Sometimes, I need something quick that I can read on my tablet, something easy that I can pick up and put down (or fall asleep to), something that doesn’t make me think. But I have anxiety over buying a book I can’t flip through, so most of the time I resort to what’s on my library’s website. Which, honestly, isn’t a whole lot. But I know that Nora Roberts is always good for a good time, so I found myself downloading Black Hills the other night.
Lil is a young girl living in the hills of South Dakota when she meets Coop, a young city boy visiting his grandparents while his parents try to patch up their marriage. She and Coop become fast friends, and the summer she is seventeen, they turn lovers. Fast forward ten years, and Lil and Coop’s romance is over, torn apart by youth, Coop’s move to New York to become a cop, and Lil’s education and travel. But now they’re both back in the same small town, Lil to resume running her wildlife refuge, and Coop to help out at his grandparents’ farm.
But not everyone’s happy to have Lil back, and strange things are happening at the refuge – and other places, too – that have everyone on edge. Broken cameras, open animal gates, and some dead hikers are making everyone nervous. Before long, Lil realizes that she’s the target of a serial killer, one who fancies himself a descendant of Crazy Horse, sent to protect the land and animals that he feels Lil is abusing.
This is classic Nora Roberts, so much so that I could swear I read this once before, but I don’t remember it enough for that to be true, although the cover looks awfully familiar. There’s a sweet B story with Lil’s best friend and a farm hand, and the lines between the good guy and the bad guy are clearly drawn. One thing I’ve always liked about Roberts is that she writes relatively strong female characters (Eve Dallas, anyone?), and Lil is just as strong as all the others in Roberts’ stable.
Black Hills isn’t going to blow you away or become classic literature, and I certainly was able to see the ending coming a mile away, but sometimes that predictability is why I like Nora Roberts so much.