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Northern Lights by Nora RobertsTitle: Northern Lights

Author:
Nora Roberts

No. of Pages:
562

First Released:
2004

Synopsis (Courtesy of B&N): “Lunacy was Nate Burke’s last chance. As a Baltimore cop, he’d watched his partner die on the street — and the guilt still haunts him. With nowhere else to go, he accepts the job as Chief of Police in this tiny, remote Alaskan town. Aside from sorting out a run-in between a couple of motor vehicles and a moose, he finds his first few weeks on the job are relatively quiet. But just as he wonders whether this has been all a big mistake, an unexpected kiss on New Year’s Eve under the brilliant Northern Lights of the Alaska sky lifts his spirit and convinces him to stay just a little longer.

Meg Galloway, born and raised in Lunacy, is used to being alone. She was a young girl when her father disappeared, and she has learned to be independent, flying her small plane, living on the outskirts of town with just her huskies for company. After her New Year’s kiss with the Chief of Police, she allows herself to give in to passion — while remaining determined to keep things as simple as possible. But there’s something about Nate’s sad eyes that gets under her skin and warms her frozen heart.

And now, things in Lunacy are heating up. Years ago, on one of the majestic mountains shadowing the town, a crime occurred that is unsolved to this day — and Nate suspects that a killer still walks the snowy streets. His investigation will unearth the secrets and suspicions that lurk beneath the placid surface, as well as bring out the big-city survival instincts that made him a cop in the first place. And his discovery will threaten the new life — and the new love — that he has finally found for himself.”

Comments and Critiques:
This book is a perfect example of why I love Nora Roberts so much. It takes a lot for me to want to move anywhere in the north where winters are long and harsh. Yet, even long after finishing Northern Lights, there is a part of me that really wants to move to Alaska. Her descriptions of its harshness, quirkiness, and more importantly, its beauty, leaves me breathless every time and makes me want to experience it myself, even though I hate winter and snow.

Meg is the perfect heroine. She’s tough but realistic, driven and yet ordinary. I love how Ms. Roberts creates characters that are normal. They worry about mundane, everyday life as much as we do – from paying the bills to work to family issues. One can easily step into the shoes of one of her characters and not feel out of place in them. In her earlier novels, Ms. Roberts’ heroines were fabulously wealthy, impossibly beautiful and people that are more the exception than the norm. I really like the fact that her heroines, including Meg, are much more believable and relatable.

I also adore Ms. Roberts’ portrayal of men. The dialogue she writes them cracks me up because of the fact that I would expect my brother, my husband, or my closest males friends to say something similar. Nate is no exception in that aspect. I do realize that no female can quite conquer the male mind, and that if a man were to read this book, he would probably scoff at Nate as unrealistic. To me, he’s just another enjoyable character.

This book definitely kept me turning pages long into the wee hours of the night. The mystery’s resolution caught me off-guard, and Meg and Nate’s relationship definitely hits all the right notes in the romance category. There is something so believable about these characters that had me caught up in the story line from the very beginning. The Alaskan backdrop is a character on its own. Together, they blend into one fabulous story.

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