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on April 15, 2014
I was apprehensive about this book, I wasn't a fan of her last In Death book or her new Irish trilogy but this was really good! I won't go into plot, this isn't a spoiler review. Suffice to say the are twists I didn't see coming, nothing major but enough to keep it interesting. The main characters are engaging and, my favorite part, strong. I hate weak characters, male or female. The secondary characters are also good, likeable without being cloying. It isn't overly descriptive or sparse on the art and antiques or the romance and heat.
I was starting to lose Roberts as a favorite author but this puts her back on my list.
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on April 15, 2014
Like the priceless Fabergé eggs the titular character covets, The Collector is not only gorgeous, but exquisitely crafted. The Master of Romance, Nora Roberts, has woven an engrossing tale of love, family, and the lengths some will go to possess that which they desire the most.

At the heart of The Collector are Lila and Ash. Ashton’s a famous artist from a wealthy – and incredibly large – family, but he’s no spoiled rich boy. Ash puts his heart and vision into his paintings and saves his patience for his (over a dozen) siblings. I loved the juxtaposition of soulful painter and managing brother in Ash. What was even more fun was seeing him thrown a bit off his stride by Lila. She’s a YA author with a promising career and a penchant for people-watching who finds her in a Rear Window type of situation, one which ultimately leads Ash to her. Lila is also the “do it yourself” type to the extreme. She has a way of drawing people to her, but she’ll never let herself count on anyone for anything (with the exception of her best friend, Julie) and she doesn’t have any desire to risk her heart. Ash garners her sympathy from the start because of his heartache over losing his brother, Oliver, but his take-charge attitude rubs her the wrong way even as she finds herself reluctantly attracted to him. Though it’s a tragedy that brings them together, Lila and Ash find what they never knew they needed in one another. Their romance is both lovely and fun – the banter, ups and downs, and slide into love is all classic Nora Roberts (and I mean that in the very best way).

A secondary romance between Ash and Lila’s best friends brings further charm and unexpected moments of delight to The Collector, but what really makes this a well-rounded story is the mystery of who had Oliver Archer killed and the historically significant art Ash’s quest for answers uncovers. The detail Ms. Roberts layers into The Collector brings the lost Imperial eggs to life and I found myself invested in learning the eggs’ history alongside our protagonists. And while there isn’t any heart-pounding suspense in the book, there is definitely building tension when it comes to the assassin who is hunting Lila and Ash. I won’t spoil the story by going into too much detail, but I will say that each stop on the path Ash and Lila follow makes the reader more invested in the journey and the action-packed climax of the book is well worth the buildup.

Though it may sound odd to describe a book containing murder, fanatic collectors, and ruthless assassins as a comfort read, that’s just what The Collector is to me. Reading a Nora Roberts novel is like coming home – her distinctive style and hero and heroines you’d love to have as friends make even her darker books welcoming. Fans of Ms. Roberts old and new are sure to be entertained by The Collector. I, for one, am looking forward to enjoying Lila and Ash’s story for many years to come.

Review courtesy of Wit and Sin
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon April 15, 2014
Many Nora Roberts fans worry that she writes her many books following repetitive formulas that have been overused - the romantic formula in her Harlequin type books, romantic suspense in more recent books like THE WITNESS and detective thrillers when she writes the In Death series as J D Robb. In THE COLLECTOR Roberts has mixed up the formulas to make an entertaining, somewhat different, romantic suspense thriller which even throws in a sociopathic killer and some torture to spice up the mixture.

Lila Emerson loves her nomadic life as a house-sitter for wealthy clients. She stays in some fantastic homes throughout the world looking after the home, the pets and anything else to make her clients' happy. She spends her spare time writing successful YA Werewolf style novels. In between house sits she stays with her twice divorced best friend Julie. Many of the houses have great views and she always takes binoculars in her pared down luggage.

Her latest housesitting is a luxury apartment in central NYC which has great views of apartments across the way. Late one evening Lila is looking through her binoculars at a nearby apartment when she sees an attractive woman being attacked by an unidentifiable person. Within seconds the woman is pushed through the window and falls many floors to her death. Her male partner is found dead in the apartment by the police, with signs of apparent suicide.

Through the police investigation the male victim's brother, Ashton Archer, a handsome successful artist from a very wealthy family, seeks out Lila for more information. There is immediate attraction especially when he asks her to pose for him. As they get together personally they also start to work out what is happening.

What follows has something for everyone's tastes. Two romances, family stresses and an increasing body count as a cold blooded killer is involved.

As the book cover says "Either way Lila will never watch from the sidelines again...." This book has a bit of everything for Nora Roberts' fans which may, or may not, subdue the comments about overuse of the Robert's formula. Whatever some people think I am sure that this book will be another bestseller for Nora Roberts.

