Blue Smoke

I’ve been looking forward to reading Blue Smoke, have had it in my TBR for months. You know me – I love reading about firefighters. And I love love love Nora Roberts.

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Blue Smoke, not so much. In fact, if it was another writer, I probably would have stopped reading it. The heroine is annoying, the book is depressing and the romance doesn’t start till almost half way through the book!

The heroine, Reena, wants to be a fire investigator from the time she’s eleven, when a tragic event shakes up her life. She’s like a sponge, absorbing everything, noticing every detail, and it’s kind of cute when she’s a kid, which she is in the beginning of the book. By the time she actually becomes a fire investigator, about a third of the way through the book, it’s just annoying. Plus she talks in short hand, starting most of her sentences with verbs. And she’s really really cocky.

As for the depressing, well, it’s about a pyromaniac who has it in for Reena. Only Reena. Not her family. He targets her. And La Nora describes what he does in gory detail. And the language – there are just some words I don’t want to hear Nora say. Urgh.

The romance…we meet the hero in his POV at almost page 100, but he doesn’t meet Reena, just sees her from afar. And again about 40 pages later. They don’t meet face to face for a long time. Meanwhile, Reena has three lovers. And they say I don’t write romances?

So, very disappointing book. I hate when that happens.

This should make me feel better….

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Colleen Gleason said...

You know, I really loved this book myself, although I agree with the flaws (romance doesn't start till halfway through, the villain is horrible [I still have nightmares about what he does to the wife of the dead cop])...but I read the book nonstop.

I always wanted to write a book about a female arson investigator--I may still do it someday--and this book did hook me.

Now, The Three Fates...I couldn't get through it. Everyone really raved about it, but I didn't like it so much. One of the very few Nora hardcovers I didn't like.

Toni Anderson said...

I haven't read this one yet. I like pretty edgy stuff--not sure about the 3 lovers LOL.

I did not particularly like the 3 fates, or the keys trilogy.

At least no one can put Nora in a box :)

MJFredrick said...

Colleen, I loved The Three Fates!

The villain in this book is...well, first of all, I knew who it was right away...but really I HATED being in his head. What is it about some writers who feel like we want to KNOW this stuff? Tami Hoag is another, and Allison Brennan - TMI, IMO.

Toni, you like edgy, this one's for you.

Ending pissed me off, too.

Dana Pollard said...

Sorry, but I don't read Nora's books. I used to. I'd tell you why, but it would have to be in a private email.

Your comment about "if someone else wrote this book..." made me smile.

I did enjoy The Three Fates though.

Anonymous said...

Hugs Mary! I hate when a book I'm excited about doesn't live up to the promise.
I'm a huge JD Robb fan but I haven't read Nora since the series about the brothers. I don't know why because I LOVED those books.

Anonymous said...

The last Nora book I've read was the Three Sisters Island series, which I am giving their yearly re-reading right now. I can't seem to get into anything else she's written since. Not that she needs me! She has millions of fans.

I write paranormal mystery with romantic element. I'm very clear on that. Nora needs to be the same way about her books, so readers won't end up feeling cheated when they get a book with romantic element and not the romance they expected. I'd probably like this book, Mar, but...then again, I'm so darned picky now, I might not. Some of the things you mentioned would make me think twice.


Dee Tenorio said...

Well, that picture sure made me feel better, lol.


MJFredrick said...

Mary Beth, oooh, the Sea Swept trilogy!!! LOVED those!! Ethan was my MAN!! I haven't read an In Death book in forever - they're a bit dark for me.

Dana, you have me INCREDIBLY curious ;)

JoAnn, I don't know if you'd like it...that villain, he was creepy. Seriously.

LOL, Dee! I actually went and rented the movie today! PAID for it! (Used my coupons on video games for the boy!) It wasn't as terrible as I remembered.

Stacy Dawn said...

The Three Sisters is the only books of hers I could get into.

Unknown said...

I just cna't seem to do Nora... She's almost as bad as Danielle Steele anymore for me. Haven't read the Dobb books she writes, which might appeal more to me because they're more futuristic, but otherwise...

Nope, not feeling Nora.

MJFredrick said...

I have always loved Nora, have read everything but all the Robb books. This one just hit me at the wrong time, I guess.

I wasn't crazy about The Villa, either, come to think, but it didn't leave a bad taste in my mouth like this one.

I kept thinking of what my grandmother's reaction would be. She loved Nora, too, but this would have been off the scale for her!

Toni Anderson said...

Dana has me curious too, but I'm just nosey!!

I LOVE Tami Hoag and liked Allison's stuff. I do like the JD Robb stuff. Isn't it funny how we all like different stuff, but all like romance in general? What does that say about the genre?

I didn't like the Villa either. That one just didn't hook me emotionally.

MJFredrick said...

I don't know why some of the darker stuff just has me cringing these days. I had started on Lisa Gardner but the school shooting one - I just couldn't. I used to love Tami Hoag....remember her Cajun hero? But Kill a Messenger bothered me. I don't know if stuff is just darker or if I've changed.


M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
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Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
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Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.00)

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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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