A review of Inheritance by Nora Roberts – coming in November 2023

A quick fun read, but what a cliff-hanger…

I’ve read and liked many of the “In Death” mysteries that Nora Roberts has written using one of her pen names, JD Robb.    But I have never read any of her romances or romantic suspense books.   So I was excited to be offered an advance review copy of Inheritance, which is the first in the new Lost Bride trilogy.   And I found the book to be thoroughly enjoyable – until, that is, it ended in a whopping cliff-hanger about the size of the Cliffs of Moher.    Of course, I do understand that longer multiple-book story arcs will necessarily have to stop with some elements unresolved, and even have some stuff specifically teed up for the next book.    But this was such an abrupt and annoying end that I kept checking to see whether somehow the story continued, even after it became clear I really WAS at the end.

Other than the far-too-cliff-hanger-y ending, however, Inheritance was a fun quick read and hard to put down.   Although the plot is a bit of a trope (unknown relative leaves younger relative a haunted mansion, on condition they come live in it), Roberts does a nice job of adding a fresh slant here-and-there.   And, after all, tropes exist because they do work!  On the character side, Sonya and Cleo are strong protagonists, and their different personalities mesh quite nicely, while also providing some moments of humor.   There are some other engaging folks too, including three generations of the Doyle family (Sonya’s uncle’s attorneys, and also, apparently, his found family), and the dogs: Mookie, Yoda and Jones.   And it doesn’t hurt at all that the youngest Doyle, Trey, is both a thoroughly nice guy, and thoroughly nice to look at…

But there’s more going on than just a modern-day romance.   Lost Bride Manor has a murky past to disentangle, and readers get to follow along as Sonya and Cleo figure it out.   If I had to give Inheritance a genre, I’d call it light-hearted Gothic.  Sure, there’s a centuries-old family curse, and a very scary evil ghost.  But there are also some fun and friendly mystical presences – including one who proves to be a particularly apt DJ on Sonya’s iPad; another who seems to enjoy (!!!) cleaning the huge mansion, thereby saving Sonya some money; and yet another who turns out to be an excellent dog-sitter, managing to teach Yoda more than one new trick.  

All-in-all, absent the cliff-hanger, Inheritance would be a solid four-star read for me: lots of fun, and definitely recommended, but not a book I’m going to go back and re-read, and then re-read again.   And, although I debated bumping it down a bit more just for the cliff-hanger, in the end, I decided that a warning would be enough.   So, consider yourself forewarned, and if you hate cliff-hangers as much as I do, you might want to wait until all three books in the series are available before starting this one!    Otherwise, read away…

Oh, and my thanks to St Martin’s Press and to NetGalley for the review copy!

Buy: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Kobo US | Kobo UK | Kobo Canada

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