Narrator: Julia Whelan

Rear Window Redux in The Collector by Nora Roberts

Posted July 30, 2014 by Jonetta in Book Review, Hot & Deadly | | 4 Comments

Rear Window Redux in The Collector by Nora RobertsThe Collector by Nora Roberts
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Published by Brilliance Audio on April 15, 2014
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Format: Audiobook
Length: 15 hours, 44 minutes
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Audio | Goodreads

When professional house-sitter Lila Emerson witnesses a murder/suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as she knows it takes a dramatic turn. Suddenly, the woman with no permanent ties finds herself almost wishing for one. . . .

Artist Ashton Archer knows his brother isn’t capable of violence—against himself or others. He recruits Lila, the only eyewitness, to help him uncover what happened. Ash longs to paint her as intensely as he hungers to touch her. But their investigation draws them into a rarified circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen, where what you possess is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession. . . .

Nora Roberts has her romantic suspense mojo back! In this latest book, we see elements of the Hitchcock classic, Rear Window, which happens to be my most favorite film.


 Quick summary

Lila Emerson, a professional house sitter, witnesses a woman falling from her apartment window in New York City. She saw this as she was “people watching” from her current apartment. What might have initially been classified as a murder-suicide is impacted by her quick response. Ashton Archer’s brother is one of the victims and he finds a willing partner in Lila when he decides that the police aren’t looking at the case correctly. Together they launch their own amateur investigation.


 The suspense

It doesn’t take long for the tension to ratchet up as Ash and Lila’s snooping take them down some dangerous and downright scary paths. Lila’s pretty bright, with an investigative and analytical mind. Ash is an artist, who is the de facto head of his bizarre but interesting huge family, is used to managing people and details…the guy who gets things done and makes things happen…so they make a great team. The villains in this story run the range from seemingly bloodless to clueless, which kept me off balance.


The romance

Lila and Ash were a perfect match, especially given how their differences complimented each other. He’s sexy with some serious alpha qualities that he had to often reign in with the fiercely independent Lila. I loved their dialogue. What was an added bonus was the romance between two of the secondary characters, the friends of Lila and Ash. Theirs almost, not quite, but almost surpassed that of the main characters.


The narration

This was my first time listening to Julia Whelan and I was very pleased with her performance. She was able to provide distinction for most of the characters and this has a big cast. I especially liked her portrayal of Lila as she sounded just like I would have imagined her to speak…the right cadence, pacing and inflection. The audio experience certainly enhanced my reading experience.


The bottom line

I enjoyed this story with its themes entrenched in the old film classic. The romances worked, the mystery was tough to first unravel and the villains deliciously scary to provide that tension I love so much in this genre. The audio performance just made everything even better with a pretty even balance between the romance and suspense.

About Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, the youngest of five children. She married young and settled in Keedysville, Maryland where she worked briefly as a legal secretary. After her sons were born she stayed home and tried every craft that came along. A blizzard in February 1979 forced her hand to try another creative outlet. She was snowed in with a three and six year old.

Born into a family of readers, Nora had never known a time that she wasn’t reading or making up stories. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write down one of those stories. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981.

Nora met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Since that time, they’ve expanded their home, traveled the world and opened a bookstore together.

Through the years, Nora has always been surrounded by men. Not only was she the youngest in her family, but she was also the only girl. She has raised two sons. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming.

Nora is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.”

Audio Review: Two Weeks’ Notice by Rachel Caine

Audio Review: Two Weeks’ Notice by Rachel Caine

Posted July 17, 2013 by Jennifer in Book Review | 3 Comments

    First Thought: Oh Snap! Bryn 2.0 is going to be very interesting. Issue(s) I Had: I don’t understand why the revived people are being called Returne addicts. Addicts are people who can (if they choose to) stop doing something like drinking or drugs. But the revived NEED the Returne drug or they die. It’s like calling me an oxygen addict. I don’t get it. The Story: Bryn is now working for the government in order to get her doses of Returne to stay “fresh”. But little does the government know, she has her own private supplier. The crazy ex-FBI mad scientist, Manny is trying to tweak Returne so that Bryn and the revived do not have to get their supply from the government. […]

Audio Review: Working Stiff by Rachel Caine

Audio Review: Working Stiff by Rachel Caine

Posted June 25, 2013 by Jennifer in Book Review | 0 Comments

First Thought Not your “classic” zombies but still an interesting concept. Why I Listen I’ve had Working Stiff on my TBR since it’s release day and after listening to a sample of the audio, the narration sounded like one I would enjoy. And I was right. The story and narration both kept me entertain. Julia Whelan get a great job with the voices and timing of the narration. I’ve already purchased the next book on audio. The Story Bryn Davis has the worst first day on a job ever…. She dies and then comes back as a “zombie”. After serving in the military and dealing with dead bodies, Bryn thought she would be a good match in the position as the new funeral director at […]