Jack London, move over. The Queen of Romance has you in her sights.
Amazingly, Roberts (a.k.a. J.D. Robb, p. 601) doesn’t miss in this wild and woolly tale of love and murder in Alaska. Nate Burke, the new chief of police in the little town of Lunacy, had a few qualms about living in the moose-infested end of nowhere, but there’s something about the place—a man can breathe, if he doesn’t mind having icicles for a mustache. The locals? They call themselves the Lunatics, of course: back-to-nature survivalists, native Inuit, former hippies, and oddballs of every stripe. A newcomer like Nate gets a lot of attention, but does he ever wish that Charlene, hip-swinging, heavily made-up, middle-aged mantrap, would leave him alone. Peach, the motherly town gossip, warned him about the brassy boardinghouse owner in no uncertain terms. Nate’s got a lot on his mind: between the death of his partner at the Baltimore PD, who left a grieving widow and three kids, and a divorce Nate didn’t want, he’s emotionally numb. Just so happens that Charlene’s daughter is a knockout: beautiful, athletic, black-haired Meg has ice-blue eyes that can undress a man in a flash. She’s a bush pilot, lives alone and likes it, takes her pleasure where she finds it—and rolling around with Nate is a very pleasurable experience indeed. But she’s hiding her own heartbreak: her ne’er-do-well, adventurous father disappeared 16 years ago during a dangerous climb. And when Patrick Galloway’s frozen corpse is found in an ice cave with an ax through the chest—and it’s clear that the long-ago killer is still on the loose—all hell breaks loose in Lunacy. Original characterization, brisk pace, and a great feel for the grandeur of the setting—not to mention a fabulously tough young heroine who puts her vapid chick-lit sisters to shame—add up to a wonderful read.
Romance will never die as long as the megaselling Roberts keeps writing it.