Note: this is the guest review I wrote for the blog Wandering Hues. To read the original post click here.
If you are a fan of romance novels then you probably know who Nora Roberts is. It was one of her books that turned me into a huge contemporary romance fan and she is one of those authors who actually lives up to her reputation.
In Birthright there’s a lot going on. First, our heroine gets a couple of bad news, for starters she is about to supervise a very important archaeological project in Antietam Creek when she’s told that the anthropologist that will advise the dig is her ex-husband Jacob Greystone. And then, as if things weren’t bad enough, this random woman shows up claiming that she is her birth-mother and that Callie is the baby someone stole from her years ago. So now she has to juggle all this stressful situations while supervising the site and fighting the smoldering attraction that remains between her and Jake. But wait, there’s more. Bad things start to happen because apparently the townsfolk don’t want the archaeologist there, or so it may seem.
As you can see Callie has her hands full, which is why she hires a local lawyer named Lana Campbell, to help her sort things out, but they have to battle against Doug Cullen, who happens to be Callie’s brother and who is dealing with a serious case of survivor’s guilt whilst trying to protect his mother because he can’t believe that Callie is his sister. Thankfully Lana and Doug hit it off immediately and thus begins a lovely secondary romance between those two.
This book has a lot of characters and they were all appealing in different ways. Callie was your typical tough Roberts’ heroine (I must admit that Roberts is a bit formulaic and her characters usually reflect this) and she was well-balanced by a more laid-back hero. This is an author with a great eye for chemistry and fantastic couples and this book is no exception. I enjoyed the love story a lot and I was happy to see them overcome their issues and move on as a more stable and mature couple. The secondary romance was just as good and it didn’t hurt the main couple or took away the spotlight, but it was just as sweet and fulfilling as Callie and Jake’s was albeit in a whole different way because Doug and Lana couldn’t be more different couple.
This book is quite long but is an effortless read. There are many things going on, including murder attempts, actual murders, arson, secondary love stories that are just as engaging as the main one, lots of relationship drama, and a very charming main love story.
The archaeological aspect of the plot was fairly well done, obviously in a real dig -and you don’t need to have a degree to realize this- no one has time for that many intrigues, the work isn’t as romantic as popular culture often portrays it, there’s a lot of hard and detailed work involved, and by the end of the day everyone is so tired that there’s no time for machinations, murder plots and rekindling a flame between lovers (well, unless you have a bunch of students then there’s always time for that).
This is a story about second chances. Callie and Jacob love each other very much but they rushed into things and their relationship suffered from it, now they need to overcome those issues and figure out how to make it work. Then there’s Lana’s second chance at love, she never thought that she would be able to find love again after losing her husband but fate brings her Doug. And finally we have Suzanne’s second chance at having a relationship with her long lost daughter. So as you can see the theme of second chances and missed opportunities is present throughout the story and in each one of the main characters.
In my humble opinion this is one of Roberts’ best books, it isn’t my favorite, but I think that every fan of romance would love it and if you are new to the genre or unfamiliar with this author, Birthright is a good place to start.
Review by Brie
When five-thousand-year-old human bones are found at a construction site in the small town of Woodsboro, the news draws archaeologist Callie Dunbrook out of her sabbatical and into a whirlwind of adventure, danger, and romance.
While overseeing the dig, she must try to make sense of a cloud of death and misfortune that hangs over the project-fueling rumors that the site is cursed. And she must cope with the presence of her irritating-but irresistible-ex-husband, Jake. Furthermore, when a stranger claims to know a secret about her privileged Boston childhood, she is forced to question her own past as well.
A rich, thrilling, suspenseful tale, Birthright follows an inspiring heroine, an intriguing hero, and a cast of fascinating characters whose intertwined lives remind us that there is much more going on under the surface than meets the eye.
Jove. March 30, 2004.