When people decide that they want to curl up with a good romance novel they often turn to the author of more than 225 novels, Nora Roberts. This author has produced more quality romance fiction than most readers are going to be able to read over the course of their lifetime. And she not only has written a lot of books in this genre, but she has also helped to define it over the years.
With so many novels in her library, however, we understand that it can be difficult for the casual reader to figure out which Nora Roberts novel they should start reading. That’s why we’ve decided to do much of the legwork for our readers and point out to them what we consider to be the best Nora Roberts books. Now, let’s dig into them, shall we?
Quick Summary of the Best Nora Roberts Books
- Editor’s Choice
Black Hills (Amazon) – Review
- Also Recommended
The Search (Amazon) – Review
- Also Consider
Birthright by Nora Roberts (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Black Hills
Anyone who is looking for a book that can serve as an introduction to this author is probably going to want to start with the Black Hills. This novel was published in 2009 and is approximately 472 pages long. It begins with 11-year old Cooper Sullivan staying at his grandparent’s South Dakota range for the summer. Although he finds the ranch to be somewhat of a bore, that changed when he discovers Lil Chance—the girl who lives on the neighboring property. Every summer thereafter, their friendship begins to deepen and mature. That is until fate pulls them apart and keeps them apart for the next several years as they become adults.
As Lil becomes an adult, she decides to become a wildlife biologist and works to protect her family’s land. At the same time, Coop is wrestling with his father’s demand for going to law school and joining the family firm. 12-years after they have last held hands, however, fate would once again intervene and have reunited both of them in the Black Hills, each of them looking to protect those things that they hold most dear. While Lil has opened the Chance Wildlife Refuge, Coop has returned home to take care of his aging grandparents and the ranch. This gives them the chance to rekindle old emotions.
Unfortunately, as feelings begin to rise in them, so does the danger begin to rise in the Black Hills. Small pranks soon escalate into a destructive force that ends up killing Lil’s much-loved cougar. Recollections of the past and the ever-pressing current danger causes Coop to spring into action in an attempt to protect Lil. Reunited once again, the two must not only face their reemerging emotional and physical connection, but they also must work together to unmask a killer. A killer with instincts that is inhumane and savage, and one who has singled them out as his next prey. Will they be able to survive the killer as well as their own feelings?
Also Recommended: The Search
This book, The Search, is another book that we highly recommend reading. Although some people have labeled the main characters of the book unlikeable—which they can be, at times—we thought it was otherwise a tense romantic suspense novel that’s breezy and will keep the reader turning pages well into the night.
The main character of this book is Fiona Bristow, a woman who seems to be living the perfect life. She has a quaint home on an island off of the coast of Seattle and she is running a dog training school, as well as a volunteer job of performing canine search and rescue. Unfortunately, her current success occurred as a result of her overcoming a terrible incident from her past.
Only a few years ago, she was the sole survivor of a vicious serial killer who abducted and killed young women by strangling them—leaving them buried with a red scarf on their bodies. As the authorities closed in on him, he made one last stand and shot Fiona’s cop fiance and his K-9 partner.
But Fiona has managed to put much of that unpleasantness behind her as she began her life anew on Orcas Island. The process of her restarting her life is complicated when Simon Doyle shows up in her driveway. He’s the owner of an out-of-control puppy and he desperately needs her help. His puppy, a pet named Jaws, has begun to eat everything through in his house and he doesn’t know what else to do.
Fiona doesn’t find Jaws to be a handful, however. On the other hand, she feels that Simon might be more than she can handle. He’s a newcomer to Orcas and he’s an artist known for creating beautiful furniture. Simon never wanted a puppy, and he’s not sure that he ever wanted a girlfriend either, but something about her is drawing him in.
Unfortunately, as Fiona begins training Jaws and Simon begins to appreciate her and the puppy more, her past begins to catch up with him. This time in the form of a copycat killer that has suddenly burst out of the shadows to reclaim the woman that slipped out from under his master’s grip.
Also Consider: Birthright by Nora Roberts
When Callie Dunbrook finds out that 5,000-year-old human bones have been unearthed at a construction site in the town of Woodsboro, she knows that she has to end her sabbatical and head out to oversee the dig. Unfortunately, deaths and other misfortunes have everyone wondering whether the site is cursed or not. Worse than that, however, Callie has to deal with her irritating, but charming, ex-husband, Jake. Things are further exasperated when a stranger claims to know a secret about her Boston upbringing. And from that point, things get even worse.
