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Adult Flash: The Witness

my thoughts in a few sentences:I am an unabashed Nora Roberts lover (it all began with the MacGregors, and then progressed to an obsession that led me to read just about every one of her books that aren't J.D. Robb), completely and shamelessly fangirly because her romance writing is dazzling in a practical, everyday sort of way that is realistic, genuine, and smoldering in its slow though powerful intensity. I’ve really liked her recent work—The Search, Chasing Fire, The Next Always—but none of them have hit home the way The Witness irrevocably has.

hooking first lines: " Elizabeth Fitch's short-lived teenage rebellion began with L'Oreal Pure Black, a pair of scissors and a fake ID. It ended in blood."

Putnam Adult • Bought • Romantic Suspense • 4/17/12 • $15.38

The Witness by Nora Roberts

Daughter of a controlling mother, Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking at a nightclub and allowing a strange man's seductive Russian accent lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever.

Twelve years later, the woman known as Abigail Lowery lives on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she designs sophisticated security systems--and supplements her own security with a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. But Abigail's reserve only intrigues police chief Brooks Gleason. Her logical mind, her secretive nature, and her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something--and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed.

With a quirky, unforgettable heroine and a pulse-pounding plotline, Nora Roberts presents a riveting new read that cements her place as today's most reliably entertaining thriller author--and will leave people hungering for more.
The Witness by Nora Roberts is about one woman’s journey to herself while fighting demons both intangible and physical of a haunting past that has urged her to stay on the run for more than a decade. Beneath that, there’re lies and deception leading back to small town politics and mishaps, there’s cracking down a major crime organization linked to her locked down past, and there’s a romance that sneaks then flares and then flashes to blinding until we’re falling for Brooks Gleason and his friendly charm and slow, impactful persistence.

From Elizabeth Fitch to Abigail Lowery, the woman shared between the two names tugs on our heartstrings, as we ache and cry for her loss and the lack of love and affection she lived without all throughout her childhood. At sixteen, Liz makes a fateful mistake the weekend she decides to pursue rebellion against her mother’s preset plans in earnest. The night everything goes to hell, she swiftly loses a friend and her innocence, forced to view the world for all the horrors and shaming qualities it possesses. Alone, shaken, but far from broken, she seeks help and as her own personal form of penance, agrees at so young an age to serve justice to those responsible for the murders which pried her eyes wide open. Roberts sets tears streaming as the anguish of loss, the pain of watching death weave before Liz continues and blows through any sense of security, any happy plans she intended toward her uncertain future.

Fast forward a dozen years and we are introduced to Abigail, a much more prepared, smarter, and more heavily guarded woman compared to the young girl we knew before. Everyone’s buzzing about the local recluse, Abigail Lowery, who, for over a year now, has barely set foot in the town, always quick and sure with her errands and never hanging around long enough to feed town gossip with anything other than acute curiosity. She’s caught and held the attention of Brooks Gleason, well-liked and respected police chief, and his suspicions about her, as well as his own personal interest, have been churning for long enough. Flipping between flustered and irritated where the nosy, good-looking cop’s concerned, Abigail finds that she can’t remain solitary forever, not when a guy like Brooks comes sniffing and not when he’s very much interested in not just the past that’s made her so intimidating, standoffish, and reclusive, but the woman she thinks she’s buried under layers of control and aloofness.

Though the romance, for me, swallowed up center stage, the intriguing sub-plots of the Russian mafia still on the lookout for the elusive Elizabeth Fitch and the intricacies of small town mayhem that isn’t quite as small-scale, reels us hooked captives in, holds on long enough to stew anxiety, before releasing us back into calming waters and then repeating the process. With so many difficulties and stressful events, it’s hard to imagine a romance capable of blossoming under such duress and poor conditions, but Abigail and Brooks manage it, tenderizing our hearts with the warmth, the careful prying into each other’s lives, the everyday routine they begin to form, and the gradual progression into love. As they work out the kinks in their fast-forming relationship and trust is gifted, treasured, hope springs anew for the sad and lost woman being reluctantly wooed.

It’s surprising, how quickly I went through this book, the near-500 pages flying by within several hours because I was caught, too engrossed in the story to bear distractions or notice subtle interruptions. Why would I, when I’m busy with the sexy heat and warming sweetness blanketing a couple I so keenly adore, with town discrepancies, the tearing and breaking of a notorious group of criminals, and the many mysteries of Abigail Lowery? I was brutally disappointed when I was done—not because of the story itself but because it was over and already fading from me. My appreciation and affection for The Witness by Nora Roberts is as enduring as the romance she so cleverly, so patiently, so humorously and sexily builds with her distinct mark and flair. Although The Last Boyfriend won’t be anything alike, I’m full of anticipation of what’s next from one of my favorite authors!

Rating: Perfect Bed Partner
Looking for books with a similar feel, try checking out:

Got something specific in mind? Dare I believe I might NOT have covered something you wish to know? If so, let me know down in the comments section. Don't be shy!


Sarah (saz101) said...

OK, so it's slightly crazy given I LOVE romance, but I've NEVER read a Nora Roberts novel... I was never really interested before, but OH MY GOODNESS THIS SOUNDS GOOD. *huggles you* you make me so excited for it :D


Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

Don't shoot me... I have never read a Nora Roberts book. ;) This sounds great though! I'm glad you enjoyed it! Awesome review, Asher. :)

Sarah (saz101) said...


Asher_Knight said...

WHY? I just can't fathom why you would deny yourself this long? I am INCREDIBLY bias, but I read my first Nora when I was fifteen. My mom gave me a favorite of hers and it's been my thing ever since. Her stories, and, really, the characters are beautiful. Try one. I've read nearly everything she's written under Nora Roberts and I've either really liked or deeply loved her stories.

*huggles you back HARD* Romance FOR EVERYONE ;)

Asher_Knight said...

What ARE YOU ON today? You seem very hyper. XDD

Asher_Knight said...

*whips out rifle* Well, HONESTLY, I would NEVER...

Nora Roberts writes the best practical romance, and yes I am TOTALLY bias, but I can't help it. She makes me feel good about life and love and brings me smiles and hope. TRY ONE. If nothing else, she'll make you feel good. Thanks, Sam! <33

Sarah (saz101) said...

 I only seem hyper TODAY? MAHAHAHAHAHA!

Err... it might have something to do with 2 cups of coffee and bottle of energy drink all before midday, but then again, that isn't exactly unusual for me... maybe it's sleep deprivation... or trying to convince myself I'm not completely and utterly miserable about my poor, stolen car :'(

Sarah (saz101) said...

You read your first when you were 15 and you're, like, 15 and a half now? hehehehe *hides*

Sorry :D


Your word = my instruction.

Asher_Knight said...


2 CUPS OF COFFEE AND ENERGY DRINKS? What is wrong with you? Did you sleep well? You're always on Twitter really late in your time whenever I catch you. AND YOUR CAR WAS STOLEN!?

Sarah (saz101) said...

Noooo, I'm just massively caffeine addicted. I'm not always on THAT late, am I? I'm always in bed by midnight on workdays... but... err, well, weekends is a different story. I'd be nocturnal if I could. Unlike Brodie who I think actually *IS*. I swear that girl never sleeps.

*sigh* yes. Car stolen :(
I tweeted you.

Asher_Knight said...

THAT WAS ALMOST THREE YEARS AGO, thank you very much :K But, it's okay, because you're little loopy today XD *hugs*

First NR book? OH GEEZ. Talk about pressure. Well, my first one and what had me falling in love is her MacGregor series and the first book is called Playing the Odds. But you can also start with The Witness for something more recent. SO GOOD, OBVS. :DD

Rebecca (Kindle Fever) said...

Oh, I've always wanted to try one of her books. o: I know my mom has PLENTY and I keep hearing so many good things about them, so I'm definitely curious! So glad you liked it so much. :D You make me feel like I definitely have to pick one up. ;)

Sarah (saz101) said...


Sorry. Was joking... I know you're at least... not 15 :P

But I was SO shocked when you told me your age. SO thought you were older :D

Missie Bee said...

I have yet to read anything by NR, but I've heard her In Death series is amazing.

Loved the way you described the couple! As a girl who loves a steamy romance, I don't think I'd mind at all that theirs take center stage.

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Asher Knight said...

You definitely should. I am TOTALLY BIAS, because I've loved her for so long, but her books mean so much and to me. I love how she writes about love and romance. There's none other, for me.

But this one is the best one I've read in a while, and I just loved what she did with it, how she did it. If you like a good mystery and a drawn-out, thrilling process to a happily ever after, then DEF. read it!

Asher Knight said...

I HAVEN'T READ IT YET. It's just that... THERE ARE SO MANY BOOKS in that series, that I don't know if, physically AND mentally, I'm up for it. It just seems like  A LOT.

The romance is sweet and natural and meaningful even as the delicious Sexy Times take over. It's one of the best ones she's written in a while.