Sandy M’s Duckies Do Series Review of the Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts
Paranormal Romance audiobooks published by Brilliance Audio Jan 09 – Oct 12
I’ve been trying to get back into listening to the multitude of audiobooks I have in a box in the trunk of my car, in the garage, and no telling where else I have some stashed. So I was quite happy when I pulled open a drawer the other day and there sat this trilogy. I was also quite happy over the next few weeks while living dreams and nightmares both with the heroes and heroines of these books. The narrator, Susan Ericksen, of all three books made this trilogy an especially wonderful read.
The Key of Light, Book 1
2 Jan 09
Malory has just lost her job as an art gallery manager when she receives an invitation to Warrior’s Peak for a party and finds only two other guests, women who are are in situations similar to her own. They meet Pitte and Rowena, their hosts, and hear a fantastical tale about evil gods and three daughters of a king, whom have been held captive for hundreds of years. Malory, Dana, and Zoe are the three human women who can open the Box the Souls to free the princesses. In exchange for $25,000, and much more later, they each will have twenty-eight days to locate the keys that will fit the box locks and receive that money that will them get back on their feet. If they fail? Well, let’s just say once the ladies get started, they refuse to fail.
Representing beauty and art, and not sure if she totally believes the story, Malory is up first and begins her search with helpful clues from Rowena. Before she can get started, she’s literally bowled over by man and dog – a very handsome man and a very big dog. Flynn and Moe are hard to resist and Malory does her best. Flynn is as charming as can be and Moe is the friendly tail-wagger who eats cookies and anything else he can manage to finagle out of someone. Malory keeps running into Flynn – he’s Dana’s brother, so when the ladies are brainstorming their mystery Flynn is around and wants to help.
Flynn is just absolutely adorable. He’s easy-going and enjoys life as he goes along. The exact opposite of the always-organized Malory who plots every move. And you have to love Moe. He definitely steals all the scenes he’s in. There’s also Brad and Jordan, friends of Brad’s, and they are just as connected to the mystery as much Flynn is. Dana and Jordan have a past and Zoe and Brad do not get along at all, so we’re given enough fodder to look forward to their books. Then there’s the villain, evil god Kane. He sneaks into each heroine’s life and does his best make sure they fail their mission.
A terrific start to the trilogy. It has everything from laughter to mystery to danger to, of course, love. Which is truly the key everything.
When gallery manager Malory Price is invited to a reception at a local mansion, she discovers she must find a key that will release three souls held captive by an evil god. Little does she know that the quest will bring her two new friends, the love of her life, and danger beyond anyone’s imagination.
No excerpt available.
Key of Knowledge, Book 2
2 Oct 12
Next up is Jordan and Dana, and their book is just as fun – and dangerous. First they have to get through their reunion, which is what Jordan wants but what Dana thinks she doesn’t. Dana was in love with Jordan before he left her high and dry. But it’s that little detail of love that Jordan didn’t know when he took off. He had to get out of town, the place where he was at one time happy, but when he lost his mother, there was nothing left. At least as far as he knew.
So now Dana tries to stay as far away from Jordan as possible and keep her heart intact. But what everyone is learning is that it’s not just the women who need to help find the keys. Their men are also involved. Thus, Dana realizes she needs to take a good look at what went on between them before and talk to Jordan – straight up – to figure out what the future holds.
I like the fact Dana is a librarian and Jordan an author – knowledge in the power of books! Quitting her job at the library because of a horrible boss now gives Dana the time she needs to scour books relating to keys, but she and Jordan are surprised by what is actually in store for them. Kane is still determined to upset every positive step they take forward. This is one evil god. He invades dreams, makes someone feel and believe they’re living whatever he wants. He’s also changed the rules, now he’s able to actually harm our friends, which also surprises Pitte and Rowena.
The ladies are also in the middle of organizing and opening Indulgence – the combination bookstore/art gallery/salon they’ve gone into partnership on. I enjoyed the close friendship these heroines are cultivating. They’re becoming like sisters, just like those whose souls they’re trying release. The fact they look like those sisters fascinates them all.
We still get to enjoy Flynn and Malory, as well as Moe and Zoe, Brad, and Simon. Moe is still very much a favorite for me. He’s perfect comic relief but still remains man’s – and woman’s – best friend when he’s needed. And a god’s best friend. Rowena has a special gift with animals and her scenes with Moe are also quite fun.
Two keys down and one to go. Will Zoe complete her mission or is there failure in the ladies’ future?
Dana Steele is forced to face her past with the handsome Jordan Hawke when he writes a book that connects him to her quest for the Key of Knowledge. Now, Dana must seek out the truth from among deception and lies—or succumb to her worst nightmares.
No excerpt available.
Key of Valor, Book 2
2 Jan 09
Finally we come to Brad and Zoe. They had a rocky start in the first two books, rubbing each other the wrong way every time they came face to face. That continues at the beginning of this book, but little by little Brad works his way under Zoe’s skin. With a bit of help from Simon. The boy has never had a father – the jerk turned his back on Zoe once he found out she was pregnant – so having Brad in his life is a wonderful, new experience for him.
Brad has been attracted to Zoe, even before he knew who she was. He purchased a painting of three women, one of whom looks like Dana, but it was one of the others who held his attention. So when he meets Zoe, that’s it for him. He’s a millionaire, and I think that’s part of the problem for Zoe. She’s clawed her way to where she is by herself, a long way from the trailer park where she lived with her mother and siblings. Brad generously purchases items the gals need for their business, and it takes Zoe a time or two accept those graciously. She takes a bit longer to let Brad in, only because of Simon. She makes it perfectly clear and extracts a promise from him to never hurt her child, even if what is happening between them doesn’t work out. I think she lets that go when she sees them together over time.
For me, the best parts of this book is, again, Moe but also Simon. The two have the best time together, but the scene between Brad and Simon when the youngster asks what Brad’s intentions are toward his mother, his blunt assessment of sex and if they’ll be engaging in it, and his obvious love for this man warring with his love for his mother captured my heart.
It’s Zoe’s courage to let go and love Brad that helps defeat Kane, who once again tries his best by giving her what she thinks she wants. But just as with Malory and Dana, Zoe is stronger than she’s given credit for. Seems Kane never learns in his interactions with these human women. The scene when the final key releases the sisters is wonderfully done, and I love Zoe’s boon she asks for. Friendship at work again.
Zoe McCourthas the courage to raise her young son alone, and to face all the adversity life has thrown at them. But will she have the courage to face a foe determined to do anything to stop the third key from being found—even destroying everything, and everyone, she loves?
No excerpt available.
A terrific trilogy. Though, I really had no doubt. We are talking about Nora Roberts here. And thanks to Susan Ericksen, I think I enjoyed it much more than if I had read the books. If you’ve not read this series and you’re a Nora fan, find it in your TBR pile and dust them off. You will be enchanted and entranced from the beginning.
Overall Grade: A+