Review: Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts

 Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts Eli Landon has returned to Bluff House after a long year.  He was accused of murdering his wife, he lost his job and has dropped a lot of weight.  Normally his grandmother would be in residence but several months prior there was an accident and she has been staying with the family to recover.  Eli is alone in the house hoping to put his life back together and write a book.  He has written some short stories but this will be his first go at the full length thing.   He is hoping the peace of being back at a place he has long thought of as a home will heal him and his soul.

Abra does a bit of everything.  She cleans houses, makes jewelry, runs errands, teaches yoga, gives massages and does whatever else is needed of her.  She has been keeping Bluff House open and aired out for Eli’s return.  She has left an awful past and has taken safe harbor at Whiskey Beach.  Now it is hard to pin her down because doing anything and everything is what keeps her sane and happy.  But maybe after spending some time with Eli she is ready to take a chance at love again.

Mixed in with Abra and Eli’s relationship is a mystery.  As with most Nora Roberts books there are several things happening at once with the mystery.  That is not to say it moves very fast though.  This is a long book, at almost 500 pages.  There was a significant amount of downtime and introspective thinking going on in that 500 pages.  Like a lot.  It was a little too easy to skip over large paragraphs and sometimes even pages.

I think one of my biggest issues with Whiskey River is there seemed to be an assumed story that had already happened prior to this book.  It was like Eli was a fan favorite and this was his coming around story.  Like we had been with him for years and now we finally get to see him in a happy relationship.  But that isn’t the case.  This was our first time with Eli. I didn’t know him before so maybe the importance of him moving on with his life was lost on me.

Abra was well….I don’t know how to describe her.  She is very pushy and forthright.  She had a habit of leaving post-its everywhere and while they were supposed to be little picks me ups they were kind of bossy and annoying.  Like there would be a post-it on a bottle of water telling Eli took hydrate first before he drank something else.  She wasn’t his mother, she was his lover but those notes came off as something a mother would do.

Their relationship is interesting.  I wasn’t sure why they hooked up.  Things came across as more of a relationship of convenience, like oh she is there, he is there…might as well be there together.  Even the “I love you’s” were off.  They were casual and half-hearted.  When Abra said it, it completely matched her personality.  Casual and blase.  I wasn’t feeling it like they were saying it.

I think I have just come to prefer J.D. Robb over Nora Roberts.  I can see hints of the other in each book but overall her In Death series is stronger, to me.  Or maybe it is just her individual titles that don’t appeal to me any longer.  Either way, this book was ok.  There is a good mystery and it wasn’t an obvious who-dun-it.  That part kept me reading to the end.  Final grade- C

Favorite Quote:

“I don’t believe in fate, in destiny, in absolutes, but sometimes it smacks you in the face.  You’re where you’re meant to be because you’re meant to be there.”

Rating: C
Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts
April 16th 2013 by Putnam Adult
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  1. Tlaroland says

    I used to love NR, but it felt like her writing style changed about 4-5 years ago and now it’s really hard for me to even finish her books. She definately isn’t an auto-buy anymore. Now I just listen to her stuff in the car during my communte to work.

    The detail she gives to weddings or constructing new inns, etc., drives me up a wall. Who cares about all that crap, she goes into the details of those things too much.

    • says

      I can really get into books when they are part of a triology but her stand alones do not work for me. Like I did enjoy the wedding books she recently wrote.

    • says

      I agree, unfortunately. I still love all her old ones–and still keep trying her newer ones hoping to rediscover that old feeling–but her newer books are completely different in style. I wish I still felt the same magic.

  2. says

    I do enjoy Nora Roberts books, but I do buy them secondhand. She writes way too much to keep up with. I have not read this one yet.

    • says

      I don’t know how she does it. Between JD Robb and NR, it is mind boggling. I wouldn’t be sad if she quit NR and just wrote Eve and Roarke for the rest of her days. Looooove those books.

  3. says

    Someone on Twitter said they feel like at this point, after so many books, they feel like Roberts is just recycling stories. What’s your opinion? Do still feel like her stories are fresh? Or do you feel like you’ve “read it before”?

    • says

      Well, that is kind of a hard question to answer. There is a certain formula followed by most romance books so in a way, yes? But mostly, no. I usually read all of her books and I don’t think one is similar enough to the next to say she is recycling.