Introducing the MacKade Brothers

The first book of the series Mackade Brothers is The Return of Rafe MacKade by Nora Roberts.  I was looking forward to the first book of the series because I knew that the series consisted of four books.  I knew there was a beginning and an end in the series which is always nice when reading a series.  The first book is about the second oldest brother of the Mackade Brothers.

The Plot:

“Ten years after disappearing from Antielam, Maryland, the bad boy has returned.  Cleaned up and successful now, and still dangerously good looking, Rafe MacKade sets the town on fire, and tongues wagging.

Lovely newcomer Regan Jones is intrigued, what kind of man could cause this sort of talk?  She’s just about to find out…”

Rafe MacKade left the town in a need to find himself.  He had too much anger.  Now ten years later Rafe is refined, to a point. The anger is still there but he has control on it.  That is until certain people push the wrong buttons, but that anger could also be to protect others around him.

Regan Jones is a young woman getting herself situated in her antique shop.  She had been there for three years and knew all the MacKade brothers except for Rafe who she was now meeting.  Sparks flew but Regan didn’t take the bait.

Or course Rafe knew how to connect with Regan.  He went after her with through her business.  Rafe had bought a rather large, haunted house, and it needed to be rehabbed and decorated.  Regan was the one who got the commission and much more.

The characters of the brothers are utterly fantastic.  They are genuine and real.  I could picture them living and in the situation.  They were charismatic, funny and very brotherly.  Regan’s character was a strong independent woman, she needed to make something on her own.

Another character I liked was Regan’s friend Cassie who is in an abusive marriage and finds the will to get out finally, and later on she will have her chance at love but not yet.

The plot of the book was wonderful to read.  The romance was there and I liked the added fact of the haunted house which gave a little eeriness to the book.

The Return of Rafe MacKade set up the brothers for the next three stories and I hope that they will be just as good.

Tribute by Nora Roberts

“Virginia’s Shenandoah Vally, in the shadow if the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a long way from Hollywood.  And that’s exactly how Cilla McGowan likes it.

Cilla, a former child star, has found a more satisfying life working with her hands to restore homes from floor to ceiling and has come here to her grandmother’s farmhouse, tools at her side, to rescue it from ruin.  Sadly, no one had been able to save her grandmother, the legendary Janet Hardy.  An actress with a golden voice and a tumultuous life, Janet entertained glamorous guests and engaged in decadent affairs, but died of an overdose in this very house more than thirty years ago.  To this day, Janet haunts Cilla’s dreams.  And during her waking hours, Cilla is haunted by her melodramatic, five times-married mother, who carried on in the public spotlight and never gave her a chance at a normal childhood.  By coming to the East Coast, rolling up her sleeves, and rehabbing this wreck of a house, Cilla intends to take a shot at finding some kind of normalcy for herself.

Cilla has her work cut out for her, the house, once a place a comfort and simple rural beauty, is long neglected, crumbling, the grounds choked by weeds.  Plunging into the project with gusto, she’s almost too busy and exhausted to notice her neighbor, graphic novelist Ford Sawyer, but his lanky form, green eyes, and easy, unflappable humor (not to mention his delightfully ugly dog, Spock) are hard to ignore.  Determined not to carry on the family tradition of ill-fated romances, Cilla steels herself against Ford’s quirky charm, but she can’t help indulging in a little fantasy.

But love and a peaceful life may not be in the cards for Cilla.  In the house’s cluttered attic, she has found a cache of unsigned letters, tied with a faded red ribbon, suggesting that Janet Hardy was pregnant when she died, and that the father of her child was a local married man.  Cilla can’t help but wonder what really happened all those years ago.  The mystery only deepens with a series of cruel and intimidating acts and a frightening violent assault.  And if Cilla and Ford are unable to sort out who is targeting her and why, she may, like her world-famous grandmother, be cut down in the prime in her life.”

Reading any books from Nora Roberts you can’t help but be pulled into the story, into the characters and all that surrounds them.

As I started to read Tribute I was immediately pulled into Cilla’s life and her struggle for creating her life over, to start a new and actually have her own life.  Cilla is a fantastic character.  She is strong, determined, struggles in aspects of her life, which endures her character to the reader.

Ford is as well a very well-developed character.  He holds the humor of the book with his witty and words that he says.  I love how he is a very determined man to make Cilla his own.  She resists and resists but finally she gives into happiness which is in the form of Ford.

The shocking thing about the book which was nice to read was the idea that Cilla dreamt of her grandmother.  You learned a lot about the grandmother through the dreams but was it Cilla’s imagination or really her grandmother.  Another great part of the book is who really is behind the mischief that is plaguing Cilla and the mystery of how her grandmother really met her end.  The culprit(s) will reveal themselves and new ones will come to harm Cilla.

I wasn’t sure who the real person was until the very end of the book.