Author: Nora Roberts
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: August 28, 2012
Dora Conroy has a passion for antiques—and any other rarities she can acquire for her quaint Philadelphia shop. A seasoned dealer, she knows all the tricks of the trade. But she is unprepared for the deadly consequences when she purchases a few curiosities at an auction—and unknowingly brings home a priceless cache that makes her the target of an international criminal. Entwined in a reckless chase, Dora turns to her new neighbor, Jed Skimmerhorn, a cop who’s turned in his badge—and whose desire for lovely Dora puts him back in the line of fire. Fighting their attraction while falling in love, they find that hidden riches can have a most ordinary façade. And that possession can be a lethal obsession...
Isadora "Dora" Conroy has had a good couple of days. She's gotten lucky at an auction in Virginia, bringing home quite a loot, and she has a new tenant across the hall, the surly, brooding, mouthwateringly handsome Jedidiah "Jed" Skimmerhorn. Her dear father would certainly say Fate is smiling upon her. Especially since her new neighbor is a cop that's recently turned in his badge and there's been a strange string of occurrences from B&E into her shop to one of her clients ending up in a hospital thanks to a robber...Certainly that has nothing to do with her latest auction haul. Right?
A good little story with a nice role reversal compared to the more recent NR reads where it's usually the heroine that's the surly, jaded type and the hero a happy-go-lucky chap. In this one it was the hero that was jaded, and the heroine the happy one determined to bring him out of his shell. The humor, the snark, and the one-liners were the usual fare (and one of my favorite thing when I pick up a NR book).
While I found the role-reversal refreshing, and the characters wonderful as always, I couldn't help but think Jed was a tad too surly and snarly, and the "act" dragged on for too long, resulting in a typical Romancelandia near-death twist that finally got him to pull him out of his funk. This trope is tired, and I dislike it on principle, and I was surprised and disappointed to find it in a NR story, but I guess it was written in the early days. ;)
The pacing was also problematic, with story dragging in places, never really picking up enough speed in others. I don't know whether the length had something to do with it, or the aforementioned "hero problem"...Or maybe it was the fact the villain and his motives were all out in the open from the start never offering much of a surprise, intrigue, mystery, and/or suspense.
Still, an enjoyable, and entertaining read.