stars.

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