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Carolina Moon I read this for the Murder Most Foul suare for Halloween Bingo So many Tory whisperedAll were sexual homicides Raped and strangled There was no semen There was some physical violence particularly in the facial area That escalates with each victimBecause their faces aren't right Their faces aren't hers Hope's The main and underlining impetus for this story was the rape and murder of an eight year old girl who was the bestfriend of our heroine Tory; pretty dark stuff I couldn't help always having that in the back of my mind even though the author kind of leaves the head on dealing with it until toward the back end of the second half You couldn't erase the past or kill it or wish it out of existence Nor could you will away the present or change what was coming We were all trapped in that cycle of time just circling around the core of yesterdays Sometimes those yesterdays were strong enough willful enough to suck you back no matter how hard you struggled This story is of an ensemble piece with a secondary romance that I kind of wish got its own book and two handfuls of family and townspeople edging into the spotlight This along with the slow almost murky like way of the atmosphere of the story kept the main couple's romance from being felt Our hero Cade was the brother of Tory's bestfriend that was murdered and he never truly felt fully fleshed out for me He comes on a bit stronger at the end but he kind of instantly goes for Tory I love me some build up and it ends up of a willful strong arm relationship Cade at times just telling Tory how it is going to be with Tory initially balking but eventually going along with him I like a man who knows and shows what he wants but he immediately starts off this way and without the foundation for knowing Tory it felt pushy and not too terribly romantic He frightens me and embarrasses me By trying to keep it contained as always I thought I'd limit the fear and humiliation It's hateful to be a victim Cade Makes you feel exposed and angry and somehow guilty at the same time With the underlining murder mystery and the two romances the bulk of this is family dynamics and oof are there some doozies Tory's father was physically abusive and with her psychic abilities Tory can sense emotions from people so strongly she can see their thoughts she can sense some other dark aspects of his personality Cade's family has the emotional pain of losing a daughter and sibling swirling around and tearing them apart The two handfuls of secondary characters are indirectly and at times directly affected by these issues which leads to some great real moments between characters However it also lead to some dragging issues in the middle I'm a Yankee so sometimes when I read these books set in the south I don't uite jive with the beat or tones There was a languidness thick humid slowly fanning yourself on the porch while you sip iced tea that I thought slowed the pace the down Tory's life after her bestfriend was killed isn't really explained until towards the end but it felt implied she moved back to her hometown to find out truly what happened for such a big issue it felt pushed too much too the side There was also some trope role characters that the author did a good job breathing layers and complexity to Cade's sister but others that for a book published in 2000 were disappointingly locked in Cade's family housekeepernanny I know mysteries like to well keep the mystery going but when they stay to the side for so long I think they end up feeling unknown or ineffectual There are clues to who the murderer is but I wanted insight into them instead of one ending scene where thoughts and motivations are relayed concisely but uickly I liked this some great emotional complexities were weaved in out but it was a little slow moving for me The rape and murder of an eight year old girl is never easy to read about so be prepared for that along with physical violence If you're looking for an unhurried heavy on the family dynamics mystery with some romance and love iced tea this would be a well written option I dithered about the rating and thought about giving this book four stars However the romance between Tory and Cade didn't sit right with me at least the initial stages of it I can't take it in romance novels when the dude bullies the heroine into being with him probably cause of the insta lust on his side of things The mystery aspect of the book was interesting though how Roberts tried to work in Tory's ability to see things didn't really work for the most part of the book for me Probably because I have read of too many cases about faux psychics for me to be really fall into the story the way that I should have I do wish that Tory's character had been a bit better developed I don't know how or why she got interested in selling high end jewelry and other items Also Roberts skips over her New York years and she info dumps on Cade about what happened to her there I do think her burgeoning and then friendship with Faith was a highlight thoughCarolina Moon follows Tory Bodeen Tory ran away from her abusive father and emotionally absent mother as soon as she was able to After something mysterious happens to her in New York that has her running from there Tory returns to her hometown of Progress South Carolina after a few years of building up her savings and working Returning to Progress is an issue for Tory though When she was 8 years old her best friend Hope Lavelle was found raped and murdered Many people in town believe that Tory left Hope to her fate in order to get away from the man that ultimately killed her Very few know that Tory has an ability to see visions of people and knew when Hope was being killed Now that Tory is back in Progress the murderer is intent on making sure that Tory will not be able to name them On top of that Tory starts a relationship with Hope's older brother CadeAs I said above Tory as a character doesn't have a lot of there there until the middle and end of the book We hear about how her father abused her How her mother stood by and did nothing We also know that she has a caring grandmother aunt uncle and cousin Besides Tory interacting with her grandmother and uncle though it seems as if she is pretty adrift When you read about what happened to her as a young girl and then when she went to New York though I sympathized I just wish that she had of a backbone when dealing with Cade Speaking of Cade I felt uneasy with the romance in this one Maybe because the character bullies Tory into going out with him and then gets angry if she doesn't tell her what she is thinking and feeling all the time Him going around calling her his woman made me roll my eyes too I saw shades of Roarke in this character so maybe that's why he read as familiar to me while I was reading And just like Tory his character doesn't become interesting until about the halfway point You find out just how cold his family specifically his mother was was and is and how he had to go about proving himself constantly His showdown with his mother was really good and I am surprised Roberts didn't try to have them fall into each other's arms and love each other It was realistic with how she wrote it The romance scenes between him and Tory read similar to Eve and Roarke a few times Faith and Wade are the second couple in this book and a few times I thought it would have worked better if they were our main couple Faith doesn't put up with a lot from people but she loves her brother It was interesting to see how her life was affected by her twin sister's death and knowing her mother wished it had been her that died Cade and Faith had some hot romance scenes but not too many which would have gotten boring There are secondary characters in this one we have the local sheriff the town mayor Tory's uncle and aunt her grandmother Cade's mother etc Roberts does a good job drawing them out little by little I just wish that we had gotten a better ending with this one An epilogue would have worked nicely The writing was typical Roberts This was written back in 2000 though and at times the book appears dated Roberts talks about two characters with one being a Republican and Democrat and it's uaint to see them as having fiery debates but who are really good friends Oh the days before Obama came along and divided the country said sarcastically I just got into that the other day with someone who says Obama was a worse divider than Trump since we didn't have these problems in this country until he was elected I did laugh at another line about something being as likely as being a liberal Republican I also think that showing that the family housekeeper Lilah was essentially the real mother of Faith and Cade didn't sit well with me Way too mammyish for me She also has a little dialogue with Faith at one point about the murder girl allowing the man that rapes and murders her and it definitely sounded a bit victim blaming to me“Letting a man into your house doesn’t mean you want him to rape you”“Didn’t say so” Lilah colored her lips rubbed them together“Just saying a woman’s got to be careful You open a door for a man you better be ready to boot his ass right back out again”Or how about men don't come to a woman's house and rape them The flow was uneven at first but improves towards the end Once the murderer starts killing and raping again the book turns fully into a suspense book thoughAs I already said the ending wasn't what I think we should have ended with It was uite abrupt and I felt like I was missing a few pages 375 StarsI enjoyed it even though it sort of dragged a bit halfway through I kinda find that with long books though my attention wavers a bit I had an inkling of the bad 'un about halfway through It was fairly obvious to meThere was a Lifetime Movie made and the following are some pictures from it Not really how I imagined the characters I would have liked an Epilogue You know meWe are in the South You gotta have some sweet Iced Tea Tory Bodeen is a little girl who has visions She is psychic and for her it not always a gift She lives in Progress South Caroline with a abusive God fearing father and a mother who cares for her husband than her daughter Her family lives on the land of the well off Lavelle family She made friends with Hope Lavelle even though do to status and class they shouldn't be friends Unfortunately Hope is murdered and Tory sees it thru a vision but can't see who did it Tory tells Hope's family and lead them to the body and it changes her life and their life too Tory's family moves away after the murder and when she is old enough she escapes from her abusive father but is still burdened by her gift and the death of her old friend She decides to move back to face things she has been trying to run from and make a new life for herself Hope had two siblings Cade and her twin sister Faith They were emotionally abandoned by their parents after their sister's murder and went on how every they could with support from their cook Lilah Their father died years later and their mother has turned even cold disapproving and aloof from her surviving children Cade became the heir to the family businesses as well as their family farm Even though he father taught him a lot when it went to college and came back and with his own ideas of how to do things against not only his mother but other people who farm in their town He is someone who has had to find his self and his own way in spite of people and he has his own guilty feelings about Hope When Tory comes back to set up a new shop in town She ends up deciding to rent the home she used to live in with her parents to face some of those old ghosts as well Cade comes to see her and finds himself very attracted to her Tory is very standoffish with him even as she finds him attractive too Things get stirred up when she discovers that Hope wasn't the only victim of this killer and that she is in the sights to be killed to keep her silent I really enjoyed this book It was good though Tory had moments that got on my nerves I did like them though They both have had some hard times and they also have not really had much real love in their life but found a lot of what was missing in their life with each other The twin sister Faith got on my nerve a lot because she wanted to blame everyone for her issues and why she was how she was and I hated how she did Wayne even though he let her which made me lose some respect there too It was a very interesting story though even though it had a paranormal aspect to it it worked for me I did have a feeling about who did it but it was interesting how everything unfolded This book also remind me of Carnal Innocence in many aspects too which I think had a impact on my reading experience too But a solid story 121112 I would just like to make a small note for authors writing about the south On Sweet Iced Tea This is the natural state of tea below Virginia Nobody says Would you care for an iced tea Because it's just tea it's understood to be sweet and iced Nobody says Hey let's go out for an iced tea Because you have it right there in your house and if you don't it's because you've run out and you will have in 10 minutes When you go to a restaurant no one orders iced tea they order TEA and it comes to the table sweet and with ice I understand this is confusing because the rest of the world has a different idea of tea The first time I traveled outside of the south I was at a restaurant and I ordered tea and they brought me a coffee cup full of hot water and a tea bag and some sweet n low and I was allBut please understand here if you want that kind of tea you're going to have to say Yes I'd like a coffee cup full of hot water and a tea bag with some sugar on the side BECAUSE THE NATURAL STATE OF TEA IS SWEET AND ICED you don't have to specify 121212This book was I guess supposed to be a murder mystery and a romance It failed at both The best part of this book for me was that it was set in the Pee Dee area of SC and mentioned many towns I'm familiar with even Dillon There my thrills ended The romance or lackthereof was mmm unromantic I've had sparks fly with inanimate objects than these two characters had with each other The murder mystery yeah about that There are rules when writing a murder mystery You have to give clues and then follow through with them You can't just give no clues or give misleading clues and then BAM on the last 3 pages reveal a murderer who was under absolutely no suspicion and no clues are given that he's a skeezehead I mean really that's not giving your reader even the slightest chance to figure the crap out it's cheating Also a psychic really This is one of those I've come to think of as Roberts' super romances they're longer have a strong family presence or community or both and with at least two romances simmering to resolution This one features the small town of Progress North Carolina as its setting and is dominated by two families one local royalty the other mixed Tori's mother is white trash but that's due to her own bad choices Her uncle is the town banker and a minor big manGenerally speaking if you connect with at least one of the couples these books go off well enough That said it's hard to connect strongly as there tend to be multiple story threads lots of viewpoint shifts and the unifying suspense they tend to be suspense based may or may not carry enough weight to maintain momentum in the resulting chaos This book was one of the rare super romance stories that drew me in completelyTori was the cornerstone for holding my interest She has the interesting psychic ability and has a fragility that draws sympathy and a strength that maintains the emotional connection when things go badly Her through line is the most obvious and it's well supported Cade helps this by being not only what she needs but by also needing Tori as much in his own way as she needs him Wade and Faith were background but their arc was as strong though in their own uniue idiomSo the characters were strong as individuals But their backgrounds raised this book to the next level by drawing in the long lasting effect of parents family and the need for love that children have Not in the sappy way that you might first imagine though This story is mostly about the crappy things parents do to their children out of their own emotional weaknesses Whether physical abuse or emotional starvation our main characters all well not so much Wade have deep seated issues to overcome to be healthy enough that we can believe their HEA will actually work The beauty of it is that they do so naturally without didactic preaching or authorial intervention In other words it works out in a way that is not only believable but actually central to both the story's plot and the development of the characters into the relationships that they eventually build It was artfully done and I loved watching it unfoldThe suspense plot of the story is the weakest aspect of the book but even that folded into the exploration of abuse in families in interesting ways There weren't a lot of reveals or a building of suspense as such though Indeed a lot of the mystery happened in the past and was revealeddiscovered by exposition than by actual plot movement I didn't mind this though as I am seldom engaged by the suspenseI do have to admit that I was a bit surprised by two kind of random jabs at Republicans in the book I was getting all pissy about it when Roberts made one of the most sympathetic men in the book also a Republican Not that I care much for Republicans myself really but it seemed out of character for Roberts as she's seldom overtly political Anyway it ended in a wash even if I was preparing to get all het up about itIn the end I enjoyed the book a great deal It's a solid 4 stars though I reserve the right to bump it to five if I'm still mulling it over after a week or so Could doA note about Steamy This had explicit sex scenes than Roberts' standard three plus with than one plus though it's also a good bit longer So really I think it ends up about her standard really Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul And sings the tune without the words And never stops at allEmily DickinsonTory Bodeen has been keeping away from her past for as long as she has been able Keeping away from her abusive father and neglectful mother Keeping away from the fact that her best friend was murdered when they were both eight years old But Tory is a lot stronger now And she knows the South Carolina town she grew up in is the place she must make her new start as the owner of her own shop But her business is not the only reason she has returned Echoes of the past are stirring and her best friends murderer is still on the looseThis was a wonderful book and is definitely making my list of favorite Nora Roberts books It had the typical suspenseful storyline combined with a delightful romance that I have come to know and love with her writing I loved the descriptions of South Carolina but mostly I really came to know and love the characters; not just Tory but the supporting characters as well This is one of Nora Roberts strengths in my opinion as a writer She creates these dazzling complex characters that just tug on your heartstrings and stay in your thoughts long after the book is done From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts an utterly spellbinding tale about a woman who though battered in both body and spirit can never lose HopeTory Bodeen grew up in South Carolina in a small run down house where her father ruled with an iron fist and a leather belt and where her dreams and talents had no room to flourish But she had Hope who lived in the big house just a short skip away and whose friendship allowed Tory to be something she wasn't allowed to be at home a childAfter young Hope's brutal murder unsolved to this day Tory's life began to fall apart And now as she returns to her hometown with plans to settle in and open a stylish home design shop she is determined to find a measure of peace and free herself from the haunting visions of the past As she forges a new bond with Cade Lavelle Hope's older brother and the heir to the family fortune she isn't sure whether the tragic loss they share will unite them or drive them apart But she is willing to open her heart just a little and tryLiving so close to those unhappy memories will be difficult and frightening than Tory could ever have expected however Because Hope's murderer is nearby as well I've only recently discovered Nora Roberts well I've known about her for some time but hadn't actually read any of her books until recently I absolutely loved The Witness her latest so I went back to this earlier romantic suspense I had seen over time is uite popular Well I just loved it I really really enjoyed it It wasn't uite a five star book for me but it was closeI was entranced right from page 1 through to the end I suppose I didn't give it a five star because I didn't fall in love with the H or the h I like them very much good characters but just didn't LOVE them I did enjoy all the secondary characters and it was interesting in different parts of the book to get insights into a lot of them This book made me feel it made me cry in a couple of places and it was uite difficult seeing the murders in the h's mind I'm really loving Nora Roberts I might take a break from her as I've just read four in a row but I'll be definitely going back again soon to find some books from the huge number she's written I could not fully appreciate this book since I live in the area she is allegedly writing about and the glaring errors just rubbed my nerves raw She knows nothing about the lowcountry lifestyle geography and culture although she did shamelessly pull some real place names off a roadmap Since the locale was obviously non essential to her story she should have left the fair name of Carolina off this book I might have enjoyed the story if it were Iowa Moon Anyone from the Coastal Carolinas please avoid this book it will kill you Stick with Siddons Kidd Frank and Conroy

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