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Book CoverSandy M’s review of Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts
Contemporary Romance published by Putnum Adult 16 Apr 13

I have so enjoyed getting back to reading Nora Roberts over the last few years. I read her a lot way back when, then read less and less as I got more and more review books. But I’ve been lucky to receive most of Nora’s releases for a while now, and, as the old saying goes, it’s nice to be home.

What makes any of her books so very good is her characters. Ms. Roberts just has a way of creating folks who you love from the first moment, who feel like next-door neighbors and are people you’d like to be friends with, to help out if they need it and who would help you in a heartbeat. That is all so very true in this book when you meet Eli Landon and Abra Walsh.

Eli has come home to Bluff House on New England’s Whiskey Beach to find peace and work on the novel he’s always wanted to write. He needs the peace after being the number one suspect over the last year in the murder of his wife. There’s no evidence to bring him to trial, so now he needs to figure out where his life is headed. Meeting Abra, the housekeeper for his grandmother who is recuperating in Boston from a fall at Bluff House, is a surprise that makes him perk up quite a bit. She’s a jane-of-all-trades, has a lust for life, and decides she’s going make sure Eli learns how to live again.

I love both of these characters so much. Eli has a lot to overcome, doesn’t want anyone around as he does his thinking and work. But Abra has that way about her, so full of life, that he can’t but be attracted to her. Aside from that attitude of hers, she cooks, she’s a masseuse, yoga instructor – you name it, she does it. Behind all of that, she does have a bit of a tortured past of her own, but she’s learned how to control any residuals that may still haunt her. She says what’s on her mind, does her own thing, and you have the best fun with her.

Of course, there’s the mystery of Bluff House. It’s been in the Landon family for generations; there’s the legend of lost treasure that people have tried to find over the years. Abra is attacked, and that’s the impetus to push Eli to find his wife’s killer to keep Abra safe and clear his name so they can truly begin their life together. Abra is determined to be part of the investigation, despite Eli’s need to keep her out of harm’s way. The setup to trap the culprit is done efficiently, with help from local law enforcement.

I also like Eli’s relationship with his family, especially his grandmother. She’s feisty, just like Abra, and you can feel the love between grandmother and grandson. There’s a Boston cop who can’t leave Eli’s case behind him; he’s convinced Eli is guilty. Even Eli’s wife’s family is still after him, hiring a PI to gather more evidence for a civil lawsuit. Whiskey Beach becomes a very busy place during this time, but the resolution keeps you guessing until the very last minute.

Wonderful, wonderful story. Be sure to pick up Whiskey Beach up as soon as you can. Nora Roberts, even after all these years, just gets better and better with every book.

SandyMGrade: A+


For more than three hundred years, Bluff House has sat above Whiskey Beach, guarding its shore—and its secrets. But to Eli Landon, it’s home…

A Boston lawyer, Eli has weathered an intense year of public scrutiny and police investigations after being accused of—but never arrested for—the murder of his soon-to-be-ex wife. He finds sanctuary at Bluff House, even though his beloved grandmother is in Boston recuperating from a nasty fall.

Abra Walsh is always there, though. Whiskey Beach’s resident housekeeper, yoga instructor, jewelry maker, and massage therapist, Abra is a woman of many talents—including helping Eli take control of his life and clear his name. But as they become entangled in each other, they find themselves caught in a net that stretches back for centuries—one that has ensnared a man intent on reaping the rewards of destroying Eli Landon once and for all…

Read an excerpt.