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.
Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the 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 as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.
What I liked: Can I just say "everything" and leave it at that? No, well then, first of all, I love the characters in The Obsession. It's Ms Roberts yearly romantic suspense. I really do wait for each one. As I think I've mentioned before, I don't read Ms Roberts' romance, just the In Death Series written under J. D. Robb and her annual romantic suspense.
The way Ms Roberts writes and develops her characters in The Obsession is utterly fantastic. The story starts with the heroine, Naomi, as a young girl on the brink of womanhood. I was glad we didn't get her story in flashbacks. Naomi is shaped by what happens when she follows the father she loves into the forest and discovers his horrific secrets. Her life, her mother's life and her brother's life are changed forever. Whether it's bad or crippling depends on the family member you ask.
The setting for The Obsession is on the coast of Washington State and the descriptions flowed from Ms Roberts' pen. I really wanted to see a before and after of the house Naomi buys. It just sounds exquisite. I'm not good at imagining house plans but I could almost picture this one.
Naomi is usually a bit of a wanderer and not one for making many friends but that might be changing. She's drawn to this house and this town. The slow burn between Naomi and Xander Keaton surprised me somewhat. Ms Roberts develops this couple's relationship more than any other I've seen outside Eve and Roake's. It took me a bit by surprise, a good surprise. From their first meeting to the very end of the story, each and every contact between them felt real.
Did I mention how much I like the characters in The Obsession? Her Uncle Seth and his partner Harry are very much people I would love to have caring about and for me. Their devotion to Naomi's broken family and absolutely stunning. Each and every character in this book feels real and you'll love some and hate others.
After so many years hiding from her father's deeds and notoriety, Naomi is ready to settle down. But there's someone in the shadows that has other plans. The first woman that goes missing might be a fluke but when others do and their murders seem to be in the same style of her father's crimes, Naomi has to make some tough choices.
What I didn't like: Nothing really. I started reading The Obsession and was obsessed with finishing it. I did figure out the mystery but had no idea about "the why". Even knowing didn't distract me from the wonderful characters and their interactions.
The Obsession had depth that previous romantic suspense books by Ms Roberts haven't. Many prolific writers develop a blueprint/formula for their books. In this case I felt like Ms Roberts threw that out the window. The depth and evolution of the story is one of the best ones I've read by her.
While Ms Roberts doesn't normally revisit her romantic suspense books, I would love to read Mason's story. He is Naomi's brother and he based his whole life around stopping men like his father. I can only hope.....