Too much and not enough

The Witness - Nora Roberts

This book is divided into four sections; sections one and four were a great read. The second and third sections did too much damage and I had to rate a work by my favorite author a measly 2.5 stars. This hurts, as often the truth does.

 

I really liked Elizabeth/Abigail as a person and survivor. She was real 16 year old in the book despite her sheltered upbringing and she was real at 25 and living in exile, away from the Russian Mob and witness protection programs. I really liked Brooks when he was doing his job or with his friends. He was smart in ways that compliment Abigail's and filled in spaces that her upbringing prevented her from learning via experience. And he and Abigail had some really great one-liners. The suspense storyline was great.

 

The problem is two-fold: a horrible, no chemistry romance between Abigail and Brooks and a town setting, populated with obnoxious people. There was a side plotline dealing with a troubled son of a millionaire member of the town and another one with a high school football star turned drunk and his wife. Brooks family was so damn demanding and annoying and pushy. But the romance killed any sense of HEA once the book was done. It was too fast, cringe worthy awkward, and while sex is great, it came way to early in the story. I wished the author went with Brooks and Abigail's relationship be one that was of friends working together and over time fell in love. Instead, Brooks is instantly "drawn" to Abigail despite all the "Aw hell no" barriers she put up. The side story of Brooks' ex-high school girlfriend/recent booty call was a waste of space, which could have been given to the Russian mobsters.

 

So to summarize: page turning awesomeness for the first 150 pages and the last 150 pages (minus that stupidly mushy epilogue); skip all the rest.