NORA ROBERTS LAND – Ava Miles
Dare Valley Series , Book 1
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
New York City and Dare Valley, Colorado – Present Day
In NORA ROBERTS LAND (book one of the Dare Valley series), New York-based journalist Meredith Hale is reeling after a painful divorce from her powerful husband, Richard Sommerville. Amidst the evidence that the couple's marriage fell apart due to Richard's infidelity, he maintains that the romance dissolved due to Meredith's unrealistic expectations about love and marriage; expectations that were supposedly built and reinforced by love stories and heroes created by the prolific romance author Nora Roberts. Meredith, beneath her Ivy League education and reporter expertise, is a devoted Nora Roberts fan and truly believes that fairy tale endings do exist. She even has coined the phrase “Nora Roberts Land” to explain the happily-ever-after place that the famous romance novels take her imagination.
At the root of her anger towards Richard, Meredith is most devastated by his proclamation that Nora Roberts Land does not exist. Struggling to move on with her life post-divorce, Meredith is faced with her father's illness and decides to return to her childhood home in Colorado to help her family and begin her hunt for her own Nora Roberts man. Always a journalist, she pitches her Nora Roberts idea to her editor as the topic of a news article, and heads west, eager for the change of scenery and the potential to find love.
Unknown to Meredith, Richard has learned of his ex-wife's story idea and comes up with an elaborate scheme to prevent Meredith from finding—and writing about—her Nora Roberts love. Richard doesn't want Meredith to find her ideal man and write her expose because he fears her article could contain facts about their divorce, which could damage his political aspirations. He enlists Tanner McBride, a former war correspondent who is eager to secure a job from Richard and establish a new life outside of the war zone, to travel to small-town Colorado, capture Meredith's heart, break her heart, and prevent the writing of the article. Tanner is forced to accept this job from Richard when he learns Richard has the ability to blackmail him.
Meredith immerses herself in her new life in Dare Valley and jumps into the dating scene, eager to find Mr. Right. Upon meeting Tanner sparks fly, but Meredith initially resists his advances. Eventually, when tragedy and crime strike in the community, Tanner and Meredith join forces to investigate and they succumb to their undeniable romantic chemistry. Faced with growing danger as they seek to solve the tragedy, the duo falls deeper and deeper in love, and both internally struggle with when to reveal their true intentions; Meredith wanted to share she was writing an article about Nora Roberts-style love, and Tanner yearned to confess he had been hired by her ex-husband to roadblock her quest to find and write about love.
For fans of Nora Roberts, this is an enjoyable book as it follows a familiar (and always satisfying) plotline established by the bestselling author, and leaves readers eager to find out if Meredith will find her Nora Roberts man, and if Meredith and Tanner's romance can survive considerable adversity. The chemistry between Meredith and Tanner, and a dangerous, exciting plotline woven throughout this love story, makes this a fast read. We'll see what author Ava Miles has in store for the second book of this trilogy!