The Obsession

Synopsis

Image result for the obsession nora roberts

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.

Review

Best selling author Nora Roberts excels in churning out the whip fast reads, and THE OBSESSION is another book where the dialogue is snappy, we have a savvy and feisty heroine, and the love interest is uber masculine and good with his hands. You will be half way through this novel before you know it, caught up in the evolving relationship between the two leads whilst not losing sight of the fact that there is someone waiting and wanting to bring all that happiness down.

She didn’t know what woke her, and no matter how many times she relived that night, no matter where the nightmare chased her, she never would.

— Nora Roberts,  The Obsession

A couple days before her twelfth birthday, Naomi can’t sleep and follows her father deep into the woods. Children aren’t allowed in the woods but she hopes her father will forgive her and let her go for a swim in the creek to cool off from the stagnant night heat. When she discovers her father’s hideaway in an old cellar, Naomi sneaks in there after he leaves to see if he bought her a bike for her birthday. Instead, she finds a bound girl who has been beaten and raped. Naomi helps the girl escape and they both run for the sheriff’s office. What follows is more than any twelve-year-old should be forced to endure.

Will Naomi and her younger brother Mason’s life ever be the same when everyone finds out that their father is a serial killer?

“You put something behind you, it’s got its eyes on your back. I’d rather keep it in front of me, so I can see where it’s going.” 
― Nora Roberts, The Obsession

Fast forward many years, and Naomi has made a living as a photographer. Afraid that others will discover the truth about her identity and her father, she moves from place to place, and creates walls between herself and others so that they can’t really get to know her or her past. But those walls begin to come crumbling down in Sunset Cove. She’s bought a home to restore in the area, and becomes friends with her contractor’s family. Through them, she meets Xander Keaton, who’s as kind as he is ruggedly handsome. Just when things begin to fall in the place, eerily familiar murders begin to take place in and near Sunset Cove.

Will Naomi ever be free of her father’s despicable legacy?

Tracing Naomi’s tale from that fateful night at 12 years old, from her teenage years in New York City, to her new life in Sunset Cove, Roberts weaves a compelling and suspenseful story. Roberts has created some amazing characters in this particular novel, from the fierce and strong Naomi to the sweetly tough Xander.

“And she’d fallen in love.
It couldn’t be that fast. It couldn’t be that simple. It couldn’t be.
But it was. She didn’t have to have felt it all before to know what tripped and stumbled inside her.
She breathed in, breathed out, took a good glug of wine.” 
― Nora Roberts, The Obsession

Xander Keaton, a man of many contradictions, sees a beautiful woman and is intent on making her acquaintance. Her reluctance for any romantic entanglements only serves to fuel his curiously and lust for her. It’s only after a tentative friendship develops between them does he begin to see a kindred spirit and his lust for her gradually changes to something far more serious. A notion also shared by her. I liked that while Xander was an important aspect of Naomi’s healing, he doesn’t overwhelm the story-line with his own issue.  He is a charming, attractive, and laid back man who serves to help Naomi learn that she has the right to a life, friends, and love.

The suspense aspect of the story creeps in slowly towards the end, almost like an afterthought to add some tension and help bridge the past and the present. I admit I guessed almost right off the bat who Naomi’s stalker was and was a bit disappointed at how it presented itself though I liked how it served to show just how oblivious Naomi had become to anything that didn’t immediately concern her. Roberts’ uses the stalker plot-line to reintroduce Naomi’s family (her uncles and younger brother) and I enjoyed seeing them years later. Especially Naomi’s brother, FBI agent Mason. It was interesting to see how he and Naomi chose to deal with their past; Naomi pushing it far into the background while Mason embraced and used it. Even the perspectives of the criminals in this novel were expertly written, all contributing to a story you won’t soon forget.

“There could be pockets of normal even in the middle of the awful.” 
― Nora Roberts, The Obsession

A warning – this book is partly about a serial rapist and murderer. There are enough details to make it realistic and it could upset some readers. It’s not overly done, but it’s there. There’s plenty of beauty in this novel to offset the ugly so it’s a positive experience. As someone who dislikes this type of violence on television and in books, I felt this was written with finesse.

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