The Liar - Nora Roberts
This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

Anytime Roberts publishes a new Putnam romantic suspense, I quickly snatch it up. I always tell people to give her mysteries a try, because while her trilogies aren't my favorite, I love her yearly standalone novels, and The Liar was no exception. It was exciting, mysterious, and had some seriously adorable "awwhhh" moments.

characters to warm the heart

I've always had a fondness for heroines who can keep it together through the shittiest of shit storms. There is something so admirable and appealing about women who stay strong no matter what. I think it stems from my admiration for my mother who has been through a lot but remains a warm and loving mother through every trial and frustration.

After the death of Shelby's husband, Richard, she quickly realizes the man who whisked her away from small-town Tennessee and gave her a beautiful daughter was a lie. He not only left her crippling debt, but his shady past is quickly intruding on her present in a scary and all too real way. If I were her, stuck with millions of dollars in debt with no money to pay it back and dangerous criminals dogging my steps, I would probably have left the country and quickly found a bed to hide under for the rest of my life! Thankfully, Shelby makes a much more interesting character. She packs up Callie and goes back home, determined to fix her mistakes and give Callie a warm and loving childhood. . .

. . . where she meets Griff, a handsome contractor who came to town with Matt, her old childhood friend's long-time boyfriend. There were some instant sparks between the two, but Shelby has had enough heartache for a life time and is slow to acknowledge her feelings. While I loved Griff and Shelby's awkwardly-cute-slash-sizzling dynamic, my heart squeezed more as Shelby spends time repairing relationships with family and friends she lost in Boston under Richard's control.

slow enough to follow but fast enough to entertain

I have always been a fan of the writing style Roberts' adapts for her lengthier novels. If you've spent a good amount of time between the pages of her novels, you'll realize her standalone books always seem to have more time spent on world building instead of just character development, which may be one of the reasons I enjoy books like The Liar over her the trilogies she's known for.

The Liar is a novel that starts off slow and gave me the perfect amount of time to get to know Shelby's past with Richard, but not so much time I'm yawning for some action. There was plenty of action. I felt like I picked up on the nuances of Shelby's personality as not only a person struggling to pick up the pieces of her life, but as a caring mother determined to make sure her newly discovered sordid past doesn't affect her daughter's life negatively.

While The Liar wasn't a book that continued to surprise and amaze, I had fun sorting out the mystery on my part and comparing what I could figure out as the characters did so for themselves. I will admit there were a few surprised I couldn't have guessed on my own, but it was like an interactive romance novel and I enjoyed every minute of it! I recommend The Liar to readers who love mystery and intrigue wrapped with romance and a guaranteed happily ever after.