This book is a taut and suspenseful tale with compelling characters and urgency to it that other Nora Roberts books are missing. This book was written in 2004 and is approximately 502-pages long. It’s a good book for a person to keep with them for when they need an easy-to-read but engaging novel. It’s also a novel that has an ending that might leave some readers feeling unsatisfied, but we’ll leave that up to readers to decide for themselves. Other readers, however, have placed this book at the top of their favorite Nora Roberts book and we can certainly see the reasons for that as well.
What we truly appreciated about this book was its archaeological backstory. It’s something that adds a bit of adventure into the mix to go along with the suspense and the romance. It also should be mentioned that the emotional connection between Jake and Callie feels real, and this gives the book an emotional charge that is often lacking from a lot of other romance books. Taking all of this together as one package, we have to say that we enjoyed this book and recommend it to everyone who is a fan of this genre.
A Guide To Nora Roberts Books
Since Nora Roberts has written over 200+ books, we can excuse people who haven’t had the opportunity of reading all of her books. Unfortunately, we know that most likely means that most readers are missing out on some of the truly hidden gems that are buried in the middle of her bibliography as most people start with her first books or her latest books and few people delve into the center of her collection. To correct that, we’ve decided to write this guide that we hope serves as a roadmap for readers who are looking to explore her works, regardless of whether they’ve already read a few of her novels, or have never read a single Nora Roberts book.
Nora Roberts Biography
Born on October 10, 1950, in Silver Spring, Maryland, Nora was the youngest of five kids. Her entire family was big on reading, so she was introduced to books and reading at a very young age. During her childhood, she spent much of her time making up stories, although it should be said that she wasn’t writing anything more than what she needed for school and homework projects.
In 1968, upon completion of high school, she married her high school sweetheart Ronald Aufdem-Brinke and the couple relocated to Boonsboro, Maryland. Her husband worked at his father’s sheet-metal business, but he eventually joined Nora’s parent’s lighting company. Over the years, Nora gave birth to two boys—Dan and Jason—and she became an accomplished homemaker. While she made the home, she often spent her time sewing children’s clothing or doing ceramics.
In 1979, Nora Roberts began to write when she was homebound with her boys during a blizzard. As she began to put her thoughts onto paper, she learned that she had a deep love for the writing process and she quickly produces six manuscripts. These original manuscripts were submitted to Harlequin, but they rejected them.
In 1981, Silhouette Books published Nora’s first novel, Irish Thoroughbred. Over the next two years, she would go on to write another 23 novels for Silhouette under several different imprints including Silhouette Desire and Silhouette Sensation.
In 1983, she would divorce her husband and two years later, she would marry her second husband, Bruce Wilder. She met him because he was a carpenter and she had hired him to build a set of bookshelves for her. Her husband now owns and operates a bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland. In 1987, Nora began writing books for Bantam, and then she began writing for Putnam. Over the years, Nora would go on to write 225+ books.
Some Nora Roberts Series & Connected Books
Now that we know a little bit more about this writer, it’s time to turn our attention to talking about some of the books of hers that our readers might want to try out. Although we can’t go through all 225 books in her bibliography, we can cover some of the more interesting book series’ that she’s done, as well as some of her connected books.
- Irish Thoroughbred
- Irish Rose
- Irish Rebel
- Dance Of Dreams
- The Last Honest Woman
- Dance to the Piper
- Skin Deep
- Without a Trace
- Night Shift
- Night Shadow
- Night Smoke
- Night Shield
The Gallaghers Of Ardmore
- Jewels of the Sun
- Tears of the Moon
- Heart of the Sea
- Playing the Odds
- Tempting Fate
- All the Possibilities
- One Man’s Art
- For Now, Forever
- The MacGregor Brides
- The Winning Hand
- The MacGregor Grooms
- The Perfect Neighbor
The Mackade Brothers
- The Return of Rafe MacKade
- The Pride of Jared MacKade
- The Heart of Devin MacKade
- The Fall of Shane MacKade
Three Sisters Island Trilogy
- Dance Upon the Air
- Heaven and Earth
- Face the Fire
The Key Trilogy
- Key of Light
- Key of Knowledge
- Key of Valor
- Morrigan’s Cross
- Dance of the Gods
- Valley of Silence
As we hope many of our readers should see by now, Nora Roberts has quite a collection of romance novels to her name, so if you’re a fan of this genre, then you might want to pick up a few of them and give them a read. Nora is known for creating books that are easy for busy people to read, so there’s no reason why everyone can’t read a book or two. All a person has to do is to find the book(s) that they want to read and give them a try. We predict they won’t be disappointed if they do.