Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.
Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.
Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.
In my teens and twenties, I was a devout Nora Roberts’ reader, and over the years I continue to circle back to her.
There’s so much Nora Roberts does right that as an author I want to learn from her: the way she starts her stories so they grip you by the throat and don’t let go, her character development, her descriptions, the sheer beauty of her writing.
That said, I also wonder if writers only have so many books inside of them, and once they’re written, that’s it. And when I read a book like The Obsession from an author who has written over 200 (!) books, I feel like I’m pointing to Exhibit A.
For me, at least, The Obsession was a disappointment. Oh there were still lots of positives, all the things Nora Roberts does well was on full display in this book.
But, I felt like both the romance and mystery/suspense fell flat. (And, as these are romantic suspense books, there’s not a heck of a lot left.)
On the romance side, the two characters met and fell in love. End of story. There was barely a struggle and pretty much no tension. Oh sure, Naomi had a few doubts, but they were quickly swept aside. Where I feel like Roberts shines is her ability to draw out the romantic tension, but that was lacking in this book.
On the mystery side, well it certainly started off with a bang. Naomi at twelve discovers her father is a serial killer. That was definitely juicy and watching the family pick up the pieces after was also great.
But, then it started to drag. It took way too long to get to Naomi as an adult. Then it took even longer to get back into the suspense piece. But, as the killer was pretty obvious (really, there was only one person it could be) that was a little disappointing.
I also wished we could have circled back a little and had a more satisfying conclusion with her father. To me, there was no closure around that part of it, and it just fizzled.
Now for the positives: I did enjoy was reading about Naomi’s life as a photographer. I thought the way she set up her photographer business was fascinating.
Another plus for The Obsession is how cheap it is. That’s actually one of the reasons why I chose this one and not her new series release. So, if you’re looking for a quick Nora Roberts fix and don’t want to spend $15 for the Kindle version, this would likely fit the bill.
I have no doubt in a few years I’ll circle back around again to her, as I do feel like she does so much right that it’s good for me as an author to learn from her. But this book? I don’t feel like it was her best work. I give it three, maybe three and a half stars, as I would categorize this book as “okay.”
You can grab your copy of The Obsession right here on Amazon: