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Review of "The Liar" by Nora Roberts

The LiarI've been a fan of Nora Roberts books for over ten years and I have to say I have never been more disappointed in one of her books than I was with The Liar.  It wasn't that it was a terrible book, but it just wasn't up to par with her others.  Books like, Three Fates, which I still read once a year, or the Three Sisters' Island Trilogy are some of my favorites.  Something tells me that I won't be re-reading this one any time soon.

Here's the synopsis:
Shelby Foxworth lost her husband. Then she lost her illusions …

The man who took her from Tennessee to an exclusive Philadelphia suburb left her in crippling debt. He was an adulterer and a liar, and when Shelby tracks down his safe-deposit box, she finds multiple IDs. The man she loved wasn’t just dead. He never really existed.

Shelby takes her three-year-old daughter and heads south to seek comfort in her hometown, where she meets someone new: Griff Lott, a successful contractor. But her husband had secrets she has yet to discover. Even in this small town, surrounded by loved ones, danger is closer than she knows—and threatens Griff, as well. And an attempted murder is only the beginning …

To be fair, this isn't a bad plot--I don't think Nora could think up a bad plot if she was forced to at gunpoint.  No, my problem with The Liar is Shelby.   A bigger Mary Sue there never was.  She's had almost no education or job experience, but everything she touches turns to gold.  Want to sing in a small town bar?  Sure--here's a karaoke machine; go put a playlist together.  Want to get into interior design?  Just redecorate a few houses for friends and family.  Sure, most of Rendezvous Ridge is in some way either related to or friends of Shelby's family, but I just don't think an interior design business is going to be much use in such a tiny town.  I kept feeling as if she was going to rely on Griff and Matt to get her work, no matter what she wanted to think.

My biggest problem with Shelby is that she's a total fucking idiot.  I'm not going to blame her for anything that happened before her husband disappeared, but afterwards her actions are nothing more than that of the hick he always accused her of being.  For example, she finds a safe deposit box full of money and fake passports, all with her husband's picture on them.  A normal person with half a brain would have gone straight to the cops, but not Shelby.  No, she takes it all home with her and uses the money to pay her bills.  This is all after a sleazy PI showed up, accusing her of being on the grift with dear old, supposedly dead husband.  I get that she had a toddler, but seriously everything that happened in the rest of the book could have been prevented by that one decision, but that would have been too simple.

So, Shelby runs home to Mama and Daddy, determined to get back on her feet again and starts looking for a few jobs.  Of course, she ends up with two after having spent half a day looking for one.  I know a lot of people would kill for luck like that.  Sure, she had a problem with Melody, an old classmate who hates her for no reason and serves no purpose other than being an obstacle for Shelby to jump over in order to get to her HEA.

I also found this book to be a bit predictable.  If there is anyone out there who didn't figure out how this was all going to end, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn and a swamp in Florida to sell them.  Somehow, I doubt I'll be rich.

When I first started reading this last week, I posted about hoping it would be worth the hefty price tag, and unfortunately, it wasn't.

2.5 Stars

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