Black Hills

Black Hills

Book - 2009
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In the rugged Black Hills of South Dakota, a childhood friendship matures into an adult passion when something ... or someone ... threatens Lil Chance and her dream to open a wildlife refuge. The heartless killing of Lil's beloved cougar and recollections of an unsolved murder catapult New York investigator Coop Sullivan into action to keep Lil safe.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2009.
ISBN: 9780399155819
0399155813
Characteristics: 472 p. ;,24 cm.

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t
tiger411
Oct 08, 2019

So I'm at my in-laws house this past weekend, and I notice piles of books in the guest room, which, to me, is like, "sweet, it's a tiny library, hope they have some good stuff." There was an assortment of Nora Roberts, Mary Higgins Clark, etc. I started reading this one because I haven't read anything by Nora Roberts in a long time. I don't think I'm a book snob. I'm not out here reading classics for fun. But books like this are formulaic. It's just the way that it is.

At the center of the book there are two people, naturally, and a conflict, of course, and a "mystery" of some kind. This is pretty basic stuff you will see in a lot of books. In this case, it's about falling in love with your bff and then breaking up and then seeing each other after years only to find that those feelings are still there. Again, fairly standard. So normally, when I read a book like this, following that formula, I'm like...."it's fine."

But there were two reasons I gave this four stars: 1. I liked the animal stuff. The refuge and the conservation and all that jazz. It was interesting. 2. I liked the description of the land, and farming, and all that stuff. I will never live on a farm, but it's nice to read about it when it's in a book like this and sounds like the greatest thing ever and everyone loves everyone and knows everyone and is completely and utterly content.

HOWEVER, MAY I SAY - what is up with Coop's inner dialogue? It just seems to stop. We get him riding on the trail with Lil because she wants to buy his horse and he's thinking about why he's going and everything, but after that, it seems to just be all Lil. I have no idea how Cooper suddenly goes from "I don't like anybody, stay away from me, I'm brooding" to "I love everything and everyone." And this book went on too long - we all get it, Lil. He sucked. But we all know that you still love him, and he loves you, and you're practically living together, and you're having sex, and constantly being like, "oh, I'm just not sure," is not fooling anybody. I got pretty tired of that pretty quickly. But I know that it is the essence of the romance novel. And I loved the Tansy side story, though her reasons for not dating certain people were not great. It's weird that in books, a male character can be older than a female character and no one cares, but a woman being a few years old than a male character is weird.

Overall, a good book, a quick read, interesting scenery, I still don't want to live on a farm.

r
RescueDog
Aug 17, 2019

likable enough book, but I don't enjoy stories about psychopaths & wouldn't have read it had I known that it was going to be one. Having lived with that fear for real, I don't need it dredged up again in fiction.

m
mudflapflossy
May 16, 2012

Good escapism, this one takes place in a South Dakota wild animal refuge. It’s your typical Nora Roberts plot; great romance with lots of suspense

a
airamx
Oct 12, 2011

An OK read but not as enjoyable as other Roberts books I have read. I liked the first part of the book and the blooming romance and the development and maturation of the characters.
The rest read like one of those romances where everyone knows they will eventually be together but has to endure their making circles around each other and thinking no we cannot do that, but we want to, but we cannot, but we so want too and blah, blah, blah. There were too many details on running a zoo and lots of repetitions in animal behavioral descriptions. Basically if she cut those out and made it a 300 page book instead of arond 500 it would be much more interesting intead of boring.

l
lysar
Sep 18, 2009

It's typical Roberts an enjoyable read though a bit too formulated.

I don't know if it's due to reading two Roberts back to back or perhaps too much murder mystery but I wanted much more suspense and really didn't want Coop and Lil to get together so quickly. During their first real interaction since Coop moves to Black Hills he tells Lil to butt out of his life. A chapter later he's asking her dozens of questions and wanting to go help her tag an animal. It just seemed so off in comparison to how he previously reacted. I was hoping that things would be tense between the two before we got to the smoochies. I'm a firm believer that tension is what makes books. In romance, the happy ever after is a general given so make us beg for it a bit.

Plus, having Lil stand her ground a bit more would've been an extra point. We kept getting her thoughts on having to have a big talk with Coop but then she'd push it aside or want the smoochies. That rankled me and made me feel that this strong independent chic was a bit weak. Didn't feel right for the ground work that Roberts had laid prior.

Learning about cougars and other large cats was pretty cool and bit a heart-breaking to think of how many people try to domestic them. I found that element really interesting and makes me want to Google it. I do like when I can read a fictional book and gain some knowledge or get a jones for wanting to learn more about something.

For what the book was I really enjoyed it. I just wish that Roberts would stray a bit from her formula and added more tension.

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lysar
Sep 18, 2009

Cooper (Coop) Sullivan is forced to spend the summer with his Grandparents in the rouged terrain of Black Hills South Dakota while his parents jet off to Paris to mend their failing marriage. The days are filled with animals and chores both seem unbearable for the 11 year old who was promised baseball camp and Yankee games in his home city of New York. Two weeks pass before he meets Lillian (Lil) Chance and things seem to look up. Summers pass and Coop continues to visit both his Grandparents and the girl who has his heart. Their young romance seems unstoppable until life pulls them apart.

Years later Coop ends back up in Black Hills to help his Grandparents out. Lil has followed her dreams and opened up Change Wildlife Refuge. Things seem to be on track until Coop re-enters her life and a stalker sets his eyes on her. Now it's a race against wits and survival skills to see who will win and if Coop will manage to mend her broken heart and win her over once more.

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