I think it’s time for Roberts to just write a straight up mystery and forget about the romance side of things. You can feel her itching to do it. This is supposedly romantic suspense, but it’s so light on that it feels like a misnomer to categorize it as such. It doesn’t help that we follow a character (Harry Booth) that is so morally grey you have to wonder why Roberts has him as our “hero.”
“Nightwork” follows Harry Booth who at age 9 starts stealing to support his mother who is undergoing chemotherapy treatments. When his mother eventually dies, Harry still keeps stealing and breaking into homes hence the title of this book. Harry eventually meets a woman called Miranda and starts to think about a different future, but is threatened by someone who wants to use his skills.
FYI, I almost DNFed this thing four times. It was painful to get through. The flow was so bad. I did start to skim towards the halfway point because I found myself not caring a whit about what was going on.
The characters are not developed at all. We also have insta-love which I don’t recall Roberts doing for ages in her stand-alones.
Also as others have pointed out this book skips forward in time a lot and changes locations. It honestly reminds me somewhat or some of her older books like “Risky Business”. I know she’s done the time jump thing before, but think that only “Under Currents” has done it to great effect in her latest books. I think that’s because we stayed with the hero for a time period before moving to the present day. And we didn’t stay long in the “past” either before shifting things forward in the story. Eventually the book does stop flip flopping around which helped with my reading.
Harry is also just kind of blah. I also wasn’t in the mood to root for a thief. I feel like a little bit this was a little of her trying to do another “Roarke” type character for her readers. We all know that Roarke started off stealing as a kid and of course got involved with criminal gangs in Ireland and then New York. Most of the dialogue and circumstances about him I think were supposed to read as thief with heart of gold, but I just kept rolling my eyes. Also Harry does have “relations” with other women in this book so when you get to the whole “heroine” in this one you wonder why it even matters. I will add that I think that most of the books where Nora just follows a “hero” it does not work as well for me, see my review of “Shelter in Place.”
Miranda was just not developed at all.
The bad guy in this story read like a cartoon villain which was a shame. I think Roberts does bad guys so well in most of her romantic suspense books. But this just felt very unfinished.
I do think that at this point the standlones either work or they don’t. But the magick books have not worked for me for some time so I just steer clear of them. I do still read the “In Death” books, but stopped auto buying them eons ago because there are some issues with them as well. Ah well. Onto the next book.