From #1 New York Times-bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a novel of a woman who needs nothing, a man who sees everything, and the web of deceit, greed, and danger that brings them together—and could tear them apart . . .
When professional house-sitter Lila Emerson witnesses a murder/suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as she knows it takes a dramatic turn. Suddenly, the woman with no permanent ties finds herself almost wishing for one. . . .
Artist Ashton Archer knows his brother isn’t capable of violence—against himself or others. He recruits Lila, the only eyewitness, to help him uncover what happened. Ash longs to paint her as intensely as he hungers to touch her. But their investigation draws them into a rarified circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen, where what you possess is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession. . . .
Publisher: Putnum | Genre: Suspense | Source: Publisher | Rating: 4 Cups
Challenge Read For: Reading Through Nora Roberts
Lila Emerson is a professional house-sitter and the author of YA paranormal fiction who likes to spy on her neighbors and make up interesting lives for those she’s spying on. Her latest job in Chelsea has some pretty interesting people to watch until she witnesses a murder.
Ashton Archer knows that while his bother may have been a screw up, he wouldn’t have murdered his girlfriend or killed himself however getting the police to believe that is another story. When he enlists that help of Lila, he’s determined to prove his brother was murder although he never imagined where his search would lead him.
I liked Lila. She was a fun, interesting heroine always prepared—almost a little too prepared—for whatever was thrown at her. (Due to the unending list of items in her handbag, I am seriously wondering if she and Mary Poppins share a carpetbag.) Although because of the way she was raised—her father being in the military and constantly moving from place to place—she was leery about staying in one place or getting attached and I could understand how that affected her choices and actions. When it came to the crime solving aspect, she was very logical.
Ash is an artist and I loved the way his artistic side comes through his character. The description the author added about his paintings truly brought them to life and had me longing to see them. He is also the de facto head of his rather large and complex family so it was no surprise that he was an alpha male. His take charge and be persuasive demeanor worked well for this book and I loved the way Lila wasn’t afraid to push the limits or go against him.
Lila and Ash had amazing chemistry. Their relationship blossomed throughout the story as Lila learned to trust and allow Ash in. It wasn’t all about sex—although there was plenty of that too—but rather the developing relationship.
The secondary characters—Julie and Luke—were amazing and well fleshed out. I loved that they had a history; it made the story so much more interesting.
The suspense aspect was great. I also enjoyed the fact the item they were searching for was something completely different from the norm. It was a mixture of mystery and suspense and kept me reading from the first page until the last. The villain of the book was intriguing as well. Her character was very different from the norm. Not only was she a wacko she was a klepto and it was intriguing to see what she would take next.
While I loved this book, I felt that some things were overly described. I could have been done without so much description of the book Lila was writing. I also felt that the way Lila and Julie became friends was a little out there. And the ending felt a little rushed. The book could have easily been another 100 or so pages.
Overall, The Collector was amazing. I enjoyed the mystery and suspense as well as the blossoming relationship between Lila and Ash. Plus, it had tones of Rear Window which I loved.