Cover of Black Hills
I was glad to see Nora Roberts step a little out of Character on her book Black Hills. Yes it is still a Romance and yes a thriller as well but there is more meat to this book.
We start out with with the hero Cooper Sutherland as a child being shipped off to his grand parents into the end of nowhere in South Dakota, where once he settles in meets a girl his age living on the neighboring farm. They become the best of friends. This is cougar country and Lil, Coops friend is just absolutely in awe of the big cats. From a young age she sets her sites on running an animal rescue for wild animals. Coop on the other hand is not sure where his talents will lie. Each summer for several years Coop gets sent to his grandparents, and he and Lil learn tracking methods, and spend much of the summer practicing these skills. It is during one of these visits that they find the body of a young woman. The police follow the case but it goes cold. As with most child hood friends they grow up and while they still keep in touch occasionally, Coop moves around and tries on different jobs, including law enforcement but does not appear to settle. Lil finishes college and opens her wildlife refuge.
Coop comes back to help his grandfather who has been injured and it is during this time that someone starts sabotaging Lil's refuge. One of her animals is killed and she is now being stalked.It becomes a game of cat and mouse and only the strong will survive.
This book is full of twists and turns. Has her involvement in the Refuge brought her to the attention of a madman, or is it something else? Through it all her attraction to Coop begins to bud. But will they both make it through the nightmare alive.
Nora Roberts has brought us two very strong and likable characters that are very real. She has set an evil and psychotic killer in their mist. And then there are the animals. You will find yourself swept up in the allure of this book and find yourself cheering on the animals and pulling hard for the refuge to get through this assault. I would read this book again and again.