My thanks to The Reading Room and the publisher for providing an Advance Reading Copy of this book. My wife read it first and really enjoyed it, but as usual I finished up reading it myself.
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on April 24, 2014
I like Nora Roberts’ books. I am a fan. The woman is prolific - in many languages. It would be impossible to pick just one favorite; I’d need a list of at least ten. That being said…

If you are planning to write another book about a murder witness – it can even be said it was a mob-like murder – then you need to exceed what you have written before. One can’t read this book without the mind blinking back to The Witness. The Collector does not have the depth of character development or plot development readers found in The Witness. And Nora Roberts undoubtedly knew there would be comparisons, but it’s not a comparison I’m making.

First, I was pleased I didn’t run into those Nora Roberts’ phrases that seem to carry forward from book to book. That was nice.

Second, the love-making paragraphs were almost non-existent when compared to other works. I’m okay with this. Do something different for a change. Why not?

And okay, one true comparison to The Witness: I’m not even annoyed that there is also an artist in The Collector who paints whimsical beings – I just don’t buy that the artist is a macho, take charge guy.

However, …

The characters were not as well developed; I found them to be flat, one-dimensional. And our heroine and her friend seemed to be so chatty it became annoying – like watching a bad movie where you are thinking the scene could have been edited out. The chatty conversation didn’t add to either the characters or the story.

The relationships didn’t really develop, either. Sure, the best friend (Julie) could have been doing quite a bit of relationship development when she and her ex-husband (Luke) were not front and center to the story. But we really do not see the relationship between Lila (our heroine) and Ashton (the whimsical artist) develop. Their passion and love grew from almost nothing. People thrown together in intense situations can form quick bonds, but not to the extent they decide to marry.

The police investigators were so mild they were almost comatose.

I don’t mind knowing the assassin will free herself from her captors at the end to give our heroine one more try; how many times do we see the bad, monstrous guy die and yet we know he isn’t? We know he will jump up from the grave, the bathtub the bushes. But make it work my sticking around. The Collector doesn’t. It’s almost anti-climatic. No big finish. No satisfying finish.

I know there will be readers who disagree with me on every point, but after waiting for months for this book to come out, I’m disappointed in the result. My overall opinion is: if you are a fan and have to read this, by all means read it. But have one of your favorites handy to satisfy your mind when you have finished. The Collector will definitely not make my list of all time best Nora Roberts’ books.
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on May 14, 2014
I cannot believe that the same Nora Roberts that wrote the Witness wrote this awful book. I'm about half way through and I have been laughing at the stupid dialog between the boring, unbelievable main characters. At this point I truly don't care "who done it" and perhaps I will finish it if my skimming skills stay strong and I'm really bored. Very disappointed and surprised at all the 5 star reviews.
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on May 2, 2014
This is by far the worst book by Nora Roberts (and I can write that because I'm certain I've read all). I skipped pages in chunks just to get to the end and the only reason I got to the end is because I paid for the book. The only glimmer (and I mean glimmer) of hope was Luke and Julie's story. Alas, even that was not enough to redeem this book, nor was the repetitious history of the Farberge eggs. Even Book 2 of the Dark Witch Trilogy was a gazillion times better than this (and this says a lot). WHAT IS GOING ON NORA?
This book will cure even the worst insomniac of their sleep disorder. Yes, it was that bad! I was tempted to write a raving review just so someone else can experience the same headache I did getting through this book. Fortunately, I'm much too kind for that. Do yourself a favor and skip this book, or if you've made the mistake of buying it already, just read the last 15 or so pages.
Nora, please,please, please, get your acts together. By my current count, you owe me at least 3 good, delicious, "real" Nora Roberts books for the travesty of some of your last books. I still believe in you.
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on April 24, 2014
Not one of her best. It was actually very hard to finish reading mid way. The main character called herself a "bitchy moron" and I couldn't agree more! I actually wanted to read more about her best friend Julie than Lila. I finished the book on principle. I didn't give it one star because I've enjoyed so many of her other books and I felt bad. But I really was disappointed!
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on April 21, 2014
I've been an avid fan of Nora Roberts for years. I've read all her books, but lately it seems every new story is just a retread of an older, much better one and this is no different. This was very similar to her previous book Hidden Riches. I enjoyed the Rear Window set-up, but found the rest of the story kind of boring and the ending was completely predictable. It did however, make me look up the history of Faberge eggs - which in itself was very interesting. For that I'd give it 3.5 stars. I haven't given up on her yet, but I'm getting close...
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on May 10, 2014
Both my hubby & I read pretty much all NR books particularly these one time a year thrillers and then the JD Robb In Death Series. This was awful. It should be a complete embarrassment to the author. This is not only ridiculously predictable but downright stupid. You have a trained killer after you & your girlfriend but leave her alone to buy calzones? It's pages sound like they were taken from a merger of desperate housewives and the Scream horror movie series. I bought our copy at Costco and will never buy another of her books. She should be embarrassed. I felt like my IQ dropped 20 points after completing this book. For the record I've never ever written a bad review on anything before.
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on April 20, 2014
Great Characters and a story that kept a great pace. I couldn't put it down. One of Nora Robert's better stand alones
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