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. . . .
What I liked: I love romantic suspense and this latest release by Nora Roberts kept me hooked. I did not want to stop reading. I don't think the blurb for The Collector would have caught my attention but because of the author, I ordered it anyway.
I adored Lila, the heroine. She's very down to earth and extremely funny. She has an innate ability to make anyone she meets feel at ease and tended to. "Tended to" is the key phrase here. In her job, she tends to her clients' homes and pets. What a unique idea for the lead in a story to be a professional house-sitter. How many times have you had to scramble around hunting for someone trustworthy and reliable to stay at your home/apartment and take care of it and your pets?
Ms Roberts has a wonderful way with words. Her descriptions literally paint pictures in my head and evoke feelings in my heart. The descriptions aren't overdone or too flowery. I found myself in each scene of The Collector enjoying the people and places.
The plot was different and at first seemed to unbelievable. It grew on me, especially the mystery portion. I had no idea what it was the bad guys were after. The storyline just kept building and building.
The relationships in The Collector were another thing drawing me in. Lila with Ash, Lila with Julie, Ash with his spreadsheet family, Julie with Luke, etc. You get the picture. Lila constantly cracked me up with some of her dialogue.
What I didn't like: While the interactions between Lila and Ash were sometimes funny and very hot, I didn't connect too well with Ash, especially in the beginning. He seemed a bit dictatorial an cold. He did slowly grow on me though.
Overall, I'm very glad I bought The Collector. I started with the audio version and then switched to the Kindle version. Why, you ask? The audio version gave me a good feel for the characters and I was pulling weeds from my flower garden. When it got to the point where I was fully engaged, I switched to the Kindle version because I read much faster than the narrator narrates.
The Collector is available at Amazon for: Kindle: $11.99, hardcover is $16.43. At Barnes and Noble the hardcover is $20.65 and Nook book is $11.99