I will start out with admitting that I would consider myself a fan of Nora Roberts. While she has written over 200 books, I have read numerous standalone novels, numerous novels as parts of entire series, and one of her novels under the pen name J.D. Robb.
I will also add that I consider Nora Roberts a good feminist and a good writer. Not only does she write 3-5 novels a year, she writes great dialogue and she writes women with jobs, with lives outside their love.
After saying that, I was disappointed in The Search.
I thought I'd love the plot. The story is centered around Fiona Bristow, a dog trainer and a member of a Search and Rescue team with her dogs. I love dogs, so I was already in love with that.
And I did appreciate those aspects. I liked how Fiona was knowledgeable about her field and that Roberts actually wrote scenes where Fiona went to work and did work, instead of just mentioning in passing. Some authors don't bother with that detail.
I also liked how Fiona was a survivor. She was a near-victim of the "Red Scarf Killer," and after she made it out alive, the killer eventually killed her fiancé and their dog (to be honest, the dog's death hurts me more). She survives that, and eventually has to take on a copycat rapist.
My problem lies with the romantic lead, Simon Doyle. He feels so out of place in her normal canon. He’s harsh and rude and not in fun ways. He rubbed me the wrong way and he was just so pushy and disrespectful.
Most of Roberts’ leading men are decent guys, but Simon has this asshole-side that makes him completely unlikeable. His supposed bad-boy “appeal” just made him seem dangerous.
I wanted to like the book, because I am such a dog person and I also just love books about women attacking serial rapists but I just couldn’t get through this book.
I’ll give The Search two stars out of five. One for the dogs, and one for Fiona.